Saturday, October 25, 2008

Of Marriageable Age...

Out of the blue I suddenly discovered that I am supposedly at this "eminently marriageable" age!!! And if you wonder how I was so enlightened, it was because people (read relatives, neighbours, mere acquaintances) have now taken to walking up to my parents and wondering why they are not obsessed with marrying off their daughter and then suggesting so and so as being a suitable match! And I am almost offended by the very suggestion...as if I were some kind of baggage that needed to be packed off! 

It is generally assumed (especially in India) that any girl beyond the age of 21 must be married off as soon as is possible or for the more "modern" families, the girl may even be allowed to spare her parents the trouble and find them a son-in-law on her own. I always thought that my generation would be ready to live a little before "settling down" (sounds awfully like the kind of thing you do in the lab...let the sediments settle or precipitate stuff!!!)...get out of the narrow societal constraints that most people live within and explore the world a little...but at the rate my closest friends are getting hitched or "committed" as it is fashionably referred to, it looks like I am soon to be left as the lone crusader for the "i am independent and single and loving it" brigade!!! 

And to top all that, their accounts of experiences in the typical arranged marriage scenario have been more crazy than I could believe possible. Most guys have all kinds of (weird) criteria when looking for a bride and that too in today's so-called progressive times!!! A typical guy wants a qualified, educated girl for his wife but still expects her to give up all hopes of an independent career and life if the family and the husband so wish. It is still expected that it is the girl who will, but obviously, stay at home and look after the children and she should be a good cook and a dedicated homemaker. And as if all this is not enough, the girl just has to be gorgeous too. Get real people, why cannot these be shared responsibilities and what is so demeaning for a guy to come forward and be ready to say upfront that he shall be equally responsible. And what really shocks me is that even the supposedly educated people who truly believe they are "learned" and unorthodox will insist on matching horoscopes since they apparently  believe that the lovely twinkling stars in the sky can in some way decide whether two people are compatible or not! And astonishingly enough, in the impossibly long list of "requirements" (believe me an over crowded shopping market with a miles-long shopping list might perhaps seem a better place eventually), there is often no references as to whether the principles and ideals by which two people live match at all. I think its more important whether your choices in life shall ever be similar than whether your horoscopes match!!! 

 I have been a little sarcastic yes, but that's only because  I have heard umpteen stories about arranged marriage fiascos over the last few days and it has definitely decided for me that I shall think twice and then some more before I even venture down that path...So basically, this is an outburst on my part with the hope that single souls out there will think a little and attempt to be rational while choosing another person to share an entire lifetime with, especially in an arranged marriage scenario.

5 comments:

PURN!MA said...

I'm used to this now. heh heh, what more now I shamelessly smile a wide smile when people start talking about "my marriage plans"... education hasn't changed anything at all re... its all the same old expectations... know how to cook, run after children, have all the right values... hehehe

so whether u r 10th fail or Phd, doesn't matter, if you don't know how much salt is added in batatyachi bhaji, you are not upto the mark. LOL.. chala kitchen calling. ;)

Rupesh Nasre. said...

Mukta,

Because of some experience, I can say that finally what happens inside the house, is decided by the husband-wife and nobody else -- not friends, not parents, not the society. Therefore, if both of them have/develop love and respect for each other, every other thing falls in place. Then it does not matter who cooks, who brings vegetables, and who takes care of kids.

I am a bit skeptical about arranged marriages in this regard: you never know how the person is. It is mostly true for love marriages also, but you at least get a chance to evaluate the person -- if you really can. It can be decided by how much you believe yourself and how much you believe that your parents would be able to choose the apt one for you.

About marriage as a trade-market, unfortunately that is true in most cases. Although, after a few months, it does not matter whether your wife is good looking or educated or has govt job or whatever, junta still give these points prime importance. The most important thing is how much can YOU give to the relationship/family, without expecting anything from your spouse. Sounds filmy/theoretical I know, but finally that's what matters.

-rupesh.

PURN!MA said...

Hey I agree with what Rupesh here, when he says finally what matters is what happens inside the house. Very True. But then even before you get to that stage, a person is judged by his/her looks, ability to cook, standard of living and other such factors.

One has to filter through the above to prove himself, which may not always be the correct way. Afterall someone who makes abt a lakh a month might be a lousy character, isn't it?

Suneel Madhekar said...

Very true... Society in general, is needlessly obsessed with marrying off youngsters. It is acute in the case of girls. In general, our culture is loaded against women, and the hypocrisy in our society makes matters even worse.

Madhurima said...

hey!!
am new to ur blog and couldnt resist commenting on this one!
well...i so understand when you say that people dont even ask if there is compatability or wavelengths match.
Cant comment on arranged matches tho...but even when you choose ur partner...marriage is one of the biggest learning curves that can happen to you. Will share a little secret- from day 1 dont ever pretend to please any1; it is the worst trap we can fall in!From day1, if communication if forthright n clear, thgs are a little less complicated!
But yes!! have to admit that marriage does a lot of good to you- you become more responsible, less impulsive and more caring also:)...its a 'k'nuptial knot that is no less than any saga!!