More like two Indian girls. I was having a conversation with 2 people who I don’t usually talk to, let’s call them S and V. I just recently met V. This was probably my first proper conversation with her. V is a graduate from a UK university. Born in India, but lived in Singapore and abroad for the past decade plus.
I don’t know how the conversation got to the matter, but V and S started talking about how their parents are giving them the pressure to get married. For the matter, they are both 23. I suppose it is a cultural thing. According to them, a number of their friends are already married or engaged. And the pressure is real. But of course times have changed, if what you have in your mind now is the arranged Indian marriages of the old days when girls are married off to someone they’ve never seen in their lives. It’s more of active introduction and matching by the parents, but they would have their say, and “veto power” apparently.
It’s not really too bad you know. I actually have a fair amount of faith in the workability of arranged marriages. Especially in these modern adapted formulation. Getting the best of both worlds together. I mean you are busy, you don’t get to meet people. And like V said, in the end your parents have lived with you for over 20 years. They know best what kind of a person you are, and who would likely suit you. Plus of course, they always always have the best for you in mind. So why not? You get prior “due diligence” (in V’s words), and get to meet people without you having to spend too much time and energy sourcing for it.
Anyway, the point was, they are actively looking at getting married now. V said: “I’m not that ambitious, all I want to do is just to get married.” I admit, I’ve a fair bit of feminist in me. That does ruffle some feathers. But then, each to its own. It’s just that if she doesn’t work, I think it’ll be a waste of all her good education and potential. Her parents were introducing her to this guy in Delhi. If it works out, she’d probably have to return to India. And she said she doesn’t mind. In some ways, despite travelling thousands of miles around the world, and having left her land for years and years, she’s a traditional Indian girl at heart, isn’t she? I mean, that might be some sterotyping and generalisation by me, considering that this was probably our first conversation.
But this does bring to mind the Bollywood movies about diaspora Indians who study abroad and come back home to marry in India. My Mum is a big fan of Bollywood movies. I never had the stamina to sit through a 3 hour stint, but I’ve seen them in bits and pieces with my Mum over meals. In fact, this afternoon, Mum was watching Shahrukh Khan & Amitabh Bachchan in a movie about two brothers who went to UK (?) to study and got married. I’ve no idea what the movie is, but apparently Khan’s character go disowned by his father (AB) because he married someone whom he disapproves of. The younger brother, who is also a pretty handsome and I think famous Bollywood actor tried to get his father to reconcile with the brother.
Well, this rounds up an unexpectedly and coincidentally Indian afternoon. That said, like V and S reminded me, I should probably actively look for a good guy too.
Me to V: “So when do you ideally want to get married by?”
I wanted to know what is the right age in her mind to get married.
V: “Ideally by next year”
I said to her, “I’m not looking at getting married anytime before 27-28!”
V: “XX, don’t say it too early. Later you find the right person and get married …”
Well, truly, I certainly hope I find the right person. To be honest, love is really an important part of your life. You do yearn for it sometimes. I’ll be lying if I said I don’t want to be in a stable, loving relationship now. But there’s no point being in a relationship just for the sake of being in one. Still, even if I find someone now, I’m not looking to get married so early. Married life has its own responsibilities. I like indulging in my irresponsible life for a little longer considering that the longer half of your life awaits you. But then she did say something right, “The longer you wait, the good guys will all be gone.”
Bah. Don’t I know it, Lady.