Thursday, February 9, 2012

The perplexity that is the arranged marriage!

This is probably one of the most controversial topics that I have selected for a blog. But to be honest, everyone is entitled to an individualistic opinion on such subjective social issues and here is where I present mine. This blog is, per se, inspired by the millions of conversations that I have with friends, kin, parents and everyone else who has a bit of time to spare for they think that that is the only issue going on in the life of a 24-year old woman in the Indian society. It is a bewilderment why a 26-year old man does not get the same number of heads turned focusing on his age when the ideal age gap in an Indian couple is considered two years! Such double standards!!

I am not against marriage for I strongly believe in the concept of matrimony and how essential it is to the functioning of the society and human race in general. To put matters simply, it is beautiful when it happens the way it was planned… which I believe is a rarity to say the least. It is the whole idea behind arranging a marriage that seems a bit irrational to me. I am probably questioning one of the oldest prevailing Indian traditions but I just believe that like all other older rituals, that we have revamped over time to suit the changing trends, this one should be given a thought too.

I recently heard a very strong case in favor of arranged marriage which I actually did appreciate. A friend of mine pointed out that not all people are outgoing or forthcoming enough to find their own mates and if my logic of marriage necessitated by love was to be applied, some might remain single! This is a good way to look at the idea and I sincerely accept that in such a scenario, my reasoning fails. But if you look at the society of today, everyone (at least 99% of the population) has a successful/failed love affair, which only goes to show that my principle is easily applicable to the broader base, and that is what all theories are targeted at. Even hard sciences do not give a 100% success ratio.

I understand when people are eager to get married. But what baffles me is when a few of them say that their choice is an arranged marriage! How is arranged marriage a choice??? I can comprehend if it is the choice of your parents. But how can it be a voluntary decision on the part of the person getting married to go for a mate selected by some astrological matching!! There are further some cases where some of us are forced to go for an arranged matrimony for the simple reason that we do not want to go against the wishes of our family. This reasoning, I can accede to but even then not fully. You have to live with someone for 40 years of your life (on an average), raise kids with him/her, spend your old days together and plan your life together. It is a bit hard to compromise on all that. What if the astrology matches but the interests are poles apart!!!

Some of the readers might find my thoughts too radical. This is not to criticize the people who think otherwise. This is only to put a case forward that there is no right or wrong here. You ridicule my way and I am puzzled by yours. I am not forcing you to get married only when you fall in love. By that logic, you cannot force me to go for an arrangement that I am not comfortable with. It often eludes me why people try to convince each other that theirs is the right stand. And that too in subjective issues as this one!

For me, the only reason to go for matrimony is when you know that you want to spend your life with someone for whatever reasons! And without that realization, a marriage in itself is unnatural!

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