Life Choices

Life, my way.

Hi there,

It has been sometime that I took an effort to write or post anything on this blog. Maybe that was because I was too busy writing stories & interpreting the data, that I forgot I need to write some for myself. So bear with me because today’s rant is longer than you would expect, also now would be a good time to stop reading this and move on.

Okay,  as you have decided to listen to me here it goes, today there was some banter at home. It all began with the latest neighborhood news (also read gossip) that was being debated at home.

I should have just shut up for once, but no, me being me had to barge in and give my parents a piece of my mind on a topic that suddenly popped up amidst the debate, which was however, irrelevant to the incident that started the debate in the first place. You might ask weren’t you discussing the incident in the first place? Yes, but you know like most discussions in daily life begin somewhere and transform itself to something completely different from its original self, sometimes with people even forgetting what the topic of discussion actually was.

So, that happened even today. The incident transformed itself to the topic ‘Arranged Marriages and Love Marriages’ . Believe me when I say I have nothing against arranged marriages. Absolutely nothing against it. Just that I cannot see myself trusting a stranger after a single meeting and agreeing to live together for eternity (whatever eternity means to each ~ 1 year, 5 years, 15 years, 25 years?).

I take my own sweet time in selecting my close friends. There goes a lot of years of my belief in them till I can actually share my secrets or thoughts with them. I value my close friends a lot, not because I think they will be there for me when I need them but because they were there for me when I couldn’t trouble my family with my issues. They were my rock, which is why they are even called my close friends in the first place.

Anyway back to the topic, I see my cousins and friends whose marriages were fixed by just the respective ‘families’ meeting each other and one was even fixed before the girl and the guy even met! Isn’t it ridiculous? I cannot believe that this actually happened!  The ‘families’ were very educated to begin with, not economically backward or anything of that sort. It is commendable that they had that kind of faith in somebody they didn’t know at all.

I know people who believe that a marriage can ‘fix a person’ (whatever fixing means) even if that person is abusive or is a horrible human being. So then where do these people go? Ah you guessed it right, of-course ‘arranged marriage’! The reality is well hidden from the view of the other person till they cannot really do anything about it. Factors that determine a match in an arranged marriage as I see around me are: Money (Salary for men and family status/property/gold for a girl), Working Status, Conventional good looks of the girl (If she is not rich, by her I obviously mean ‘her family’), Cooking Skills (For a girl) etc. to name a few. Oh I forgot the most important thing to the list, personality! just kidding, I missed adding the horoscope (if the family believes in it)! When a few of these factors on list get a tick, the family unanimously agrees that the other party is a perfect match and they lock the deal.

After the wedding, once the truth is out and it fails! Even then the family believes that what can fix the situation is again (no points for guessing) – marriage, the second time.

Wow, if this is what you call ‘adjusting’ and if this is the requirement for a society to function as a unit, I am sorry but I would rather be an outlier.

I appreciate that you can do it, but I personally cannot come to terms with the above arrangement. I am happy it works for you and that you are delighted with your marriage. I sincerely congratulate you on finding your life partner and creating a beautiful family in the traditional way. I know you enjoy being the Sanskari bahu/ beta and a loving mother/ father to the bundle of joy you will soon have, I am also very glad to see you smile.

But, I am not as trusting as you are. I take time to believe in people, sometimes many years. I have a small bunch of close friends who became important to me only after years of going through situations and life together. My parents remarked today, let’s see how long these friends you have will stay by your side, for all the importance that you give them.

Let me clarify, I have never expected that my friends will stay by my side forever. I am an adult and very well know that everyone has a life to live and would hate it if someone would stop living their life for me. I have also not been able to give to my friends or family, as much time or effort as I would have liked to. So how can I expect others to do something that I am not able to? But does that mean that the value of people in my life would change or decrease because life happened along the way? Absolutely not! I treasure people for what they have been to me not for what they have to offer in the future.

So, I do not believe in a marriage which means settling down. I do not want to ‘settle’ for anything. I am very sorry but I have no intention to cook for a family or a stranger that I do not know, which is an unsaid or said part of the business deal that an arranged marriage is? I do not dream of the big fat wedding. I have no fascination for the expensive dresses or jewelry that make you feel important for a day. I do not want to move into anyone else’s home and won’t. I adore my parents but then do I want a marriage like theirs? Absolutely not! No, I cannot see my parents as the perfect couple. I do not want to live their life or anybody else’s.

I want to live my life on my own terms. I will take my decisions like I always have. No, it is not because of ‘arrogance’ or being ‘spoilt’ like you would label me. It is only because I cannot see any equality in the ‘arranged marriages’ that you speak of. You might say that love marriages are also not above these things and they are also equally vulnerable to such things. Yes, they most certainly are. But isn’t a known devil better?

I do not know of whatever ‘Love’ really means. But if marriage isn’t at-least as equal as friendships are what is the point really? A legal document to cement something that in itself has no standing? Is that really the requirement?

If I ever want to be married, it would be because I like that person (and vice-versa) not because ‘families’ like each other. It would definitely be because that person would most certainly be my best-friend and my closest confidant (and vice-versa). It would be because it is actually a partnership of  equals (not a relationship of a slave and a master). It would be one with mutual respect and trust. I would not even want a marriage in the first place, this is the basic for even a relationship.

But for now and the years to follow, my career is my focus. No, just having a job is not what I mean by a career. I will not adjust or settle for anything less than what I expect of myself. I might fail miserably but I will never give up. I will keep fighting till I make it. No, I do not want to live the timid and well – behaved careful life like you want to. I will take risks,  cry when I am hurt, take pride when I succeed and strive harder everyday.

Do not emotionally manipulate me saying that if I live the way I want to I will have no one by my side or that you cannot adjust to my way of thinking. Do not tell me that I will not be happy with all the things I expect from my life I will always need something you have to be happy in my life.

You should take pride that I can think or decide for myself. You might have years of experience and you speak with the arrogance that I haven’t seen life the way you have. I might sound rude if I tell you that you and I have had very different experiences so far, you have only been through the ages that I am in (not lived my life) and due to which you think you understand my life. I cannot even say to a 5 year old that, I know exactly how they feel, because, I do not. Me and that 5 year old have had absolutely different lives and different struggles and belittling anyone’s life because you think you are older is ridiculous. You think I haven’t had struggles or that your struggles were much greater compared to mine, because, I didn’t think it was necessary to share my experiences with you for your mental peace, and mine. Reflecting on it, I think I should have. It would have shattered your beliefs and confidence. Still I won’t, as hurting you is not my intention.

So, your life is very much your own project, please feel free to give it any happy direction that you want but, once for all, please understand that my life is not your project. Let me have my own opinions, moments of blunder, choices and power to steer anyway that I choose to. I would be very grateful if you would stop forcing your opinions on me, because I won’t hesitate to reject them and it will eventually end up hurting you, not me.

Yours Sincerely,

#Arrogant & #Spoilt

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