You're a woman over 18. It's time for marriage!

Runjhun Noopur writes about coming of marriageable age, the ticking biological clock, and the pressure from all sides.

Runjhun Noopur | Posted on 18 May 2016
Bonobology | Is the right time for marriage mid-twenties or when you're ready?
Tick Tock Tick Tock.
Hear that? It’s my biological clock ticking. I’m hovering around the mid-twenties. 
For some not so weird reason, the decibel levels of this ticking are raised exponentially during the wedding season. Like right now. Probably because everyone on my FB wall is getting married. And that’s just a minor exaggeration.
To be honest, I feel absolutely happy for all of them. They are taking the big leap towards their ‘happily ever after’ – assuming that something like that exists. Also, pigs fly.
Anyway, weddings mean good food to hog on, and I don’t see anything to complain about. Except, of course, only by totally ignoring the comparative magnification of my single status in this season – explicitly amongst the tick–tock listeners. Following the ideal of 'ignorance is bliss' is an actual art – and I am getting pretty good at it.
Of course there is nothing wrong with the idea of getting married! I think it inappropriate to judge people for getting married – or for not getting married. Everyone operates within their comfort zone and each is entitled to live out his/her idea of a good life. Quite a few of my friends got married pretty early and seem to be doing great. The relevant point here is not the timing. It is the fact that they got married not because some stupid clock said they had to but because they wanted to and were ready for it. 
Which is the bottomline that everyone seems to be totally missing.
Tick Tock Tick Tock. So? No panic in its ticking. Except, of course, for those keeping time with its beat...
Of course there’s a right time for doing everything. It sure is a colossal stupidity to consciously 'tempt the clock' and invite health risks for myself – and any other poor being I just might have been assigned to bring into the World. I understand and respect this fact.
What I don’t understand is this tick-tock obsession on a matter as crucial as marriage. Is it reasonable to rush into alliances – or be rushed into them – just because of a damn timeline? It’s a no-brainer: one doesn’t play the stakes of life on deadlines or on panic attacks.
However, in this country, they do.
Getting every single woman of marriageable age in the vicinity married is a national obsession. 
You walk on two legs. You are not an ape. You are above 21. Get married!
You walk on two legs. You are not an ape. You are above 18. You have female parts. Get the hell married right now!
I sometimes really want to know what part of ‘my’ in ‘my marriage’ is so incomprehensible for everyone.  
I might not be financially, emotionally or psychologically ready for it. Irrelevant, the timekeepers say.
I am not ready or willing to take up the challenges and responsibilities that married life entails. Pointless, they say.
That I - God forbid! – may not want to marry at all is sacrilegious and inconceivable.
The point is I am not getting all moony-eyed about my knight on a horse. Because A) chances of that much touted knight being a chauvinist jackass are quite high – after all he is the figment of a chauvinist imagination involving damsels in distress, certainly not designed for damsels causing distress; and B) I’m an educated, liberated woman. Chances are I find a man with a pen much sexier than one with the horse… or that white ginny from Honey Singh’s video. Not that I have anything against Lamborghinis… but its owner’s intellect still takes precedence in my list of preferences.
So, I don’t harbor impossible romantic fantasies. But I do have a fair idea of what I want from my life and from the one I intend to share it with – if at all. The marriage fanatics out there need to wrap their heads around the idea of choice, understand that if I – or anyone in the marriageable age bracket – is single, it’s because either we are not ready to exercise this choice or we haven’t been able to find someone to exercise it for. And in doing so, we are neither being unreasonable nor immature. Even if we are, it’s our life - we have the right to ruin it. Better than having it ruined under tick-tock pressure.
Biological clock is important. It may not look like it, but most of us are trying really hard to abide by it. If for some reason we don’t, it’s because we are trying to avoid a disaster which could be bigger than clock-picking. We may be wrong, but you must know that we have the best intentions. It is our life after all. It is better this way. Our life, our choice, our consequences.
In the end, however, reasoning is rarely an option. So my mother, who by the way, is extremely cool and is the reason why my unmarried life so far has been happy and incident free, actually came up with an interesting strategy. A brilliant tactical masterstroke, if you ask me. For anyone who pesters her about my marriage she has a standard response, *ominous tone alert* “A panditji said, do not marry her early. Not okay, according to her kundali!”
See, brilliant! Mother manages to shut them up every single time.
Dear society, watch and learn. This is how it’s done!

Runjhun Noopur

Runjhun Noopur is a lawyer who gave up lawyering to become a writer, a content expert, an entrepreneur and life/leadership coach. Don't ask her why. She doesn't know. Currently, she is in Mumbai as one of the ten individuals selected for AIB First Draft Writers' Residency Program. You can follow her @RunjhunNoopur.

Comments : 7

Aditi So-Saree: LOve ur mom's response. Kudos to her.

Bhavita Patel: Runjhun very well written.. It is like some anarth if we don't get married at a particular age...n many times these society wali aunties are more worried.. The panditji wala part was cool..

Runjhun Noopur: Thanks a lot Bhavita for your kind words! :) And 'Anarth' is perhaps the most accurate word to summarize the collective societal hysterics on this issue. I do wonder if our society will ever be mature enough to appreciate the difference between legitimate concern and patronizing intrusion.

Mira: The best “A panditji said, do not marry her early. Not okay, according to her kundali!” Reminds me of my Dadi, she was Brilliant that way!

Runjhun Noopur: Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! :)


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