A fair chance

Countless women have displayed career brilliance post matrimony.

So I am doomed. I left my job to pursue an arduous career goal, spent a long time trying to achieve it, and, am still trying.

But the saddest part (as is implied in the hushed conversations at any party I attend) is that I am a female who is on the scarier side of 25, is devoid of the magazine cover girl looks, has an average IQ, and is still refusing to submit to marriage and its luxury of hosting tea parties on her neatly trimmed lawns every weekend.

Despite this lethal combination that is still considered worrisome in many women empowered Indian families, I don't think my case is irredeemable. I come from a family where women drive their own cars and pay their own bills.  They were the first ones to encourage me to abandon the smugness of my secure career and venture out.

But try as much as they want, they have not been completely immune to our Indian conditioning of the female psyche. Every progress of mine that is encouraging them is also being offset by my failures and an unarticulated fear (tick tock-tick tock… the time is slipping by). I am still being leased out enough time to test my stars, albeit with a proviso: to be married to the next best boy who steps on our porch.

After all, countless women have displayed career brilliance post matrimony. That sounds convincing. My only thought is whether being a son would have changed anything. Perhaps I would have been put on a more rigorous diet of soaked almonds and fish. Perhaps I would have been told to cut down on my partying rather than having to imagine myself reading a book of general knowledge while packing my future husband’s lunch.

My family maybe extremely supportive, but they cannot help being influenced by the traits of dependency and insecurity which have been kept to the exclusivity of women by generations of cultural training.

And no one escapes their cultural destiny (even if they are women who drive their own cars and pay their own bills.) I wouldn’t deny being a victim myself. With every failure, I am more inclined to get married to the next best boy who steps on our porch.

But whenever I am surrounded by the talks of suitors and their dazzling career profiles in my drawing room, I am always puzzled by the same thought. Throughout my education, I was told to believe in myself as much as that genius boy in the classroom. Then the minute I take longer to carve my own identity, I am expected to give into his (‘Meet the doctor’s wife.’)

I understand that correct timing of actions is crucial in life. But everyone deserves a fair chance at setting their own timers; a chance that will only follow the deconstruction of the dependent - female mindset; a chance that is for all, whether it is a genius boy, or just an average girl.

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