How to avoid discussions on marriage?

If you’re unmarried, you’re probably familiar with the issue. It’s an age-old Indian issue — that of family members pressurising youngsters to get married.

Published: 03rd February 2022 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2022 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

The Harappa-Mohenjodaro excavations, researchers found sculptures of relatives pestering youngsters for marriage

The Harappa-Mohenjodaro excavations, researchers found sculptures of relatives pestering youngsters for marriage

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  If you’re unmarried, you’re probably familiar with the issue. It’s an age-old Indian issue — that of family members pressurising youngsters to get married. In fact, in the Harappa-Mohenjodaro excavations, researchers found sculptures of relatives pestering youngsters for marriage. Shah Jahan’s Taj Mahal — it could be argued — was but a parent putting pressure on youngsters to get married. A move that annoyed his grandchildren so much that Aurangzeb had him imprisoned for life! It is the favourite pastime of Indian relatives! 

They do it during festivals, at family outings, at others’ weddings, and during temple visits. Legend has it that if you stand in front of a mirror and say the word ‘Family’ thrice, the ghost of a dead relative will appear and ask you to get married. One needs extreme skill and diligence to avoid relatives and their persistence. So how does one do it? Look no further, for Yours Truly is an expert in the matter. I’m in my mid-30s, have no job, and am pursuing creative interests. So here are my tips. 

Always be vague. Weddings are very specific events — relatives, wedding halls, guests, clothes- all very specific details. So one’s gotta be vague. When asked about marriage, reply with ‘Yes, the government must regulate the price of tomatoes’. Or ‘The Venezuelan economy is going through a crisis. People are throwing their money in gutters’. 

Use the dowry card. I know dowry is a social evil, but so are relatives pestering for marriage. Raja Ram Mohan Roy fought against dowry, but I’m sure he’d fight your relatives too. If you’re a girl, say ‘But the Sensex has crashed, and RBI has declared that anybody getting married has to pay a minimum 7.5 crores of dowry’. If your parents can afford that amount, steal the money and run away to Amsterdam! If you’re a guy, say that you’ve always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Modiji. That you plan to leave to the Himalayas a few years after the wedding, and eventually dedicate your life to the nation. Watch your relatives gasp, and disappear like meat-sellers in Mathura! 

I hear you. What if the relatives are your own parents? In such a case, ancient problems require modern solutions. Tell them that you’ve re-evaluated your sexuality. After many consultations with your therapist, you identify as a cauliflower. That you’re asexual towards human beings, and will only marry a willing cauliflower of the opposite gender. Or get a local pundit to declare you as a ‘manglik’, and get married to a tree. Then bring a branch of the tree home and make passionate love to it, in front of your parents! 

Screen the movie ‘Bombay’ for your parents and discuss the importance of interfaith marriages in today’s times. Tell your parents that Maneka Gandhi is arresting everybody who rides a horse in a wedding. Tell them that you’ll get married on the condition that after the wedding, you get to go to Mumbai and pursue acting as a career. Inform them that a new variant of Covid has arrived from North Korea that only attacks newly-wed couples. Remind them that Isaac Newton died a virgin. 

I am living proof that after a point, relatives give up, and leave you alone. If nothing else works, promise your relatives that you’re looking forward to getting married, and ask them to pay for all the wedding expenses. To avoid discussions on marriage, you must be creative. But let me tell you, it is certainly possible. All one needs is to think ‘out of the pandal’.

(The writer’s views are his own)



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