The degree of obsession we Bengali folks have with the aspect of marriage, especially involving those of women in our society, is maddening, disturbing and excruciating, especially from the point of view of a 20-something “eligible” bachelorette.
I'm tired of hearing people (read relatives) badger me to get married right after finishing my undergraduate studies.
I'm tired of explaining to people that I would like to prioritise my career before I get married.
I'm tired of reasoning with people that I plan to see myself as a master's degree holder from some reputed foreign university before I step into a wedding ensemble.
However, the tendency to make a fuss over matrimony is not only confined to the spheres of the older generation. Most of us have been guilty of attempting to persuade our amigos in relationships to tie the knot or constantly asking them when they intend to, even at the expense of getting on their nerves in the process.
This sort of obsession prevails largely because our society views marriage as a solution to whatever dilemma a female could possibly face. If a girl's family is trapped in a financial crisis, apparently getting her married works as an ‘effective policy tool’ to counter such a situation. If a person is struggling with academics, then finding her a husband is supposed to act as a buffer between potential unemployment and means of survival.
The most nonsensical and baseless of all the stereotypes is that of expecting a girl to get married once she reaches her early twenties regardless of whether she is employed, educated, and most importantly, interested! This obsession borders on asking parents for bio data/pictures, 'volunteering' to hunt down a groom every time you encounter these overenthusiastic so-called matchmakers, and so on and so forth.
Speaking from personal experience at a lunch gathering at a close relative's place, where, from the time the food was served, till the moment for bidding goodbye, I was hounded by people, constantly pestering me to get married, which cemented my perception that in our society, once you reach a certain age, people fail to acknowledge your significance beyond anything that screams marriage.
As much as I have immense faith in the institution of marriage I strongly believe it should not dominate or overpower a person's existence, but rather, coexist in equal measure with all the various other tenets in life.
Marriage cannot be the be all and end all of a person's existence. Rather, it should be contemplated as a personal choice to be implemented when an individual is willingly prepared to embrace the responsibilities generated by the advent of matrimony. Moreover, I personally feel that at the end of the day, it's the relationship in all its intrinsic forms that really matters. If the foundation of the bond that you share with your significant other is strong, then creating a ruckus out of such matters is pretty much meaningless or redundant. I know quite a few couples whose togetherness spans beyond five years without having entered the marriage bandwagon.
Marriage is supposed to be a perpetual journey dictated by strong compatibility and shared goals and ambitions, linking two individuals in a bond of togetherness. It should have zero correlation with factors such as age and societal norms. Keeping these in mind, I truly hope our society's aunts and grandmothers will finally stop obsessing over the aspect of marriage.