When I was around five, I had this vision of me as a 29 year old. The age I am now. I had this notion that I would be a doctor who helped birth babies and I saw myself as a tall, fair woman, slender, in a bottle green saree and a big bindi.
The dream aged with time. I added a loving family – a husband, children, a very happy mother-in-law and a very content father-in-law and loads of relatives. A single child, growing up with borrowed cousins (kids who weren’t really of your blood) made you dream all sorts of (what today seems like asinine) things.
Only the big bindi and love for sarees have turned true. So yes, I used to have boringly conventional dreams and ambitions. Be a surgeon, marry, make your own babies, grapple with family and a career – though because it was a dream it would all be remarkably easy and there would be no grappling.
Reality, we all know, is nothing like that.
And I am no longer a naive five or a twenty-seven year old. Because I naively thought that I could make the woman, whom I considered prospective mom-in-law happy even when I was the ripe old age of twenty-seven! I’ll never forget how I apologised to her for no fault of mine and how I invited her out for lunch not once, but twice. Shudder. Shudder.
I’ve heard from sources like mom and other assorted conventional thinkers lately that they are worried about my life – its conspicuous lack of a husband, my irreverence towards the world. My loud booming laughter when even a short smile would most likely be inappropriate. My cleavage.
Apparently there are people who are concerned about my future and there are those who are waiting for me to take the fall so they can gloat and laugh and feel good about how their boring conventionality eventually won.
And while this is not an explanation or a competition, it is a reassurance. I want to tell everyone the way it is simply because I feel like it. And do remember that you have done nothing to deserve it.
I have a responsibility I enjoy – looking after my parents. It is very rewarding and spiritually satisfying. This also means I never have to join any bloody religion.
I have a family (again not related by any ties of blood, thank God) that will always be by my side.
I have friends and acquaintances whom I can hang out, enjoy a few drinks and laughter with. Oh and the most scandalous of all – the occasional cigarette.
My health might just get better in a couple of months or at least in a year.
I have great emotional fulfillment and stability thanks to a constant relationship with two men who mean the world to me. And to whom I shall forever be indebted to for the way they first held a mirror to my life, and then held me when I crumbled at the vision it presented. And they are really the reason I am the person I am today.
These men are better than any husband any woman could have because they really treat me as if I were indeed a queen. And they don’t mind at all that I nag them, bully them, blackmail them emotionally, show them transparently and shamelessly how needy I am.
It’s incredible but true – they love me in spite of all this. And I have never had to play hard to get. Or play any other sort of game that a woman typically needs to, to get men to fall in love with her.
And I’d do anything for them. Even change to a conventional woman were they to ask that of me. But the beauty is that they never will because they think I’m super cool any which way I am.
And I am hoping someday they will love me and my baby the same amount and we can really be a family, because I never knew I could love someone, let alone two people, as much as I love them both.
So, yes, I will have a child without waiting for a man to appear on the horizon and making it all about joint-accounts and a disgruntled mother-in-law.
So in other words, ‘Guess what, I am happy. I do live a colourful life. This was not my dream either but I am so bloody glad that it is my life now. And no, nothing you imagine will ever get you close to the truth that my life is. And I don’t regret a single thing. And I am bloody perfect as I am. And now please take a flying fuck!’