I know there are loads of books which outline the plight (oh yes it is a plight) of single women above the alarming (according to heavens knows whose standards) age of 25. And let me assure you they are not way off the mark.
It must have been after effects of a fever I had last week, which made me attend a distant cousin’s blissful engagement. The reasons why I shouldn’t have gone are more than many. Primarily she was a year younger to me and was already planning cosy scenarios of a house filled with kids and evenings of family dinners. Which in other words means she was definitely on the path of no-return and running superfast towards tying the marital knot.
If you for once had forgotten, that you were now spending a little more on cosmetic care and groaning at the extra flab the mirror insists on telling you that you had put on, rest assured there will be a hoard of over-fat, over-decked, over-made-up aunties who will think of innovative ways of reminding you of just that.
“You look so pretty in a saree, your tyres hardly show!” This however has no bearing on the fact that her saree seemed to have trouble accommodating her wide frame. And as every well brought up child is wont to do, I just politely smiled and refrained from saying anything.
“You know Rajji’s son? He’s a divorcee. Very handsome! And is working with some MNC, I forget the name. He is looking for a bride again! Not very old either. Just 42…” Nobody till date has come up with a rational explanation as to why 42 is ‘not very old’ for a guy while 26 is old for a girl! Not mention that Rajji auntie’s so called son looks like undertaker from the forgotten worlds of wrestling federation. Why would I NOT marry him?
“You know at your age you cant be very particular about the kind of boy you want to marry!” I do not want to marry a boy, thank you. I would like to wed a man. And I am sorry, but if I am expected to spend the rest of my life with anybody, I am picky about how he is going to be.
“Look, that boy there has been eyeing you for quite a while. Ladke wala hai. So cute na?” The incident or the ‘boy’? The incident was far from cute because the ‘boy’ in question was actually a man, who I am sure had a wife stacked away at home and had come to the engagement with the sole purpose of letching at every woman there. The kind of friend the groom- to- be would refuse to acknowledge as his, but would refrain from doing anything about him, simply to avoid creating a scene.
And if all this is not enough, your very own mother will look lovingly at the cousin who is slipping a ring on her fiancé’s finger and sigh very wistfully. She then looks at you and shakes her head in utter despair. The neighbouring auntie pats her shoulder as if to say – its ok, you cant help it if your daughter is such…