The times they are a-changing!

So today is women’s day. Is that supposed to be different from other days? I don’t know. I didn’t think so. But oh yes, I had the lovely surprise this morning. My mom insisted on talking about marriage this morning. So my mood is a bit off. She doesn’t get it that I have no inclination to get married. Soon. I’m still a bit shaky professionally and so would rather spend my time getting my professional life in tune rather than go “see” boys or worse be seen by them. Anyways, I find the process rather uncouth with a whiff of the grocery store about it. One doesn’t shop for one’s life partner. I am not against marriage but I haven’t told her that. Yet. Or she would be up in arms whispering to every aunt, uncle, cousin, family friend within 500 miles that her daughter is “ready for marriage.” Oh! The very thought of it!

And what’s making this period worse is that my cousin, all of 3 years younger to me, is getting married. To a man 8 years her senior! And my mom is ecstatic about it. The shy girl who refused to talk to strangers because she didn’t have anything to say has grown up. Or so she thinks. The guy is a “bhalo chele” (good boy) but somewhat dark, screamed my delighted younger aunt on the phone all the way from Calcutta. He earns an obscene amount of money, I was told. She will have to move to Bombay after her marriage. Yes, I suppose money is the great cushion on which all marriages survive. Does it?

25-year-old Deb has very clear priorities in life. She is educated and has a master’s degree in, I think, Economics. She doesn’t want to work and wants to lead a happily married life. I don’t know what to tell her. (Even if I want to I can’t. I haven’t seen her in over 10 years, which makes us quite estranged even to talk to about the weather.) If I could, I would say there is no such thing as happily married. If you can just about tolerate your husband, I would call that a great marriage.

I am Deb’s anti-thesis. I suppose I should tell her that she should work for a while. See how nice it is to not ask anyone for money. To be independent. To tackle so many situations at work. To work so hard that you don’t feel like eating when you home. To make out-of-town trips. To see the world from a very different perspective. To be able to walk into a shop and pick up any reasonable book you like and buy it. Not many people get an opportunity to get educated. Don’t throw it all away. There are women who would give their right arm to be in your place. Of course, there are the bad times, the pressure-cooker times, the depressed times. But you live through it all. And it makes you a better person. And you feel so confident at the end of the day. But somehow, I don’t think she will listen.

The times they are a-changing!

As Bob Dylan says,

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.


18 thoughts on “The times they are a-changing!

  1. Heyyyy, you’re back 🙂
    What you’re saying is true not just for women, but for a lot of people of our generation. We all are going through the same ‘crisis’! Amidst all this madness of cousins/friends/neighbour’s children getting married, we have to stand firm and keep the faith. I really don’t know if parents will ever understand that getting married just for the sake of getting married will not make us happy!
    May the Force be with you.

  2. Oh yes! I am very happy to back! I’m so glad someone agrees with me! But I always thought that men had it easy since they could still be eligible till they were 35! But it’s so sad that both men and women are so pressurised by their life today that finding a partner is the last task they put their mind to. And arranged marriage is not a choice here. For me at least.

    *sigh* Life is so difficult at times!

  3. Hehehehe…yes that is a sadistic I am not the only one fighting this battle.Well I would have said the same things to your cousin may be 2/ 3 years ago.But now I’ve realised, there all types that make the world.For some of us,our freedom,our quest to see the world from another perspective and much more is not even the begining of how much we want to live our lives and experiment with it.But for others its getting a good education getting married and having babies.That is the life they have chosen.Hence they are the ones getting married and doing exactly that.I doubt their lives are any less accomplished than ours, just because they aren’t doing what we have decided to do with ours.I don’t think we have the right to look down upon another person’s decision, just because we don’t agree with it.What we should be doing is seeing how accomplished we are in what we want to do and how much they have achieved in what they decided to do.I so wished our parents could do the same.They have a different mind set, and you just have to learn to get used to it.Ah, I so love not being at the recieving end of a ‘bhashan’.Apologies, if I ruined your mood further.Its just that from my experience,we can’t fight the system, only use it to our advantage.

  4. Hey, what has come over your ma? I always thought she was really, really forward thinking because she never brought up these topics.
    But I want to point out one your mistskes. Why do you say “Not many people get an opportunity to get educated. Don’t throw it all away.”? – Well, in case you don’t know she is not thowing it away. She is using it too. But her way is different from yours. She is using it to get herself a hubby who earns pots of money. That’s it.
    Well, don’t think that I defend these types. Not me!! You know that, right? So now cheer up, hon 😀

  5. hi

    a nice post….

    yep i m absolutly agree with you that very few ppal can get chance for higher studies…. so they should make their career well..

    i know when 1 girl in my class said that i will not do any job or going to make my professional career…. then i ask “so y u r studying this??”… she replied to get a good boy for marriage…. i tthink such ppal r reserving precious seats of institution…. if 1 r not going to use your education then the 1 had no right to getting admission in such higher studies… let other candidate take the admission on that seat so he\she can make theor career….


    take care

  6. I think you are correct – it is
    most important to have a strong
    sense of self before you get
    married – or you will get lost-

    and there are absolutely lots
    of happy marriages – important
    things are…

    marrying someone with a great
    overall attitude in life,
    in particular when things

    and someone who has a strong
    sense of self and personal
    interests to enliven the marital
    environment with!

  7. could it not be something as simple as a difference in view? So you think marriage is not for you. now. Deb thinks marriage is for her. now. They’re just two different POVs, aren’t they?

    P.S: gorgeous pic. who?

  8. AFJ, you underestimate a mother’s powers of exaggeration. My mom keeps telling me, “You’re 29, next year 30, and then 35, who will marry you then?”! Gawd!

  9. okay. on last IWD I wrote this looong loong post on the subject, I thought this year I’ll refrain from even mentioning the day. and I didn’t, but then this blog of yours got me thinking.

    most people given a choice between hardship that gives a sense of achivement and comfortable life (including a social sanction), would choose the latter. and there is nothing wrong in that. so don’t be judgemental about that choice. that said, presurrising does get to you. and it doesn’t stop at marriage ;-).

    “there is no such things as happily married” sounds great as a quotation, but how many happily unmarried people do you see, especially post 35? i’d say both happily married and happily unmarried groups are as small. and my theory is that that’s because marriage has a very little to do with happiness per se. it’s finally about your expectations from life and even those change from time to time.

    that said, i see where you’re coming from, and that is very natural. in the end what *you* do with your life, that’s the only thing that really matters. be happy for your cousin and hope that she finds happiness in her choices.


  10. The times definitely are a changin’ Nowadays I find that most of my female friends have made marriage a lesser priority in their otherwise blissful existence. Good going girls. Enjoy your independence. Marriage can wait and a ‘good’ husband isn’t necessarily the best thing that can happen to you. Moreover, we guys – who also haven’t given the M word a thought, will have options when they finally make up their minds somewhere in their 30s.

    Thankfully, in my case my parents have taken it easy for so long. My elder brother wasn’t as lucky, he was just waiting for the right time, but the incessant nagging from all possible quarters didn’t stop. But anyway, I’m happy that he tied the knot, primarily because I have the sweet little toddler to look forward to on my next visit home.

    By the way, who’s the girl in the pic? I thought that it might be you.

    And nice to see you back.

  11. Nice to see you back!

    My sister went through the same thing when she started working. As soon as she started earning, my folks started talking about marriage. I know how it puts you off, because I have seen my sister in the same way!

    Enjoy being single! And I hope your professional life gets better real soon.

  12. hello miss fame junkie: indeed, if you are hopelessly in love, marriage is an effective cure. but marriage could also be wonderful. but i do believe its not for everybody.

  13. Hey Junkie

    It’s been some time since I last saw you on my blog. Hope you’re well.

    This is a perennial anxious mom’s syndrome. By now you know how to deal with it! :-))



  14. Hi, my first time here, followed the trail from 2X3X7.
    First of all, thats a gorgeous pic. You can’t put pics like that on the blog and not explain their presence, so please do.
    And second, mom’s in my ear as well on this same topic so any good advice on this topic is always welcome, keep it coming!

  15. Hello.
    Nice post. This makes me feel slightly luckier than you – my mum’s just limits herself to slanting hints, which i allow in through one ear and out of the other. I recommend the same to you.
    But yes, it isn’t a solution. And things must get really p***ing off sometimes.
    However, it isn’t true that there is no such thing as a happy marriage. Neither is it wise to close one’s mind to an option. Any option. Arranged marriages for instance. Everything deserves to be checked out, i think. And then again, every community has it’s own version of ‘arranged marriage’. Mine doesn’t approve of the couple meeting too frequently untill after the marraige. Absolutely unacceptable i agree. But there are certain Maharashtrian communitites that allow for the couple to ‘date’ for uptill a year before the actual wedding, to check each other out. Not too bad, is it? depending on your personality, of course.
    But you see, there are women for whom familial security is a need that overrides all others. That isn’t a tendency to be frowned on or looked down upon. It’s just the way they are.
    Marriage has it’s evils. Just like loneliness does.
    And yes, gorgeous pic.

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