I remember a discussion after watching Sardar some years ago. Someone remarked how we don’t really value the freedom we got because we don’t know what it is like to live without it. I remember thinking that was such a typical statement to make.
But when you look around and see how one tends to take everything you have for granted — from expecting the government to do without participating, shrugging and blaming without trying, pulling others down for trying.. all manner of things, I realise maybe we truly don’t realise the vision our leaders had when they fought for freedom.
On a more personal note, even freedom as women today is quite different from our mothers’ times, as is the case with every generation. Discussions I often have with batch mates and friends are often peppered with phrases like — “Thank god we don’t live in the times our mothers did,” or “We didn’t have to fight for our right to education,” (in most cases these women are largely urban), we could do what we wanted, marry whom we wanted, when we wanted..and many such “coulds and “haves”.
But what we forget to discuss is do we really know and use this freedom and independence (political and personal)? Did we ever stop to think are we truly free to do what we want? And since I think it is a yes, do we really do what we want..?
Most of the women my life (no surprises) are in my age group and effectively single. But very of them want to actually remain that way. Very few are single not because they choose to be that way but it’s happened to be such. They are almost always trying to change that. Willfully and consciously or at least in gestures and wishes.
I realise most don’t want to be alone, women included, but we are so conditioned into believing that living alone is equivalent of the worst possible hell that we are expected to do everything in our power to change that status.
Most want to eventually be a part of another whole. While am sure it is somewhere lurking inside me, I notice it has become another level of achievement in our generation of women. Yes, you studied and worked for a few years and had the requisite exciting flings and affairs, but now, come on, how come you aren’t still married!
Oh, you have done this that and the other but how come you aren’t married?
Oh come one, now you are in your 30s, you must settle (for) and get married.
Among the different versions said, one person even said to me.. the only reason everyone always wants you to get married is because they are unhappy that you are not.
It’s so deeply ingrained that party invites from spouses of school friends say, “please feel free to bring your husband”
.. or your seniors who assume you are married say, “..am so sorry I thought you were married..”
But all these tedious lines apart, even everyone my age, seem to want to come to marriage and stop. That seems to be a finishing line or the medal, something I can’t decide.
Am not entirely sure whether or not I will or wont or do or don’t want to get married but I know it won’t become my life’s goal. I don’t want to go after “eligible men” who are not “divorced” and feel smug that marrying in my 30s has “netted” me such a nice find.
This is not marriage bashing or man bashing but, funnily, about doing what you want, even if it’s not something everyone wants. Why is it so difficult to digest that?