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Chronicles of a Single Brown Female: Motherly Pressure

Red Lips By Pragya Kothari
Red Lips By Pragya Kothari*

Six months ago, my mother called me around 12 AM. I didn’t pick up. I never pick up my mother’s phone calls the first time around. I wait for her to leave me a ridiculous voice mail and then I decide whether I even want to address the situation.

I listened to the voicemail and it went a little like this: “Beta, I had a dream that you were running into the night wearing a pink nightie. There was a serpent chasing you. Call me back, it’s important.”

“What is a nightie?” I thought to myself…and then I resumed with my life.

The very next day she called me again. This time I picked up.

“Hi mom,” I said.

“Did you get my phone message?” she demanded in a thick Indian accent. It is strange how nothing about my mother’s accent has changed in the thirty years she has lived in America. Sometimes, I wonder if she is purposely preserving her accent to remain authentic.

“Yes I did, thank you,” I answered automatically, not even realizing which message she was referring to. My mother leaves me 10 to 15 messages regularly, so it’s tough to keep track.

“What thank you? Did you even listen to it?”

“Oh …err, yes, what was the dream about?” I exclaimed.

“You have to get married.” she answered, very matter-of-factly.

“What?”

“Get married!” she yelled. I heard the TV in the background; she was watching one of those Indian TV serials. I blame them partially for her erratic behavior.

“Ok mom, I’ll get right on that,” I replied apologetically, as if it was my fault that I wasn’t married. As if I hadn’t rolled the dice with every eligible bachelor in the Tri-state area.

“This is serious. Subhash Uncle’s daughter, she is your age and has two children.” she responded. Oh good ole’ Subhash Uncle’s daughter…with her domestic existence, she never finished college, but according to Auntie Nation, she has won the game of life and I am failing.

“Tell her, ‘Congratulations on the stretch marks!’ on my behalf,” I replied, chuckling to myself. “I’ll call you later mom, I am at work.”

“Don’t try to change the subj—” I cut her off and put the phone down.

This is just a small, isolated example of the daily marriage assaults I get – not proposals, assaults. I get assaulted with questions and comments as to why I am not married. And I’m not the only one. If you are a South Asian woman, the day you turn 23 years old, the chase is on.

So why am I single? Why am I not married, you ask? It’s simply because things have changed greatly since the day of my mother’s romantic arranged marriage to my father. I am a 25-year-old, smart, successful woman. I have a master’s degree and a ton of disposable income, and I have choices.

I chose to hunt for the perfect guy – the guy who fits all my criteria for an ideal life partner. I planned to spend the summer looking for him. I decided to date like I have never dated before; I decided I was going to find him (if he exists). And I decided that while I went on these dates, reader, I would fill you in on what the desi dating pool is like.

I have a lot of girlfriends who took this journey before me and came back empty handed and disheartened. No offense to them, but I think they did three crucial things wrong:

1. They fell for the first guy who charmed them; they didn’t really date. They just met one man and stuck to him like glue.

2. They didn’t play hard to get. Men love a good chase. Women get so excited about getting familiar that they forget to keep men on their toes.

3. They didn’t have fun. Dating should be fun! You can’t take it too seriously or it’ll destroy you.

Wish me luck!

— DIL

Read the Chronicles of a Brown Girl Series

7 thoughts on “Chronicles of a Single Brown Female: Motherly Pressure

  1. Nothing wrong w/ being single, successful and telling your parents off.. But be ready to be single for a very long time.  Being picky isn’t the most attractive trait what marriage is about finding someone special who is not 100% perfect for everyone to see, but perfect for you.   

    Money, having a great job, means nothing in life, if you can’t share it with a loved one. 

  2. fact: if a person learns another language after the age of 11ish, they will always speak with an accent from their native tongue. chill out on your momma and give her some credit. you dont sound smart right there. 

    rather, you can explain to her why you dont feel comfortable settling down right now, which is perfectly fine and normal. dont bash her culture, its part of yours too whether you like it or not. many south asian women in our generation choose to finish school (including md, phd, not just masters) and then get married. theres nothing wrong with that. 

    advice: perfect men dont exist. relationships are about finding someone you can live and share and compromise with. dating should be fun, but its about learning about the other person and how you can work together as a couple. not about you and your needs. 

    also, use protection. 

  3. the reason why you birds are single is because of your bogus demands. You sheep roll out a list like you going grocery shopping. Stop being picky, go find your peter pan he is everywhere now. Break out from your bubble lifestyle and step into reality. Most of you cattle are still lingering in the matrix, living in your subjective digital 3d lives.

    Non of you can face the truth, thus you slither in your cacoon like insects waiting for thou art romeo. Use your critical thinking, and logic. i know its hard, i know your brain has been molested, desensitized by all sorts of tavistock creations.  go git ! find that hero . look at your parents, they married whoever they saw thy front of their eyes. find thee  beeeech!!

  4. We often find our parents to be out of touch..but it seems that Indian culture pushes for marriage just for the sake of appearances, etc., and spends too much time concerned with what others think.  It does sound so 1940’s america when whites thought they were too good and superior to others.

    How many Indian marriages are misearble: husband’s cheating or being abusive in other ways.  Just like in other cultures it exists.  Getting married to please someone else or because we are getting older or to have children just seems so illogical.  Hopefully, as the younger Indians push back some of these illogical ideas will fall away.  That does not mean there should be a free sex for all mindset..but allow love to be found vs trying to force it.

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