[image courtesy: https://www.pinterest.com ]
Having recently stepped into the ‘unwelcome thirties’, I consider myself qualified enough to write about the most tabooed topic of discussion when it comes to women~ their AGE! Even though I did not feel any different on the inside, I did all the customary ‘whining and pining’ that comes along with a 30th birthday celebration (‘like really? THAT’s what we are celebrating?’). Well, being thirty might not be a big deal for women in the West but somehow in India, our society does not seem to grow up to the fact that women above thirty can and DO have the right to experiment with their lives.
The moment you declare you are thirty, you will hear the generic neighbourhood aunty (why but WHY is it almost always an ‘aunty’?) spew all kinds of atrocious statements that have nothing to do with your life and everything to do with how they lived theirs! No wonder most of us are still more freaked out by our next-door aunties than even our own parents. Actually, even your parents are probably as scared facing these self-proclaimed ‘flag-bearers of traditions’ as you.
Turning a deaf ear works as long as you are not stuck alone with them in your drawing room while your mom is in the kitchen or something. That’s when these moral-police-disguised-as-aunties rip you apart with their questions-aka-bullets!
Let us take a look at the most popular bullets, err, questions you get to hear after thirty:
- ‘Beti puri zindagi PHD karogi ke shaadi ka koi plan hai?’ –> To which you should simply put on a caustic smile and tell them that you are just not getting a family who can handle your educational qualifications without hurting their inflated ego. Or better still, if they have a son who’s married, ask her how he has helped increase India’s population of late.
- ‘Facebook mein travel updates hi deti rahogi ke koi good news bhi share karogi?’ –> This one is for the married ones who have no intention of having a baby now (or in some cases, EVER!). Just tell them that the only ‘good news’ is that you and your husband have decided to travel the world for the next five years and ask her if she’s interested in joining you as your personal social media manager (since she seems to be spending more time stalking your profile than her own children’s!).
- ‘Career toh theek hai beti, ab thoda settle ho jaanaa chaiye, hai naa?’ –> This is a hot favourite with most ‘concerned relatives’. Again, keep that caustic smile intact and tell them that you will settle as soon as you earn enough to buy your own Audi or Merc and let them know once and for all that ‘pati ka paisa’ is not your ‘paisa’.
Of course, silence is the best policy when you face age-shaming in any form but a little wit never harmed anybody, right? Yes, it’s true that you have entered another decade altogether and won’t ever be in your ‘twenties’ again. However, age-shaming those who want to live life their way is something that our society should grow out of.
Being a successful thirty year old may not necessarily include marriage and kids and ‘settling down’ the conventional way. It may be a new beginning for the single mother, the recently separated or the ambitious workaholic woman. It can be many things but certainly not the ‘end of life as we know it’. Happy Women’s Day to all the gorgeous women out there, of every size, age and colour. Here’s to breaking more myths and ruffling more ‘traditional’ feathers with every passing decade!