Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reflections (on Choice Marraige)

I was reading IHM’s blog today on the subject of arranged marriages. I really have nothing against arranged marriage. Seems to work pretty well for many. But there is nothing wrong in choice marriages either that's all. Even so I have found people to be ridiculously prejudiced against choice marriages. Let me tell you three incidents which had caught my interest even years after it has happened. Involves people who are not in my life anymore. I don't think there is any chance of them coming upon this blog either;). This is just for showing the mentality of people towards choice marriages.


Someone I know saw a photo of my husband (then fiancé) and remarked "love is really blind". You might wonder why she said it. My hubby is a bit to the darker side and in India - yes the people who cry foul about racism for every silly thing are quite racist themselves. Fairness is next to godliness and darkness is..... Well opposite. Now this person had a typical arranged marriage. The only thing she knew of her husband was his job and his name.
Somehow I could not but compare our situation.
When I chose my husband, I knew him for 8 years. She had never talked to her husband before.
When I saw my husband I knew his character which I had seen first hand.
When she saw her husband for the first time she saw how fair or how dark he was or maybe how tall he was.
When I chose my husband I could at least guarantee that he might be a person who would care for me, respect me and that we had a good chance of being happy together. When she ....sorry her parents chose for her, they saw his job, bank balance and whether he had a steady income. And hopefully he would be a good husband because he seemed to be a good match according to the above criteria and maybe an interview or two.
And yet she thinks  "Love is really blind".
Which marriage has any iota of blindness here????? I wonder. .
Another ridiculous argument I have heard  from people upholding Arranged and denouncing choice marriage is this “Love marriage is a result of physical atrraction, infatuation and lust and arranged marriages are based on careful deliberation on compatibility of whole families and love". "OH REALLY???? Is my answer to this. I have a more detailed answer but let’s not bash arranged marriage; it works pretty well for many people. Again please understand, I am not against arranged marriage, but I am not particularly fond of people getting on a high horse especially when there is no logical reason.


Take this case now. There was this person in my life.  Very modern person in the conventional sense. Had fallen in love once before but she had told her ex bf that she wouldn't get married without her parents approval. In the end he chickened out. She was heartbroken for a while, but being a strong girl, she decided that it was ok.Love doesn’t happen just once. I totally agreed with her. Soon she fell in love again and there also she put the same condition. After some months he broke up with her too. She was heartbroken once again. She wondered why no one wanted to marry her all the while making it very clear to me and her ex-boyfriends that she would marry only if her parents were ok and she had no idea how people could get married without their parents approval. But because of her take on choice marriages I could not understand how she could expect commitment from someone else when she herself could not commit.  Sometimes I feel commitment has lost its meaning out here.

 Someone asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said yes. Then that person asked me if I intended to marry him. I was like "huh????". I didnot know till then that one could have boyfriends for time pass too. When my having a boyfriend itself was considered a crime,in all my naivety, I didnot think that it was ok if I had one for fun. And note something. Indian society seems still ok with having multiple affairs before/after marraige, and dating as long as they marry the person chosen by their parents. If you do so, you automatically become respected more than people who were unscrupulous enough to choose their husbands/wives. How sad is that.


This is the case I felt to be most sad. This person is one reminder for me as to how societal pressure and the father- mother relationship can affect the child. One day around five of us girls were talking about how our futures and naturally the subject of future husbands did crop up. There was this person who wanted a slave of an husband. At first I thought well, to each her own but when she talked some more,something seemed amiss and I blurted out asking her what kind of relationship she had with her father. She said she hated him. And when she explained, I totally agreed with her emotion. A father who is never there, verbally abuses the children, who never gave their timid mother happiness, a drunk forever in debts until the children started earning. Yes, I agree there is no need to love such a father. Love is earned. But here is the irony....
A couple of months later, I got to know that she was in love with a chat friend of hers and he was coming to meet her for the first time. She hoped he was fair and handsome and she was afraid he might be dark. Again, the ever curious me, wondered why she should bother about his looks as from what she and her friends say, he was the totally Bollywood romantic hero who worshipped the very road she walked. He seemed exactly like the guy she wanted. She said, she didnot bother about this looks but her father had to agree. His looks mattered a lot if she took him to her father. The awe with which she was talking about this subject made me curious once again.I asked her," My dear, what if your father didnot agree?"
"Oh, Then I could never marry him. I love my father very much. I would never marry a guy against his wishes."

I could only gape at her.


I understand love hate relationships. It's always there when you love someone so much. But I am not able to understand this weird bond between (some) parents and children. This bond which I know is so prevalent. I see people go through so much mental trauma because of this bond. How can such traumatised people enter a happy family unit and if the building block of the society is compromised how can society itself not degrade? People keep worrying about soceity , why don't they realise that THEY are society?

Why it is that here, a child marrying anyone is seen synonymous to the love they show to his/her parents?
Is that the only way to show the love to your parents? Does it mean that I can take care of my parents, I can care for their feelings and always be there for them, be a good citizen of the world, have good character (which I guess is the ultimate goal of parenthood,) but if I want to marry someone i choose, especially if he/she doensot belong to my community, then automtically I fail them. It will never make sense to me. For some reason, if a by chance, child also has an interfaith marriage, it apparently means only one thing  “They don’t love their parents, else how could they do this to their parents". I have heard it; I am sure many others may definitely have heard it. Is forced surrender out of pressure really love?

Have you began to wonder about the purpose of this blog post which just writes on four people's attitudes to choice marriage? I guess it is one of those posts which mean differently to different people. It might be total garbage for someone, maybe most, but if it affects at least one person,makes atleast one person think, then this post was worthwhile. That’s for you to find out whether this was worthwhile or not. (though I sincerely hope it won't offend anyone. Didnot mean to atleast.)

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