So you’re in your mid-twenties, single and free – or so you like to think. Just don’t mention that to auntie-ji. Then the following will happen: “Beta, when are you going to get married?”

But before you roll your eyes for the umpteenth time and risk a chappal to the face, just grin and bear it. I mean, what else can you do?

This isn’t your best friend’s wedding. No, it’s not your favorite cousin walking down the aisle. It’s some family friend you can’t stand, or have probably never even spoken to in your entire life. But your mom has dragged you along,  so you better put that fake smile on now.

1. Your phone is your new best friend.


What else do you think free wifi is for? You better pull out that phone and text like it’s the last thing you’ll ever do. Just don’t text your “secret man” because auntie-ji with her binoculars from six tables away will suddenly appear. You can always do what I do and go for a brisk walk, waving your phone around and doing star jumps like an air marshall.

I mean, what else can you do?

You’re pretending you’re looking for a phone signal, okay?

2. Plan your exit strategy.


You have to make sure you know where your fire exits are.

How else will you run away from people trying to set you up with their sons? Grab your girls and go! You have make-up to fix anyway and that M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick isn’t going to re-apply itself. Let’s not forget about those flawless mirror selfies.

You’ve got all those Snapchat filters to try too!

3. Food, glorious food!


Doesn’t everyone love food? Just start talking about the shish kebabs, samosas and masala fish – people will soon forget you’re single, trust me.

You better pull out that phone and text like it’s the last thing you’ll ever do.

Plus, masala fish is the greatest of all time, so we’ll just discuss that in-depth before eating it. All of it. Just make sure you save some room for biryani too.

4. Hide in groups.


Just please, for the love of God, DO NOT get cornered alone by the matchmaking mafia with their dossier of eligible bachelors.

“Beta, I know a nice boy, a doctor, you should consider him,” is not something you want to hear when you are drowning yourself in endless cups of scalding hot chai. Remember, telling auntie-ji “He isn’t the right guy for me,” won’t cut it.

Just carry on drinking your tea and escape into the nearest crowd.

5. Distract. Distract. Distract.


This is when wearing a pair of five-inch Beyonce-esque heels comes in handy. 

“So, are you seeing anyone then?” asks your best friend’s mom.

Answer? “No, but OH MY GOD, look at that blister on my toe! My foot is falling off! Call 911, aunty! I’m not being funny but I think I might be dying!”You can always collapse and roll over for full dramatic effect, just make sure you stay away from the stairs!

This also works if you get dragged up by your hair to dance (or sway from side-to-side) to Bollywood floor fillers such as Tanu Weds Manu’s ‘Sadi Gali’  or Roy’s ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan.’  So in this case, I suggest you pretend you’ve broken your ankles. It’s easy, I swear.

6. If all else fails, just lie.


“You are getting old, you should get married now!”

Answer? “YES, I agree! Why didn’t I think of that before?”

“I’m sorry you can’t keep your nose out of my business, aunty!” works, too – just make sure you don’t say it out loud.

“So, are you seeing anyone then?” asks your best friend’s mom.

Just remember: when you get married? That is up to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your twenties and learning to fly or in your thirties and soaring through the sky. Whether it’s next week, next month, next year, in five years’ time, or not at all – it’s your call.

So go forth and do what makes you happy. You have plenty of time, and no auntie-ji is going to make you feel worthless for not being married by a select age. What even is a sell-by-date anyway? When it happens, it happens, but married or not, you are still worth your weight in gold.

You are your own knight in shining armor. You do not need saving. You are still you.

Don’t ever let them tell you any different.

P.S: Don’t forget your Kashmiri tea on the way out – that is what you came for after all.

  • Shehnaz Khan

    Shehnaz Khan is a journalist and writer from the UK, with bylines on publications such as Yahoo, The Independent and Marie Claire. She holds a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from City University London. When she's procrastinating or complaining about writer’s block, you'd usually find her binge-watching Netflix, snap-chatting her cat or at a Beyoncé concert. Oh… and she likes coffee. Lots of coffee. Despite the fact Starbucks can never spell her name right.