At first, you don't realise it and then comes the denial. "Why would I hate them?" In the end, the truth hits you like a bolster. The world is never the same.
After a certain age, most people start HATING weddings. The hate is not because the over-the-top drama gets on your nerves; you've made your peace with the shaadi shenanigans by now. Nor is it because you're single. Hating weddings has nothing to do with your relationship status. You could be totally committed to someone but the sight of yet-another-wedding card will make your blood boil!
It all comes down to that one aunty who attends wedding after wedding, majorly concerned about the future of every unmarried young person in town. Even before you're done exchanging pleasantries, the golden words have been spoken:
"Bahut ho gaya kaam-vaam. Ab to tumhe settle ho jaana chahiye!"
If killing annoying aunties wasn't a crime, I'd have eradicated the entire species!
It's a concept prevalent particularly in India. Since the time you're born, you're being prepared. Like a product, you're manufactured, assembled, packaged and finally presented for marriage. Whether you're a boy or girl, there are specific requirements for each. And just when you've managed to somewhat meet those expectations, it's time for the settlement. And if you haven't met expectations, you're settled somehow or the other, like products sold on sale.
Why is settling down in life only about getting married? Isn't there much more to life than taking the saat pheras?
By the time you're done with college, you're already halfway through your 20s. And just when you've made some inroads in your career and started living a fairly decent existence, you're all set to hit your 30s. Yes, some people pass out of IIMs and start with 6, 7, 8 figure salaries too. But then, they aren't purush but mahapurush instead. As for the average Indian purush and mahilayein, life isn't a big-window cabin, overlooking the city.
How can a person who's barely lived his/her life suddenly 'settle-down'?
And what do Indian parents, uncles and aunts mean by 'settling down', anyway? Last time I checked, the word wasn't a synonym for marriage.
Since the time we're kids, we're taught to have a mind of our own, carve our own paths and take our own decisions. We're urged to dream and then, make those dreams come true.
So, when we're trying to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths, why do we have to conform to society's version of how our lives should be?
I've always wanted to buy a penthouse in New York. I don't know if I will but that's my big dream. My friend wants to own a farmhouse on the outskirts of the city. Another friend wants to invest in a private jet. Ostentatious, yes but these are goals we're all willing to work our asses for. Once we've achieved what we wanted, we'll think of ourselves as successful. Or, achievers. Settled, even.
It's not marriage alone that 'settles' you down. If nothing else, it brings in a sea of changes, some of which we aren't even equipped to handle. You could be married and still finding your ground at work. You could be married and not own a house in your name. You could be married and still struggling with EMIs, month after month. You could be married and still chasing that elusive promotion. You could be married and still have a long bucket-list of things to do.
You could be married and yet, never feel settled. Not for a minute, not even for a second.
Every human as aspirations, aims and ambitions. And if you've never fulfilled those, there's no way you're settling down.
Settled is what settled does. Travel, buy a sea-facing apartment in a sky-rise or even, scuba dive. Settled is when you tick off goals and dreams, not when you exchange a garland.