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The other day, I was watching a comedy show (read slapstick) in which actors Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor had come to promote an upcoming movie. After a few minutes into the show, the focus suddenly shifted from the movie to the single status of the so- called most eligible and sought after bachelor of tinsel town, Salman Khan.
The show of the host, in his supposedly funny, tongue-in-cheek tone tried to provoke the actor for not being married yet even though he’s going to turn fifty soon.
Even though I am not one of the actor’s die-hard fans I must say that he brushed off the nation’s curiosity quite gracefully.
However, it made me ponder and wonder that why we are as a nation so obsessed with someone else’s MARRIAGE. Here, am not just talking about celebrity marriages. Think about all the distantly distant uncles and aunts, you’d meet once in a lifetime, who’d constantly nag your parents to get you married once they thought you have hit the eligible age.
Now, who’s that elusive aunt/uncle who never wished you on your Birthday and is not even your friend on Facebook so bothered about ‘your’ marital status. Understandable, that curiosity ‘kills’ the cat but dear uncle/aunt kindly do not ‘kill’ the poor ‘me’
Fortunately or unfortunately, this is just not limited to women for once even men are the victims of getting married at the ‘eligible’ age. Talk about gender equality.
Am sure we all have a dozen tales to narrate and share of missing the bus, the emotional drama (atyachaar) of parents and family to get married as they thought and believed we have reached the eligible age.
What about your own mental/ emotional / physical preparedness? Forget about that, if that, ‘I love poking my nose in others business’ relative is convinced that you have reached the eligible marriageable age means you have.
Though I have nothing against arranged marriages the fact that one has to decide to spend one's life after meeting a couple of times just because xyz relatives feel that they are the 'right' match kind of leaves me hassled. As author, Vikram Seth, in the popular book 'A Suitable Boy', beautifully describes the scene in which the characters meet-up to discuss marriage in an arranged set-up "...amid the clink of cutlery and crockery was a mutual interview that might decide whether or not they would own a common set of those items some time in the whimsical future." Part 9.12, page 628
Our obsession with getting married is so ingrained in our DNA. Our parents and even we will ‘save’ to get our children married. We splurge our savings on the great Indian fat wedding. My mother ( and am sure most of ours moms) started collecting our wedding trousseau perhaps from the day we were born.
As we are growing up everything why we should study and do well, learn a number of things or adapt a few behaviours either to find a suitable match or ‘adjust’ in a household. Of course, both men and women are expected all of these- though the degree of each aspect might vary as per the social norms identified and defined by our society for the respective gender.
You see it's our social responsibility to ensure that distant relative finds a suitable match
And worse, today I am guilty of asking my nieces and nephews who I think are of marriageable age, ‘so when are you tying the knot?’