Kajol Said Her Father Didn’t Want Her To Marry Young But She Followed Her Heart. Is There A “Right Age” To Marry, Anyway?
It seems like every other person has an opinion on what the correct age for getting married is. For someone, the late 20s is a shameful age to be single. Meanwhile, another person could be above 30 and still not be looked at like they’ve got a contagious disease. So the other day, when I sat with two of my cousins, we got talking about when they’d like to get married. My youngest cousin sis, who is barely 19 wants to get married by 25, voluntarily. Yup, she chooses to, and believe me, she is far more liberal than any of us. On the other hand, my other cousin, who is also liberal said she doesn’t want to marry at least until she is 28-29. I am 29 and I want to marry but I am not in a hurry, even though some people would love it if I do. Kajol got married at 24 and that’s okay too. Except her dad wasn’t in support of her decision.
22 years of being married to Ajay Devgn and they’ve built a good life for themselves and their family. They have two children – Nysa and Yug. “My daughter is my heart and my son is my lungs,” she wrote in an Ask me session on Instagram. She has often shown her loving and fun side when it comes to her family. In the same session, when someone asked her what advice she’d like to give fellow mothers, she wrote, “Keep ur patience and know that school will start soon!” What a cheeky response! Earlier this year Ajay shared their throwback picture and captioned it, “Feels like it’s been twenty-two years since the lockdown began.” They seem to complement each other well and their family seems just perfect together. Kajol has often spoken about her love for them and if you ask us, all things turned out well for her.
But in retrospect, her father Shomu Mukherjee wasn’t very happy about her decision to get married. She was at the peak of her career when she decided to tie the knot. And it was an era when actresses lost out on roles, simply because of their marital status.
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Kajol: “My father was against me getting married at 24”
In an interview with Mid-Day, Kajol said, “My father was against me getting married at 24. He said that I should work more before I tie the knot. My mom was my biggest supporter and told me to go with my gut. I have been lucky that everybody around has always stood up for me. So, I did exactly what I wanted to do. I didn’t have to face patriarchy. Or maybe I faced it without realising, because I can be oblivious in some situations.”
It was actually her mother Tanuja who encouraged her to go with her instincts and take her own call. “”I never had a rebellion as such with my mother. I had the most amazing relationship with her because she is amazing. Everything that she did in my life, every decision that she made, she explained it to me in a way I could understand. Whether it was my parents breaking up, whether it was going to work or being a working woman. Whatever the bigger points in my life, she sat down, discussed with me, explained it to me, she waited for me to understand, figure things out and accept them before she got up from her chair and said ‘discussion over’,” she added. I guess she trusted Kajol and her abilities to make her own decisions and figure what’s right for her, instead of thinking about societal norms.
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Is there a right age to get married?
Some people say that marrying late is the key to success. “People who marry earlier rather than later may face greater challenges due to the added responsibilities of starting a family at a relatively early age. This can include greater difficulty in reaching their educational goals or putting in the added time needed to launch a career. Early marriage can also occur due to increased pressure from family members or an unexpected pregnancy, which can lead to greater emotional distress,” writes Dr. Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. in Psychology Today.
Dr. Wendy L. Patrick writes in Psychology Today that the right time to marry isn’t just all about age and is specific to a couple or an individual. “The “right time” for marriage is personal to every couple and is impacted by a variety of factors—age being just one of many. Daters desiring a family might interpret the sound of a biological clock ticking as wedding bells ringing, but there is much more to the analysis,” she writes. Dr. Patrick further adds, “The decision to marry should be reflective, not rushed. Both parties should take as much time as necessary to ensure they are prepared to make a lifelong commitment. Thoughtful, patient, consideration is time saved in the end and increases the chances of couples walking down the aisle and into the sunset.”
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And Kajol did just that. At 24, she was more settled than most of us and she had her priorities set. If she felt ready, she was! The thing is women who marry early are often seen as unambitious and those who marry late as too ambitious. But it’s all about a person’s priorities. It’s okay to put family before work, it’s also okay to put work before finding a husband. What is not okay is trying to put women into boxes engineered by our society. Of course, her dad meant well. But we’re glad she was a strong woman, even at 24, and followed her heart!
Kajol’s Tribhanga, directed by Renuka Shahane and co-starring Mithila Palkar and Tanvi Azmi is out on Netflix now. It is a story about a dysfunctional family and how these women navigate through their life situations. “I wanted to capture the dysfunctional family dynamics when the core, the relationship with the mother, is shaky and unstable. I added three different generations to better reflect the intergenerational perspective in looking at the same event in three different ways,” she said in a statement.