E-Pao! Incident - Adieu.. 2004

Marriageable Age

Kaboklei *

"14 to 40", I coolly replied when my friend Guddu asked me about marriageable age in Manipur.

Well, she is fed up of telling me to get married for about a decade now. She got married when we were in Class XI and now has a daughter who's studying in Class VI.

This time when I went to Kanpur to visit her, it was her daughter with whom I freaked out and not her (she behaved like a typical mother and bored me with 'don't do this, don't do that' stuff!). Coming to the point of marriage, she wondered why I still haven't got married (but dearie, am only 31!!!Ha!!Ha!!).

For one thing, I have never fallen in love. I can't marry a person I do not love. My only criteria for marriage - I should love him and he should love me as much or more (surely, I don't mind a little more from his side. LOL.).

Money has never been an issue for me but, of course, height is! Since I am on the shorter side, I can't imagine getting married to another shortie like me. Then she accused me of giving too much importance to education (I informed her that every other person in Manipur is an M.Sc, B.Ed, PhD like me, nothing unusual about it).

Then she slyly asked me, "You wanna marry only a Manipuri guy or will a Marwari do?".
I knew what she was upto so I cut her short, "I'll get married when I feel like it.
You don't have to bother". She got wild, "Buddhi ho gayi ho and still you cant make up your mind!".

I laughed. She hasn't changed at all. I met her after 13 years and still she scolds me! Guddu is not the only one who's pestering me to get married.

One of my aunts keeps remarking, "Nangi chahi si dadi ei eecha mari sure".
So, what can I do? My younger cousins also bore me,
"You are like a big fat truck in the middle of the road moving very slowly and doesn't give chance to overtake either".
Hello? Excuse me!
Please overtake. I have no problem.
"Talle. Mee-na akhoi khat-le hai-gani. Ma-chey luhong-dri-ngai-da eikhoi haa-na chel-le hai-nee".
Ha!Ha! What can I do other than laugh?

A lot of people admire me. They think I lead a wonderful independent life. No worry, no tension, just fun!

Bindaas zindagi, if you please!
Though I certainly enjoy my single status, there are times when I feel extremely lonely. My inbox is not filled with any love letter but with official mails or occasionally from friends who inform me they had a fight with their hubbies or complains that all males are insensitive pigs or that their child had fallen sick, etc, etc.

I play 'Agony Aunt' to few. Sometimes I advice married friends on how to keep their relationship alive (an irony, I know, coming from a person who has never been into a relationship).

Sometimes I wish I had that someone with whom I can share my joys and sorrows, someone who has the power to make my heart beat a little faster, someone who's there to comfort me when I am low and down, someone who's there with me when I am sick….(well, the list could be quite long. LOL.).

Most of my married friends keep complaining that they would have been better off being single as there is so much restriction once they get married. I asked what they would have done if they were still single. The answers were varied and to some extent, hilarious…
"Flirt with guys".
"Get up late in the morning".
"Openly eat chicken and pork".
"Wear sleeveless top and tight jeans".
"Travel and travel".
"Come and go as and when I like without giving a hoot for anybody's opinion".
"Stay near my parents and take care of them when they are sick (this really touched me!)".

These are the reasons that also keep me from plunging into the world of marriage. I feel my freedom will be restricted. I can no longer have my 'Devil-may-care' attitude.

In our society, we expect a lot from a daughter-in-law. She is expected to be educated yet traditional, capable of doing all household chores (God knows what difference it makes whether a maid sweeps the house or the daughter-in-law), should be the one who makes a sacrifice should need arise (after all, the burden of making the family happy lies on her shoulder!), is expected never to argue (no matter how unreasonable the in-laws sound).

Phew! Of course, there are exceptions but for the majority, the old rule applies. I have a friend who loves fashion. When she was single, she used to try out all sort of outfits and loved streaking her hair with various hues.

Now that she is married, she keeps her hair long sans color (her in-laws as well as her hubby like it that way), wears nothing but phanek and phi and has sacrificed her career to look after the kids. Words fail to explain how I feel for her.

Another fear that keeps me away from marriage is the thought that most of the guys are unfaithful. They cheat. They are dishonest. Stories like "leaving his pregnant girlfriend to get married to a girl of his parents' choice" scare me no end. Also it's not uncommon to find married men hiding their marital status and wooing innocent females. I just wish people are honest with their partners. That would save a lot of hurt.

While my marriageable age is fast approaching an end (my friends sarcastically told me its already, yet I am in no hurry to get married. The only reason I want to get married is for LOVE and nothing else. If I don't get that, I'll stay single and learn ways to fight loneliness…..maybe I'll adopt a KID!!!

Kaboklei writes for the first time to
This article was webcasted on 09th January 2005.

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