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An Open Letter To Judgemental Aunties From The Big Fat Indian Wedding Brigade

( words)
*For representational purpose only.
Dear young men and women of our country, I urge you not to rush into marriage just for the sake of society.

Growing up in the era of movies like “Kuch Kuch hota hai” and “Dil toh pagal hai” has romanticized the concept of marriage and happily ever after. The conviction of finding “Prince charming” was so deep rooted in our hearts and minds that we truly believed, once we grow up, and find that special someone, everything will be fine. All our sorrows will vanish, and we will live happily ever after.

Little did we know that happiness and contentment is not something that someone will give us someday. It is something we need to create for ourselves every day.

In real life, there are no princes and Princesses; there are humans who are flawed and more screwed up than ever. About sometime back, I met a very close friend of mine. Externally she looked happy. Moreover, her Facebook account spoke volumes about her ever so happening and interesting life. However, when I delved deeper, I realized that she was far from being happy. Post marriage, she was forced to quit work by her in-laws, her husband had a highly stressful job and returned very late from work, most nights.

She has a 4-year-old son, and her life pretty much revolves around him. But somehow in this entire process, she lost her individuality and sense of self.

This friend of mine had a multi-crore big fat lavish Indian wedding, which was preceded and succeeded by extravagant pre-wedding and post-wedding shoots followed by lovely music videos. But 8 years into the marriage, there we were discussing how empty and purposeless her life has become. The problem with our country is, we focus too much on weddings rather than focusing on happy marriages.

Grandiosity is our pride, our forte and we flaunt it like a boss.

For us, pleasing the Aunty jis, Uncle jis and Bhabi jis, and their Khatirdaari is more important than anything else. Little do our parents realize that weddings and sitting on crores of money doesn’t guarantee good marriages. And by doing all this, you are risking your children’s lives by putting unnecessary pressure of perfection, on them.

Dear young Women, I urge you not to rush into marriage just because you are 27 or 28 years old, or just because some relative of yours doesn’t fail to taunt you every time you meet them.

Be wise and choose wisely. Marriage can wait till the time you find the right person to connect to. Many times we see life from rose-tinted glasses. A man who is super rich or very popular may or may not make the perfect life partner. Choose virtues like communication, emotional bonding, trust and faith over outward appearances. And most importantly, develop your own unique personality and hobbies.

Be well versed and aware of yourself. Don’t be one of those ladies who say “Travel karungi toh pati ke saath hi karungi.

Last but not the least, and certainly most important, please become financially independent. Don’t depend on your life partner to provide for you. A woman who is independent, self-sufficient and self-aware is more likely to attract a man who is priceless in his worth. Please don’t panic if you are in your 30’s and unmarried. Don’t give in to that “Biological clock is ticking” jargon. So what if it’s ticking? You can always adopt or get an IVF or may not want a kid at all.

Take a chill pill and tell others to take it easy as well.
Dear young men, A woman who is blessed with exceptionally good looks may or may not be the perfect life partner.

Choose a real woman, someone who would be your partner in crisis, who can pull you up in bad times and become your strength. Don’t smoke it up and spend those Friday nights getting drunk in bars, bottling all your frustrations and sorrows within. You know better than that. It is okay to cry sometimes and share your worries with someone close to you.

It’s absolutely alright for a man to have a vulnerable and fragile heart. There is no point wearing that fake mask of masculinity when you are miserable from within.

Also, never ever succumb to the pressure of earning a six-figure salary and give in to the whims and fancies of the society. I understand the fact that one needs to be financially independent, but the least you could do is spend your weekends doing what you really love.

Join that photography course that you have been longing to join. Get into that music or dance class that you always wanted to go to.

Remember, your marital status and external appearances don’t define who you are. Focus on developing a good heart. I myself am a woman who is married for the last 5 years and blessed with a one-year-old. Trust me, love is not at all easy. It is not what you see in those movies. It’s all about endurance, patience and perseverance.

However, my dream is to see my country free of prejudices and judgements, a place where both men and women are respected for the choices they make.

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