Sunday, September 09, 2007

On being single

I have been married for 51 weeks now. It is a great feeling, no doubt. We've had our share of ups and downs and have been through a lot together. I did reflect sometime ago about why I got married. The more I think of it, the more I realize that it was a matter of choice. Not a matter of need. I didn't HAVE to, I CHOSE to. And I'm enjoying every minute of it.

I'd blogged earlier about The Single Life. About how people looked at me, how they judged me. How they made it their business to poke their noses into my affairs (no pun intended!). I was a threat, a liability, a burden. Things have not changed much in India. All the education on being discreet and civil, on drawing lines, on personal space, either isn't there, or is just a waste.

When I decided to get married, I was almost 30. I broke the news to friends and family only to hear, "Oh, your parents must be so relieved!" Why relieved? Why not happy? What a dumb choice of words! If you can't use the right words in a foreign language, don't use it at all. I was never a burden to my parents. They were not relieved to note that I'd finally found my match. They were thrilled to bits.

Through all the years that I was an eligible single woman (eligible does not necessarily mean available), I had a few arguments with my parents about marriage, but they never put any pressure on me. I did have loads of random strangers and distant relatives telling me I was a fool. OK. I could live with that. But it always amused me. That they were so "genuinely" concerned about my well being. As though I was living off of them!

One of the movies that touched a chord somewhere, and very deeply at that, was Hum Tum. It is based on When Harry Met Sally, but it is a very different movie. I loved it for several reasons and can watch it any number of times. In the movie, there is a scene where Rani Mukherjee realizes that Saif Ali Khan has been trying to fix her up with Jimmy Shergill. And she asks him why a girl can't be left alone. Why the world is restless when they see single women and cannot rest until a girl is married. I could relate to that.

Last heard, single women were humans too. They had lives, they enjoyed their lives and were happy to be just that: single. Single didn't always mean ready to mingle or available or itching to be double or any of those gazillion things that people seem to take for granted. A single woman's life is her own. Her own to make her decisions, her own to live. Her life is not some open book that the random public can read. She is not an object of ridicule.

If only people were sensitive to the feelings of others, I'd not have such a topic to blog about. I wish I could pick from among the 10000 other random thoughts that cross my head, but the world is changing at such a slow pace with regard to the way the world perceives what I was until a year ago: a single woman!


Pretty Woman said...

When i was in college, all I wanted to do was get away from my parents, work in a different city and stay with a lot of other friends....and enjoy life till I die with them and most importantly, remain single! I dont need a man to make me happy!!! Things didnt exactly work that way...even a teeny weeny bit....but I am definitely happy with this choice....maybe next time, you can be my roommate??!! ;)

Revathi said...

They were probably envious of your independence. I have never been single technically, but sometimes on friday nights M & I take turns to take care of S and we get some lone time with friends as though we had no time commitments :) Those fridays are sometimes not so wanted and sometimes a great blessing. There is nothing in life that is black & white, everthing has good and bad mixed :)
Regardless, it is no one else's business other than your own

lipstick said...

Agree agree agree.I am tempted to make a post on the same topic, but I guess I would end up saying pretty much the same thing!

Nice post!

Ritu said...

Well said..... Now imagine life for a woman who is divorced... She is single too and in all likelihood by choice... India is a tough place for such women... A very dear friend is going through a divorce and her social life is NON EXISTENT...simply becoz, as u said, she is perceived to be a "threat".... Gwash... The attitude of the society that constitutes humans like us is despicable. Why can't we just leave people alone?

TaChi said...

"u have to get married, look at you turning all old and no man will be ready to get you after a while" i really need one????

lovely post apt and to the point.......

Grihini said...

Hey, How similar our thoughts are on this subject!
I liked ur post..

Lapa said...




Please, add it to your favourites.

Nikki said...

Came this far through your apple pie recipe. Man, I was surprised to see that u were married for just for 51 weeks. Ur other blog made me think that u were married for 100 years and has 50 kids :). So much recipes and so versatile.

People always presume so many things about single woman.There are lot of people to advice on benefits of married life and importance of companionship and understanding, even from the divorced folks:). I think meddling with other's affairs gives some pepole a lot of pleasure.

sugarcraftindia said...

Hi Raaga
Quite a coincidence that even I came this far from your apple pie recipe.
I love the way you've penned down your thots...I've seen a lot many people close to me who have gone thru this "single " phenomenon..
Anyways I've been married for 11 years now and still feel thats it just happened a couple of years back..It does bring about a completeness in you .Nevertheless I will agree with you that being single too was great and marriage too is awesome.
Nice knowing you.

sugarcraftindia said...

Dear raaga
Nice to know that you would be interested in attending the look out for updates on my blog...might have one in Jan in DLF area as got a lot of requests from there. Not too
sure about the weekends though..
Do let your friends also know about my would be new to do help...


sugarcraftindia said...

The workshop is attended by both working women and homemakers..
I will keep your suggestion in mind while scheduling the next workshop.

Aparna said...

Hey!! Don't really know about how people react to being a single woman..was not for long myself. I certainly was queried about my single friends though..what was up with them? when are they gonna settle etc.., I used to get so irritated by these queries. Can imagine how the woman would actually undergo!! And very true about personal space...which just is not there..not only about being single but also about how to raise your kid, how you should live with your husband...the list goes on!!
Btw, belated anniversary wishes!!