Reality check: Being an unmarried 32-year-old man in India
A single man in India writes about his conversations with family, friends and others who feel that its high time he tied the knot.Updated: May 26, 2019 14:40 IST
I’m at that stage in life when the topic of discussion shifts to ‘when are you getting married’ in a matter of moments wherever I go. The concerns people raise as to why my ‘time is getting over’ are many:
1. Ideally, I should have tied the knot by now, since I’m already 32.
2. The more I delay the less choice of women I leave myself with.
3. When will I have kids!
Basically, by delaying the whole process, the ‘pool’ which I can choose from keeps reducing, which shall ultimately lead to the time when I start asking Santa Claus about finding the right woman for me.
Me: For Christmas I want a unicorn.
Santa: Be realistic.
Me: Ok I want an amazing wife.
Santa: Ok. What colour do you want your unicorn?
The thing is, I don’t feel the need to get married, which is why I’m not really signing up for those wedding portals, or actively looking out for Mrs Right. Instead, I keep settling for Miss Right Now.
But as I mentioned, whenever I meet family or those close to me, the topic of discussion always comes back to marriage.
Consider the following conversation which took place a few months back.
I had dropped in at someone’s house, and there in the drawing room with me were an aunty I’ve known since I was a kid. Within maybe three minutes of me entering their house and sitting on the sofa, the topic of discussion had come straight to when was I giving them the ‘good news’.
Me: The moment I find a girl who I feel I would want to spend the rest of my life with, and she feels the same about me, I’ll get married. And if I don’t then I’ll never get married.
Aunty:Oho, ye galat hai.
Aunty: All this you shall get to know during your old age, right now you’re just enjoying. Later on you’ll get lonely.
Me: But I can always check myself into an old age home for company, or get a dog or cat. Also what is the guarantee of my partner always supporting me or being there for me or the marriage lasting or being successful?
Plus, knowing the huge amounts of money we have to spend on weddings, I’m very cautious about spending so much on something that doesn’t have a guarantee.
Aunty:Ye sab mazaak choro, thora serious ho jao. Aren’t you going around with anyone? No need to tell your mom if you don’t want to, tell us at least!
Me: I keep going around, but haven’t found anyone for marriage yet. Anyways, what is the harm in not getting married ever?
Aunty:Pata chalega tumhei.
Me: When? What is this secret which shall be revealed to me? Tell me now.
Aunty: You won’t have anyone to talk to.
Me: But I do- I talk to my friends.
Aunty: Friends won’t stay with you during your bad times, your wife will.
Me: I want you to give me this in writing.
Aunty: Who am I? I am not god! I know you well, with all your ‘interviews’, you’re making a lot of noise now, wait till you’re 50, then you’ll understand. It’s nice to have someone to spend time with, go out with for dinner, roam around.
Me: How about just having a girlfriend, but not a wife?
Aunty: That’s risky; she can leave you at any time.
Me: And the wife won’t?
Aunty: Chances of her leaving are less. And if you start thinking so deeply about all this then you’ll never get married.
Me: That part I agree with you, if one thinks too much about something, you’ll never get around to doing it.
Our discussion continues, and in the meantime their cook who had served me tea also joins in and starts enquiring when I would be getting married. Brilliant.
The thing is, many of those who ask me about marriage, do it out of love and concern. And yes one also wonders occasionally, could they be right about what they say?
In fact, now the new addition to this list of enquirers are my close friends who’ve gotten married. Which becomes sort of similar to the time after class 10 when you’re supposed to decide whether you should you take Science or Commerce and you start discussing it with your buddies. In this case the advice is to get off Tinder and graduate to a Shaadi.com.
One subject which sheds some light on the subject is Literature and History, take for example what Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, had said about marriage,
“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you will be happy. If you get a bad one, you will be a philosopher.”
The problem with me is, I already am a philosopher.
The author tweets at @shadowwarior and can be reached at email@example.com