#HerChoice: Being alone does not mean I’m defiant

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I was looking at an advertisement to find a bride for her younger brother on Matrimonial page of the newspaper.

Only then a relative highlighted a line in red, the words of that line were ‘his only sister big sister’.

He said, “Neither of us will marry a big sister yet, we will have many problems in finding a better girl for our boy.”

His words are like an arrow on my chest. I was full of pain and very hard I stopped my tears.

There was a fire of anger inside me. How can they do such things?

After listening to his words, I felt that I was suffocating, I felt like someone was stopping me from my throat.

I wanted to shout loudly that after all, my decision to not marry, how can my brother become a mess in the way of getting a better girl?

Although it was better to remain silent in those situations, and I did that.

I was hoping that my brother or my father would oppose the relative’s point of view, but they also felt better to shave my sadness like the rest of the relatives.

My mother used to understand the point of my heart and at times she used to try hard to eliminate such a heart-tragedy.

Although he was happy that his son is going to get married. There was a time when my parents used to watch my wedding dreams too.

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The BBC Special Series #HerChoice 12 is the real life stories of Indian women. These stories present the ideas of ‘Modern Indian Woman’ and the options available in front of him, his aspirations, his priorities and his desires.

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I was big in two siblings, so it was already decided that my marriage would be first. But I did not do that.

It was as if I had deserted my parents with the joy of which they always came to see. Because of this, we had a lot of stress in the past few years.

Some similar concerns and questions were born among my relatives and friends.

Concerns of some friends could have been understood, but some of them were without head and foot.

For example, one day old friend of my school days told me, “I know that you do not want to get married but still you will definitely have some desires, if you want, I will help you fulfill your wishes. I can do it. ”

He said that he would be happy to do so, provided his wife and children did not know anything about this.

I was surprised to hear this from my friend.

Yes, it was true that I was not unaware of my needs or desires, and for that I also needed a partner. But to find that I am ‘available’ for anyone, I could never accept it.

What was more amazement was that such an offer was given to my old friend, which I never thought of.

I feel that I did not get such anger with his proposal, but in his mind I felt such a feeling that I had gone into stress.

From above it was very insignificant to call it a ‘help’ and ‘service’.

 
I do not mean that I am available to anyone
This thing completely ended the innocence in our friendship. Thinking about meeting him, I started scared and I still avoid talking to him.

When people know about being single, they change their mind about me. His style of talking to me is not the same as before.

But these things do not bother me, all this has become commonplace for me. I take my decisions myself. I take care of my ‘likes’ and ‘dislike’ myself.

Today I am 37 years old and I have no regrets on my decision to live alone.

I was 25 when I first told my mother about my decision to not marry.

I started making money and I wanted to fulfill my dreams, touch new heights.

I think my mother had understood the point of my heart but the questions arising from the other people were also compelled.

‘When are you going to marry your daughter?’

‘If you can not find a good boy, tell us, we will do some help.’

As my career began to rise, the boy’s search began to grow faster for me.

People used to tell my parents that marrying gives protection. But unlike their talk, I did not want to marry anyone for safety.

I knew what was happening in my parents’ mind and heart, their daughter is going to cross the neglected age of marriage and is still living in their home.

My father wanted me to be ‘settled’ as soon as possible, and that’s why I did not see one or two but 15 whole boys.

I used to think and care for my father’s concerns, so I got ready to meet those boys, but I did not like any of them.

Well, in a way, after this experience, it became easy for me to understand why I do not want to get married.

 

My parents also understood this, but the rest of the people continued to make different opinions about me.

They think I’m showing very tantrums. I started giving pride to the arrogant, uncivilized and any kind of illusory girl who was not proud of the wishes of my parents.

I did not understand what people enjoyed talking about this kind of thing about me?

And when most of them do not fill their lives, they start talking about my character.

But my thoughts were absolutely clear. There is no harm in having a love relationship or staying in a live-in relationship. The world has gone a step ahead with such ideas.

Whatever things I enjoy doing, I can do it whenever I want. Women can no longer be imprisoned in any cage.

I just want to live freely, marriage is a kind of bond.

I want to be like a bird flying in the sky, as I want to live my life.

If you want to stay at home all day, or if you feel like I should spend the whole night out.

Club, disco, temple, park where I want to go. Whenever you feel like doing all the work at home, do not make it too.

I do not want such a life where I used to worry about making tea for my mother-in-law in the morning, preparing breakfast for my husband or sending children to school.

I like being alone. I love my freedom and I can repeat this thing so many times as I have to repeat to explain to someone.

I have seen many married women who have large families, children but they still feel lonely.

While I do not feel lonely, my family and friend are both. I prefer the relationships in which I enjoy.
I am standing on my feet today, I am free, happy with my decision to live alone
In our society, an unassuming girl is seen as a burden. But I have never been a burden.

I have traveled around the world, I earn money myself and how to spend them, this decision is also entirely mine.

I have made my identity from my work and many articles have been written in my praise.

The newspaper which initially used to make fun of the decision to not marry my marriage, admits today being my single woman.

My parents are proud of me today and their friends give their daughters an example of being successful as me.

In the end it does not matter what one thinks about my passion.

I have taken this decision for myself and proved it right.

(This is the real story of a woman living in north-western part of India, which is based on the conversation with BBC correspondent Archana Singh, names have been changed on the request of the woman. Producer of this series is Divya Arya