Dear Masla Auntie,
I have recently been under a lot of pressure from my family to choose a husband. They say I should get married soon, so that my younger sister can also be married off quickly; but I am not ready.
My mother tells me to wear a duppata over my head and shalwar kameez when they come, I am not supposed to talk about the work I do and must remain quite during the meetings. I have always worn western clothes and am very independent. I find it degrading that I must change myself to get a good rishta.
Recently, one of the Rishta Aunty’s called and said “No” to me – my family was outraged. They did not care that I had already said “No” to the boy the minute they had left the day they came to see me. How is it my fault if we both know that we are not meant for each other?
Please tell me what to do.
Damsel in Distress.
Dear Damsel in Distress
Let me start by saying that you are not alone in your woes. Many girls face the same disheartening process of sitting through visit after visit of prospective “in-laws”, being talked about as though they are on the market for the highest bidder.
I am very proud to hear that you are an independent and strong woman, and know your own mind. Please remember that marriage is for life – and thus, should only be contracted with the person who knows you best; or can at least support your choices in life. Changing who you are will never get you happiness – only the wrong type of man/family.
My advice is for you to sit down with the elder closest to you in your family and tell them what you want out of life. Also, talk to the person who comes to see you to gauge whether they can support your dreams or not. Be who you are; and you will find true happiness.
There is nothing wrong with refusing a rishta – or being refused in turn. Every one has an ideal partner in mind, and they have the right to reject those who do not come up to scratch. There is nothing wrong with you if a man refuses your rishta; and there is nothing wrong with a man who gets refused by you – you both have an ideal in mind and are clearly not meant for each other.
Don’t take what society says to heart. Be yourself; you know what you want best.