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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marriages in India- Arranged or Love?


Marriage is one of the most important steps in our lives that decides our long term happiness. However, with one wrong move it can turn out to be total blunder. As I said before in one of my early posts, marriage is all about growing old together. It is believed people who are married tend to be happier than those living alone.

“Marriage is a gamble.”
Years ago one of my friends said it over a discussion.  He was right. You can fall for the right person or else you can fall in a trap. Trap, for instance may be marrying somebody who is in love with you for all the wrong reasons, or who thinks you will be a great thing at home, one can meanwhile explore the world and one’s options, when you are in so much love with him/her. Or else somebody who was denied of love marriage and was emotionally blackmailed by one's parents to take a step further for the guy of their choice. (They always feel they have seen the world more than their kids.) The only thing that sometimes they don’t know is they saw the world during their times and we are living in our times. My mom says this is an old age all time problem between parents and children. (Thank God, my parents are cool!). I heard one really pathetic case where the families of both knew each other and girl and boy were in courtship for one year. After marriage the girl ran away with someone else.
Marriage is certainly a game of gamble, irrespective of any theme- arranged or love.

Both have their own pros and cons. Being in Indian society caste, culture, traditions still hold priority and people marrying from different castes and religions are normally not appreciated and approved by parents and extended families.  So while the decision of marriage should be of the ones who are actually marrying, in reality the decision involves the approval of the whole clan, family, extended family, society etc. more than that of the main protagonists.
We never know when we will fall in love. It can happen today tomorrow or any day till we die. So while everybody talks about what are the boons I would go for the risks factors or banes involved in Arranged marriages or Love marriages.
 
Envision:

1. In love marriages, relatives are on your nerves, judging you on the basis of your choice, parents fearing what our child will be thought of by others (yes even in today’s era there are parents who fear that.)
While in Arranged marriages, relatives and parents are on your nerves, worrying about your Marriage Expiry Date ( it is a term I have recently invented). So when you’ll deny some good proposals (according to them) you’ll be given some not so good options (according to everybody else’s standards) to compromise before there is an Expiry Date. Of course next lot is of divorcees and widows/ers after that.

“Make the hay while sun shines.”

We all have read this and understand the deep meaning behind it now.

2. In Love marriages, nothing else may be according to you ( your family’s) standards except the girl/boy! (You know once you two will start a new life, you’ll be the one putting in all your efforts to make everything else will fall in place.)
In arranged marriages, everyone ensures you make minimum compromise, though probability of you falling in love with the girl/boy presented before you between so many options is low, one fears about chemistry and understanding with the other person.

3. You may end up making a wrong choice in arranged marriage, knowing that the person you married is in love with someone else. Or worst scenario, the guy you married has fallen in love with a girl at his work place. Poof!!!! You are out of picture!
On the other hand, you may end up in loss of feelings in love marriage after knowing the person you married is no more same and your expectations (over)may lead you into frustrations and feelings of denial.

4. Since, our Indian society is still not very open, one is forced to decide about a guy/girl without much conversations in few initial meetings. Your trust may be broken after learning a few things your spouse did not tell you or lied to you before the alliance. Wait a minute…. It happens in love marriages too –False promises, false claims, false hopes!

5. Because in Indian society one is ought to live with the whole family and not just with a girl or a boy, in love marriages, you may crave for acceptance by other family members. Belonging to different family settings may give you another nervous breakdown as the expectations from you are more. Parents would want to prove their little girl’s/boy’s choice wrong, they feel s/he is still not matured enough.

6. In some family settings, arranged marriages mean dowry. The family that can bid more for your son is the family that wins your son for their daughter. Boys feel proud knowing their worth in monetary terms, and girls like the purchasing power of their parents. Why shouldn’t they be proud, their parents have bought the best one for them? Love takes a secondary position in such cases.

Conclusion: Summing up what I heard, saw and learned the alliances of both types have their own charm and curse.  There are some screwed up love marriages and some very successful arranged marriages in the family and friends.  It’s all about your destiny.  Belonging from both the worlds, where my own parents had sort of love marriage and I, most probably, am  going to have the arranged (-cum love), I can only say one thing, “Let the fruit ripened with patience, endurance, respect for each other’s views and efforts to understand.  
In the end it’s about the one who can make you fall in love over and over again. We are here to celebrate life, let’s do it!

P.S. Love marriage or arranged marriage- decision should be yours. If you are of marriageable age, you should be matured enough to decide about what is wrong and right for you. So that you wont blame someone else for your screwed up life.

P.S. Post your views, if you have any on the same. Or else votes of approval will also make the effort worthwhile. All the best to the ones who are going to tie the knot! 

40 comments:

  1. It should be your choice and by the way, mine is love cum arranged. Good to read your point of view and you ended it very nicely.

    Good luck with the contest and for your marriage too :) :) :)

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    1. Absolutely. It should be of our choice whichever way we want it to be. And without the hints of love no relationship can move further.
      Thankyou so much :) :)

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  2. A balanced post Shesha...and may ur wish of love cum arrange marrige fulfill soon. I think this is the best approach...

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    1. Thankyou so Much Hemant for your best wishes. I am glad to get ur feedback on this one! :)

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  3. Very well written darlng.....:-) viel gluck....:-) und alles gute...!!!!

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  4. Very well written darlng.....:-) viel gluck....:-) und alles gute...!!!!

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  5. Very well written darlng.....:-) viel gluck....:-) und alles gute...!!!!

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    1. OMG. One line three times like in movies... Danke Danke Danke!!! :P

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  6. loved the post . . all the best for the contest :)

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    1. Woah! I agree with your every word here. I have seen some families which compel their children to meet once or twice and decide about the thing.
      One day after knowing it I asked my mother, “how can somebody decide about one’s next 30-40 years in just a meet or two?”
      Her Answer was,”some people feel you can be confused even after years of knowing”
      My reply was, “We can wait till we come on any conclusion, i.e. out of confusion, its better to jump blindly.”

      So I am also of the same opinion. Though sometimes when two people come in contact through this kind of a setting, there are chances one falls into love and another falls out of it. And then tension arises between two families, if things are not taken maturely.
      Anyway, I also feel that its upon the guy or girl to give a mature outlook to his/her family and ask for the sufficient time and interaction before making the final verdict. One shouldn’t push and impose oneself on the other and should enable the other person to take a fare decision from his/her end as well.
      About the preconceptions and nagging demands- aren’t they present in Love marriages too? I would say one’s thoughts and priorities (set of values) should match. Both the groom and bride will adjust according to each other once they start living togeather. One should be mature and aware enough to know what one is getting into!!!
      Kundli: I can’t comment. I have seen it going exactly as per prediction and I have heard it going wrong i.e. against prediction. So people who believe in it can continue to believe and rest can concentrate on other factors. Its all about destiny in the end.

      P.s. Thanks a ton for ur blessings :) Some one will have to be caring, if one wants to live with me.(scary isn't it) Lol

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    2. *it is better than to jump in blindly!

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    6. Lol. Sanju- I dont know if girls(or even boys) like that exist! But everybody is governed by one's own interests. lol. So its about sharing of interests. More they vary more colorful the life can be. One has more variety to talk about and explore!

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  9. but why is it so that over a period of time, we eye for rifts between 'arranged companionship' oR 'wedded love'..?? then arises a situation of compromise...and ('compromise is death' as quote by Rahul Bose in the xylys watch advertisment)

    Khalil saab described this in mysterious && philosophical manner in The Prophet

    You were born together, and together you shall be forever more. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

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    1. Pratibh: For compromise I have somewhat different feelings about the word. Compromise is the feeling that you see nothing else more important than the person you want to make compromise for. Some of us have different sets of values, if one can take a step further and would want to make a few compromises to be with the guy or girl of his choice, i think one should. Small things do not matter in life. Everybody in every relationship compromises be it with siblings, parents or spouse. Of course it shouldn't be on one's self esteem. None of us has seen/remember our past or next life, so all we have in our hand is the life we are living. Why should we let somebody go, who can make it worth living and value small compromises more than him/her.

      About "The Prophet" I feel if you are in love, or a relationship, be in it as a whole. No one can dance in rain and enjoy it without getting wet. The feelings of love, sacrifice, joys, sorrows or for that matter any sort of feelings should be lived totally. We must experience what ever we can. People like me call it "Living it." There should be sharing, togetherness, joys of being together, pains of living apart and you will see your love growing more and more with each emotion. There has to be purity and sanctity in feelings. One can be in love with oneself, God or other human being, we need to surrender and being devoted to the one! (i hope its not too heavy)

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    2. by compromise..i meant...compromise with ourself....(not with others)..because if we compromise with oneness of ours, we will loose the very motive..for what we are here.
      and as you said----TOTALITY is the key here !!!!... whatever do, do with totality else don't do. Issues occur when we do things just for the sake of doing.
      without understanding the one who resides inside us, how can we expect to understand who are outside us. And this depends on the priority set by us ..ki ..what to achieve first...which is hidden inside us or what can be seen by the open eyes..//
      and it is lil bit heavy for me..:-)

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    3. Yes. I agree with you. Finding yourself in your feelings.

      And further thinking about Khalil Gibran's quoted words, I felt, like every other prophet he is talking about ''no attachment.''
      'There should be love, feelings but no attachment and possession' as most of them say it.. I sometimes wonder how can that be possible! Intense feelings lead you to attachment. But on the other hand experiencing the feelings in depth can help you in detaching yourself after a point- feelings still intact. Its like when you are thirsty and you drink enough to quench your thirst, then only you can stay away from water (though importance of water never goes down). On the other hand if u drink water in small amounts, not as per your need, you will end up being hooked to it, neither thirsty nor otherwise. So the only way to fight back the attachment is to live any relation deeply without any fear. Only than one will find oneself and the depths with no attachment(may be). (I wonder did I make any sense?)

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    4. yepp, now you are making sense in some possible directions!! and making things clear as a prophet !!
      attachment is a thing of mind and somewhere, some point of time , we need to drop all our minds so that we can go beyond that and feel the NOUMENON without taking help from mind (and heart too)!!
      NO-Attachment is declared to have a feeling of pure whole; if we feel attached to some things it means there are some strings present which we want with deliberate efforts. And No-effort is also a key to feel the pure oneness/completeness.
      one more thing...to have/attain a state of no-attachment....attachment is necessary...right??

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  10. For me during that 'marriage-able age expiration' marriage is, at-least for me, still a confusing institution.

    Do we have to marry just to fit in the societal norms, and knowingly that if we don't agree then we will be at the receiving end of 'not-so-good' proposals?
    And why does out society tag divorcees and widowers as 'not so good', its just plain simple association that did not go well, you may call it compatibility, adjustments et al.. May be because despite getting married with all those efforts to get a fancy celebration in place, the marriage did not work.. The funny part is that the society doesn't realise or pretend not to realise is that its not the fancy celebrations and the dump of gifts and goodies that you get make a marriage workable.. It's not a rocket science.. it is just an understanding and letting the prospective couple be comfortable and be themselves rather than letting people play with the king and the queen on a chess board..

    Shesha.. As you know, this topic can get me started! I wonder why marriages are either ways projected as something bad, stemming with my confusion, I am still hopeful, may be it's something beautiful..

    The contrast that you has drawn here is note-worthy.. Love you and Love this post :)

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    1. I too have same sets of questions. Marriage is no compulsion one should get into it when one feels like and not as per the societal norms. I loved your views on the divorcees and widowers! I appreciate it alot. The time has come when we have to keep society at bay and be a fighter for ourself. No one else can tell you even simplest things like what to eat or when to sleep, then how come they know which one to marry and when to marry. We must find our needs and priorities. The association may be tricky, but I am sure it is beautiful, as i see it around myself. :)

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  11. There is no time tested formulae for successful marriage. Horoscope or no horoscope, it is all ‘luck by chance’ situation. Perfect understanding, mutual trust, will to make minor adjustment in adversity, unconditional love, commitment, feeling of respect and responsibility towards each other as well as family can all go a long way to make the marriage work. Love marriage, arranged marriage or live in becomes secondary issue then.

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    1. Absolutely sir, thats what i wanted to convey! :)

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  12. Wow, I must say. What a illuminating penning.
    Best wishes.

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    1. Thankyou so much PL. I am glad you like it!

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  13. I came here in random, checking out some blogs and found this interesting topic. I guess it was worth reading. People around me gives an awkward amused expression, when i say about arranged marriages in India. In New Zealand, you can see even school children romancing in public and its totally accepted. Society is not an issue here. You rarely see any shy ones here, they have immense freedom for expressing their love interest in this open minded society. Some call it ''YOLO'' you live only once. Most of them have more than a couple of love interests and they are not just the shallow friendly ones. They go to the extremes at such a level, that the married ones in our country would be shameful. But that's a different life. Any ways had a good time here. Cheers.

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    1. Hey Siju. First of all welcome to the blog.
      Marriage topics are interesting as this decision decides 90% of our happiness for the rest of our life. I have heard the same things you have mentioned here from many friends living/working abroad. I too believe in the theory You only Live Once with certain modifications i.e. thinking of right/wrong well before in advance to ensure minimum damage. So that we don't spend most of our lives repenting and weeping> because YOLO.
      Of course people belonging to other cultures, countries would be amused on the idea of Arranged Marriages. I really do understand their views!

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  14. That's depend on your thinking whether you choose arranged or love, long lasting relationship should be there this is the first thing which carry your life ahead. If you have great understanding, you will go for love marriage otherwise arrange marriage will be good for you.matchmaking for free

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    1. Hey Mark, first of all i am terribly sorry for posting a reply to your comment this late. I have just viewed it! I guess understanding comes when two people start to live with each other irrespective of arranged or love set up. Arranged is when your parents help you to meet your prospects and love is when you meet him/her on your own! I totally agree with you long lasting relationship should be the motto that carries our whole life ahead!

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  15. Importance of Mehndi in Indian Weddings.

    Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Marriages being the most important day in one's life, mehndi has become an ornament for the soon to be brides. Infact one whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration popularly known as "Mehndi Ki Raat". Indian marriages are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter.

    It is a common belief that the darker the color the mehndi leaves on the hands on a bride, the more will she be loved by her husband and mother-in-law. However, the significance of applying mehndi during weddings is not restricted just to sentiments and beliefs. Although these beliefs make the application of mehndi a much anticipated and charming tradition, the actual reason is of much deeper significance.

    ExpressJodi.com-Common Platform for Happiness

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  16. Very good post Shesha, agreed with whatever points you mentioned. One thing which I can say about it is that Love Marriages are still better than arranged marriages, just because it is a way to reform our society from the sins of Dowry and it's after effects.

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    1. Thanks A ton Alok! Yes one should be able to connect to the person who is going to be the other half! Though we never know when does love happen- it can be love cum arranged or arranged cum love! Btw I too feel this evil of dowry should ward off asap!

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