Saturday, March 19, 2016

"Shadi Hogayi Apki?" - The Fond Desi Question

Since the past 5 years there has been considerable debate/discussion pertaining to marriage in my life. The questions come in all shapes and sizes from all kinds of mouths.

---When will you get married? --- 
As if I am a milk carton nearing expiration!
---Where will you get married? ---
As if I'm inviting them to a destination wedding.
---Will you change your country of residence?---
Hell why?! I flew my ass to the USA for what? Go back?
---Will your husband be the Johnny Depp [at the very least Jack Sparrow] that you keep talking about?--- 
Duh! why do you think I am single. I can't find any!

The questions seem to follow me everywhere.

From all the horror stories I have heard from my social sphere, the kind of joker suitor proposals I have come across, and the sort of funny strategies social aunties pull to take my secret photos in events and gatherings - I have found myself to emerge as a Limited Edition single Desi woman. I have a voice that can slash the taboos.

Whether it is by choice, circumstance, or simply the period of waiting, a single Desi woman has to fight emotional battles every day. There are social Siths greater than Darth Vader who have sharp, razor blade tongues for taunting, and sneaky minds for critique and gossip. They make sure they make lives of every single woman miserable. I am a single woman who is stepping into her thirties and is living as happy as Bellatrix Lestrange! Damn! She was seriously happy, even with the dental hygiene issues.

Anyway, as I was revealing:

There'll be the inevitable question everywhere you go:

"Shadi Hogayi Apki?" [Are you married yet?]

I bite my tongue to ask back: "Nahi, Apki Hogayi? Kya Farq Para?" [No, you got married? What difference did it make?]

Jokes aside, how can you ask someone that personal of a question? Trust me, Desi aunties do not know their limits. I mean one of them sat on my sister's lap and then asked if she was comfortable and had enough room. Another one dived into my mother's plate of biryani with a spoon she had already swirled around in her mouth! How can you expect boundaries from such women?

What if someone's not married because there is something else wrong besides the long destined waiting period before they find a husband? What if they have a disease? A disability? How're they supposed to answer that?

Why does the question fail to move a single nerve in my system?

O, and the question is just not a simple one liner. It is followed by unwanted advice and sympathy. Sympathy, yes, more like condolences for being single. Everybody likes popping that question - family or non-family.
I don't have a Hum Apke Hain Kaun size family where people look out for each other a bit too forcibly. There are no monsters like Chachi, Taai, Mumani, Shumani, Banani, Phuppi, Kaaki, Chamcha and Plate in my life who can dictate my fate, put unnecessary pressures, and pose threats to my happy existence. My girlfriends speak of Phuppis who pressure their dads about getting them married, of Khalas who play matchmakers and invite random weirdos to play matchmakers, grandparents who declare that it is time for the Chirya [bird] to fly away ... *SHUDDERS* I do not have any such specimen overruling my circle of concern or influence. The max that I got to hear from my Mumani, when I visited relatives in Karachi, was the advice that I should learn to change diapers now because that is what the universe revolves around.

When you meet family --- or an intruding Desi aunty --- you are in for a full body inspection, and I mean physical. After marveling at your "growth" Kitni Bari Hogayee Hai [how grown up she is now], the immediate next question will be about ringing the wedding bells. 

I am working on mastering my skills to answer these questions. In most cases I cannot answer the funny ladies because of social mannerisms of trying not to punch their nose, otherwise ...

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