Friday, December 23, 2005

The whole arranged marriage thing

In school, if there was ever one thing that could get me all riled up, it was the concept of an arranged marriage. Phew!! I simply could not stand the thought of it during school. What kind of weird society, i thought, would set up two strangers to spend the rest of their lives together!!!! Indian society - it turns out, is the weirdest of societies!!! In fact, i think, the words 'love marriage' or 'arranged marriage' have a meaning only in an Indian world and would make almost no sense to a Westerner!!!!

As i moved through from school to college, my thoughts grew more mature. Maybe love is not all that it takes to get married and indeed to stay married. Look at the number of couples who break up, my friends said. They are all from the so-called love marriages. Couples from arranged marriages stick it out. They give the relationship more committment. Was it indeed that way??? I couldn't decide. But by this time, i'd come to realise that both marriages were accepted in this world and that's the way it would be. I would not be the harbringer of a revolution that would remove arranged marriages from this world!!!

Then another thought struck me - definitely, it's the love marriages which are more romantic. People who are in love want each other (in every sense of the word :) ) so atleast these marriages should be more fun than arranged weddings???? NOOOOOOOOO, said my cousin, in love marriages, the man and woman come into the relationship knowing each other well. There is no excitement in such a relationship, nothing left to learn. It's the arranged marriage which is more exciting. Hmmmm, i thought... Maybe she had a point.. But then another thought struck me.. Was she talking this way only because she had an arranged marriage?? As far as i know, she had liked a guy from college. But she hadn't dreamt of saying anythign to him because she knew her father would never agree to this kind of a marriage!!! My confusion continued..

Another 2 years passed. Another cousin was getting married. This time, it was a love marriage. Her dad had initially posed a lot of objections to her wedding too but love triumphed and she won him around. It seemed to me that this was the way to be. Two persons being brought together in wedlock should want to spend the rest of their lives together. Shouldn't they?????

And then finally, one day... My mother talks to me.. I think we should start looking out for an alliance for you, Harini. After all, you're 23 now.

Bang. There it is - 'The End'. Although my confusion still continues, it looks as though i will end up with an arranged marriage after all!!!

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