*Himani is a 30-year-old corporate lawyer from Delhi.
Haath peele kab karogi
At the ripe age of 27, I decided to move from Delhi to do a Masters in Bangalore. My dad couldn’t understand why a girl at my age wanted to study when everyone else was getting married or making babies. And even though my father has been super supportive, this was a difficult one for him to swallow.
I had finished studying law a couple of years ago and had been working for more than four years. I was in a good position but I knew I will have to study further to get better jobs. And it wasn't that I was averse to marrying but I just didn’t feel that I was at the right point in my life to even consider it. But my relatives, through their on and off commentary were driving my father up the wall.
‘Jijaji, ab toh humein Himani ke shaadi par bulayiye’, ‘Bhai, ab jab Himani ke haath peele honge tab aapko pata chalega…’ etc. And my dad did exactly what all Indian parents do at the time of such crisis. – he went to our family panditji.
Zamana badal gaya hai
After meeting the panditji, dad called me to his room. I was prepared with my arguments and another fight. But it seems that our panditji did what no one else could.
He had told my father, ‘You haven’t found a boy for your daughter. And you do want your daughter to like whosoever she gets married to, don’t you? Then why don’t you allow her to go and study? After all, that is where she can find people her age and those she will like. 'Dekhiye zamana badal gaya hai!’
And guess what? It all made sense to dad in a way my million arguments wouldn’t have managed.
Shadi kab kar rahi ho beta
I went to Bangalore to pursue a masters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I made many friends and fell in love a couple of times but did not like anyone enough to bring them home for a meeting with my father. On the other hand, my father didn’t find anyone suitable either. And just like that two years passed without dad saying the standard ‘shaadi-kab-karni-hai-beta’ dialogue.
When dad tells you to date
I was back in Delhi and before I knew cousins younger to me were beginning to getting married, My poor father started getting hyper again. I know he feels that he should get me married as I am a relationship-kind of person. I too feel ready for marriage but haven’t just found a guy yet. I have met many men but things haven’t just clicked yet.
So this January dad made another visit to the panditji, and came back quite dazed.
He didn’t tell me what the conversation was but for at least two to three days the marriage topic didn’t come up, I really wanted to know what had happened. To top it all, my father actually said on a conference call with my brother, ‘You both should date more often. Meet more people, you are young, spend some time to find someone nice. Love takes time. Don’t marry in haste and repent in leisure.’
This was a bit too much for both of us to handle. I literally rolled my eyes. We got our maasi on our side and got her to find out what was happening.
Freedom and time to find love
We were told a week later that when my father had gone to meet panditji, he had been talking to an old couple. My father had waited for the couple to finish. This couple had really wanted to get their daughter married. She married someone who was already in another relationship. So the couple had to get a divorce. Then over a period of time the girl started showing signs of depression.
So, before my father could even speak about me and my marriage, panditji after finishing with the couple said, ‘Aapko isiliye kehta hoon, bachon ko freedom aur time dijiye love ke liye. Bitiya ko itna padhaya hai, kutch toh sochegi aur samjhegi shaadi karne se pehle. Who toh hai bhi itni pyari. Apni pasand se karegi toh aisi naubat nahi aayegi.’
It seems my father asked panditji no further question that day.
My panditji had saved the day again! I am happily unmarried as of now and I am also glad that my father is content to wait for the right person, someone I would gel with and would make a happy marriage with, sooner or later.
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person in the picture is a model.