Monday, February 4, 2013

Tick Tock, Tick Tock Goes The Biological Clock

Last evening an amiable taxi driver started chatting with me on my five-minute ride home. I got to know he had been in the country for 22 long years, managed to go back to his country once every two years and every time tried to have a child. In his pursuit of producing kids he had successfully managed a 9 year old son, 2 year old daughter and a 3 month old son. He told me about how he has seen Dubai grow from nothing to the fairytale land that it is today, his issues with money and having three kids education and health to pay for.

A minute away from home he decided it was time he got to know my life story. So the first thing he asked me, “How long have you been married? How many kids do you have?” (in one sentence) for a second I was taken aback. Did I look married in a short skirt, blouse and jacket, all about in my corporate avatar in place or could he not imagine a single, independent woman could exist? However, not wanting to scandalize him, I decided to play along.

I told him I had been married for one year, my husband worked here and I hadn’t thought about kids because it was too early and I had no money to bring kids up. Thankfully, as soon as I finished my spiel we stopped in front of my building.

He looked back and with the most stern, serious eyes I have seen in a long time and told me that my biological clock was ticking. Money was in the hands of God and so were kids, both would eventually come with each other however my age wouldn’t come back.

My jaw, now almost in my lap took some time to adjust itself in place as I got out of the taxi and walked home.

Very often when I have gone out for social gatherings especially the ones infected by married couples, I have been asked where my Husband is. The taxi driver said it crudely, everyone else just sugar coats it.

When we are fresh out of college, we are told to make a career and stand on our own feet. Men can come later. By twenty-five we are at the edge of a social defined time frame labeling us as  – ‘Ready to get married.’ 

Post that it’s like a domino effect. Everyone you know is getting married year after year. Around the time you are thirty, you have lots of dressy wedding clothes worn once that now take up useless space in your wardrobe.

By then most women have fit into the second slot– ‘The married.’

Ever since the epic taxi ride I’ve been thinking, in the 2 prime decades of her life, are there only 2 slots a woman can fit into?

What about the ones who are happy and comfortable being alone?

Why do they need to explain the reason for their anchor not firmly parked in the confines of a socially defined term?

Where in the middle of the two slots do these women fit?

And so I wonder, with the clock in fast forward motion and new lines around the crows feet fast approaching, have we become so jaded that a white lie about a relationship status is way better than going through the a long, weary conversation on why despite having everything a man has and perhaps being more succesful, life is still incomplete without a ring on the finger?

1 comment:

Sangram said...

You don't need to prove anything to everybody you come into contact with. I wouldn't call that lying. Lying is when you're dishonest with yourself or the people you love, care for, or matter to.

Tell you something else. You should listen to a clock if it survives a drop from fifty feet. Literally or metaphorically. In the long run, the really long run, your personal opinion is the only one that matters, not society's.


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