A Case for the 'I do not'[s]
There are people in this world, who journey through life without having to worry about his or her beloved flooding the rivers when it ends. They have overcome family, friends, community and society and remained single. It is amazing how they could parry all the queries about, sidestep all the interest of others in their future, and end up
In life, marriage plays a very important role, albeit undefined; unless, of course you are doing the dishes.
No sooner have you passed puberty, overbearing relatives take the liberty to ask when you are going to tie the knot, as it were. If you thought she meant your shoes, you are not ready for the wedlock; the married have never argued it was not.
Soon enough, especially at weddings, you hear terse verses like, 'you are next'. Then surely each of you has had the aunt who spatters into her side of your ear with the hoarse, 'who is it?'
And sure enough one day you do end up tying the knot. Friendly tip: never buy shoes for your partner that has laces.
But, there are people in this world, who journey through life without having to worry about his or her beloved flooding the rivers when it ends. They have overcome family, friends, community and society and remained single. It is amazing how they could parry all the queries about, sidestep all the interest of others in their future, and end up perfectly content. What amazes me more is that many such bachelors (and spinsters) have blown to dust the myth that behind every successful is a woman (or man), for some of them are immensely successful in life, as a human being.
There are eminent teachers, artists, photographers, journalists, businesspeople, who have not gone through the lengthy ceremony of smearing their face with turmeric, or the head push from behind at rasummat, but have had their share of triumphs; contentment is not for me to declare for that is a more personal glory.
Some have attained eminence by just not marrying.
The reasons for not marrying are many, none of which are to be taken lightly.
Some are scared. Not that those who got hitched are not. The fact is the minority [who dare not to] have at least the courage to admit they are afraid, whatever be the grounds. The majority have lost even that voice.
Some of the singles (men's and women's) have dedicated a lifetime to their profession. They simply did not have the time (or perhaps desire) to divide between their commitment and another person, permanently that is. The candle is burnt till the cock crows in wee hours of the morning in penning a literary piece or chiselling a creation or humming a fresh tune. Then it is sleepy time for a few hours, late breakfast, gaal gappo with friends, and soon it is time for another day's work. It's sheer allegiance to one's passion.
A few have been put off by the lengthy social rituals that have come to be known as marriage for the past few decades. It's pure hungama for them: first is the formal proposal even if the world knew the two were going to get married, then there is exchange of aunties (literally) at an engagement where half the city is sometimes invited, the cards, the addresses, the sorry 'chit' inside for not having been able to deliver personally [not every one is a postman], the distribution, the venue, the menu, the shopping, the reconfirmation of the invited, the décor, the lighting, the band party, the silly car with fresh flowers, the horizontal and vertical and sometimes oblique smiles, the chatting [right, left and slanting], the six-minute devouring of cooking that took twenty-four hours, the gargling at the basin, the paan [don't you forget the paan], more smiles, more talk, oops I forgot the coffee [don't you forget the coffee], the calling of the drivers [some guys almost have their CV read through the announcer]… The problem is the majority love the revelry. If it were a wham-bam thing the few who are left out may have agreed.
Several confirmed bachelors, as they have come to be known, are victims of huge sacrifices. They may have been caught in a situation where they had to shoulder the responsibility of the entire family at the very prime of their life. They even arranged the weddings of their sisters and brothers, some younger, but they thought the money needed was better spent elsewhere, or the time they had to bind. To me some of these guys are heroes.
Lastly, we are left with those that got the hot rod; they call it chyak in our lingo. They imagine they are sacrificing their life for their beloved. No offence meant, but your beloved has gone off with someone else. While their forfeiting a meaningful relationship goes unnoticed by their object of love, they grow a beard (not the ladies), stop eating, wander into space… In the meantime, their darling is going around with a bearded man, eating a lot and going places. If someone is not good enough to understand and complement your love, that person is simply not good enough [for you]. If all the single persons out there, successful or failures, I have the least empathy for this last lot.
In case you are wondering, I am with the majority. And I have the courage to say that.
Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2007