Like all desi parents, my parents too started looking out for rishtaas for me when I was around 23/24 years old. I did not like any of the boys who came to ‘see’ me. My parents weren’t impressed either.
I was born and raised outside India, so I have a different mentality. After seeing my other, more traditional female family members living with their stereotypical, dominating, controlling, chauvinistic husbands, I had developed a phobia against Indian men.
I continued to reject all the potential husbands who came to see me till I was 28. Frankly speaking, boys rejected me and that too for superficial reasons. Everyone else was keen to fix me up with their sons. I felt like I was only liked for my physical attributes because I was extremely fair skinned and had light eyes.
It was really pathetic that no one really asked me about my ambitions.
I was reduced to someone who would just look good and serve the family. Several more rishtaas came my way and several aunties continued to ogle at me after which I decided that I never wanted to get married.
I was done with humiliating myself and knew I was being treated like a piece of meat.
I wasn’t interested in finding anyone for myself either and decided to focus on my profession. I was past 27, when my aunt’s friend’s bahu suggested me for her devar’s cousin. Ha. Desi connections again. I wasn’t interested in seeing the dude because he was born and brought up in India and had been working outside only for the past 3 years. I met him because my parents insisted on it. I wasn’t impressed by him, except for the fact that he was the only guy who stood up for me like a gentleman when I walked into and out of the room. That really touched me.
I was still very scared of ending up with a sexist desi guy.
The scars of experiencing the desi culture had not yet healed and I realized the implications they would have on my life. I was past 27 now, so my parents started worrying and they kind of talked me into it. I remember crying and then just giving in by saying, “OK, do whatever you want!” They said, “He’s a nice guy. We never liked anyone else so far but we like him.” I reluctantly sought refuge in my faith in God and plunged into my work. 4 months before the wedding, we connected on Facebook. We started talking about how we wanted to live our lives.
He sounded too good to be true. I wondered if this dude even knew what 'being married' was actually like, in reality.
I kept finding excuses to not like him and kept telling my parents about it. They told me to break off the relationship if I wanted to. But at that point of time in my life, I had lost my ability to fight against my marriage.
My faith in God gave me the strength that I needed to plunge into it. I remember crying on the stage on the wedding day because I recollected all that I had gone through so far.
On the wedding night itself, from the moment we sat in our car to go to my sasuraal, I realized that he was such a caring guy. After a few days and eventually weeks after our marriage, I realized that he was indeed too good to be true. We have been married for nearly 6 months now and I still can’t believe how lucky I am. We have our share of arguments nearly every day because we have been raised in different cultures. But I know that I wouldn’t have found a better man myself. My dad had said, “He is really a nice guy.” He got that right.