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The dreaded “M” Word

December 17, 2009


It started sometime when I was in 4th year of law school. A lot of wedding ceremonies were taking place in my family at that point of time. A number of my cousins suddenly decided to tie the knot that year and there were some 3 weddings in the family in one season. I was looking forward to lots of dressing up, having fun with cousins, eating good food and checking out cute boys (if at all there were any) during those days. Little did I know what awaited me.

My extended family is H-U-G-E. My dad’s innumerable cousins and their wives plus their kids can constitute a battalion of people. In any family gathering or wedding ceremony, the aunts of the family are always grouped in one place, all heavily decked up in gold jewellery and heavy silk sarees and gossip about everything under the sun! I usually get along very well with them and ever since half my cousins have left the city for higher studies/ job, I take part in aunty-gossip sessions with equal gusto.

In one such gathering, suddenly all the attention of the aunty brigade was focussed on me.

Aunty 1(to my mom): I really like Misha. She has turned out to be a fine young lady.

Aunty 2: Yes, I agree. I can say this without doubt that she is the most well-brought up kid in the family. (to my beaming mom) Its all because of you.

Aunty 3(to me): And you look very nice in a saree. These days, girls don’t want to wear traditional stuff any more. 

All this while, I am grinning ear-to-ear. And then the bomb dropped.

Aunty 1 (to my mom): So when do you plan to start the process?

I am confused. My mom seems to have understood. “We are not even thinking now, she is still in college”.

Thus began the torture. In every gathering, whenever I met the aunty brigade, I used to be bombarded with questions like “So what kind of a guy are you looking for?” “Do you have any preferences of profession?” “Do you have salary issues?” and so on and so forth.

Initially I tried to deal with it jokingly. “I want a handsome guy – you know, the tall, dark, rich and handsome types”. “Yes, I shall marry only a Indian Foreign Service Officer, so that I can stay all over the globe.” “If the guy is fine, I have no salary issues” blah blah

But sadly, they were never joking! “You should not go by looks only, try to see the human being in him.” “There are no Bengali IFS Officers!” “But beware, the man may not be comfortable about your salary, so its safe to always go for a guy who earns more than you”.

Seeing my reluctance to be dragged into such conversations, one day, an aunt of mine cornered me “Do you have a boyfriend?” I give her a look which suggested as if she asked me whether I watch porn or not. “You look the kind who has a boyfriend, ” she concluded. “No, no, I don’t have one”. I assure her. “Seriously!” I add, seeing her disbelieving look. I later came to know that she also tried to trick my mom into revealing any such hidden fact about me, but the truth won 🙂

After establishing the fact that I am single (meaning eligible) and especially after I finished college and started working,  it was turn of my mom to get tortured. “You should start looking from now, before its too late” “I know some, you want me to talk to them?” “I know she won’t, but what if she brings home some wrong guy tomorrow”? To each such questions, my mom used to say “My daughter has just returned after staying in hostel for five years. Let her stay at home for sometime.”  And then my aunty brigade would start “Arre, if you wait now, all the good ones will be taken. And your daughter is a lawyer and dark, ok ok wheatish (when my mom throws her a look) so it will be difficult to find a good match for her!”

So the best way I adopt these days is to avoid my aunty brigade all together. I rarely attend family parties now, more so because of work pressure. Recently, when I heard two of them were dropping by at my place, I went out of my house with some work excuse and came back only for dinner.

Things worsened for me when my cousin (who is three months younger to me) got married. I was in my final year of college and I frequently had to fend off such questions. They made it look like I was getting late and I should catch the first available guy out there! Even the groom’s side was a little surprised to know that the bride has an unmarried older first cousin. I spent the whole ceremony telling people that I, despite being older than my cousin, was still in college and hence in no mood to marry!

Strangely, its not just the relatives, I have faced such questions from interviewers too. Just when I have tackled a particularly difficult technical question, followed by an equally difficult HR one, I am hit by the ultimate one –

“So when do you plan to settle?” My shock is visible on my face. “Let me rephrase it, when do your parents plan to marry you off?”

I feel like saying “If I could have my way, never!” but I give a more practical answer “Not before 3-4 years”. Now its turn for the interviewer to gasp “So late?”

I smile sweetly, “I am the only child of my parents, hence.. ” He looks pacified 🙂

I endure this much-dreaded “M” word only because of my supporting and understanding parents. The day they will start chasing me, I will have to run away from home 🙂

An awesome and similar marriage post here.


Update:- While blog hopping, I found a guy’s perspective on the same here. Read it to see how similar a guy and a girl thinks about the same topic 🙂

27 Comments leave one →
  1. Larry permalink
    December 17, 2009 5:06 pm

    Hahaha… Although I do believe this post is a gross publicisation of the fact that:

    1. You have turned out extremely well and people think youre the perfect lady…. and

    2. You have a fat corp salary!!!!

    Chi Chi Debos… expected better from you!

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 17, 2009 5:33 pm

      Larry boy, stop being sarcastic…

      1. My aunts do think that I am a perfect lady, that’s what I wrote. If you ask me, I am anything but a “ladylike” lady 🙂

      2. Just because you command a fat corp salary, doesn’t mean you shall belittle mortals who don’t! Just to put controversies to rest, this conversation was before recession hit our campus recruitment, hence…

  2. Larry permalink
    December 17, 2009 5:27 pm

    Just realised again…. ANOTHER awesome post, you say??? Implying that this one is O so awesome as well, huh!!!!!! GET A GRIP, WOMAN!!!!

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 17, 2009 5:39 pm

      I am editing it…. It was just a slip of pen (or, keyboard) you see 🙂 I know I am good but I am modest, too 🙂

  3. December 17, 2009 7:08 pm

    ROFL…… I could not believe my eyes that a person like you is freaked out of Big – M…. lol.
    And here I tell people that our batch mates take their own decisions…. they are independent and a hugely fun gang..
    guess i have to bite my tongue and amend it next time I talk about my college friends..

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 17, 2009 7:59 pm

      Hey, why do you have to bite your tongue on that? I still take my own decisions… when did that change?
      Its all about how sometimes people try to take certain decisions for me, which of course, I hate…

      • December 18, 2009 8:56 am

        when u say that u take ur own decisions then go ahead take em all…. dnt wait to be spoon fed by auntie brigade or mothers coalition. if they pressurize you too much.. i suggest u come up with an apt reply.. no dilly-dallying tactics… But still, i would warn you that some day when u return home u might see a guy (having a shy smile) sitting with his parents.. Be prepared for that because if u get tongue-tied… they will tie ur knot also… be prepared to create chaos. 😉

      • debosmita permalink*
        December 18, 2009 1:28 pm

        when the day comes, I shall do the needful (meaning creating chaos), why ruin my “nice perfect lady” image now? 😉

  4. December 17, 2009 7:34 pm

    I loved it. I swear this is exactly what I’m going through already. And they get all racist about the bride which really pisses me off. Loved the part where you said ”only child”. It’s true but more than us, these other aunties are worried to marry us off. Can’t they just mind their own business and let us live our lives? Jeez!

    Wonderfully written 🙂 And thank you so much for tagging mine. Though it was nothing compared to yours 🙂 *hugs*

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 17, 2009 8:02 pm

      More than our parents, its people in the extended family who are more worried about me getting a guy! Damn pissing off, I say 🙂

      I loved your take on it, and as I said, inspired this post, hence linked you 🙂

  5. December 17, 2009 11:22 pm

    Aunties! Aunties! Aunties!!! Aunties are certainly dangerous. The dreaded word should be ‘A’ not ‘M’ 😀
    Guess I should be happy for not being a girl. 😛 😛
    I can always be like a wild stallion!! Yaaaayy! 😀
    On a serious note, it was very funny.. 😦 Oh, damn! What am I talking about?!
    Well, I mean I understand the feelings behind this post. (Thank god, I got it right this time). 😛
    All the best! 🙂

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 18, 2009 1:34 pm

      Karthik, I am glad you found it funny.. that was the whole idea behind it… 🙂

      Enjoy your wild stallion days till they last… one day you may also have to visit a girl’s house to “see” her or meet a girl for coffee under parental supervision 😉

  6. December 18, 2009 4:12 am

    When I hear such stories I’m so grateful for being living on my own outside of Bombay!!! My parents like yours are fine with my choice to not get married at the moment and that I don’t ever want an arranged marriage. When I visited Bombay in July after 4 years, I got asked the question by about 3-4 people…funnily enough, not relatives and not aunties!!! They were all family friends and male…and I pretty much told them all to not hold their breath! I actually think the ladies were more sympathetic given that they probably were all married off early! 😛 I cannot believe though that you get asked this at job interviews!!! I don’t think it’s any of their business, is it??? This M-word topic really gets my goat! And next year I’ll be ‘over the hill’ I guess given that I turn 26. :p Oh…and when I was in India, I tended to avoid weddings like the plague! Would only go to the reception (for the food!) 😀 So managed to escape aunties like the ones you described…

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 18, 2009 1:37 pm

      Lucky you! Even I would like to believe that my marriage plans should not be of any consequence to my prospective employer, but apparently this question is asked only to women candidates to find out how long they plan to stay !
      Even I have started avoiding social gatherings.. this unnecessary interference is what I simply cannot take…

  7. December 18, 2009 3:02 pm

    I like the part…you seems to be the kind who would have a boyfriend..!!! Your aunts would surely faint if they see people in NUJS…!!

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 18, 2009 3:08 pm

      yes, agreed 🙂 That “you seem to the kind..” was part of her tactics to trick some positive answer out of me 😉

  8. December 23, 2009 5:34 am

    This is a very interesting and yet familar story! Being Jewish has its disadvantages, besides the obvious – never ending chocolate/dessert supply. If you’re interested in seeing the orthodox Jewish system of matchmaking, check out the documentary “Match & Marry” at You will see the stereotypical matchmakers in action.

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 23, 2009 10:34 am

      Suzannah, welcome to my blog… I shall check it out 🙂 Jewish marriages have never-ending chocolate and dessert supply????!!!??? Lucky people!

  9. December 23, 2009 4:51 pm

    “…all the good ones will be taken” – Thats exactly the way I feel about the snacks at bong weddings.

    On a serious note, telling them that I am looking for a muslim, black girl from Niger usually seems to shut them up for a week or two. Be very serious about this. Very serious and stubborn and it will go away. Remember – muslim, african guy.

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 23, 2009 4:58 pm

      No way! They will not believe me! However serious I sound, they will not believe me!

      Someone recently told me to tell the aunties that I am not interested in guys… I am wondering whether to use that next time 😉 That might just be more believable!

      These days my common answer is I am too much into my career right now and cite examples of the rare female cousins who are older and still unmarried. That seems to work out for me.

  10. December 29, 2009 9:52 pm

    Thanks for dropping by, and linking my post here.

    I can understand what you would have gone through, I actually started avoiding all kinds of family gatherings and family functions since past 7-8 years. Now the next one I would be attending would be my wedding 😀

    Very honestly the thing which is similar in your post and i felt too during my times, is the extended family and relatives have absolutely no respect for one’s privacy and life.

    Anyways best of luck for avoiding the dreaded hole of relatives trying to get u off like playing the long and short on the Dalal street. Hope u succumb only after you find the one you want 😉

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 30, 2009 11:01 am

      Prateek, welcome and congratulations for your impending doom; oops, sorry, wedding 😉

      I shall use all tricks in my books to avoid the dreaded “M” till I myself no more fear it; and no aunty can terrorize me any more 🙂 I got some wonderful ideas to be used from my readers.

      I was surprised to find that guys and girls actually think in similar lines on this issue!

  11. January 8, 2010 6:19 am

    May I ask a question?

    I see girls hate when people ask them ‘so, when are you getting married’?

    Also they get pissed off if someone asks ‘what are you looking for in a girl’?

    I mean, when some aunty asked ME this question I would answer very honestly. And In Detail.

    Therefore, if she was just making conversation or trying to pick on me, she would never do so again.

    Or two, if she was genuinely interested in helping me, it was helpful for her to know this, as I also was interested in getting married.

    • debosmita permalink*
      January 8, 2010 1:58 pm

      This will work out only when you are ready and looking; not when you are still kinda intimidated by the idea!
      Hence, as soon as I am ready, may be I shall enlist the help of these aunties 🙂

      On a different note, girls WILL get pissed if asked “what r u looking for in a GIRL”; unless she is not homophobic 😉

  12. January 21, 2010 7:48 pm

    great read..loved it…this is all so true na..these aunties won’t spare anybody..

    one of them asked my father in law whether i was his daughter and yet single..

    • debosmita permalink*
      October 7, 2010 1:02 pm

      I agree! I sometime feel whether all aunties have this side business called “match making” 🙂

  13. Sourabhi Sircar permalink
    December 29, 2010 11:54 am

    Right now.. I am undergoing this phase.. so I cn very understnd hw it feels.. urghhhhhhh….. Thnks to my supporting parents… 🙂

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