She was 21 then. Very pretty and used to look out of the world in a saree, attending a wedding. She was a college kid but that didn’t stop anyone from coming up with marriage proposals because everyone wanted a pretty daughter-in-law like her. She is 31 now, a successful professional, still very pretty and still single. The proposals at weddings that used to amuse her before amusing her still. She has decided she is happy with the single life but people around her aren’t. The matchmaking drama continues. If you are single during the Indian wedding season you will be able to identify with this.
The elders present at the ceremony are likely to make you feel like a leper with their questions and cross-questions. Such is the Indian marriage conundrum. You might as well carry a bottle of vodka with you to gulp down to survive this ordeal and if you can manage to come out of it unscathed then just go ahead and give yourself a bravery award.
And in case you want a survival guide for attending a wedding when you are single then you have come to the right place.
12 Things you will face if you are single during the Indian wedding season
Be ready to juggle all kinds of proposals, comments and advice that could drive you up the wall. If you are single take a deep breath and maybe do some pre-wedding meditation before you don that expensive lehenga. Because you will need everything you have to dodge those verbal missiles. It’s not easy but we assure you you will survive an Indian wedding being single.
1. My son is a doctor
This comes from the aunties who have nothing better to do than to hunt down single women with hawk eyes. You could replace doctor with an engineer, professor, etc. But the thought behind it remains the same – “You are a single woman and so is my son. So the two of you should get hitched.”
You are right – no one has told them that something like chemistry and compatibility exists.
2. What kind of man are you looking for?
Being single in India means relatives have the incessant desire to do matchmaking at marriages.
After all, it is a blasphemy to be an Indian girl who is above 25 and is unmarried.
Yes, please read that as a sarcastic comment. Yes, to shut them up you could give them the reply, “I am not looking for a man. I like women!” Watch her reaction!
3. Will you plan such a luxurious wedding?
Oh, didn’t you know that there is a “big wedding” contest that is running in India? Funny as it may sound, most relatives at an Indian wedding feel this way. They don’t realize that you might be a woman who would rather spend lakhs traveling than get married. When such mindsets would change, only the Lord knows. But be happy that you are single at an Indian wedding and you are not getting into a situation like this anytime soon.
4. Why are you still alone?
You might be busy building your career or you might be still healing your heart after a bitter break up. However, none of that matters to the relatives if you are a single woman of marriageable age in India.
If they happen to find out through the grapevine that you are still alone they will not leave you alone. They are sure to make you feel as if you are making one of the greatest mistakes in your life by not getting married.
5. Why aren’t you married?
Have you crossed your mid 20s and are you still single? If you are and you are attending an Indian marriage then may the Lord be with you for you are going to be asked why you are still not hitched. It will make you cringe. Maybe you should have your sneakers on so that you can run when you see such a situation approaching. And when you are away at a long distance you can smile that you are still single and survived another Indian wedding.
6. Why didn’t you dress up well?
Even if you wear your best attire, do your hair, wear your makeup, there will be those who will tell you that you don’t look good enough. No, I don’t know what their idea of dressing up means.
Maybe they are hunting for their mirror image who comes dressed in heavy clothes and still heavier jewelry. And yes they are married, of course. So that means it increases your chances. WOW!
7. Do you like him?
The suddenness of this question might catch you by surprise but you will be astonished to know how closely you have been watched during the function.
Maybe there was a man who had made polite conversation with you for a few minutes, or maybe there was a common friend who was just saying hello – but all that does not matter to the relatives because by then, in their minds, they have finished detailing your marriage and have already gone onto planning your children’s names.
Sigh! The Indian marriage conundrum.
8. Your biological clock is ticking
If you are single during the Indian marriage season chances are you have ducked this question a thousand times.
While attending a marriage function, a girl will find relatives turning doctor and telling her how quickly she is aging, how her biological clock is ticking, how having babies will get tougher with time.
An unmarried boy in India does not face this but an unmarried girl in India does. Such is our society. No, you can’t do a thing to keep their tongues from wagging unless you can quickly find a mithai and stuff that into their mouths.
9. You are next
No, they don’t mean that you are next in line to become the world’s richest woman. Their only concern in life is how to get that ring on your finger. You might want to ax them down for this but maybe just make do with a cup of coffee.
10. Can I get you something to eat?
The aunty who is hunting for a bride for her son might have found you sitting in one corner, while you were giving yourself a breather. Know this – she will stick to you like a leech, and keep feeding you till you say “Okay” or burst – whichever happens sooner.
11. Please choose him
Yes, this one is likely to come from your parents who, and you can bet on it, would have been socializing during the ceremony like there is no tomorrow. And the moment they find an ‘eligible bachelor’ he is considered to be as rare as the black rose. Quite naturally thus, your parents cannot give up the chance of getting you married to him – if possible on the same day itself!
12. Why can’t you make me happy also?
I saved the ‘best’ for last.
Just when the couple begins to take their marriage vows you will have your mother come up to with her eyes all teary and tell you how much she dreams of seeing you get married. Yes, you might feel anger rising within you, but she is your mother.
Just leave it as a silent smile or a tight hug and keep the talking and explaining for a later time.
It is true that women look lovely as a bride. However, there are unmarried girls in India who have dreams other than the big fat Indian wedding to pursue. It is about time people began respecting that.