Mira (name changed) is a 24-year-old documentary film-maker from Kanpur.
I am a young woman, working hard towards a creative and successful career. My parents are supportive of my choices. They haven’t ever bothered me with societal expectations. But suddenly, one casual conversation on the phone changed everything.
Dropping a bomb
Last week, my mother called up to find out how I was doing. She often calls me to check if I am fine but this particular time, she was in a mood to update me with discussions in our family.
Mid-way through our conversation, she dropped a bomb. She told me that a week ago, my father brought up a very important topic. According to him, girls of my age he knows are either getting married or preparing for it. He even blamed my mother for not making me think about it yet.
Ambushed or not?
I was furious to know that my parents had been discussing my marriage with other family members behind my back. I also know that my father is worried about his retirement and arranging finances for my marriage. I completely realise that they want to support me, yet I feel torn.
As a society, we have come a long way. Society, more importantly the elders, need to tailor their thoughts according to the current generation. Young women are becoming more independent and successful. They like to make their life decisions on their own. Marriage is no longer a tradition now but more of a choice.
Escaping the pressure
I have personally known many people who had no rush to get married. I have friends who have been together for many years and still haven’t given marriage a serious thought. I was confused about why my parents were in a hurry. Were they considering me a burden now?
At this point, I felt really lucky to live on my own, away from my parents. If I had been home, I would be constantly bothered with prospective grooms and their matrimonial profiles. I couldn’t have escaped this pressure as easily if I had been around them.
After the phone call, I took some time to realise what I was supposed to do next. I understand that my parents feel pressure to conform to societal expectations. If it weren’t for the pressure, maybe they’d just trust me to plan my own life and follow my dreams.
Time out, please?
I’m not against marriage, but right now, I need some time to myself and my career. I asked my mom to not encourage such discussions in my family at the moment. A part of me wanted to go back home and ask everyone to not make decisions for me.
The sad result is that I’m actually avoiding going home and seeing my parents because I don’t want to get trapped in the marriage discussion. I know that everyone will support my parents and think that they are right, but marriage should be a personal choice and decision, right?
Do you think young women should have the right to decide when they want to get married? Share your story with us via comments or on Facebook.