Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Alone? Still?

Yesterday, some old family friends were visiting my parents. I happened to call home- and spoke to Uncle-Aunty as well. They've known me since I was a little kid.
And when I grew up, they were among the foremost people to be worried that I wasn't getting married. On time.
They even fixed me up two or three times- with their friends sons' (of course, it never worked out).

Considering that they were so worried about my single state, I assumed that they would be happy that I was married now. I last met them during my wedding (obviously they had been there), and this was the first time I spoke to them after that.

So the first thing Uncle says to me " Kya beta, still alone?"
I was flabbergasted.
"No, Uncle, I'm married now"

I felt this would make him happy, as he was always bothered by my unmarried state (I wonder why, since my family saw his about once a year). Though I would have taken offence at this statement even when I was single. But I could not think of anything else to say.

"I mean, you don't have kids. So of course you are alone."

Well, wow!! So first he kept fixing me up with random people, to remedy what he thought was wrong with my life. Now, he's still finding things wrong with it!!

But what bothered me most was the subtext.
A woman is alone till she's married. And she's even lonelier till she has kids.
She's never enough for herself. Her life, work, career, friends obviously don't count towards makin her any less lonely.
Hell, even the fact that she's married doesn't make a difference!!!

What happens when the kids grow up and leave? They, after all, define her life.
And the poor woman is alone. Again.

I can't even begin to get angry at this- because this is wrong at so many levels, I wouldn't know where to start. Yet I'm angry. Yet it bothers me. Yet, I don't know what to do.

Will people ever think a woman is complete in herself?

That she is GOOD ENOUGH for herself?


Rajaram said...

I followed this link from RTDM..

he he.. I agree with you.. Life for a girl is indeed different..

Hopefully by our goodwill the next generation wont face such problems..

Richa said...

Feel your pain yaar. And it won't stop with one kid. He or she will need company.

Hate the system where the only success in life is getting married and having kids. Guess 6 billion people on the face of Earth (and 1 billion in India) isn't enough. We need more.

Arnab Nandi said...

What Richa said. Soon they will worry about how your kid is alone.

First you need a husband. Then a kid. Then another. And so on.

In contrast, if you bought a dog when you were 16, you wouldn't have to go through all this marital torture.

Also, remember that not everyone around you is an architect, and may not appreciate or comprehend your professional identity. On the other hand, family and marital life is great smalltalk. Everyone (in general) gets married at some point, and has (in general) some experience with making babies.

A good strategy would be to have a list of deviant chatting topics that all people feel strongly about, like Shilpa Shetty's hips or topics thereof.

sharukh said...

I understand your frustration.Unfortunately woman in Indian culture is associated with serving house , husband and children. villagers in India dont understand the culture where you live. most of the time they think this way
you are sitting at home doing nothing. atleast have kids and get busy.

Rachna said...

@ Rajaram- I hope so!

@ Richa- I so agree Richa. The ONLY Success, especially in my mother's eyes, is to get married and have TWO SONS!! Everything else does not matter.

@ Arnab- What identity? A woman is defined and identified by her kids (e.g. Kabutri-ki-ma) That is her true name)

@Sharukh- Well, they have a point. I AM sitting at home doing nothing. So I get worried that they are right.

Anonymous said...

We have family friends who are muslim. They have a daughter about my age (she had kids who were going to school four years ago). So when I was 26, my dad and I visited them while I was in Sri Lanka on a short vacation. They stepped out of the living room and my dad's friend's middle aged male relative come to chat. He doesn't know us. He asked my father about me (I was sitting next to him). My father very proudly told him how I was doing a PhD in US. He said "what about her husband?". My dad paused for a moment not knowing what to say (this is not a question a Sinhalese person would ask), and he told him that I wasn't married. You had to see the look on that man's face, he was confused/feeling sorry for me/or whatever that was, he didn't ask any other question.