Everyone’s dealing with their own share of quarantine blues. For some the unstable finances and jobs, the endless chores at home or poor online connectivity, and the trouble of finding a new bread recipe to bake are proving to be stressful. But there is one problem that single Indian women, who are currently living at home with their parents, are facing exclusively- that of the pressure to get married.
Single women in India are increasingly taking to social media to reveal how the pressure to get married has mounted on them in the last four-five months. The COVID-19 lockdown had prompted a large number of women, who stayed alone or away at hostels, to return home until the pandemic comes in control. Well, it clearly hasn’t, and so, these young women are stuck at home fielding repeated nudges from their parents and families, who feel that they might as well get married or engaged, instead of “just sitting at home”.
Women Share Their Experiences Of Marriage Pressure From Parents
In the wake of Netflix’s new release, Indian Matchmaking, parents have gone into Sima Taparia mode, trying to find suitable matches for their daughters. One Twitter user wrote, “My parents are sucking the life of me in this lockdown because I’m turning 30 and I’m not married and I’ve massive anxiety at the mention of arranged marriages even though that’s something might have to give in, given my fams pressure.”
Her comment invited a wave of responses from other women, who empathised with her and shared similar troubles. Another woman wrote, “Same with me, I am a dental intern, 25 yo… At the beginning it ws all good at home, after a month or so, they hv startd continuously bickering me to start thinking matrimony.”
Women even wrote about what all they had to do, to simply keep their parents from crying beta shaadi kar lo relentlessly. A user wrote, “Hi. Fully relate to this. I’m turning 27 in a week and Jan se hi mom dad have been panicking. Literally got myself into an MBA program so they’d leave me alone for 2 yrs. They’re happy- because mba ke baad rishte aur achhe ayenge.”
Meanwhile, some women dropped in humorous advice from experience. “Things really do get better after 30 – a lot of people give up on you (thankfully).”
Home Quarantine Does Not Mean She Is Ready For Marriage
For some single women, marriage is, as of now, only a theoretical pressure, for some, it poses a very tangible threat. But it is safe to say that the topic has been broached by parents with not much to do but try to shake the burden of responsibility to settle down their daughter off their shoulders. It’s disappointing to see parents pressurising their daughters for marriage, despite repeated requests from daughters to not do so. This is also why a lot of women prefer living alone, to retain their independence and stay away from the shaadi pressures at home.
Why is home quarantine being seen as an opportunity to pester daughters to “do something with their lives”? Aren’t they busy enough with work and studies? Or even if a woman is sitting idle, why should she be pressurised into marriage anyway?
Why Should She Marry Just Because She Is Of “Marriageable Age”?
Entering the marriageable age bracket of the 20s does not necessarily mean that a daughter will be inclined towards marriage. What is the hurry to get a girl married if she wants to spend time establishing her career before “settling down,” quarantine, or no quarantine? Why should she marry just because she is eligible for the task?
Marriage is a commitment for life, and often comes with a baggage of duties and customs in our society that can be suffocating and tiresome – no one knows it better than parents. And yet, it is a wonder how persistent they are. The pandemic and consequent quarantine is enough cause for the youth to feel distressed, what with the crashing job market and social loneliness. They could certainly use a break from the pressure to get married from the parents, at least for now.
Views expressed are the author’s own.