By: Hifza Jillani
At a fairly packed coffee shop, between sipping hazelnut cappuccino and glancing at your watch, you are chattering about a potential feature on midwife myths in rural areas, explaining how you would love a trip down to Arizona and, finally, how you always agreed with Immanuel Kant’s idealism and almost suddenly the person next to you strikes with you with a question, “What about marriage?”
Yes, the person next to you could be an acquaintance, an old childhood friend or a guy you are out on a date with. So you don’t believe in soulmates? Are you scared of commitments? Do you have issues?
I could just write a book on how awkward it has been for me trying to explain to people, sometimes even strangers, that really there is no answer. By the time women reach their 30s (in Pakistan, by the time they are 20), they are often at loggerheads with people who are certainly on a mission to get you ‘settled’. All the hype and hoopla around finding the one and getting hitched makes us all forget that there is so much more to life than just ‘settling in’. God forbid, under the feminism fire, I am not trying to demean the institution of marriage by any way. I think marriages are beautiful and a successful society-made function to make us love our lives as we go. However, what I truly do demean here is the fact that we take marriage to be this essential survival kit for a woman and sometimes even for men. Yes, it gives us a new name, a new fame, a new family and all those fairy-tale moments that every girl dreams of as soon as she gains consciousness in this life.
But do we really have to commit ourselves to some man just because we can earn some sense of social acceptability. I beg to differ.
I solemnly swear that I will not ‘settle’ for something, unless it is larger-than-life itself. I might sound quite stupid for saying this, because what I just said may well be contradicting to what I said a while ago. Correction: it is stupid to get married just because I love weddings; it’s sensible to get married if it is the right time, right decision and above all the right person.
Setting aside all the serious talk about really finding someone who we can’t live without, I for one want to experience life alone while I can. Someday, I want to get married too. I want a huge wedding with a pretty-looking cake at a former royal palace at my hometown where the army of my cousins can dance the night away. However, I first need to develop myself and become the person I was meant to be. I really don’t understand how some people have got it all laid out for them at the age of 22. I haven’t.