As she walked into the room with a tray in her hand, she could feel the tension all around. She tried hard to look composed and calm, although confliciting thoughts ran in her mind. “Namastey”, she said in the most polite way and put the tray down on the centre-table. Her mum looked at her with a nod of approval. After all she had practiced this ritual for more than a week. For her, this whole process seemed like a scene straight out of a movie made in eastman color. Yet, she did not have the courage to go against her parent’s wishes. As she sat down in the most girlish way possible with a fake shy-face, the parents started laughing and eating. “Damn, I cannot even eat”, she muttered to herself. Her mind kept wandering to the things she wanted to do. She had always wanted to learn dancing,teach kids and travel around.Her dreams were jolted back to reality when she was asked to leave the place to let the ‘elders do the talking’. After two weeks she got married to a guy whose name she barely knew. She never danced, she had kids of her own to take care of and the only travel she did was for family gatherings.
This is the fate of many women in India. ‘Yet, the success rate of these marriages is astonishing’ – argue some people. Well, depends on how you define a successful marriage. If having children,going to movies on weekends and having dinner together is all that is required then our country is an example nation. Unfortunately for many women even this is not a reality. They are trapped in marriages where all they are required to do is cook,clean and cater… cater to the whims and fancies of the man. I am not trying to bash up men here. It must be tough even for guys to stay married, only because the society expects them to earn and bring money back home. There is so much more to life than just all this. Till the last generation, compromises and constraints made marriages more of a necessity. The women needed financial support and the guys needed domestic help. It was a symbiotic relation. Does the concept work in today’s world??
Most women work today. Yet, she is “still” expected to keep her home spic and span, cook and take care of dishes. When will she have the time to pursuit her other interests. Where does it leave room for adventure and tension-free times. Going out for a holiday to some exotic destination once every 3 months is not a substitute for spending quality time every day. Marriages can work even in a situation like this provided the couple genuinely loves each other and wants to stay together. But, with arranged marriages love has become manufactured and the couple sticks together for the sake of society or children or family but not for their sake. Its important to realize how obselete the idea of arranged marriages has become in modern day society. Trouble is, our generation has moved ahead but our parents are stuck between the ideals they grew up with and the ideals that are growing in their kids. Its quite a challenge for them to understand why we are so averse to the concept of arranged marriages. They argue “whats the guarantee that love marriages will work”. Well, marriages do not come with a guarantee. For that matter any relationship cannot be guaranteed. But, if things go wrong its only the couple who will be at fault. It will be their responsibility to see to the future of their relation. If you know a person before getting married, you will respect each other’s ambitions and give each other the freedom to follow them. If some problem arises then you will sort it out or not get married. There are so many options. Everything is so logical about the arguments in favor of love marriages that it almost seems implausible to the elder generation. I can understand the anguish of parents whose children run away or secretly get married. That is the most cruel thing a child can do to his parents. They surely deserve better treatment. I do not understand though the problem parents have when you introduce the guy/girl in your life and are honest about your relation. If the guy/girl is good, what is the problem? Just because you did not get his/her photograph through some ‘trusted source’ you are against the marriage. I find that lame and the solution is that both parents and their children have to learn to respect each other’s emotions and be honest. I do not see why love marriages won’t work in an environment like this. After all nothing is more important than love.