It is a truth universally acknowledged that an unmarried woman in her late twenties must be in dire need of a husband. However little the feeling of that woman be known, this truth is so well fixed in the mind of her friends and relatives that they find themselves obliged to mention the somewhat unfortunate situation at least once in every twenty-four hours.

If this reminds you of Miss Austen, then you are among the more fortunate globally enlightened population. If this reminds you of your condition, on the other hand, then there’s a 99.9% chance that you’re coming from an Indian middle class family. Either ways, Congratulations!! The enlightened ones won’t need a hack and those in the latter group, take heart ‘cause help is here. I can’t promise that you won’t be married. No, that end can’t be altered I’m afraid, but you’ll be able to delay your happily forever after for the time being, and perhaps learn to survive the whole ordeal.

An Indian wedding is conceptualized very early in life. In fact, right from your birth the entire universe conspires to bring you and your soul mate together; that universe includes your parents, your grandparents, your relatives and later, your siblings and friends. Hence there is a high probability that from the day you landed on the face of this earth, your father would have done one of these two things

  • If you are a boy, he would have tried to increase your USP (through education, job etc) so that you could be marked to the highest bidder in marriage
  • If you are a girl, he would have set aside a small sum of money every month in order to bid for your future prospect

At some point in your life, they would have also told you not to have boyfriends or go out on a date because you are “too young to get involved in these things”. There is nothing morally wrong with this kind of strategy; after all marriages are but transactions with legal implications and the participants have every right to exercise caution. But then comes the day when you suddenly find that even though you are not old enough to have a boyfriend you are considered old enough to be married. Being in a denial mode, you initially brush it off casually, until the nagging starts and then you find yourself utterly befuddled with their constant pestering.

To beat this kind of long term planning and strategy is difficult but not impossible. If you want to hit a home run on this kind of turf, all you need to do is act – zombie, deaf, crazed out or simply lost (your choice) – whenever the topic is being discussed. Be in the character as much as you can, and I promise you’ll see the results within a few days. No, they won’t stop nagging you, but all of a sudden there will be a new-found confidence about you and to your utter delight you’ll discover that now you are less affected by their wailing’s than before.

HACK 1: Watch ‘Warm Bodies’ to learn the dead-pan stares of a Zombie

A disclaimer: One of the side effects of being a zombie might include suddenly finding yourself at the end of a deadline to find a husband. Now the one thing common about future-husbands is that you can’t pick them up from a mall. They might come in all shapes and sizes but when it comes to choosing one, you can’t try all five of them and then select one. Of course the famous Indian arranged marriage does allow a prototype of window shopping, but it comes with a lot of extra baggage. So if you do find yourself on a deadline and not in a mood to carry the luggage then ladies, hold on to your Martinis and bring out your fun & wild side (if possible) to miss the deadline, seemingly for no fault of yours.

HACK 2: Watch ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days’ ten times to learn the tricks

From the time you start shopping for husbands, there would invariably come that one prospect on whom everyone, apart from you, would be unnaturally keen on. But your heart knows the truth and you can’t find a good reason to get out. Enter the astrologer (Of course you need to bribe him, but don’t tell anyone I told you that). If you are of the superstitious type and believe in magic, don’t hesitate to take the help of sadhus/witches. For all you know, they might just work. But remember, all magic comes with a price-tag.

HACK 3: Watch ‘Practical Magic’ to learn spells and hexes.

Okay so you have a boyfriend and all this while you were thinking what’s in it for you. Or maybe, you have started liking one of the prospects without realizing it. The next step is to ensure the other person also feels the same way, so you don’t end up getting snubbed. A great soul has once said that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, so turn to your respective birds and get a reality check done. Once you are confident that your bird is not a cuckoo, broach the subject with your parents. Two things can happen at this junction – either they will be overjoyed with happiness or will be outraged at your choice. Either ways, you have fixed the date of your doom, so once again, Congratulations!! Now there’s only one thing left to do – sit back and enjoy the pandemonium while your shopping list is being drawn out and invites sent in.

HACK 4: Watch ‘Notebook’ to believe in forever after

Finally, your D-day has arrived and you are hyperventilating, thinking ‘bout the sweeping hurricane that is gonna claim your personal space for the rest of your life. Don’t forsake the Martinis, girls – you’ll need them now more than ever. Just don’t turn up absurdly drunk in your own wedding, ‘cause every moment is going to be captured and relived for the rest of your life. Just remember one simple thing; the guy is as scared as you are, probably more. Hold his hand and tell yourself “Aall is well” as you watch the story unfold.

HACK 5: Watch ‘The Devil wears Prada’ to learn survival tactics..A successful marriage is an art, and you need to flaunt it with style.     

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NOTE: A DISCLAIMER

I personally have nothing against the institution of Holy Matrimony. By all means, say your vows and kiss the bride (or the groom). After all, life is too great a burden to be placed on a single human being. Sometimes you do need a second, a third or even a fourth person to lighten the load.

[It is my belief that at present India is once again standing at the confluence of two different ways of life – the east meets the west – as a result of which her social, economical and cultural structures are witnessing an Armageddon of sorts that’ll no doubt create a new era in its wake; but as a price (with all magic comes a price), it will also leave behind a trail of experimental guineas. A majority of these experimental guineas are the youth, whom you see hanging out at a McD joint because it is cheaper than KFC and “cooler” than the local ‘chatwallah’ though not as full-flavoured. Those too, who take part in rallies demanding better government transparency, but don’t hesitate to bribe officials for a driving license. And those too who wants their wife to be “traditional & homely” and their girlfriend to be “naughty & lonely”. Why am I ranting? Because this post has got everything to do with those youth.]

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