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Another one bites the dust.
Sigh! It was just another day. The plan to deck up and look my best was ultimately a lost cause with the kind of person I had just met. Reason? Matrimonial purpose.
According to the societal norms that surround me, I should have been married ages ago. And I should have probably had one child. No, wait. Maybe two. Since I was nowhere closer to my ‘goal’ (read – pressure) of being married, people stared at me in disdain as I passed their side. “There goes a misfit,” they said. “Probably it is her sense of fashion that drives men away,” one whispered loud enough for me to hear. Was it my dhoti pants? I wondered nonchalantly.
Owing to the mounting pressure, it is but natural for a ‘lonely’, ‘unhappy’ woman like me to finally take the path of the arranged marriage process. (Hey! I got to be unhappy remember? An unmarried woman has no right to guffaw at work as she has ‘crossed’ the age limit to be decked up for her wedding.) Sigh. So there I was scrounging through numerous profiles on the web and in print. Also, nothing seemed to click. “The perfect fit I’ve been looking for, is still being made,” I said to myself while browsing through my Facebook page that declared someone or the other was getting married. Great!
“You? And, arranged marriage?,” asked one colleague incredulously. “Why not me?,” I muttered with utter surprise. Also, she said with great enthusiasm, “But, you do not look the type. You must be having enough lovers to take your pick from.” I rolled my eyes and yet again I chose to avoid a fierce reply. Yes, you do not fit right into the crowd if you do not dress the way a majority may do. (And, I have no problem with anybody’s dress sense.) The worst case if when you wear maxi dresses, knee-length skirts, stilettos, and trendy tops, you better have a boyfriend! Maybe, two! (Isn’t that why you dolled up? To attract a date?)
So there I was on a sunny day, in a swanky mall. Meeting a man who may be my potential husband. I knew I had wasted my breath when he asked with a mouthful of food dropping bits as he spoke, “So, how many boyfriends did you have? You are from the city (read – hailing from Goa).You must have had quite a few.” It took me just this moment to realize this is not the perfect fit. Not even for a date. NO.
My next meeting was with a person who seemed very liberal. He ate everything that is palatable/alive despite being from a conservative (as he specified, vegetarian family.) Aah! I thought. A guy who follows his mind and is self-made was precisely the kind I was hoping to bump into (I think.) We went ahead for another meeting. And that’s when he said, “You can wear whatever you want, girl! Indian or western clothes. However, make sure you always wear a saree at home and tie your hair when my relatives are around.” I gasped. I love sarees. Sarees look so elegant on Indian woman. However, I also love to cook/clean in my soiled pajamas. Would that matter? I asked him that. “Of course, you certainly can’t wear anything less than a saree in front of my parents.” That was the end of this discussion. Now, when such a point is ‘non-negotiable’, I wondered what more was in store! Was this the perfect fit? Certainly not. I felt uncomfortable, and although he relentlessly pursued over the phone, I knew it was a complete mismatch. I do not expect anyone to change, and I expect the same from my partner.
My family’s hopes were diminishing. Then walked in someone with a great swagger from the city of dreams – Mumbai. He was handsome, quite like the Mills and Boons hero and was alike his profile photo he had sent across. (Most photographs do not even match the person who turns up at the meeting. Case of mistaken identity?)
This man promised to ‘let me work from home if I willed.’ He was eager to marry me right away. However, he said threateningly with a half-smile, “You better learn to cook. Join a cooking class or two.” There I was juggling a 9+ hour job, thinking about solutions at home, wondering if my boss may call me at 7:00 a.m. to inquire about the work progress, stressing over when do I fit in time for yoga…and he said this! Cooking is an art. You cannot rush this process. Everyone must know how to cook. I learned it later on (Thank you Sanjeev Kapoor) and I can make a variety of things. However, why this threat? I asked him, “Don’t you think it is good for both of us to know how to cook?” I received no answer. To make it worse, I received an Excel sheet that detailed my ‘job responsibilities’ as a to-be wife. YIKES!
How can I talk about this process without mentioning the Kundli? Couples often refer to the Kundli before opting to meet up. Fair enough! I respect that. But, don’t you think a person should specify this early on? There was one man who told me that our Kundlis did not match. He said, “I can ‘alter’ it a wee bit to make it the perfect fit as I liked you. So yes, you as a wife need to fast every week and make many offerings etc. for this to be a peaceful match. The alterations will not affect us and we will be a perfect match.” I will not go into the details here. Bottom-line is – I should sacrifice. Perfect fit yet? Naaah!!
And so, as I trudged along daily to work, the questions kept mounting. “What happened?,” asked a concerned colleague who did not even speak to me otherwise.
“Did you not find your perfect match? You are too choosy girl! You must compromise. Marriage is a compromise.” Said a woman who never compromised anything in life. “Light a Diya!,” said someone.
Suddenly I remembered Alanis Morisette singing ‘Ironic’! And, wait. Why is advice free? There should be some charge levied on that. All this reminded me of ill-fitting lingerie. Why lingerie of all things? It is like that annoying moment when that clasp is too tight, or that elastic is too rough. You want to throw it away but, you are wearing it, right?
Right. So, I could not taunt anyone in public though mumbling things in my mind became a common episode.
After numerous dull episodes and being labeled with many adjectives, I did get married. Well, so, ok. So do a whole lot of people. Did it feel like the perfect fit? Did I fit in? Did he?
No. You have to work towards it.
However, I found the perfect fit along this journey. Where? Read on.
I realized that the perfect fit for happiness is not about finding the best partner. The best job. Those things are myths! I found a connection with my inner self. It happened on the days I was alone, juggling a number of tasks. Answering my emails and wondering if the cooker is yet on the gas stove. I found the perfect fit when I was struggling to make round rotis while brushing aside my priorities in a bid to be an accomplished multi-tasker.
I found my perfect fit within myself. I discovered many things about my personality during my days of despair.
As a woman, I realized that there were so many other things I can do as compared to my days spent earlier. I found my solace in writing and continue to do so. It made me feel at peace. I do not need someone to complete me anymore. It is not about waiting for the right opportunity (be it a job, spouse, or anything). It is about going out there and just grabbing it. Making doors open where none existed. It’s not about wallowing in self-pity. However, finding a path that is known only to you.
All the while, I felt many things did not quite fit right. The men I met, the interaction I had with people. However, over time, on a path of self-discovery that happened right in my home, I realized, only I can find my own happiness. So yes, while marriage and jobs are necessary for this journey of life, not everything is ‘customized’ to fit you. Rather, it is how you mold yourself to fit in. This applies to situations that you find appropriate. Only in circumstances you comprehend best for you. If it does not suit you, it never will. But, if you think you can make it a perfect fit – it surely will! It is entirely your choice.
Moreover, everyone’s idea of a perfect fit varies. No one can dictate the same for you.
On the hunt for the right match I realized, that if I am doing the things I love to do, good things will follow. Getting exasperated or feeling down because you do not fit into the society’s perception of how a woman should be is wrong. Just. So. Wrong.
When you find your calling, just go for it. It will happen. Sooner than ever. Just have faith in yourself. Also, God, if you like! (It will help if you insert cotton in your ears. Because gossipmongers will always…errr…gossip!)
As for my marriage? I don’t think I am fit for it…!
When it comes to lingerie, I found the #perfectfit with Buttercups. Celebrate yourself with a perfect fit. Take the Buttercups quiz @ http://bit.ly/buttercupsquiz and get that perfect fit you deserve. Use GYRF10 to avail a 10% discount.
Now, there is one more place where at least the fit will not be a primary concern as they have got it covered!