Friday, February 27, 2015

An open letter to the people whose peace of mind (and maybe life) depends on my marital state

To whomsoever it may concern,
(including you, friends of my parents, and you, parents of people I studied with in school, you, relative of a relative of a relative, you, ex-neighbour from the apartment that my brother (and not I) lived in once upon a time, you, sundry people I meet at functions, and you, dear auto-driver whom I've never met before, and am unlikely to meet again)*

Yes, I've been on this earth for nearly three decades now. And no, I am not married. Nor am I dying to get married. And more blasphemously, I'm not keen on having kids of my own. (As if the current population weren't enough, and no, this isn't the kind of world I'd willingly want to bring someone into, I'd rather do something for some kid who's already alive). So what?

Oh, sorry, I forgot my manners for a moment. Let me thank you first. For telling me in no uncertain terms that I must get married. And that I'm already an old maid, and 'over-qualified' on top of that. For reminding me about a biological clock. Oh, and thanks for making it awkward for my parents by discussing my marriage with them, in my presence, while not bothering to talk directly to me even once. (I wanted to ask you to go and get married yourself to whoever it was you were trying to sell, and leave me alone; but alas, civility and social norms saved you. And I'm itching to be sarcastic and rude, but what to do? Most people don't get my sarcasm and it'd become even more scandalous. Next time someone comes up to me and asks me when I'm going to get married, I'm going to say, "As soon as your son/daughter finishes school/college", or "As soon as you divorce your husband/wife". Gosh, I'm irritated even thinking of the people who keep pestering me about my marriage...)

So, you "know someone"? What's the basis on which you want to marry him? That he'll 'allow' me to study? (Hon, this is something I do for myself. I don't need anyone's "permission" for doing something with my own life.) No dowry? (Does the issue even arise? There's no way I'm even considering someone who wants money or anything for giving me the privilege of becoming "his wife"). That he's in the U.S. of A.? (How does it matter? I'm not going to just pack my bags and go to wherever he is).

I have expectations of my own, call them impractical or the 'result of arrogance from having been given too much freedom', it doesn't matter. But they are there, the expectations. And no, they don't include a minimum salary. (I'd rather not share the list with the world).

And please let me make something clear - not even in my wildest dreams would I consider marrying you (you know who you are). Yes, you, who thinks rape is the solution to getting rid of a girl's 'ego' & 'arrogance'. Despite your being TamBrahm, despite your mother's questions, I can't even imagine going down that road. Nor you, fellow community member - I am not that devout. And no, considering someone outside my community/religion isn't as scandalous as you make it sound - I'd rather have a decent man even if he's a *horror of horrors* Christian... or *gasp* Muslim. (Yes, I know people eat meat and drink wine (or rum, or beer, or whiskey :P) and smoke cigarettes. Thank you for enlightening me.)

Well, enough venom for now.

You, people, if you want to talk about my marriage, please talk to me directly. Ask me questions. Relevant questions, and not the irritating unnecessary ones. And please don't drop hints. If you 'know' someone, ask them to get in touch. I'm not a monster. (JP & SC, pliss to make a note of this.) I do know how to talk politely. (Yes, my parents taught me manners!)

I'm sorry if the plight of this poor girl being unmarried in this 'miserable old age' keeps you from sleeping at night, if it bothers you to the extent that you have to take drastic action about my life. Especially if you're not even someone I remotely know. I'm sorry for all the trouble caused by not having a husband by this age.

I'm not anti-marriage, I'm just put off by the current crop of specimens...

And with this I sign off.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,
Ms. S.

* - If you're not among my closest friends or immediate family, and are bothered by and concerned about the fact that I am still unmarried, please feel free to add yourself to this list... (of people I am better off avoiding).