Thursday, March 2, 2017

Why I am unmarried*

Indians prefer the term ‘unmarried’ to ‘single’ because it sounds more damaged, and insulting; just the way we like it! ;) So moving on,

According to the astrologers:

The Family Curse!
My grandfather was a stalwart fellow, a man of the soil with muscles of steel. But he wasn’t the best of men. He married twice. His first wife, my father’s mother, was an imposing woman with the worst luck. We were told my grandfather’s roving eye decided she was too much of an obstacle.  She was found dead, and he married again. Though my relatives accept it as fact, no one has actually come forward and corroborated the story, but astrologers do say that she was killed and that in her final moments, she laid a terrible curse on her husband, one that had to do with his progeny. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to astrology:

The Flaw!
My horoscope is hilarious. It’s like the cosmos couldn’t decide whether I should suffer or not. So in one of the ‘houses’ they placed the dreaded Saturn, which would automatically make me ‘flawed’. For those of you who know, it’s called Chevvai Dosham. But hold on! They went ahead and placed another planet, our lofty neighbor Mars, in the same house. So yippee-yippee-yay-yay, the evil has been negated! Or has it?! There’s no consensus on this. Some of the learned pandits scratch their heads and say I’m good to go. Others look at me with a piercing eye and shake their heads- it’s hopeless. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to my late father:

No Daughter of Mine!
My father was a tortured soul. He had one of the lousiest childhoods a person can have. He emerged strong in some ways and weak in others. He wanted to be a ‘good’ person, in the deepest sense of the word. He mostly managed to, with his generosity, integrity and kindness. But he was still a man of his times. Women could not and really, should not aspire to be equal to men. Which basically meant our relationship was doomed. When one of the ‘grooms’ he lined up reported back to his parents after talking to me, he said that I was ‘not fit for family’. My dad agreed with him. Hence, I am unmarried.
According to my mom:

The best!
“When will you get married? No one is good enough for my Poorni.... There must be a guy out there....Are you looking?...Who will be with you in the end?...If you don’t marry and have kids, where is the proof of your existence after you’re gone?..... Understanding is important....You must also adjust...Look at that couple on TV- such a good relationship....When will you get married?”

She tries so hard, my mom. She’s a darling, the very best. But she was miserable throughout her marriage and I never could save her. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to my relatives:

Does not compute!
There are two main reasons why I am unmarried, according to my relatives.
  1. Thimuru – this is a unique Tamil word that marries headstrongness with pride. I have plenty of it, they say. I want to say they’re wrong...but hey, when I extend my eyebrows to their fullest height and look down my nose at them when I’m telling them I’ll take care of my own business, I can’t really blame them. They’re not used to this weird thing called ‘independence’.
  2. Valarpu- basically, faulty upbringing. I can’t count the number of times my parents have been told, “But she can’t say no if you insist. Just fix the marriage and tell her.” It’s shocking that in this day and age,  there exists a large section of the Indian population who think their kids are to do with as they please. Like possessions or pets. “What kind of girl is that, who won’t listen to her parents?” The kind that has a brain, folks, the kind that has a brain.
So, summing up, thimiru and valarpu. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to my siblings:

Hell Spawn!

My sister's nickname for me is 'Cinder-villi' as in a Cinderalla who, granted, does her chores but is too villainous for words. She believes I was spawned in the cesspools of hell and I searched for her through the worlds before finally finding her and orchestrating my birth. My brother wouldn't go that far, but he wouldn't exactly protest it either. Sometimes, I believe it all. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to my friends:

“It’s a shame, really. Come, let’s go eat.”
And they say they care! Hmpf! Not one accidental encounter with an intelligent, well-read guy they just happen to know. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to my pets:

“Stay with us forever and ever and ever and.....” The lights of my life. I would give up everything for them. People say I love animals more than I do humans. They’re right. With every fibre of my being, I do. Hence, I am unmarried.

According to me:

Dealbreakers. I think that when you have an actual list, it grows as you age. A less fancy way of putting that would be- the older I get, the less bullshit I’m willing to put up with. Hence, I am unmarried.


Seriously though, it isn’t the easiest question to answer. I’ve always shied away from an ordinary life. Not that it is less, but simply because I wither away when I try to conform. Also, no one can say I’ve made a success of anything- I don’t have anything tangible to show for having lived the way I want to. I am not even deliriously happy. But I am at peace- which is the only thing that really matters to me (in my internal world, that is.) Finding a partner, a marriage that doesn’t destroy that peace, that only adds to it, implies a compatibility on so many levels that, to me, this question of why I’m not married yet is not really puzzling at all. I’m astonished instead, that so many people are!

So much so, that I think that should be the new question for this era- why are you married?

I think I’m onto something here!  ;)


  1. Thanks for sharing this with us Poorni. Look out for Dutch guys. Many of us love independent women. Unequal partners cannot be best friends, soul mates and lovers in one person. I myself am happily married to one hell of an independent lady.

  2. Beautifully written and a very accurate portrayal of Tamil culture :) And I love the lines - that it implies a compatibility on so many levels - so true! I wonder how many of those who ask, can answer the question if their marriage adds to the love and peace in their lives...Fantastic post and love the crazy visuals!! :)