What matters most- career, settling down in life or security?
I was fourteen. I had been hearing and reading about them since long. Reaching home from school, I saw my brother, holding it happily and showing my parents how to use it. I didn’t really want to learn it then, as I prefer learning about things all by myself. It was a rare thing then- cellphone. Moreover, I never took tuitions or never left home other than going to school. Not that my parents weren’t worried for my safety, but they never really encouraged me going for tuitions or hanging out with friends for a change (I acknowledge their concern).
Present Day: Ten years have passed. I am an independent, young woman, working in a metropolitan city. A number of things have changed. Having graduated from one of the most reputed institutes in India, I now live alone in a flat in Mumbai. Technology has advanced. I need not call my parents everytime to let them know that I am fine. Why? Not because I text or whatsapp them. Because I fear that any moment in the wheel of time, when I am unable to call or text, they might think that something is terribly wrong with me.
My parents emphasize that I get married soon. Why? Because married women in this country have more security than others. I was brought up in a joint family, where I was the only girl in my generation. Growing up with three brothers was fun indeed.
We went to the same school-together, played cricket- together, went for picnics- together, studied- together, cycled all the way to school- together, went to college- together, graduated in the same field and are working in different metropolitans at the same time. Maybe, that is the reason I snap at them whenever they talk of me getting “settled” in life, because while my brothers are given the liberty to follow and pursue their dreams, I am a topic for discussion among my relatives, aunty next-door, and family friends, whom I am not even aware of existing.
While being brought up, I believed that we(my family) are different. However, few days after I turned twenty, my mother told me that she wanted to get me married by the time I turned twenty five. I always believed that though we’ve most of the times followed the stereotype Indian opinion of girls getting settled by a particular age, I wouldn’t fall into that category.
But now that this country isn’t safe enough for a girl to walk around on the streets alone in the night, where one party leader considers rape as nothing more than a small mistake, and the other believes in using violence against women as a strategy to administer and govern, I think it’s clearly evident that we should choose our careers and settling time in life, according to the ruling political party.