“Finding a husband is not a joke, you know!! You simply cannot take the process lightly!”, chided my cousin, Urmi.
“You are 27. Why is it so hard for your parents to find a guy for you? Don’t you know somebody in your circle of friends? You should find a guy, get married and have your first child before you turn 30. Only then, can you have baby number 2 by 32, leaving a perfect age gap between the kids”
I was still reeling from this unexpected barrage of questions and wisdom while Urmi continued…
“Take a cue from my daughter, Anita – she is in college now, but she has it all sorted out. She wants to be married by the time she is your age and plans to have her first kid before she turns 30!”
Now, I was berating my choice to spend the weekend with Urmi. But, I was in a new place and had no immediate family around me. My closest connection to home was my aunt’s daughter Urmi. My aunt was a “Ms. Know It All herself”, but I had not expected Urmi to be worse! She had been the cool older cousin when I was growing up. It seemed like things had changed and nobody had sent me the memo!
“Why are Indians so obsessed with getting married?”, I retorted bravely, surprised at the tone of my own voice. I had never been accosted about my single status before and did not have a strategy to handle such confrontations. Yes, I was taking my time to “settle down” but I had never felt the need to explain my choices to anyone.
“Now, you are just being naive!”, she responded. “Tell me, what do you expect in a husband?”
“Excuse me?”, I responded, not sure about response she expected.
“I mean, do you want someone from India or abroad? What are the acceptable locations in India? What are the educational qualifications you expect? Caste? etc., We should draw up a chart with the various qualities that you expect in a husband and then group these based on the priority of these qualities and attack them accordingly”
“Huh?”, was all I could say.
“For example, if location and qualification are important and you are interested in men within the age group of 27-30, we should look for contacts in that location and then check with them if they know of any potential grooms with that particular qualification within the age group we are looking for… and that’s just scratching the surface.We should treat this as a project!”, she finished and looked pleased with herself.
“Well, I don’t exactly have the luxury of time for this project!”, I retorted wondering how her brain had worked this fast in coming up with a plan like that. “In case you didn’t notice I have a full-time job that consumes a major chunk of my time”
“How else do you expect to find a guy?”, she demanded.
“Well, maybe I will go with my heart!”, I declared, putting a temporary end to our conversation that night.