Last week, my timelines and of the world’s, were full with celebrity wedding pictures. Sonam Kapoor became Mrs Ahuja and Neha Dhupia turned to Mrs Bedi. Not to forget, Anushka Sharma’s dreamy wedding with Virat Kohli a few months back.
“Why aren’t you getting married? Ab to Sonam ki bhi ho gayi. Do you know she is 32?” Screamed my mom at the other end of the phone line, sounding as if the actress had been nothing but a neighbour’s daughter or a childhood friend.
As much as she loves regaling about Bollywood’s happy wedding celebrations, for my mother dearest, it is not about the weddings galore, the right man found by the actresses, it is about how suddenly incomplete my life has become for the world (read: her) without a mangalsutra and a vermillion-decorated forehead.
Now that Sonam, Anushka, Neha, Ileana D’Cruz, so on and so forth have exchanged wedding vows with the men of their choice, my mother is hell-bent on ensuring I exchange some wedding vows of my own. That’s how we do it, don’t we?
All these lovely ladies fall in the age bracket of 25 to 35; I, too, am part of it, somewhere. But, I am not as accepting towards a marital arrangement as these women.
Like my mother, the world wants women of ‘marriageable’ age to ‘settle down’. If I were to ask about the exact meaning of ‘settling’ in life and about ‘marriageable’ age, I’d be deemed out of line. Would I not?
Can I blame them for asking for my faith in an institution on which the society, Indian at that, balances itself? The answer is no, for it all has been conditioned such over the years. But I certainly can’t let them decide the marriageable age and man for me, as I can’t let them decide the parameters for settling down.
As my mother aggressively broached the topic of my marriage again with the celebrity weddings, I decided to weigh in on all the possible aspects these actresses’ may have considered before tying the knot. Love, family, career, acceptance, happiness and independence… these are the terms I hope and pray for marriage. I told her how these actresses have ticked all the boxes before they decided to take the road and how I need to have them all in my favour if I am to marry.
At the end of what I would end up calling as ‘phone call of the quarter’ (until the matchmaker in her awakens yet again), my mother agreed to the terms. Sulking as motherly as she could, mom quietly slips in “But woh to actress hai na,” as if it means ‘I’ am nothing. I smelt hypocrisy from the other side as much as I heard the helplessness.
Dear Bollywood divas, you may find the man and the love, happiness and the means, family’s consent (if needed) and the money to splurge on grand celebrations, please for the sake of my sanity, stop getting married. You have no idea of the pressures it is putting us lesser mortals through!
A woman who wants to ‘settle down’ on her own terms
(The article intends to put forth a new take on marriages. The aim is not to hurt sentiments but to express some. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Mirror and Mirror does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)