I’m 30 and unmarried.
I remember turning 24 and the pressure cooker on my singlehood started whistling around the house and maybe even louder in my parents’ ears. And then came the questions:
1)Koi hai tou bata do beta. We don’t mind.
2)Shaadi nai kerni kya?
3)Ab iss larkay mein kya kharabi hai? (everytime I’d reject a proposal because the suitor and I had nothing in common).
4)Bus ab shaadi ker k apnay ghar jao. Hum tumhari khushian dekhna chahtay hain. Hum kab nana nani bannein gay?
5)Hamaray liye ker lo shaadi. Please beta!
And then the questions and statements took a turn for the worst when I turned 28:
1)Your biological clock is ticking.
2)It’s really difficult to conceive once you hit 30, beta.
3)Ab sirf buddhoon aur talaak shuda (divorced) larkoon k rishtay ayein gay.
4)Abhi tumhein feel nai hota, once all your friends are married. Tab lonely feel kero gi.
5)Beta yeh kapray mat pehna kero. Aik tou unmarried ho aur aisay kapray pehanti ho?!
And then, somehow, the questions and statements stopped when I hit 30. Because now that I had hit 30, I was off the rishta market. I stopped being invited to soirées where everyone was invited with their +1. And soon, I saw less of my friends than ever before. And it was never because life or work got in the way, but because my marital status no longer matched theirs. And our experiences started tp differ.
Every time they would vent about their partners or crib about their in laws, I had no experience to reflect upon and offer advice. And when I cribbed about all the terrible rishtas I kept getting, they always told me to just “settle”. And that too when I told them one rishta was that of a mentally disabled man. Had life really come to that? I no longer fit into their bubbles of marital bliss and they no longer understood the lonely life that I now led (not because I’m single but because I seem to have lost my friends too.)
I no longer get asked about my shaadi or if I’ve found someone or if I plan on getting married. Because they no longer think I’ll find someone or someone will find me a suitable match. I wish people would realise how hurtful their words can be, no matter how well intended.