Friday, December 7, 2012

I don’t fancy a big fat Indian wedding – Is that so bad?.

DISCLAIMER: It's a little longer than I usually care to post but bear with me... there was a lot to say!

Ever since I was fourteen I have had a dream- a dream to see the world. 
Nothing fancy (no 5 stars- no business class travel- no plastic smiles). Just a dream to experience the world in it all its rawness. You know, travelling in public transport (or, may be in a hundred years old truck from world war 1)- Cracking up about something with a fellow passenger- Forming friendships with the natives- Being that mysterious traveller from a far off land etc etc...

You know I sometimes imagine myself with a backpack – strutting down the streets of Istanbul in the warm winter sun- I am in a white top and a snug pair of blue jeans that fit like a dream  - I am wearing dark brown sunglasses with big frame.. My boots are rugged-I have a jacket wrapped around my waist- My hair is loose- I have a scarf around my neck- I am holding a camera (SLR’s, they are called right ?)- Local kids are waving at me and giving me toothless grins- women are shy but hospitable- the wise old man of the clan invites me for an early supper with them, which I happily accept- I drink tea with them and I have a notepad where I take down every little detail that I think is worth savouring... and as I sit there learning their folklore.. Suddenly I hear someone call me from my name.... “Tanu”

Surprised, as to how on earth someone in Istanbul knows my nick name (let alone my name), I turn to locate the owner of the voice.

It’s my mum.

“Get up beta, it’s ten in the morning. What do you keep doing on your laptop all night? And look at your room-so messy.”

Suddenly I realise the grand old man has vanished- toothless kids are nowhere to be seen - there are no shy women serving me food- Just our ever smiling domestic help kunti scurrying through my room with her prized broom- and it takes me about five more seconds to realise that I am 24 yrs old - ten years have passed since I had first had this dream and I have done nothing about it. 

Accomplished nothing- gotten nowhere.

‘Oho mumma, shut the drapes,’ I reply, grumpily, on being dragged out of Istanbul so ruthlessly.

“No, no, nothing doing,’ replies my mum as she forcibly snatches away my quilt, ‘get ready we have to go to Sharma aunty’s house also. Neha is getting married, you remember na!’

‘Remember, huh? I roll my eyes. Of course I remember. That is all you have been talking about for the past 6 months,’ I want to say but keep shut instead. So that I am saved the what-are-you-doing-with-your-life sermon. Of late everything has been about marriage in the Nag household Marriage is all mom talks about and marriage is all she thinks about.

Until recently I was more than sure that my life was headed in the right direction. I had it all mapped out and slowly but steadily I was getting there. But now suddenly everyone I know (be it from school or from college) is either getting married or having babies and everything is changing.
And even though I couldn’t be any less happy for them I can’t help but ask – Is having a different kind of dream (a.k.a to backpack across Europe on your own) not okay? 

Does marriage mean everything? 
Apparently it does. 
At least that is what the society (and by society I mean my mum) will have me believe. Good lord I don’t want to get married as yet- am not saying never- but not yet and while we are at it- let me say this also- I don’t want to have a big fat Indian wedding either. I think it’s a waste and that money can be put to a much better use. Is that so bad?

I have awesome friends- I love my job and I couldn’t be in a more secure place in my life- I think for now I am content celebrating just that. But every time I sign in on facebook and see three hundred and fifty likes on a friend’s wedding album – i feel a knot building in my stomach. Not because I am not happy for her but just because she has finally realised her dream (a dream of being a lovely bride) but I AM NOT EVEN KINDA CLOSE to my toothless kids in Istanbul and that makes me sad.

Then I call up my still single friends and burden them with all this nonsense and luckily for me they steer me out of my depression. After a long discussion - I get back on track- and start working on my dream to travel- to learn- to write and to live. And someday I am sure –just like my friend- I will realise my dream too but till then I just have one request to make:

Dear God, my friends tell me that you have something amazing in store for me and I couldn’t be any less thankful for that but KINDLY OPEN THE STORE SOON.