I attended a family wedding recently. I was glad I reached India just in time to catch it. Surrounded by my favourite people, I just soaked in the laughter and bonhomie. For a while the clock had turned back for my cousins and I. 

Catching up with cousins was definitely the high point but what I loved more than that was catching up with my nieces and nephews, some of whom are in their early twenties. I especially enjoy interacting with this age group because it gives me an opportunity to catch a glimpse of where the world is heading.

As I spoke to them, it amazed me as to how clued in they were about what they wanted and they seemed to have the focus that somehow our generation lacked. As the discussion meandered towards marriage, it was heartening to see that they didn’t shy away from the discussion. But nothing could have prepared me for the reactions that I got from the younger generation of my family. Most were wary of getting married. They would rather end up alone than marry, if they had their way.

The reason – they have safely assumed that marriage will cramp their style and they are in no mood to have their wings clipped. I was a tad horrified to see that a relationship that has traditionally been seen as an anchor is increasingly being viewed as a millstone around one’s neck.

Now I’m one of those who says that marriage isn’t a box to be ticked. If you find the right one, take the plunge, else, fly solo. It’s the loveliest of relationships if shared with the right person. Something is better than nothing, I say. But nothing is still better than nonsense. They nodded in agreement but we were stuck at the operative word ‘right person’.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds, they told me. How do you find THE ONE? And per chance if you do come across one, how would you know that (s)he is THE ONE?? I wondered how did I handle this dilemma when I was their age. Had the world changed so much in two decades?

Was our generation gullible? Was it our naivete or was it that we were simply able to trust more easily? Their cynicism and bitterness have saddened me. It ain’t that people have stopped falling in love. We do keep hearing stories that warm the cockles of our hearts and keep our faith in love alive. But the general sentiment is leaning towards what they choose to call ‘practicality’. In the name of being practical, somewhere I feel they seem to be building an impenetrable fortress around them.

Call me an incurable romantic, but I believe in letting love find us. From what I see now, they seem to be making that job difficult for love. There are too many ifs and buts, too many terms and conditions apply before we come to that box ‘I accept’.

As I bid them goodbye, my only prayer for them was that they allow love to find them. And that they all find love with their ‘right person’ who becomes the wind beneath their wings.

-Dr. Shivani Salil

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  • anuradha

    So well written.
    Nothing is still better than non sense is perfect….
    Ya…perceptions are changing faster than we can imagine.Two decades is actually a long period..I am seeing changes in my own generation ,just couple of years younger to to.
    Hope they find THE ONE and remain blessed ..

  • Sarita

    Our generation was the one that had just started weaning from the views of older generationt that was of the view that life was impossible without marriage . “ Who will support you ?”was for the girls and ‘Who will run your home? was for the boys .Even though women had stepped out of home , they needed to feel secure . Youngsters now are given freedom to follow their views . They can wait and watch love to find them .


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