Out of the blue I suddenly discovered that I am supposedly at this "eminently marriageable" age!!! And if you wonder how I was so enlightened, it was because people (read relatives, neighbours, mere acquaintances) have now taken to walking up to my parents and wondering why they are not obsessed with marrying off their daughter and then suggesting so and so as being a suitable match! And I am almost offended by the very suggestion...as if I were some kind of baggage that needed to be packed off!
It is generally assumed (especially in India) that any girl beyond the age of 21 must be married off as soon as is possible or for the more "modern" families, the girl may even be allowed to spare her parents the trouble and find them a son-in-law on her own. I always thought that my generation would be ready to live a little before "settling down" (sounds awfully like the kind of thing you do in the lab...let the sediments settle or precipitate stuff!!!)...get out of the narrow societal constraints that most people live within and explore the world a little...but at the rate my closest friends are getting hitched or "committed" as it is fashionably referred to, it looks like I am soon to be left as the lone crusader for the "i am independent and single and loving it" brigade!!!
And to top all that, their accounts of experiences in the typical arranged marriage scenario have been more crazy than I could believe possible. Most guys have all kinds of (weird) criteria when looking for a bride and that too in today's so-called progressive times!!! A typical guy wants a qualified, educated girl for his wife but still expects her to give up all hopes of an independent career and life if the family and the husband so wish. It is still expected that it is the girl who will, but obviously, stay at home and look after the children and she should be a good cook and a dedicated homemaker. And as if all this is not enough, the girl just has to be gorgeous too. Get real people, why cannot these be shared responsibilities and what is so demeaning for a guy to come forward and be ready to say upfront that he shall be equally responsible. And what really shocks me is that even the supposedly educated people who truly believe they are "learned" and unorthodox will insist on matching horoscopes since they apparently believe that the lovely twinkling stars in the sky can in some way decide whether two people are compatible or not! And astonishingly enough, in the impossibly long list of "requirements" (believe me an over crowded shopping market with a miles-long shopping list might perhaps seem a better place eventually), there is often no references as to whether the principles and ideals by which two people live match at all. I think its more important whether your choices in life shall ever be similar than whether your horoscopes match!!!
I have been a little sarcastic yes, but that's only because I have heard umpteen stories about arranged marriage fiascos over the last few days and it has definitely decided for me that I shall think twice and then some more before I even venture down that path...So basically, this is an outburst on my part with the hope that single souls out there will think a little and attempt to be rational while choosing another person to share an entire lifetime with, especially in an arranged marriage scenario.