The musings of a (not-so) single chick in the city. (Don't think that the term chick is derogoratory. We refer to boys by a number of terms). The travails in the life of an ex-miss-goody-two-shoes, ex-journalist, ex-small time model, ex-television actress, of being female in Chennai/ Pune/Bangalore, of ideas old and ideas new....

Friday, August 30, 2013

Marriage is not for everyone

This is something I still believe in, now having been married for a while. It is HARD. And the good parts of marriage (whatever they might be for each person) do not necessarily score out the bad parts. And it is not for everyone, especially if one looks at marriage as a true partnership of two individuals as a way to form a family.
 Not everyone is made for such an existence, however much society wants everyone to conform to the unit/institution it has set up as the best way of managing disorder, chaos and anarchy- the dissenting , individualistic, non-conformist thought thinking, ‘I can be a part of  this society -even though I don’t like your ways of keeping order and organisation and will abstain from participating in some processes’ people by forcing, cajoling, convincing them into marriage, and then keeping them there by the pull of the emotional bonds that living in small units(forming a socially constructed ‘family’) and having progeny with a long term partner, create.
And now there are more and more options for people who do not subscribe to society’s way of making one live in a way that is easy for society to compartmentalise and disregard – “ OK, he seems to be following our rules, let’s move on to the next guy/girl to harass.”
Otherwise - “Oh, you have two wives? That is not cool, not acceptable. You say they have no problem with it, and happily co-exist in the same house? Sorry, that is not good enough assurance. This is wrong according to our rules. You want to live here, then lose one of them...” or “You have an adopted child? And you are single? Your parents are okay with this? But a man cannot look after a child by himself, that just is not allowed.  Either get married, or you have to return the child to the agency you got it from, I mean, unacceptable,” or “You are gay? You will go to jail if you have sex with a man in this country, ” or “ You are co-habiting with a man you are not married to? Shame, shame. We will proceed to give you so much trouble that you run back to your mama,” is how society scared people into following its tunes.

In spite of this, due to increased financial availability for all in the post LPG era, people have the luxury of choosing a lifestyle that they are happy with, instead of the factory produced, ‘Dad, Mom and 2.3 kids’ (Whatever the current number is.) that may not be their poison. They may choose to die a slow death in some other manner of their own choosing. 

The very mundane experiences of a recently paired-up woman

I now live in a big apartment complex in the suburbs, so far away from civilisation, that calling it the boondocks would be fair.  I see Aunties, Uncles and their kids all day. These aunties and uncles are probably only a few years older than me, but they seem like an era away from my age, their life and concerns. And the parents of the Aunties and Uncles, it is like being judged by a hundred different mothers and fathers-in-law, instead of just one pair.
I am teetering, neither where I was a few months ago, nor in my new neighbours’ spheres, where metal wheel versus rubber wheel durability on prams and correct use of the complex’s amphitheatre are the most debated topics. I couldn’t care less about these things. Yet, the things I do care about and want to participate in are all located far away inside the city where the people with less daily concerns live, because they  have no significant others, or because their significant others have the means and the interest to live inside the bustling city.
(Now, I can’t really blame the boy for wanting to try to live with nature and be one with the earth and all, given the fact that said boy has always lived in a city until now, a true city brat. So I feel that given a little time, boy will tire of having to drive to the grocery store instead of stepping into the one next door, or drive an hour just to catch a movie, or drive for 90 minutes to visit his cousins.)
(P.S : Not a word of the above to the boy :-) )

On a connected note, it is just short of miraculous to me how different are the things one starts caring about after one gets married. Like larger family dynamics, and who gets offended by what and what to do and what not to do when people from the other side visit. I mean, one starts caring about stuff one didn't have the slightest idea anyone would know or could care about. It is strange, this confluence of two different threads of life, and all the attached threads, coming together and trying hard not to choke any other threads off.