We live in a society where the moment a girl turns 25 and is unmarried, family, friends and society look down upon her suspiciously. The society that never wanted her to have a boyfriend, suddenly issues her the licence to have one.

I personally pity those poor souls who are forced to attend all functions from the closest friend’s to the distant brother of her mom’s second cousin’s only daughter’s marriage. She is directed to be attired in an elaborate ethnic wear with the customary dupatta, wear a delicate smile and to top it all, she is given crash courses on blushing too. The moment she walks down the red carpet, every eye ball scans her upside-down.

I am always disheartened to see how girls above 25 years of age are treated like products nearing their expiry date. The fact that most of the girls don’t speak up against the same, is even more disheartening.

Last evening, I attended my friend’s marriage (by the way she is 32 years of age) where I overheard an aunty yelling with excitement  – “Ohhh maiiii Gawwdd!! Do you laaaikke somebaudy!! Tell me naaa…. Mai setting karwa dungi..”

I wanted to immediately flee from the place and find a peaceful corner to avoid a nervous breakdown. But decided otherwise on hearing a confident yet composed voice answering – “No I don’t like anyone! And if at all I did, I would prefer telling my parents first. My parents trust me and my choices. If I cannot sort out something with the ones who gave me birth and imbibed the values and principles in me, nobody on this planet can.”

So, here’s Aunty and the woman who was 30 and single:

Aunty – Toh kya problem hai? Woh ladka accha hain! The guy is tall, dark and handsome and to top it all, he earns much more than you! You need not toil now.

Woman – Really nice to know that he works and earns well. But I wish to be financially independent. I don’t want to be a financial burden on anyone. Moreover he may buy me thousands of solitaires but the shine and glitter of the diamond I earn for myself, illuminates my whole world. He may buy me the luxuries of the Jaguar and Rolls Royce but the sheer pleasure of driving my hard earned Honda City is much higher.

Aunty – As a girl you have to take up the responsibility of kitchen and home on your shoulders. Finances will be handled by him. So both of you would be working in coalition and effectively not doing a favor to each other.

Woman – Why do we have this predefined set of responsibilities? Why does the society confine us in those boundaries? I believe that a marriage should be a coalition in complete sense. Responsibilities should be taken up by choice and not forced upon anyone. If I am ready to take care of home and office together, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t work.

Aunty – You cannot marry after you have lost your charm and pass by your marriageable age. And few years down the line you will feel the emptiness in your life without a family of your own.

Woman – What pleasure and happiness will that family give me who doesn’t understand my wishes and desires? If my to-be family cannot make me happy today, what happiness can I expect from them tomorrow? I don’t see any fulfillment in life by marrying, when I have to first make it empty by leaving my job. I just don’t wish to get into a dictated relationship.

Everybody is ready to accept all her demands varying from the height of the groom to the weight of his pockets. One expectation that is just unacceptable is –“I want to work and the proposals I receive won’t allow me to.”

Most Indian girls, even highly educated ones, fall into the trap of the pre-defined beliefs of this society. I salute the guts of this lady who stood up for herself and who clearly knows where her happiness lies. I salute her for wonderfully sorting out her priorities. I salute her for not giving up to the societal pressures. Marriage is a commitment for a lifetime and one needs to be sure before getting into one.