Second innings?

 A few days back, my beautician who is also a good friend mentioned in the course of a conversation that her elder sister who was widowed at a young age, tied the knot a second time at the age of 65. A chance encounter with a handsome stranger, a few conversations and they decided to get betrothed. She did not have any kids, had lived her life in London, was widowed 15 years back and had moved to Mumbai. She yearned for company and someone to share her life with at this stage of life and lo! behold! she got what she wished for. My mum and I were really happy to hear this. India is changing at least some of us are I thought.
On introspecting about this – a few things that struck me are- well maybe my statement about India changing does not hold good. In this particular case the woman had no children so it was a sole decision. But what about widows or divorcees who have children? Can they think of marrying again? How receptive would their children/ grandchildren be to the idea of their considering re marriage. One might argue that the mindset of people has changed these days, we are more open minded but is that true? Around 2 years back I read about an organisation which was started by a man in Gujarat , the purpose of which was to provide a forum for remarriage specifically for people in the age group of 45 and above. A newspaper article carried this story – where they even shared about a lady who was in her 50’s and her children who were settled abroad registered their mother to participate in an event organised by this forum. They had lost their father many years back and now both the kids were married, had good jobs and were settled with their respective families. They sensed the loneliness their mother felt and were happy if she could find a companion. But how many of us think like them? Most of the cases children resist the idea of seeing their mother happy with someone other than their father. But for someone who is no more or no longer a part of your life, isn’t it time to let go and think of those who are around?No one is going to take your fathers place. If your mother remarries why not look at him as your mothers companion. What’s wrong in that? At one point your mother sacrificed a lot for you, she struggled through those initial years of bringing you up, shuttled between office and home, hardly did she have time to think about herself. Her happiness, how does she like to spend her time. And when that time finally came- when you were all grown up, married and settled down with your spouse, had your job to keep you busy, and friends and family to fill up your weekends. Did you pause to think about her?  More than anything else, it’s company that one yearns for in the sunset of life. Or do you expect that as she has spent her whole life looking after you, she can now keep herself busy looking after your kids. When it comes to remarriage society has always viewed it as something not desirable, more so in the case of women. And  if someone who is already a divorcee, then its blasphemous right!.
Here we are talking of remarriage of someone who is not ” young” and hence the illogical but often asked question ” but why at this age? You should spend your time  in the company of your grandchildren and in religious places. Who has made these rules ?  When I reach that stage in my life, no doubt I would love to spend time with my grandchildren, but I would also like to spend time doing what I like, be it reading, writing, travelling and nothing like a candid  conversation with someone which makes me feel content. I would feel the need of a partner more at that stage rather than now ( with a demanding job and 9 month old super energetic baby who keeps me literally on my toes the those day). A partner with whom I can share simple joys of life, a walk in the park or just a shoulder to lean upon. For society s mindset to change, it’s important that we bring that change- first in our families, among our near ones if we can be open and accept the decision of a woman in the family who wishes to start life afresh with a partner, and accept it wholeheartedly without any hesitation and with open arms, only then can we see the change in  society one day. That day when mothers who need not brush aside such thoughts just because their children would not be comfortable, that day when age would not be a bar to marry / re marry. I hope this doesn’t remain a wishful but unattainable dream but it does see the light of the day.

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