Whenever someone wishes me on my birthday, the first question to pop up is “So, how old are you?”. When I answer that one, it is usually with a figure that is on the (supposedly) wrong side of 30. As if on cue, what gets thrown at me next is the what is the title of this post. 😀 The verbiage may differ, but the essence remains the same.
Now, there are two things fundamentally wrong with this entire situation. First being that people actually need to ask me my age, even if it is only to assure themselves that I don’t behave according to my age. Isn’t it a known fact already that my behaviour rarely matches my age? 😛 Secondly, and more importantly, the automatic assumption that the date on the birth certificate should somehow put a dependency on the date on the marriage certificate is a particularly hilarious one. Yes, you read that right. It is hilarious, neither irritating nor infuriating. After years of enduring it, it comes across as plainly comic. If you think this is going to be another anti-arranged-marriage rant, let me assure you that it is not. 🙂
You see, despite my unmarried status, I have nothing against the concept of marriage. What I find quizzical is the almost fanatical insistence on getting married by a certain age, and the accompanying justifications for that. These cover the entire gamut from the emotional (mummy ka kuch to khayaal karo) to the mathematical (30 ke aaspaas shaadi karega to 56-57 tak bachha kamaane lag jaayega..,phir tu aaram se retire ho sakta hai) and everything in between. While they have their share of sense, they all miss out on the most crucial aspect – marriage is not an end in itself (regardless of married people telling you “yaar, shaadi ke baad toh sab khatm!!“), it is simply a means to something more valuable, more cherished than fulfilling your “obligations”. What is that? Well, that is a subject for another post. Today, I am stuck on marriage-compulsion-bashing, so let me be. 😀
Admittedly, years of facing the same question over and over again has enabled me to freely exercise my creativity in coming up with responses. One of them is that I am pained by the uncontrolled population growth in India and am determined to not add to it. Never mind that being a serial killer is an easier way to do that. If I am feeling really honest, I can always say that not getting married is my way of ensuring that at least one woman (the one whom I would’ve got married to) ends up being happy rather than getting hitched and making sure that at least one woman (the one whom I would get married to) has to face a lifetime of headache. A lifetime of headache for her also has some implications for me, but since this post is meant for a family audience, I will skip over that part. 😛 I can say one thing for sure, though. You ask me the same question 5 times in a row, I can come up with 5 different, complete explanations of why I am still ticking the “Single” box on the form after having inhabited Planet Earth for nearly 12,500 days now. Sixth time onward is when the hilarity starts. I then simply let loose my imagination. One of my uncles always asks me when I am getting married. In another 2 years, I keep telling him. One day he said to me, you have been saying the same thing to me for the past 8 years. Of course, I replied – have you ever seen a better example of a man sticking to his word? 😀
Now that still leaves us with the basic question – Sam, shaadi kab karega? To that, I have a very simple answer – ice cream khaani hai to bolo, icecream ki khaatir meri shaadi mat karwaao. 😀