Growing older after turning twenty four is terrifying! You gain uninvited weight and start panicking because you’ll have to be your own caretaker. Most of the time you are broke. But then, these are miniature concerns. The other concern which is the mother of all is “Beta, what have you thought about marriage?”. Funnily enough, this rhetoric question is served on a decorated plate by your Indian mother one fine morning at breakfast. It is called “the talk”.
Watch out for phrases like, “I want to have a word with you” or “I need to discuss something important”. These sentences are danger warnings. When you hear them, run if you can. Well, do not quote me anywhere for this piece of advice. Because I will be in trouble if my mother hears that I am the rotten apple spoiling the lot.
As you keep progressing through this article, you will know that it has been written by a hapless unmarried person who is not ready to tie the knot, but has faced the universal question “Beta, when will you get married?”.
Considering that, here are ten not so genuine reasons that Indian parents (and “relatives” who are extremely concerned) give, to convince you to say yes to marriage.
1. Look, I am not forcing you. Just have a conversation and see if you like him/her.
The sentence starts with “I’m not forcing you”. But we all know how much pressure that phrase means! We’re only being requested to start talking to a person and respond in a span of thirty working days (weekends included!), with a “I like him/her” or “No, s/he’s not my type”. The latter has bitter consequences and a seasoning of drama. So please beware! But just imagine being pushed to talk to a new person out of nowhere, when you are not interested in the first place. Still, no pressure kids!
2. After 30 will be too late!
I have not been able to find out till date, if they’re trying to convince us for marriage or selling us insurance policies! Deciding about getting married seems to have an expiry date. As we age, it gets harder to find a match, it seems. What happened to “God has a plan for you beta” and “Matches are made in heaven”? Well, they also said that the right things will come at the right time. So moms and dads, we’re only being obedient kids by refusing to hurry with the marriage decision! (Insert smirk here.)
3. Why are you refusing marriage proposals? Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
This is for all you single people out there, who love your uninterrupted single life. Most of us avoid relationships because we love food and hate sharing it with another person! Because food is bae. But convincing Indian parents that we are happily, truly, madly single is as hard as making gol roti in the first go! Are there any lawyers who specialise in these cases, who will defend us poor souls?
4. You want to travel? Get married! Travel as much as you want after that.
If you have not been offered this sort of a bribe or composite package, you probably gave in after one or two persuading sessions. On one hand we have stock markets that is a sort of gambling which is legal. On the other, we have these kind of bribes for agreeing to marriage which are unfortunately not illegal! They will gift wrap the marriage proposal attractively. But pighalna nahi hai boss!
5. Your uncle/aunt is visiting India after a decade. There’s no better time to look for a proposal!
Marriage is one of the reasons why NRI relatives exist! As soon as they come in to your life, there’s a 90% chance that your relationship status will change from ‘single’ to ‘married’. Of course this is in context of those eligible to be married. But I have a good escape plan! How about faking a work related trip for as long as they’re around? When do the “door ke dost” come handy? You can always crash at their place to avoid the “door ke rishtedaar” and the wedding proposal! (Evil grin.)
6. Your best friend is getting married???
Your closest friend’s wedding gets your parents in to auto panic mode. There are two ways to avoid this situation. One is, don’t have best friends. Well if that’s hard, just try secretly attending the wedding. Oh! But we have Facebook to ruin it!
7. You are so careless! Marriage will make you responsible.
Well moms and dads, is this why grandma and grandpa got you married? Two careless people signing a lifetime contract of togetherness, wearing expensive clothes is such a disaster! I want to help save the world from this prospective calamity. No, this isn’t an idea for a new superhero comic.
8. Your younger siblings can’t marry unless you do!
These younger siblings make sure they squeeze the life out of you from the time they are born! And to place the cherry right at the cake’s centre; your parents make you feel guilty for being a barrier to their future married life. Hello little brothers and sisters, are you reading this? Go ahead and get married if you want to! We older ones would love to be the bridesmaids/best men. We really wouldn’t mind!
9. At your age I was a mother!
This dialogue is exclusively reserved for Indian mothers. You’ll be busy playing PUBG in your room and a new battle will soon begin with your mum entering the scene. Later mom! Video games with marriage discussions are a ridiculous idea.
I haven’t heard of fathers saying this. But let me know if you have.
10. We gave you everything you asked for! Can’t you do just this much for us?
As school kids, they told us to do well in class 10 and class 12. “Uske baad jo marzi aaye, karna.” they said! As college kids, they told us to get decent GPAs and bag a degree. Again, “Uske baad jo marzi aaye, karna.” they said! Then they said, “Please, just get a well paying job! Uske baad jo marzi aaye, karna.” And then finally, this; “We gave you everything you asked for! Can’t you do just this much for us?”
Can someone tell them that getting married is a life decision and cannot be quantified with ‘just this much’? Sometimes it sounds like they’re convincing us to eat food we don’t like! They make it look that easy. (Am I being given death stares by Indian parents who are reading this? Probably.)
Are There Only Ten Reasons?
I know that it is hard to end this with just ten reasons. There is a long list, if you think of it. But these above, are the sugarcoated ones, with bitter pills on the inside.
Neighbourhood aunties and uncles will not miss a chance to slip in the marriage question, be it at your siblings’ wedding or immediately after you’ve received your first pay cheque. You look around, and this world will seem like an offline matrimonial forum! One Facebook interest that our parents don’t list on their profiles is ‘offering unsolicited match making services’.
We Love Our Parents
Chucklesome as it may seem, we love our Indian parents the way they are because no other parents in the world care for their kids as much as they do. They might constantly badger us in to saying yes to marriage, but there is care hidden in this chivying. Treasure your parents as long as they’re with you. Disclaimer: This closing paragraph is not a contradictory statement. Neither is it an endorsement to give in to saying yes to marriage if you don’t want to. It’s just an unacknowledged universal truth. I’m Indian after all. Getting emotional runs in the blood! (Insert fluctuating heart rates here. Please send ways to avoid prospective marriage proposals in the comments below. Also, let me know if you have some spare space in your house. My parents could disown me after discovering who wrote this article!)