I am 27, well-educated stay-at-home girl. My parents are both working and they are educated too. All this while, I thought that we are modern, advanced and have a liberal mindset, being part of the 21st century. I would always think that being so educated, my parents are of this modern era.
I did not know my real battle was about to begin soon and I would be disappointed to see how my parents think.
This disappointment began while looking for the perfect groom for me, and I was not even asked if I was ready to meet the first match’s parents. This was a hush-hush matter at home, and I was not able to find the reason behind it. The only thing I was advised to do before “his” parents come to see me, was to dress up nicely and be nice to them.
To my surprise, when I showed a little curiosity to know who the boy is and where they live, I was told I should not be asking these things. After a little research, I got to know that a girl or her parents shouldn’t be asking about the guy too much. My parents had actually no information about them because this was a rule made by the society – “ladke ke baare mein nahi poochte hai”. I was still so curious to know his name, his job, if they stay in a rented house, do they have a car or any other properties, basically how settled he is- but to my horror, I had no rights to know or ask anything about them because I am the “girl”.
Also, my parents taught me that never a girl’s parents should be asking anything – yes! Not even what his name is. The other incident that shook me, was my mother’s behaviour as it seemed she was trying too hard to convince “his” parents and impress them so that they like me.
Sweets of different kinds were bought along with some evening snacks and tea with extra milk. The rooms were cleaned, the maid sprayed the lavender room freshener to keep up the happy mood, bedsheets were changed and my mother made sure that everything around looked perfect, neat and systematic. I was going mad already because I didn't understand why we had to please them.
For the first time ever I felt like it was a waste to study so much because our minds are still stuck in the age-old illogical mentality. It was strange to see how I was constantly been told when to stay inside the other room, only to come out when I am asked to, have tea and smile a little. I did as I was asked to, it was not acceptable to me but my parents' honour was at stake.
For the first time I was ashamed of my own parents, my respect for them declined a bit. I don’t know if I was judging them too much, but I was downhearted. After a while, I was called to meet and greet them.
“His” parents asked me about my educational qualification, if I cook or not, why I am not working, if I am okay with moving to Kolkata for some time, how many friends I have, do I like wearing sarees, and everything else to know if I am perfect marriage material for their son or not.
I too had questions to ask – where was their son! His parents are here to see me, know me, see my house, know about my parents’ assets but why weren’t my parents asking them anything? I wished so badly to say goodbye to them and never see them again, and the wish was granted after 4 hours and 35 minutes.
A week passed, my mother seemed to be a little upset to get no revert from the boy’s family. Another week, and they phoned my mother to say that I was too short for their son. Also, they were looking for someone of a higher caste.
I do not have a problem with them not liking me, but the reasons were too improper. All this while, they kept on telling my parents that their son is tall, and I am short and too girly for him.
It was the kind of mentality I have hated forever, so I was glad things ended. I was clear about the fact that the boy had no say, his parents were looking for a match for him and they are the decision maker. In the end, I was sure that I do not want to settle down for something like this!