Friday, November 16, 2012

Marriage

Disclaimer: The following post is written purely in the context of India - my country.

In the mid 30s of my life, I've had the opportunity to give some serious thought to marriage and everything else associated with it. And I have come to certain realizations.



I have realized that a "love marriage" does not necessarily translate to more stability and understanding than an "arranged marriage". At times, "couples-in-love" spend more time just partying and making-out, than they spend in building up genuine "understanding" with each other. At times, "couples-in-love" don't bother taking off those "rose-colored glasses" for years, so that when reality finally hits them after marriage, they find it hard to keep pace with it.

I have realized that not having similar interests in life doesn't matter as much in marriage as not having similar values. It's not something you consciously think of, I guess. You automatically tend to gravitate towards people with similar values, even if you haven't specifically discussed them with each other. Which is good, isn't it? Just imagine the kind of friction between a person with strong moral values and another one who'd sell his conscience for money!

Speaking of money, I have realized that even modern, well-educated Indian men, who may be totally against dowry in the form of car or gold or cash etc., may still want the bride's family to spend lakhs of money in a lavish, but entirely useless, wedding reception for their hundreds of 'baraatis'! And I have realized that for some such modern, well-educated Indian men, a working wife is the new form of "dowry".

Then I have realized something about the inherent friction between a mother-in-law & daughter-in-law. Some MILs are not ready to change their ways with time. For example, even in today's hectic lifestyles, they may still want their DILs to use 'chakki-waala-aata' instead of 'packet-waala-aata', even with a working DIL! They may adamantly refuse to eat dishes cooked by their DIL in a style different from their own. Small things really, but they add up to create some really hostile environments. Then there are some DILs, especially those who've been living on their own for a long time... they find it very difficult to make space in their lives for their in-laws.

But for some couples, marriage is like a "social license" to spend day-in and day-out with their best friend, who is not of the same sex. Seriously! If you spend some time with these couples, you can actually make out that their relationship is not like the stereotype Indian 'pati-parmeshwar' and 'charnon-ki-dasi'! They don't behave like the typical Indian formal-and-polite husband & wife. They tease each other mercilessly, wife calls the hubby by his name (and some really weird nicknames too at times!), hubby even makes tea if his wife's girlfriend drops by for a visit! And they play Uno or Scrabble or even just Carrom on the weekends and whenever else they get time! They seem to talk in a secret language sometimes, and they have private jokes that only they can understand. They are completely informal with each other... and even with their in-laws! In short, it's a real treat to be in the company of such couples!

Lastly, (and quite disturbingly, I might add!) I have realized that some people (mostly girls) marry for the financial security, some (usually the guys) marry for clean clothes and hot meals, some get married for sex, and some marry just to fulfill their parents' wishes and the so-called "obligations towards society". Very few people actually marry for love... for the fact that they really want to grow up together with a person they are fond of!



What do you think about marriage?

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2 comments:

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Marriage is an epidemic that is taking away my friends one by one, like an insidious virus, a silent but sure killer that creeps up, slowly at times but surely, sparing none but a few hardy souls. They're dropping like flies my friends are, getting themselves married off with disturbing gusto. With other people would you believe it. Not among themselves.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

:|

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