Today is woman’s day and I am writing about a subject close to my heart – the subject of ‘choosing’ to get married.
In the last few weeks, I have received numerous emails and messages like the one shown in the photo.
What should a girl do if she doesn’t want to get married? What if she wants to but not right now or not in the next couple of years? What if she is not yet ‘ready’ for a marital commitment?
Here is what I want to say to every girl whose parents or relatives are pressurizing her to get married against her will:
DO NOT ruin your future or end your life because of somebody else. Even if it’s your parents. It is YOUR life. Make it better, not worse.
I understand how suffocating it feels. I truly do because I have been there. But here is how I made it work in my favour.
BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT.
I started earning at the age of 19, in my first year of college. By the time I turned 22, I was working with an MNC thousand of miles away from my parents and was living a life on my own terms.
I was lucky because while my parents believed in social norms, they also believed in making me financially independent. Which is why I could step outside my home and work and THIS HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
When you are self-dependent, you are able to take your own decisions – even the decision of getting married.
I remember numerous times when Papa wanted to arrange meet-ups with prospects but I made work-related excuses and got away with the situation. Also, there were times when few prospects came to meet me at my work and since I wasn’t being watched, I acted worse.
It was in 2002 when I first heard my family of discussing ‘a suitable boy’ for me and it was in 2009, when I finally got married. More importantly, to a man of MY CHOOSING.
All this was possible only because of my financial independence.
So, what do you do if you are in a similar situation? THIS:
1. Talk to your parents. Explain to them that you aren’t willing to get married and give your reasons.
2. Educate yourself. There is no substitute for higher education. Do not let this matter get in the way of your professional growth. When nothing worked, I moved to another country to study MBA.
3. Earn. By legal means. Take up a job. Give tuitions to students. Start a blog. Get on Youtube. Sell things on Etsy or Craftsvilla. Open your boutique in your small house. Do whatever it takes but become financially independent.
4. Move out of your parent’s house. Why? Because not only will that relieve you of the constant pressure but it will make you a more independent and stronger person. Moreover, you will gain new perspectives on things.
5. Finally, stay wise. Please do not take any foolish step and ruin your life forever. This life is the greatest gift we all have received. Respect it and love it and it will love you forever.
Dear Indian Parents,
I have written an open letter to you. Please read it.