Are you 26 and still single? Are you a girl living in India? Well, I would say take the first flight out of the country. You may laugh it off and wonder why do I say such a thing as being 26 and single is not crime. Yes, it indeed is not a crime but in India society does make it look like one.
As a girl turns 24 in India everyone including her folks starts giving her subtle hints that its time for her to settle down, every now and then your relatives start playing match makers by smartly introducing you to some well to do man in any of those family functions. Those family functions that once you loved well, now you start avoiding as you do not want any more awkward situations. By seeing all these and also after being a part of this circus only one thing crosses my mind that what happened to the thing that people so proudly say that the times have changed and even a 28-year professional today is an independent woman.
I always believed in this and I am quite firm on it. As being 26 and single myself I know how it feels and I also know that life of a single girl in India is not easy. It is true bygone are those days when a woman had to dream her husband’s dream as that was expected of her. Today, she has her own dreams, her own visions of future and her own goals that she wants to achieve. Today, a woman seeks a life-partner who will not pull her back but instead walk with her on the journey towards her dreams. She will only feel fulfilled if her dreams come true.
I have heard many elder heads of this society saying that how will a girl survive on the life path alone. They also go further by calling us the 26 and single types unsettled, depressed and lonely. I prefer to call ourselves passionate, brave and credible. A question I always have for all those who think a girl should get married as soon as she turns 24, why talk about freedom, equality and woman empowerment when you do not know the meaning of those words in the first place.
I really wonder where does equality go when a girl is just not allowed to pursue her passions after marriage? What happens to the freedom that we all so proudly talk about when a girl is expected to get married and settle down even before she understands herself and what does she really want from her life? Where is that freedom when girls should be allowed to live and experience life on their own and make them stand up on their own so that they can stand up for themselves? Why women still can’t be seen in creative, challenging roles like pilots, photographers and chefs? Whenever I asked these questions the only reply that I can come up with is because it is we who don’t like to see them there. Because we might be scared to grant them this real freedom. The freedom that does really matters.
However, I am not saying the we do not have open-minded parents or in some cases even husband as I am privileged to have broad minded parents but it is just that somewhere along the way stereotype creeps in. In the Indian society women are still expected to be the ones making most of the compromises. Parents still do teach their girls to learn to the art of compromising. Instead of teaching them to compromise why not teach them to dream high and achieve all those dreams.
I am a 26 and single girl residing in India, yes I am privileged to have parents who do not pressurize me to get settled but the web of relatives I have and this society makes the life of a single girl in India hell. They always expect you to be that perfect bride as you turn 24. You are expected to settle down with that perfect man who works in US. Rather than expecting that you make the life you want on your own they just ask you to get married. Well, I might be privileged for now but I feel that it won’t last long as stereotype will creep up. And if you ask me how I feel, I feel irritated and tired of explaining them my point of view as they just refuse to understand.
When I tell them I want someone of my choice they just say upload your profile on the community based matrimonial site like Sikh matrimonial sites you can find someone of your choice. They should understand that to get settled a girl first needs to understand what she wants from a life even before she dreams of a future. A girl can only know what is that perfect future when she has experienced life and seen all its ups and downs. Marriage is a sacred thing and marring because the society wants you to is not the right reason to get married. So, girls get married when you feel it is the right time take it from a girl who is 26 and single you might feel trapped and tired but just hang on as they will understand.
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