"Dammit sir, it's your duty to get married. You can't be always living for pleasure."
How true? A few years back I used to feel that the best thing that can happen to a man is an MNC job with a hefty pay packet and a few years of bliss without having to worry about the rigours of domestic chores. But I was wrong. In fact, I still curse the moment when I told my parents about my new job and the pay (most importantly).
The result was devastating to say the least. I started getting calls from my “mythical” – those who exist in the myths told to me by my mom - relatives asking me about my ‘well’-being. The questions range from “Where I work” and “How many hours I work” to “What I eat for breakfast.”
“It must be difficult staying alone in such a big city. You have to cook your own food,” asked one of my distant aunts.
“Give me a break. Am I living in a rainforest?” I told myself. The conversation will eventually end with her fixing up some proposal for my marriage. “Why don’t you get married beta. In fact the other day I was talking to Usha aunty (her neighbour) and she was telling me that she is looking for a match for her daughter. Next time you come home please visit our place.” Interestingly, I didn’t even know where she lived.
Relatives? You can probably forgive them but what about friends and the neighborhood grocery store owner. Yes, even the grocery store owner often takes keen commercial interest in your marriage. “Ab toh Achhi Naukri He Sir, Shaadi Kar Daliye. Post-marriage don’t forget to buy your monthly ration from my place,” said the grocery store wallah, with whom I maintained a truly professional relationship all this while.
And friends? Well how can I forget them? “Hey, how are you. When are you getting married?” Without even asking me about my health, job or the amount of income tax I have to pay, they straightaway jump to their favourite topic “my marriage” and not theirs. And if one asks the same question to them the answer is, “I will take another two years. You know, I am looking for a good break. But for you there is no problem.”
Problem? I have loads of them. The first being “how to avoid the topic of marriage?” I sometimes wonder that how can someone coin a foolish statement like, “Marriages are made in heaven.” In fact heaven has no link with marriage. Marriages are made or rather manufactured on earth like any other product. And like it happens in the case of consumer goods, you hear so much about it that one day you are forced to buy it. I dread for such a day.