Once again I am writing at the dead of the night… 3 am to be exact. I don’t know why this part of the hour excites me to write such blasphemous stuff. But I always seem to want to talk what’s going in my mind at 3 am.
A deadly hour, but I often do not need to correct my work after that.
With this post I would like to talk directly to the Y generation, the millennium and post millennium children.
A few observations: My daughter-friends are all living my abandoned dream : Happily settled in their careers, doing the things they love, living-in with the persons they love, adopting girl-children and living life exactly on their own terms. I am so happy for you. No dears, don’t get those black circles underneath your eyes just because you are not finding a partner to marry to make everyone happy.
No dahlings, you are already settled in your life. Even if you have a partner, ask yourself, do you really want to get married and get into the rut of a boring-hating-grocery-laundry-kids-grocery-screaming-kids-homework-housework-kind of a relationship? ……………Or watch the sunset holding hands? So please have the courage to turn around and tell everyone who confronts you. “Thanks. I am settled.”
My son-friends too are fine, but wished they’d get out of this rut of being in multinational companies, living an imprisoned life of earning too much money they don’t need, being an engineer or a techie, exuding this false smile to their gloating parents whose dreams they are living. Instead, they have their own dreams, which they cannot seem to pursue. My daughter-friends seem to be a little ahead of them, as they have managed to silence their parent’s crushing pressure about getting married quite well. But how can you even go near your engineer father to tell him, “I want to be a musician?” I know how tough it is to gate-crash out of the golden box that you are in now. The only way you can get peace is by marrying a fair-complexioned, convent-educated, slim, homely girl. Wear that monkey-cap and garlands, and set your coffins ablaze.
And if you don’t want peace and can withstand a few temporary hysterical cries, you should pack your bag-pack and head for the nearest taxi-stand. Once the taxi is running, you can decide where you want to start your dream journey from.
Believe me, at 21, which is 28 years back, I did try to do something like that but didn’t have the courage to sit through the drama. I got a job as Junior Reporter in Shillong Times and my mother didn’t let me go. “Get married and go wherever you want!” she wailed. So I had to wait till I got married and get this “cup of honor” badge from the society and my mom, that a man was ‘supporting me’.
Luckily, you have moms who are from my generation, who had rebelled and had given up halfway. Just like me. So it may be easier to convince them without much of an emotional drama.
I always tell my y-zen friends: Always listen to your parents. Just disobey them in 2 things: In your career and marriage.
My generation was perhaps the last one who HAD to get married to prove their existence, whether they were engineers or doctors or writers or journalists. “Toh kab settle hona hai?” “When do you plan to settle down?” “Shaadi kyun nahin kar rahi/raha hain?” “Why can’t he get a bride?” “Is she lesbian?” “Gay hain kya?” As if, if someone didn’t get married, she/he had some kind of a disease. Despite this pressure, a lot of my contemporaries are, thankfully, single, divorced, have walked out of marriages when things went all wrong, and their children are doing just fine, contrary to what the morons believe. I feel proud of you, guys.
Astoundingly, some of us from our generation are also quietly living a single life by their choice, despite being socially married to a wrong man and despite living under the same roof (primarily for logistic and financial reasons). They live their own lives and do not much interfere in each others’, after having survived through many, many years of the putrefying “Holy Matrimony”. They have come to terms with the fact that their “irrevocably damaged marriage” cannot be dissolved due to ‘technical’ and ‘logistical’ reasons. Hence, they appear in social occasions smiling and dressed — like a slap on the hackneyed societal cheek which blissfully believe that these are a quintessential happy couple. The couple then have their own set of relationships, without much ado, away from the societal fan fare and remain happy in their own intimate, separate wings under the same roof. I welcome such new kind of “adjustments” .
The fresh new generation are, however, all living my dream. Which I had to give up to please my parents.
Till the last day of my life I will discourage my son to get married until it’s absolutely a necessity for him, and he cannot live without the girl. He doesn’t even want to bring up children, so my headache is really over. I don’t have to save for his marriage, nor plan what to gift my grandchild, each year, every year till she/he too yells at me : Grandmom, STOP!”
Some of you may speak like those Aunties, “What about your family tree?”
F*** the tree! The world is populated enough already. If my son attributes to one less human ‘tree’, he’d be only saving mankind. And I have no objection to that. I just have to figure what is to be done with my son’s baby clothes which I saved for his child.
And hence, for the future of humanity, I encourage all my young friends, do not be afraid of what you are doing, because you are doing JUST the right thing. You are treading on the paths angels feared to walk on. In fact, it may seem lonely right now, with half of your friends married and with kids, but it won’t be long, since some of them may soon join you after parting ways with their spouses and you won’t have any dearth of companions at your beer party!
And kids? Believe me, they will be just fine! Kids are much responsible in a single-parent home and mature enough to know why not to live in a putrid relationship. You don’t realize they are the NEXT generation, and will come with an absolute new set of rules, which even a swanky mom like me won’t be able to fathom.
(April 15, 2017, 3.41 am)