Break It Up

My anger with the institution of marriage increases as I see what it does to brilliant, beautiful females around the country. I’ve recently come to understand the concept of staying in a crappy marriage because it’s more convenient than to break it up. And no, it’s not because you can’t leave him. It’s not that you cannot do without him. It’s not that no matter how bad a guy he is, no matter how crappy a husband he is, you still love him. No. It’s the parents. Its’s the family that stops you from walking out. It’s knowing that you can walk out, but if you do, even your own parents won’t stop to think that maybe, just maybe, your reasons are justified.

Being the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect daughter-in law in this country basically means never raising your voice against anything. Your husband goes out drinking with his buddies every day, comes home and wants to fuck you, after which he conveniently snores off to lalaland. And you’re supposed to be okay with that. Your husband gives the hairy eyeball to every decent looking female he sets eyes on, but he’s a man. He isn’t built to be monogamous and he’s only checking out the menu, he isn’t actually eating anything, so why create a scene? But don’t you dare go ahead and so much as glance in anyone’s direction. You’ll be tagged as promiscuous and slutty for so much as raising an eyebrow.

He can wander off to any and all the corners of the Earth with his boy band. But you’re now married so friends shouldn’t be given the time of the day. They shouldn’t matter as much as they once did. You’re supposed to be reborn into his family and forget about the life you once lived. Your husband can scream at you and call you names not even your parents dare to call you but you so much as raise your voice by a single decibel and you turn into the “crazy, controlling wife.” If he slaps you, “It happened only once so you should forgive him.” And you slapping him is totally out of question because “pati toh parmeshwar hota hai”.

Needless to say, it disgusts me. No, you don’t. I understand your predicament. I know. Yes, I do. You may think of me as an idol spectator commenting on your life from afar but I’ll stop you for a second and ask you this. Is this the life you really wanted? Because you only get one. That’s right, one. And you can spend it how you want. Fighting a lost cause, or being yourself. Being single sucks sometimes. You don’t have someone cuddling with you, or someone to cry to, or someone who gives a major crap about you. You certainly don’t get the consistent bedroom action you want. But if you get it right, you’ll be blessed with a couple of friends who would give up anything for your happiness. You can cry to them and vent to them, they’ll be enough. Earning your own bread is tough too, but if you like what you do slightly, but it’s totally worth it.

Live this life the way you want to. Because giving in to him and changing yourself to an unrecognizable, quiet, perfect wife isn’t all that worth it. You’re worth a lot more than he gives you credit for. You’ve got a light in you that I’ve never seen inside anyone else. You’ve got a fire, a story, a whole world inside you waiting to be heard, seen and explored. And you certainly weren’t built to disappear and dissolve into someone else’s house and life. You were always built for greatness and no one but you can be the person you are meant to. And this isn’t that person. You know it isn’t.

The Fault in our Society

Weddings; they seem like happy enough occasions. Two people decide to spend their entire lives together, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor. The concept enchants many a people out there. Eons ago, I used to be one of them.

Recently however, I’ve had the opportunity to see an Indian wedding up close and I was not impressed, to say the least. I always believed that a wedding should be the happiest day of a womans life. This could be the concoction of sitcoms and movies I grew up on talking, but I honestly believed that the bride is equivalent to the queen on the world for that day. She gives up everything familiar for a new life with a new man; you can’t blame me for believing she would be treated with care. If it were me, I would definitely be on edge. I was however, in for a shock.

I imagined that the friends of the bride would be deeply involved in helping her calm her nerves and be at her prettiest best. I was sadly mistaken. Most of them are too busy checking on their own hair and selfies are a must. It doesn’t really matter if the bride is struggling with her attire or the heat the studio lights are inevitably casting upon her, selfie toh lena hi pade!

I always thought that Punjabi weddings meant there would be an abundance of alcohol and everyone is welcome to drink it but apparently, the bride and her friends should be more ladylike and try to resist the urge to get a little happy high. Although an extremely helpful chacha did offer us quite a few drinks on the day of the Sagan, our little clique was specifically instructed to go nowhere near the bar ourselves. Considering all of us have certainly consumed more alcohol than most of the people there, that was quite a bummer.

I always thought I would find myself slightly envious of the bride; she found the one for her and her special day has arrived. I have never been so wrong. She was decked up in a lehenga weighing around 8 kilograms and had a ton of makeup on. Her shoulders were stooping because of the weight and the exhaustion that set in due to 3 hours of waiting for the baarat to show up. Once the baarat did show up, they were so busy dancing and forcing her to dance, they really didn’t notice how frustrated she had inevitably become. Not only was the baarat 4 hours late, they didn’t seem interested in putting her out of her misery. There were about 8 cameramen flashing away to glory all through the wedding. The inumerable studio lights made it next to impossible  I couldn’t help but feel pity for a friend I cherished so much. Pity was not what I thought I would feel but pity was the only emotion I could feel.

The patriarchal nature of the vows almost angered me. “You shall not run back to your parents house without the permission of your husband.” Yes, that was one of the vows she had to take. I could have given a little leeway to “without informing your husband” but the word “permission” successfully shocked and pissed me off. His vows? “I will not spend money, buy anything, or make a great business investment without discussing it with her.” What if she’s earning too? The vows itself made me somewhat nauseous. I thought people in this particular socio-economic environment would have moved past such primitive notions of male domination. The fault in our society is deeper than I ever perceived it to be.

Arranged marriages usually give me the heebie-jeebies, especially if it’s only been a couple of months since the bride and the groom have gotten acquainted. I personally wouldn’t be able to make such an important decision in such limited time. You meet a stranger a couple of times, and you decide whether you’ll spend your entire life with them or not. It sounds even more bizarre when I pen it down.

I fail to understand why one needs to call a gazillion people to their wedding; people the bride or the groom hardly know. I believe it is their day, I believe they have a right to control their own guest list and I believe they get to decide how many posed photographs they want to get clicked. But what do I know? I’m just a pseudo-kid with a so-called twisted opinion on the handlings of marriage. My word really doesn’t count that much.