By Rijuta Gupta
I understand the relevance of marriage as a social institution. However, none of the four major considerations – financial, social, physical and emotional – are strong enough to persuade me to get married.
I am financially independent and my personal decisions are not dictated by social obligations. Although I do experience my fair share of physical attractions, these aren’t strong enough to weaken my resolve. Emotionally, I am comfortable being alone. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult for a man to enter into my life.
I am 44 years old and haven’t married yet. Earlier on, family and friends had concerns that I might regret my decision later in my life. As the years roll by, however, I have noticed a shift in their attitude. They have accepted that it is my life and I can live the way I wish.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t like companionship. I do, but my companion does not have to be my lover. He or she can be my friend. If the companion turns out be a lover as well, it would be a bonus. The only condition is happiness. I want to live happily, be it with marriage or without it.
Recently, I adopted a daughter and the kind of acceptance I have received even from some supposedly conservative quarters is heart-warming. There certainly are cynics and sometimes I get irritated by their reactions. But cynicism loses its steam as soon as I remind myself of the affection that I receive from others.
Some may label it my naivety, but I consider myself farsighted in this regard. I have tried distrusting people and it makes me a bitter person. Conversely, receiving others’ offering with gratitude keeps my belief in love alive. And love is nothing but a belief!
I have observed that an individual’s desires and aspirations are often shaped by societal norms. But I could never identify myself with stereotypes associated with women and their choices.
Consequently, my personal choices have not followed a set pattern. Sometimes, I get hurt and at other times I may have hurt others. Gradually, I have understood that neither anyone else nor I did so deliberately. This understanding has further fortified my belief in owning my decisions and their consequences. This in turn gives me the courage to make difficult choices.
No one else but I am responsible for my life: this is my motto and I am lucky to have parents who have not tried to change my mind. Because of my parents and the relationship they had, I believe in the synergy between men and women. After losing my father many years ago and the adoption of my daughter last year, we are an all-female family of three.
I am a civil engineer and did my Master’s in environmental engineering, and I also love writing poetry. My recently released novel, Love Alive, is a reflection of my experience, observation and beliefs. Through this book, I have made an aesthetic attempt to de-scandalise conflicts and confusions associated with love. It presents love through various themes and types, be it with people or our surroundings. There’s no better inspiration for fiction than real life.
Rijuta Gupta is a Faridabad-based engineer and author. Her debut novel is available on Amazon.
First published in eShe’s January 2021 issue