Notes by an Indian mother to her marriageable daughter

(Please read this with your tongue firmly in your cheek and without any prejudice )

My daughter, though your dad may not agree,

it is time for you to fall in love, I think

I could not do so

as my parents invoked the family pride

and all those notions

but I want you to lead your own life,

be your own woman

and make your own choices independently

matrimonial sites are a big scam

dating apps may be even bigger ones!

go, my dear, fall in love

conquer a heart and rule the world

I free you from the shackles of age old traditions

to give you freedom to choose your life-partner

now, how about that tall guy on the seventh floor

I found out he is from our own caste

or what about Priya massi’s* nephew

he has a good job and is well settled too!

okay, okay! I will not make any more suggestions

go ahead and find your own guy

but do keep in mind the following pointers

he should be taller than you, is a given

(you know the tall, fair, handsome of Mills & Boon type)

as is the fact that he should be older,

older in the sense 3-4 years gap is perfect

don’t fall in love with someone

a decade and a half older than you

THAT would be such a sacrilege!

NO falling in love with a younger guy

you know men are so immature

you will be mothering him all your life!

don’t forget to ensure we have similar backgrounds

it will help you to settle easily in the new set up

make sure he is well educated and has a good job

you can’t marry someone less educated than you

and can’t even feed you!

if he is from the same caste

that would be like the icing on cake

your father may come around to an inter-religion marriage

but marrying from a certain religion would be a BIG no-no!

mind you no living-in before marriage

nor going on vacations before we seal the deal

my daughter I am giving you wings to fly

to experience the beautiful feeling of being in love

that I experienced only after marriage, perforce

live your life as you want, my dear

but don’t forget the points mentioned afore.

*massi – maternal aunt

76 thoughts on “Notes by an Indian mother to her marriageable daughter

  1. Hilarious! So much enjoyed reading this — even though the facts it’s based on are horrifying to me. Just last week, a friend from Kolkata was telling me how her mother had been forced to marry instead of pursuing her dream of becoming an university professor. Her parents scream at each other every day now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paul, that is how it was with our parents and with most of our generation. Our kids are doing things differently but most times we insist it is done our way. There is another perspective too. A friend’s daughter who has a Danish friend was told that she was lucky that if she didn’t find someone, her parents would find a groom for her, whereas she,(the Danish girl)had no such luck!!!
      Thank you for enjoying it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some long time ago, Punam, I felt arranged marriages were no worse than non-arranged marriages since the evidence is about half work out — the same as non-arranged marriages.

        But I have since come to realize how naive I was! For once thing, arranged marriage customs so often in practice become forced marriages. For another they contradict the universal human right of adults to — as much as possible — decide their own life for themselves. And so forth.

        Non-arranged marriages are seriously flawed, but in my opinion today, arranged marriages are worse.

        Just my two cents.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree totally, Paul. We are coming around to that. I don’t think our kids would settle for anything less than the freedom to choose their life partner. Of course there will be mistakes and failure but arranged marriages don’t have an impeccable track record too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is the thing, often people do not even realise their own prejudices, even in the moment that they’re rolling off their own tongues! Some things are so deeply ingrained. I really admire how you sometimes write from a completely different perspective in the first person like this. I also really enjoy your take on social and political issues. 🧑

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always feel more comfortable writing in the first person. I feel my writing has more clarity that way. Yes, sometimes people mistakenly believe it is all about me. I am okay with that. We Indians, have a lot of ingrained prejudices but are now learning to laugh at ourselves. I try to keep my political views under cover but they do make their way here. πŸ˜€
      Thank you, Rachel. ❀️

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think we all have ingrained prejudices of some kind of another, and often they are at an unconscious level and we don’t even realize we have them.

        You’re such a talented writer, always love your poems 🧑❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahaha.. too good.. hats off Punam.. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘’πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ.. I just lovelovelove this style of yours, when you bring smile on our faces with a subtle pinch.. keep penning more such marvels.. thanking you, before you thank me.. lol.. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ€—πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ha, love the back-handed advice… be your own woman as long as you stay tethered to a few outdated traditions. Excellent, as always, Punam. I admire your stand against the old ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sound advice, and yet it doesnt sound boring, like advice invariably is, the daughter might actually listen. I expected one more suggestion, for a prospective guy at the end, they always do πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve NEVER come across a more savage satire in my life of 18 years πŸ˜‚ BEYOND BRILLIANT! You had me right at the beginning in the disclaimer. The rest of it was such a plot twist. Her mother is basically β€œarranging a love marriage” with all those suggestions. She probably already has a guy in her mind and all these point to that. Just brilllliant! πŸ‘Œ Insanely genius!

    Liked by 1 person

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