The biggest deal of growing up in India is the idea of a right-timed arranged marriage. From child marriage to widow remarriage, from nipping off an academic pursuit to adjusting a job with it, marriage is an invisible appendage in the country; more a law than a necessity of an individual.
As a person who’s had a brief experience of the custom of arranged marriage, I can tell you that it’s pretty boring. I mean if you have zeroed down to an immediate agreement at the very first time, you are spared of the torment that innumerable such meetings can cause. Someone tells your folks of such and such eligible bachelor and the whole database of the guy is laid in front of you – age, height, complexion, academic and professional experience and character (well, more or less). And that is not all. The time and date of his birth and yours are then matched to match the starred couple and seek divine intervention in the fruition of everyone’s efforts. Meanwhile you can start your search engine and trace his social network and check him out on the web. And after his cosmic itinerary tallies with yours and the green signal is on, you meet him.
That is precisely the most irksome part. You are sitting before a complete stranger, both of you knowing very well that you have to start rating each other on compatibility charts. Meaningless questions and answers followed by uncomfortable silences, is absolutely not cool. By the time you’re home, the enquiry commission is sitting ready to pounce on you. How was it? Do you like him? I mean, I don’t even befriend someone at the first meeting; this is a lifelong relationship we’re talking about. Phew!
These are moments when I frown at myself. Why couldn’t I find myself some guy to marry? It isn’t rocket science after all. Seriously! That’s why I have started encouraging all blooming romances I can see around me. I mean what’s the extent anyway. It wouldn’t work out. So what? At least a person would have given a try. Phew!
Ignore the pent up emotions. Consider it practically. Your marriage is called yours because hello, it has ‘you’ inside it. Then isn’t it necessary that you decide what to make of it, instead of the whole community running the relay for you? Win or lose, it’s your game. And yet you sacrifice for the benefit of the blood, for sustaining the legitimacy of the species that you beget. And what do you get in return? A question, almost for life – should I have taken a chance? I mean how can you decide, let’s be honest, whether you want to sleep with the man in front of you if you have met him just a couple of times? Would the stars make sure if he knows how to tap your emotional block when you are low?
We come across a lot of people, some of them, even emotionally compatible with us. But do we consider them for marriage? No. When it comes to tying the knot, we have a list – bank balance, looks, family and prospects for future. Where is the ‘union of souls’ here? My questions are starving for logical answers and I am still waiting; while incessant phone calls about prospective grooms are exchanged just next door and dinners are spent in conversations about the beginning to another proposal. The Lord has blocked me from His friends’ list I guess!