Like in several other parts of the world, alarm bells ring for parents of daughters as soon as she reaches that "marriageable age". If you are someone whose unmarried status has been worrying her father and mother, you might identify with these thoughts you want to share with your parents...
1. Don't worry - it's not your fault.
All the family friends and their cousins keep asking you why I am not married and their woebegone expression makes you feel like you have not fulfilled your responsibility as a parent.
What I want to tell you is: "It's not your fault."
As a parent, you raised me, and there's no rule in the world that says that means you ought to ensure I get married to someone else by a certain time.
Love lives are complicated enough without bringing more people into it. Talk about awkward.
Yes, I know I am at that age where people say that my "options are limited". But to be honest, I would rather be single and in control of my own life than go for someone thinking: "The options are just going to get worse as time passes."
3. My time will come.
As cliched as it sounds, there is a right time for everything and it's up to us to work towards that. Perhaps we should both accept that now is not the time for me and let things take its natural course.
4. Yes, I know I am not getting any younger.
I don't need any reminders about my age and body clock. My mirror and society and new body aches remind me of that every day. But one of the things I learnt as I grew older is that age is not an indicator of maturity or personal growth - what you feel inside determines the energy with which you lead life. It's a calculated risk I am brave enough to take.
5. I am not against marriage.
Just because I have not liked any of the men who have been paraded in front of me does not mean I am against the institution of marriage or am a man-hater. Similarly, being ambitious in my professional life does not mean I am forsaking my personal life.
Most of all, thank you for bringing me up to be a brave, independent woman with a strong sense of self-identity. Thank you for reminding me all through my childhood and adolescence that I can do whatever I want - and I hope you remember that now too. Thank you for teaching me to respect myself and to recognise my own worth. Thank you for raising me with love and laughter so I can brush off society's judgements with amusement. Thank you for being my parents.