The picture of the girl who's turning a year older is never pretty. It stops being anything to look forward to, after the age of 21. At some point, this turns ugly. Not because she's afraid to look at the mirror and acknowledge the age. But because she can hear in the background the voice of her mother, screaming at her, telling her her time will run out soon.
There are few that give their daughters lee way to come to terms with the experiences of their hearts. Maybe they don't feel they trust men, maybe they are not ready for marriage. Two foreign concepts for the woman of yesterday. Along with not wanting to take leave or spend the time it takes to sift through profiles and profiles of men, after long days of work. Not to mention, stand in front of families of people in a sari, looking like a picture of serenity.
And at work, regardless of the long list of men that she runs to, in order to be that perfect Indian daughter, none are to be dated and well, if the woman of yesterday wills it, then they should not be spoken to either. Any arguments on this front, any work related phrases that counter attack the woman of yesterday, generally augments a free and easy, "Leave your job, it's not appropriate. Stay at home and help me."
Naturally one starts to wonder, but why was this option never given to me when I was sent to school? Or to college or university? Or when I joined the workforce? I've spent so many odd years building a career to be told to leave it, because... marriage proposals are hard to come by? Or because there is a claim that the stress is detracting the beauty that is adversely affecting the ability of that woman to find a partner? Or because a lot of in laws these days prefer their bahus (daughter in laws) to stay at home, even if they are looking for women who hold B.Es and B.Coms?
As her age increases, she will stop attending marriages with her parents, and other such functions. To avoid seeing the disappointment in her mother's face, when Aunty Ritu announces that her daughter is getting married. And the resulting back lash, on the car ride home. She will begin to experience this innate feeling of inadequacy, of not being able to successfully fulfill the desires of either her parents or herself.
And through time, those profiles that were rejected in the earlier years, become rarities. The market is drying up, because her age in going up. With such pressure, the old lady breaks, and becomes something that her daughter cannot recognize. And suddenly the mother-daughter relationship has evolved into this tug of war. Both pulling strong on either ends, and I strongly believe that this will only be over, when the girl sheds tears before leaving the home she grew up in for years, to join her husband in matrimonial glory.
The question in my mind is, who wanted the marriage more?