I remember all the times I’ve been pointed at, at weddings, with a slight smirk, and a “You’re next.” While I took those as jokes then, even when they counted down all the cousins, who’d get married before me, now I freak out, just a bit. Because no matter how old I am, I’ll not marry for the next seven years anyway. (I’ve been saying that since I was fifteen, and now it’s been 5 years since.)
Over years, my goal for adult-life has changed from getting married and living happily ever after, to getting published in a well accredited academic journal, having a challenging career and adopting a child, and through this, living an almost happily ever after. And that might not be a very big goal, but for somebody who comes from India, it means your parents will get questioned why they are not looking for A suitable boy for their 25 year old daughter. Is something wrong, they’d ask, as if it were their business poking their noses into something as intimate as marriage.
It’s not a question of what culture and society has to say, but how your parents would feel- most likely they’d question themselves and their worth at bringing up a daughter. And for every ounce of feminism and self-sufficiency you have inculcated, that’s not something you want your parents to go through, never mind the fact that they were the scapegoats to all your teenage angst.
But every bit of my world view is exactly that-mine. Extremely subjective. It is you who confuse me, even though we’ve been friends for six years now. You want to get married right out of college. A boy might come to see me, you say, jokingly I hope, right after graduation. And while I took it lightly all this while, now that the horror of graduating is coming closer, becoming more and more real, you freak me out.
You, with your fierce independence, and your I-have-red-hair,-don’t-I? days. You with your watching the latest movies twice-once before, and once in the theatres-in the same week. You with your sleepiness, and your forever hungryness. You with your pathetic cooking skills, and your experimentations with make up, and face colouring, and your 10000 likes on each of your facebook pictures. You with your contacts all over the town. You want to get married.
We’ve spent hours and hours together planning this wedding of yours-scrolling over my Pinterest feed, and looking at all the wedding collections, we’ve got everything decided- from your dress, to all the bridesmaid’s dresses, to the wedding cake, to the venue (and the back-up venue), and walking down the aisle, with your steps choreographed, and your dad’s proud face envisioned. We’ve spent hours detailing out what emotion you are going to feel and when. We’ve spent hours debating if your groom will have tears in his eyes, and when you’ll cry- when you’ll weep with joy, and when with grief.
We’ve all projected our wedding fantasies at you, knowing how much it’s going to mean to you- definitely more than it might possibly mean to each of us. Maybe more than what it’s going to mean to all of us together. And we’ve seen the joy radiating off your face each and every time we decide upon something new, whether it is the time of the day, or the exact shade of white of your wedding dress. From bidding dibs on who gets to be your maid-of-honour, to who gets to be the godmother of your first kid, we’ve gone through it all (except finding a groom. But that’s another story.)
So when I say you’ll have your share of drama and gossip surrounding your wedding, just to make it exciting enough for you, and when I say it’ll be pretty flawless, thanks to all the controls we’d use, just so you focus on being happy, and dreaming of your happily ever after, I mean it.
So what if our dreams are completely different? And what if you want to get married? Perhaps, at twenty-one, while the rest of your friends are still around? And what if you want to do it all, while the rest of us are still making rookie mistakes? It’s amazing how you are so sure about this, when all of us haven’t got a clue as to where life’s headed!
So everytime you talk about your wedding (and not a marriage, have you noticed?), none of us question you, because we know you are making an informed choice- and if not, you know the rest of us will intervene, and drill sense into you. And that’s what matters, in the end, isn’t it? That you’ve found your soulmates in your bunch of friends?
Everytime you question yourself, and dream of a romanticized life, know that the rest of us gave it up years ago. The world is cruel to dreamers, as you know by now, but not cruel to those who chase their dreams with passion and commitment upto your heart’s content, and to the full extent of your ability. And everytime anybody questions you, know that in the end none of them matter as much as your dream. And if you fall, you know we’d be there to catch you.
(This post was in no way coerced with emotional blackmail and promises of publicity.)