Saturday, 1 September 2012

Free Bird!

I am the one that got away!!

Once, as children when we were being driven by Papa I announced to the world that I would have twelve children when I grew up. There was much tittering from the front seat. I have always loved little children but that is not the only reason one decides to get married. Love,companionship and giving a finality to a relationship which two people share play a role too. In a country where arranged marriages are the norm it is very natural to assume that ones parents will choose the right partner. As a child and later in my teens and a young adult I attended many weddings which happened very regularly in my rather large family. All manner of cousins seemed to be getting married at yearly intervals, these were some of the best moments of my life, when about two dozen cousins along with aunts and uncles would stay under one roof in the "shaadikhana" and there would be much revelry and fun,for five or six days until the ceremonies were finally over.

Unlike my cousins I did not tie the knot. I had decided very early that I wanted to work. There were two of my aunts who were 'spinsters' although I have never seen them spin a tale leave alone a yarn. They were both teachers but unlike them I did not want to teach although at the time when I graduated teaching was considered the best profession for young girls. I started working soon enough and thoroughly enjoyed it.In the meanwhile my cousins continued to join themselves in wedlock. It became apparent quite soon that I would not follow suit. It did not bother me at all, on the other hand I quite enjoyed my freedom. There were the odd moments when I missed having a hand to hold, when I saw young lovers or a married couple talking softly to each other or a happy family on an outing, but they were fleeting and I did not give them too much importance.As time went by I enjoyed the time I spent with my young nieces and nephews, they filled the void of having children, without the trouble of taking care of them constantly.

My parents were happy to have me around the house, in fact Mom once said that I was a moral support to them in their old age.I started hearing stories of unhappy marriages, many were happy but in just as many there was dissatisfaction, divorce was on the rise and many of my friends had been through this trauma. When I heard of these incidents I silently thanked God for my 'singledom'.

I have been alone now for almost ten years now and there have been times when I have despaired because it has been too much to handle. Most things are multidimensional, if there is a negative there has to be some positive too.I love my freedom to be able to do whatever I want, I can up and leave for a holiday, cook if I want to or order out when I don't, go out with friends whenever they call, in Mumbai terms I would be called 'vela'. There are times when one has to deal single-handed with the carpenter, plumber, electrician, painting of the house, but I feel it has made me stronger, maybe it was latent in me, this talent of dealing with them. I can do what I want to without asking anyone, but sometimes when I have only myself to rely on I have made some decisions which have not worked in my favor I have felt that if I had someone to rely on it may have been wonderful.

Some years ago I was told by several soothsayers that at a certain age someone older would come into my like and it would be a start of a beautiful lifelong relationship.I was also told that this was the trend which was showing in my 'stars' but that I would have to wish for it too(they have to play safe). That particular time went by... its almost four years now... no Prince Charming came riding out from the horizon and if I have to be very frank perhaps I would not want it now, however romantic the idea sounds.I am quite content with what life has given me, each one gets their share of joy and sorrow. I am okay with the fact that there has been no one around when I am burning with fever and happy that that I have been able to face those moments stoically. People around me have been very kind, I have all the space I need, my life is good, my relatives and friends are there when I need them perhaps more than I can be for them. There are times however, when it all becomes too much, when there is so much to do that despair takes over and there is physical and mental exhaustion,and those are the times I wish that I had actually wished for PC,he will not come of that I am sure. So I continue to make the best of what I have, with more time for fun and less for recrimination.

A long time ago someone told me to get married because he had seen women who became bitter with what had been meted out to them. At that instant I decided that whatever the circumstances, I would not let travel that path, and by the grace of God and the benevolence of my Guru, the journey thus far has been varied with happy colors, the few clouds I have encountered have been blown away with the winds of hope and the love I have received from people around me. The sun has shone through the darkest of nights.

I have no regrets with my life, alone and splendid, but at the same time I tell my nieces never to follow in my footsteps. A family translates into warmth and caring,sharing ones thoughts.....

1 comment:

austere said...

I admire your courage, Nandi.
I think you were served a set of cards and you've played them remarkably well.

Life is what it is.