IS SEEKING SHAADI ADVICE, A VICE?
Never advise anyone to go to war … or get married —Germaine Greer
so they better go ahead and marry anyway.
The problem is graver for friends and well-wishers of these confused souls. They have to listen to the ramblings of a perplexed mind, musings to the effect of whether their friend at the altar is doing the right thing by giving up a carefree life in favour of settling down. I know of such people around me — a younger cousin, a friend’s sister, a colleague — terribly confused and anxious about what the future has in store. Here are my two bits of advice to them, as well as to anyone whose loved one is experiencing cold feet — not caused by the change of weather. Stop seeking advice: you. Sit and figure out answers to key questions about whether you’re at the right level of age, education, financial state, emotional maturity etc to get hitched. And once you have decided — either way — stick to your decision. Don’t keep going back and forth on it.
Also, do not let the world enforce its pre-conceived notions on you. Listen patiently when the whole world tells you things like you must get married by a certain age or else you’ll have trouble conceiving, adjusting with the in-laws, getting good rishtas etc, but do what your heart tells you to do. There may be some practical wisdom in all these diktats but there’s more practical wisdom in not marrying if your heart, mind or body is not ready yet. The repercussions of marrying late can be handled, but the repercussions of marrying wrong can ruin your life. of planning a wedding and the anxiety of being married. Normally, people tend to confuse the two. Last year, a friend of mine who was to get married called me in the middle of the night — all anxious and repeating ‘I’m not sure’ a million times. After I gave her some heavyduty gyan on compatibility, adjustment etc, she told me she was worried about not getting her lehnga stitched in time for the function. If there had been a competition of occasions in my life when I’ve felt like an absolute idiot, this one would have ranked at least a second runner-up.
The problem with Indian weddings is rather complex — shaadi do logon ki, tayaari sau logon ki. The khaandaan gets into a hyper-stress mode, right from choosing the caterers to the clothes to the venue to the gifts to the parlour. And a lot of this stress gets passed on to the bride and groom, who end up confusing this with the overall stress of the big upcoming change in their life. When in doubt, ask yourself if it’s the preparations, lack of funds etc that’s bothering you, or the thought of spending life with a certain person. The answer will matter. Immensely. Don’t hesitate to call it off: This will sound rebellious to some, but I completely stand by it. At any point before you are married, if your heart says you are not sure — call it off. I mean it. I’ve seen lives getting ruined when people didn’t gather courage to call off an alliance they were unsure about — only for the fear of what society will say if the engagement is broken. The same society, however, will be the first to gossip or laugh when it hears shouting matches between couples or families that turn out to be incompatible. I’m not asking you to be fickle-minded and turn runaway brides à la movies, but then a few days of stress after a broken rishtaa in front of the world is way better than living a life full of stress with a broken rishtaa within the four walls of home. Isn’t it?
The last word is for the friends of those who are to get married soon. Don’t make your friend’s impending wedding the only topic of conversation. If every time you talk, you keep asking your friend about the wedding preparations or the future, you’ll freak them out. Remind your friend that suffering from pre-wedding jitters is most normal. And also that getting married is a beautiful development in life. It is not life. Sonal Kalra asks people to not seek advice and goes on to give truck loads of advice herself. She wonders if anyone’s still cares for all her lectures. Mail her at Follow on Twitter