Deranged marriages


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.

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29 Responses to Deranged marriages

  1. i really liked this post, i specially liked the way it started. Nice post. Blog On 🙂

  2. Tolia says:

    😀 … hats off …

  3. Amused Observer says:

    I suggest you have a look at the comments section of the following article written by an NRI girl. very interesting.

  4. Rohith says:

    A small correction. Its not love-marriages our previous generation are against. Its inter-caste marriages. The probability of a love-marriage being an inter-caste marriage is very high but arranged marriages have practically zero probability of being inter-caste.

    I am not sure about you, but I have plenty of friends who are lucky to avoid such arguments and confrontations with elders because their loved ones are of the same caste. Guess what I even have some not so close friends who chose girls from their own caste to love to avoid similar confrontations.

    I hope you now understand what “the match is not from trusted source” actually mean 🙂 😛

  5. Nikhil says:

    Somebody is in love n gearing up strength to tell her parents ;)…all in all a good article…i feel times have changed with regards to conceptualising love marriages…there is a more mature outlook towards it both from the lovers and their parents…In present times with things getting so practical and yea logical its anything but a rash decision when 2 lovers decide to marry…which few parents have realised…so kudos to love marriages..n yea all t best to u 😉

  6. hanuma says:

    Nice post :). Keep blogging

  7. Personally I also feel times have changed and a fusion of arrange and love marriage would be the norm or might already be a norm!
    Call me old fashioned but sometimes sticking together due to family pressure or because of kids did work out for the better!
    Each person should get to chase his/her dreams rather than getting completely committed towards married life.

  8. Kris says:

    Nice post but i feel u got biased towards love marriage.
    I also support your view on parents not accepting when someone introduces a guy/girl.
    Right from 50s, I believe, everyone feels the same about this love/arrange thing. But always people in their young age cry for this. Why can’t they support their kid when they become parents??

    I feel arrange marriages are equally important and healthy. Today’s parents need to work on it and handle with care.
    How do u love or fall in love with someone? I think, arrange marriage provides an environment to love someone. You might say it is forced but thats true in all cases. If you really meet everyone in this world and then fall in love that will be the ideal scenario. But since it is impossible, you also forced yourself to love someone. May be there you chose and among few people you met in your proximity.

    Arrange marriage, at least, provides better future for the kid. I don’t think love marriage is stronger than arranged marriage when differences rise. In those scenario the ultimate sufferer is the kid who is unaware of how his/her parents got married.

    Sometimes I get confused. What today’s youth want? Everything for him/herself? We can not compromise/adjust for others happiness. What matters is always our happiness.

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  10. Rekha says:

    I totally agree with Rohith, present generation of parents are not against love marriage but against inter-cast marriage as a result most of the gals and guys in thirties still stall marriage.The other thing is with one or two kids parents don’t force kids in to arranged marriage and don’t agree for the inter-cast love marriage as a result we see so many late marriages.

  11. Melissa says:

    Loved the post, but I think the most cruel thing you can do to parents is to have an actual wedding. The money they have to spend and the show they have to put on for people they really don’t care about. Come on eloping is the best option for love marriages.

  12. Pingback: Deranged (or arranged) marriage ? at Blogbharti

  13. Kiran says:

    Hi, I arrived here from BlogBharti. This is a nice post – well-written and well-articulated. I agree with most of your points. I have taken part in this love-vs-arranged-marriage debate countless number of times; both on blogosphere and in person.

    The point that I always make in these debates is – what about the man’s ambitions; his true calling. Of course, I do understand that the woman undergoes far more sacrifices in an arranged marriage then the man. But even looking at this debate from the man’s point of view – in an arranged marriage; it becomes the de-facto rule that the man has to do the skull-drudgery work and support the family.

    What if the man is really passionate about some non-conventional field (say, photography or something of that sort)? In a love-marriage, there is greater probability that the woman will understand this passion and actually support the family until the time the man gains a foothold in his field of passion.

    I’m not saying arranged marriages are always doomed to fail. We’re just talking probability here!

    • Namrata says:

      I agree with you on the point that its not just the woman who is the ‘victim’ in arranged marriages. Even men make sacrifices and that is precisely why I feel that if the guy and the girl know each other before marriage the level of compatibility will be more. Thanks for the points you made.

  14. amreekandesi says:

    Arranged marriages arent all bad. There is a middle path as well where you get introduced through family and then the couple decide over some time just how compatible they are. Not all arranged marriages have to happen with a chai ki tray and fake shyness, followed by marriage 2 weeks later.

    Thats the model i have seen, and would like to think that at least in the cities, parents dont really just tell their son/daughter one fine day movie style – “maine tumhari shaadi xyz se pakki kar di hai. shaadi agle maheene hogi…”

    Of course, once you get married everybody needs to work hard to make it work. There are bound to be differences of opinion from time to time, but the trick is to have an open mind and be respectful of the other person’s beliefs/opinions.

    • Namrata says:

      Although the trend is changing like u mentioned, there are still tons of educated people in cities who are open about everything else but when it comes to marriage their major concerns are about what the society will think. This mindset has to change.

  15. Allytude says:

    I think the baggage that one has to “settle down” euphemism, for the business of reproduction is what makes marriages more like arrangements, not relationships. Friendships are relationships, because one does not will them, not arranged marriages- because those are forced down. Also the “grow to love argument” is like making the best of a bad situation.
    I think the real problem is in the idea that everyone needs to “find someone” and “settle down” and marriage is a must.

    Came here from Blogbharati. Loved your blog.

  16. Anitha says:

    Hmmmm….interesting observations. Perhaps, marriage is just as much as what you have described. In the Indian society we are tuned to trust marriage as the “be all and end all of life.” Hence, the anguish and disappointments.

    We run about in life looking for joys. Each flavour of joy fades in time to become a vanity bite or vanity chase!!!

  17. Tolia says:

    congrats on the blog adda thing ….. how much did u pay btw :p

  18. rohit says:

    nice post.. time to think all these things kyaa ??
    anyways.. our society is more biased towards caste rather than love or interests…
    caste, money, background (their fathers occupation.. fore-fathers occupation etc), beauty and then prolly comes the love… dare to change the order.. there you go.. un-solvable complications and huge communcation gap which lasts for few years… 🙂

    btw.. you should write a comment on all the questions/comments posted in the comments section 😛

    • Namrata says:

      I fail to comprehend the madness about caste in our society.Not just in marriages, even when it comes to politics etc caste has become such a major factor and it should not be that way if our society wants to progress. And ya I took your tip and replied to all the comments :). Btw, pick up all the tags yaar !!

  19. A very nice post.. but you know what I have seen these days.. people just to avoid arranged marriage, find some guy/girl on their own and they say it is “love” marriage.. I dont agree to this because love should happen “by chance”.. if you think that “I will go for a love marriage and hence will find some guy/girl”, it’s as good as arranged marriage.. I call it “self-arranged” marriage.. and you do self-arranged marriage by searching for a person in your school/college/work place and parents do that by searching in your community/caste.. I hardly see a difference between the two..

    • Namrata says:

      I like your take on love marriages. Only if you genuinely find someone, should you go ahead and marry him. Even I believe that love happens and you cannot force it. Thanks for coming and reading the post!

  20. @nks says:

    i don’t believe in the funda of soul-mate… so as i see it love marriages are on line of arrange marriages. I mean, a person like some one, like spending time with them, then think they love him/her. Now two things might happen either they’ll get bored of each other and sepeatre or end up marrying and then get bored of each other. After marriage they try to make it work, and if both of them the stubborn then they’ll break it off, since there is nothing forcing them to be together. But in arrange marriage it’s like a responsibility, u’ve to be with her/him. We are slowly moving towards the Americanization with more ‘love marriages’ and more divorce too.

    It may sound total pessimistic, but as random has human nature is, its better to have some rule for it to follow, to make the things work …

  21. ‘Yet, the success rate of these marriages is astonishing’ – argue some people. Well, depends on how you define a successful marriage. I agree!!!

    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.

    Brilliantly said!
    the solution is that both parents and their children have to learn to respect each other’s emotions and be honest. Yes and this does not really happen, in our society, respect is expected to be one sided. Loved this post!!

  22. Shobhit says:

    Hi. 🙂

    This is my first visit to your blog and the very first post I read is almost exactly what I have in my mind about marriages.

    I’m currently in the midst of one such situation about my closest friend where the couple had to get married secretly. That too, after they had informed their families about their love. Now its out in the open and life is being made difficult for the two.

    You can read about it on my blog

    I liked your blog very much. Will keep returning. 🙂

  23. Nice post…Definitely agree with you on the ‘success’ of these marriages. Imho, these marriages last only because there generally is a stigma attached to divorce. How is it successful if neither partner is happy or if the wife is being mistreated? Good post!!!

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