Antara Kar



Antara Kar


Happy Or Happily Ever After?

Happy Or Happily Ever After?

5 mins

We have been told bedtime stories for centuries. They have been the source of inspiration that shaped our childhood dreams – and yet, fairytales are riddled with archaic stereotypes.

Pick stories of Cinderella or Rapunzel. Both have a commonality– a villain (witch), handsome prince, beautiful princess and a for sure happily ever after.

But have you thought what Snow White or the Sleeping Beauty has in common? Apart from shining skin, glossy hair, an hourglass figure and a life full of misery. And on one fine day, she is rescued by a prince charming who comes riding on a horse and take her to his palace. 

I feel the character of the prince is glorified to the level of masculinity that is disrespectful for both the genders. I mean think, of girls being idolized as a princess – a commodity of desire who’s to be kept away from her dreams. 

Notions were built: 

Fair is beautiful.

Beauty and happiness are synonymous.

Being macho is manly.

Unfortunately, the focal point of all stories gathered the idea of the celebration of matrimony. No one tells us what happens after the marriage – the crux!

Years later, I was irked to pen down my own princess story.

Fast forward to 21st century... 

Now, marriage (as Disney showcased for years) is considered optional or a mode of make-beliefs.

Ask a woman of today – Do you Dream of your wedding? Or you dream about your career?

Most common answers will be:

“Let me date to find out.”

“It’s hard to find someone whose world views are similar to mine.”

“My career clock and biological clock are conflicting. Where is time for a romantic relationship?”

“Will I be able to balance the sand clock (of family and career) at the appropriate time? “

 “If I find a soul mate who appreciates me (as a whole) and allows me to be who I am – Let’s make it Two to Tango. 

“I am used to freedom and want my privacy to be respected. I am vocal about everything. So maybe not a marriage material”

The modern woman has come a long way from the past. She has seen the struggles from the earlier generations and made education her weapon. Thus she stands strong. And so is her expectation! And why not?

When you earn your own money, pay your bills, have a degree or 2, take care of your appearance, and develop yourself in other fields, you expect a man who won’t bring you down to a lower level of your life by enslaving you.

Her duties have evolved from serving her husband and family alongside a businesswoman. She has pushed her boundaries from the four walls of the house to the actual foreground where money matters are generated.

She can’t accept a man who doesn’t appreciate her efforts. 

The sheer reality has changed over the years with more and more women coming to the workforce. The top ranks in education, politics, media and science being taken by women. This gave her financial powers and the voice of her own.

And then came the marriage market with it's rigid bases. The standards for both man and woman are preset in our society. 

If you are a man, this applies to you...

You should own a place of your own, big bank balance and a non-bothering family.

You should be handsome and in good physique. No receding hairline and exceeding waistline.

And if you are a woman, this is for you..

Milky white skin, attractive, slim and look like 22 years old.

Are you beauty with brains? But are you homely?

Fantasies and ideals preoccupy our minds. We are too caught up in finding the perfect version. We tend to treat our partner as an option.

 For a relationship to become mature, healthy, and strong, it needs time to blossom. The problem is, most people nowadays simply don’t have the patience. Most of us are guilty of wanting something but not willing to work for it. We rush into relationships but end them as soon as we find something better. When something goes wrong, we’d rather start over with someone new than try to work things out with our partners. But in wanting too much, too fast our relationships fail.

My dream of a flawless Happily ever after started fading when the reality around me changed. I started concentrating on being Happy. 

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s in everyday things like self-achievement, appreciation, doing charity, learning new skills, innovation or exploring the world. It’s all about perception. Trust me.

One shouldn’t believe that happiness is present in what I don’t have. Comparison often brings complexity. Like the monumental events: career, promotion, assets, marriage, children, grandchildren etc. This gives us a limited scope of happiness and we start aiming the next milestone one after another.

Soon you will be realizing that having a partner is the icing on the cake. A part of life that we consciously choose.

 Love is not always exciting, passionate and intense. 

It’s also about a crying baby on lap, morning tea in hand, a full pot tiffin-box in preparation, getting his overgrown male child(husband) ready for work, a ring at the doorbell while hanging on the phone trying to get a good deal with a business partner... And in the middle of all that a mother, wife, daughter-in-law (Indian case) and a businesswoman who tries to get the situation under control. 

If you can imagine the scenario, then leap into marriage – the sacred bond of friendship, equality, trust, mutual respect and patience.

All that we want in a relationship does not come neatly tied in a bow. It requires a lot of partnership to hold the bond.

Marriages are made in heaven" is an extremely famous quote but I could never agree with it! Rather, if someday I get to meet the person behind this highly fairytale-ish belief, I would get him arrested for a felony. Marriages are made on earth and a lot of work goes into making it remotely earthly, forget divine! 

Lasting relationships depend on two people primarily involved. No amount of witness can hold a marriage until both keep it alive. The ones made in the heart rust with time, the ones made in the mind lack intimacy, the ones made in both heart and mind last. Heaven comes nowhere in it. A happy or a happily ever after is only a matter of choice.

Rate this content
Log in

Similar english story from Drama