Thursday, September 12, 2013

My answer to the marriage question

I read a very interesting blog today. A friend of mine sent me this link via Twitter titled 26, UNMARRIED, AND CHILDLESS. Written by Amanda Bast, who is only a year older than me, she talks about how people around her have already started pressuring her to get a good job, get married and have kids as soon as possible. It was raw and honest and I liked what she wrote but she does not necessarily reflect how I feel.

I am 25, not married and yes childless. And yes, as a girl from a Tambrahm family conversations at most weddings, dinners and even random encounters on the street turn inevitably to my marital status. In fact, it was one of the questions thrown at me in an interview. These questions make me uncomfortable but not for the reasons you think. I am not in anyway yearning to marry Prince Charming and have little unicorn babies and paint rainbows. But I am at loss for words as to how to respond correctly to those questions. I feel uncomfortable not because I am behind the proverbial race but simply because I have no idea what the future holds. But I know there is a disconnect. After all every other day, yet another friend decorates their Facebook wall with engagement/wedding photographs and I put up photographs of me running in desolate parts of the country or my favourite football players.

But that does not mean that I am in anyway jealous or envious of those getting married. In fact truth be told, I love it when someone puts up photographs of their weddings and engagements and I peruse it with glee. I love the colours, the smiles, the happiness writ on their faces and hopefully love too. I do not in any way begrudge them. What I do hate is when someone comes up to me and asks me when I plan on taking the plunge. After all the clock is ticking away. So instead of telling every person individually that my sad existence is anything but sad, I decided to pen down my reply through this blog. This is my answer to everyone who has this image of single girls sitting at home depressed and eating chocolates and crying about not having a man in their lives (thanks a lot Bridget Jones!).

Hi sir/madame. It's very nice to meet you. I honestly do not know when I am getting married. I am not against marriages or weddings but I am simply not married yet. My life is full and filled with laughter and friendship. I have a good job and I am good at it. It gives me freedom to buy unnecessary things in life. Just the other day I bought rather expensive earphones for no reason. I have great friends. Yes, we fight sometimes but at the end of the day we are there for each other. I don't know how these friendships will hold in the future but for now they are solid. Touch wood. I have a wonderful if somewhat unorthodox relationship with my parents. They are more my friends than my authority figures. They advice me, they cajole me but they also let me make my own choices. I have a neurotic sister who worries about everything that I do. Yes, it's highly annoying but it's a blessing I am grateful for. I have a niece I am mad about. She is my favourite person in the whole world and my best friend. Yes, my best friend is a two year old who still poops her pants. Deal with it.

My life is filled with travel and even adventure. I love trekking. I have gone on midnight treks and have slept under the stars. You appreciate your existence more when you have stars for company. I recently took up running seriously. I used to run a long time ago but somewhere along the line, the pressure of keeping up with my peers took over exploring my own passions. I have found it again. I spend money travelling to various cities and running in races there. I am no more than a novice but someday soon I will scale up to a full marathon. I can talk about running in my sleep because it has given me so much more than I could ever imagine. I cycle. Not much but I have re-introduced that childhood hobby into my life and I am liking it more and more every day. I obsess over movies, music and books and I have a strong opinion about nearly everything in life including politics. I listen to Taylor Swift. There. I said it. Not all her songs but some of them are fun dammit! I watch movies with my friends, my parents and the guy at our local theatre knows me and my mom by our names. We are that unabashedly frequent. I do not diet. If there is a pizza, I am eating it. Screw you if you tell me about the fattening cheese and carb content. That pizza will be eaten by me. 

I do not know if I am religious but I am spiritual and I believe that nature should be respected and worshiped. I am not lonely. I do not know if I am getting married but when I do, it will not complete me. That other person will not be the puzzle missing in my life. He would be my companion. Hopefully my friend and someone who understands or at least tolerates it when I have to wake up at 4.45am in the morning to go for a run. He will not be my savior and nor will I save or complete him in any way. I am already complete. I do not eat chocolates when I am depressed and I love football more than I could possibly ever love a romantic comedy. Although I do like good romantic comedies as long as they have solid plots and do not star Reese Witherspoon or Katherine Heigl. And there is a good chance that I would one day end up being a 70 year old grandmother talking about Arsenal football club and beating young kids in video games on Playstation 1000. 

In other words I am blessed and am a happy individual with a lot going in my life.  I wear many hats including that of a daughter, sister, friend, Gooner and a runner. And that's enough for me right now. So, next time you meet me ask me about my life. Ask me about my interests, about my travels, about my adventures or if you want to be tortured with some rather passionate yet droll statistics, ask me about my football team. I will be more than happy to oblige you. But if you ask me about marriage, all you will get from me is a shrug. Honestly I don't feel like I am losing any race against my married peers. I am just running at my own speed. And there is no schedule or finish line here. The journey is what matters the most. I am a runner. I know this much.


  1. Lovely honest writing, Aishwarya! :) And I don't know you, but I am so proud of you. I am 26 and pretty much being bludgeoned by the same questions and many of your arguments echo mine. Glad that you expressed them so beautifully!
    Here's wishing you more adventure, starry nights and loads of laughter in life!

  2. I thought I was reading me. Omg. It's freaky. I'm glad I'm not the only one though.

    - Fellow Goonerette.

  3. nice article Aishwarya !! .. like "The Ink in My Veins..." pointed out i guess you spoke for many .. "am not the only one".. similar article i tried venting few months back i like yours better.. ..

  4. Loved every bit of your writing..awesome it is :)written from your heart...felt like looking at me...Kudos!!May the happiness and bliss be ever continuing in your life!

  5. Loved it .. every bit..
    There is more to life than marriage

    A 25 years old :)

  6. Employers should stop asking if women are married! Why should anything have to do with if you are married or not? About time we stop encouraging this.

  7. Hi,

    Nicely penned. If i may share my thoughts,this question is thrown at people regardless of the gender ( once they pass the so called "Marriageable Age") this question of getting married, is not prevalent only In India, as we presume.Its the same across the world , everywhere you go atleast one person shoots this question at you...the way they ask may be different by the question is the same.

    Well.. as far as im concerned,if you are satisfied with what you are ..then nothing else matters ...

    Keep Rocking ...Cheers Rj....

  8. Hi Aishwarya,
    I dont know u personally but yes I totally understand u...This is the story of every girl of our age...loved ur writing...looking forward to more of such articles...:)

  9. And some of us thought we were all alone in the world! Great to know that there are others like you who see a bigger world that is'nt confined within the circle of "Mr. Perfects" and peer pressure! Cheers to you The Runner,Gunner and Dreamer! :D

  10. Wow. I never expected such a response. I got frustrated and penned a random blog. Thank you so much to all of you.

  11. At the point where you thank Bridget Jones, I can actually hear you! :D Benefits of knowing celebrity blogger Aishhwariya Subramanian personally (notice how I still remember the spelling). ;)

    On a serious note, you spoke to me when you said you're not looking for someone to 'complete' you. That's the biggest misconception we all live with, and it can be dangerous. Marriage has been made into this solution-to-all-woes in India, which it is not. Great you highlighted that.

  12. Thanks Megha. But probably five people read my blog in all seriousness. But I can't help it...I cannot shut up... ;)

  13. Good for ya! Welcome to the Arsenal India women's club with me and (The Ink in My Veins) Abhilasha... and a few more, but we're still to find them :)