Early morning I get a distressed call from my mother, there has been a family debacle which needs immediate attention, she says. I am like blurry eyed, half asleep it’s a Sunday for god’s sake. I ask her to calm down, tell her I will give her a call after an hour when I am in a condition to hear and understand. But alas, she digresses and starts complaining instead how I don’t have time, I am not concerned, we raised you, on and on.
I decide to give up and instead listen to the family drama which has unfolded. It seems my cousin wants to get married. Well that’s good news, right, she is well educated, single child, earning pretty well and the right age (25 years to be precise, which is like the marriageable age). So what is the problem I ask? “Problem, problem” she says, “it’s not a problem but the mothers of all problems, one the boy is not of the same caste as ours, secondly she has known him for hardly six months and lastly and most importantly the groom’s family wants her to quit her job post marriage”. I am aghast, I know my cousin, if I am ambitious multiply it but 10000, that’s what her ambition level is. So I ask, “is she ready for this?’, and the answer comes as a ‘Yes’. I conclude that YES this is a topic of utmost importance and decide to give my cousin a call.
I call her after sometime and she is smitten in love, the boy she says is wonderful, the chemistry is just hard to believe. She paints a mills and boons to me, but seven years into a marriage, trust me no mills and boons can wooooo me now. I try to reason with her if she wants quit working amid the lovey dovey story she is telling me. “Ahh who wants the job when you have all the love,” she quips. But she goes on, quitting was not her idea, but was one of the conditions from the groom’s family. The idea is that they are like really well off and don’t need to depend on the daughter in law’s income, ‘What will the world say”? I left a sigh, I did not know what to say, she was one of us who could never let anything come in between her career. I mean I am OK with the idea of leaving jobs for family, only if I want to and not out of compulsion or LOVE as she puts it. I realized that this was beyond reasoning with her and hence I gave up.
She would get married of course, I pray for the best for her. I am into the seventh year of my marriage, and I have realized we don’t remain the same person, the one we fell in love with changes, we ourselves change and so I think leaving or changing your identity for someone does not make sense. Independence, financial, emotional any kind I think in today’s time is very important. I know women who took a sabbatical or totally left their jobs to take care of their families which is perfectly fine if the couple decides it mutually. Relationships should be given paramount importance, but the relationships based on conditions, I don’t know how far they go. I believe a day comes when the loves fades a bit at least, things change and then you ponder on your decision which apparently gets late. So I am ok if my cousin has really thought this through completely, I hope she can see a picture beyond the love web that she has created around her.
The other day I was telling my daughter the snow white story at bedtime and I preferred ending it like this:
“As snow white is in deep sleep and all efforts by the seven dwarfs to wake her up fail, a prince crosses by on his horse. He stops to see what the fuss was all about and is smitten by the beauty of snow white, he bends down to kiss her (That’s like a bit inappropriate I think, right, anyway it is fairytale, I don’t have to use my brains here). She wakes up baffled. Their eyes lock and the prince proposes marriage to her, he tells he wants to make her the queen of the kingdom. She blushes and replies, “Not now my loving charming prince, let us know each other a bit more, let me take a job be independent and still if we think we should, we would.”
Ahhha that’s like a perfect fairy tale ending.