Travails of a bachelorette

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Travails of a bachelorette

 Even a happily unmarried woman attracts piteous and doleful looks from all and sundry.While writing this article, I am aware that I am writing for a predominately woman audience and, therefore, I do not want to rub anyone the wrong way.

I am sure many a woman would not be too happy if I were to title this article, ‘Travails of a Spinster’, as ‘spinster’ definitely makes one conjure up an image of a really harried, almost frustrated, hyperventilating woman. Whereas a ‘bachelorette’ appears to have a less negative connotation just like the word ‘bachelor’, particularly when ‘eligible bachelor’ is every woman’s dream come true!

Yes, this dichotomy in expressions denotes a double standard between unmarried men and unmarried women.

I attract rather piteous and doleful looks from aunties, cousins and now nieces! Nobody in my extensive family of uncles, aunts and cousins, including my siblings, can even faintly conjecture why I am still single, ready to mingle, with no Mr Right anywhere in sight!

There are several yardsticks, parameters and criteria that ascertain whether or not a woman will get hitched successfully. While there are many factors, the first and foremost one, particularly in my case, is that age truly plays a part.

The Seekers sang their famous song, “There is a time for every purpose under heaven....” Indeed, according to this song, every major activity in life has to be achieved within a certain  time frame, particularly getting hitched because if one passes the age of 30, one may not be deemed suitable wife-material.

So, when I failed to get hitched at the right age, I found possible suitors fading away into oblivion as they were in search of those younger who would probably be more in sync with “wife material”. I was inconsiderately “left on the shelf”, deemed an “old maid” and was by far “over the hill”.

My parents became worried sick as to my future and could not understand how I could be so unenterprising in not even being able to find a life partner who I could gel with consistently and who could be a companion in good times and bad, in sickness and in health until death do us apart.

Besides age, another very important factor that eluded me was finding a suitor who possibly was of the same temperament, wavelength and compatibility. Although I am not one much enamored by good looks, I did want a partner who would be sacred, deep and sensitive! Now, in our Indian milieu finding such a man who would also instinctively tolerate my idiosyncrasies would be a tall order indeed.

My sister was aghast that I was unable to find a partner, but she was practical enough to rule out alliances with possible suitors who were either too handsome, too brainy or too achievement oriented. She preferred to stick to her guns of practicality and that any day courting a suitor with excessive good looks is like courting disaster.

But I chipped in, “But what about Rajiv Gandhi who was the epitome of good looks, brains and character?” “But you are hardly a Sonia Gandhi!” she retorted, citing umpteen number of cases of good lookers who have not been good husband-material as their marriages floundered and crashed on the rocks. My brother put it succinctly with his quotable quote, “Marriage is not about going to Disneyland with a handsome man”!  
Besides age, temperament and looks, other subtle reasons pervaded as well.

Once, I gave the reason for not finding my Mr Right was because of the fact that my father was a Muslim and my mother was a Hindu. My sister was quick to retort dryly, “Religion is a state of mind and heart. If a man likes you, one’s particular religion will be overlooked or put on the backburner. If he is really conservative, one can always convert one’s religion. Don’t give that as an excuse for not getting hitched. Remember, if you are resourceful and enterprising, you can use this to your advantage by getting the best of both the worlds. Tell Muslim suitors that your father is a Muslim, and tell Hindu suitors that your mother is a Hindu”!

Interestingly, my brother, who came down from New Jersey, USA, had a lot of new fangled notions regarding matrimony. He did deem it a bit strange that I had not found a companion even though I had done my post graduation in a co-educational college. He queried in an exasperated tone, “Couldn’t you have found someone?” “Well,” I replied, “I was heavily focused on my studies.

Plus I did not particularly like anyone either from my class or from the seniors’ class.” “Well, in that case,” said my very practical and logical brother, “You should have taken your pick from the juniors”! Now, that is the bottom line of the situation which confronts me today!

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