This debate sparks from my conversation with a dear friend Ram (Name changed). We were talking about late marriages and the threats involved in it!
I still remember the days I was thinking of quitting my job – I was 24 and wanted to quit my job to set out on a new venture, an unknown field and naturally the risks were quite high. You wouldn’t believe what my biggest fear was
– Some would have guessed it as finance
– Some would have guessed societal pressure
– Some would have also guessed career downfall?
Well, you are the smart one who guessed it right – My biggest fear was that I would not find a girl to marry by the time I was 27 since my career would take longer to settle down and then by the time I would ask my parents to look for someone to marry me off, it would be too late and no one would consider an old man with an adventurous spirit 😀 😀 ..
Naive? Stupid? Well, I can think of even sillier words but truth be told this was an honest fear and if I look back now, all that crosses my face is a smile and a feeling of contentment.
Fear is a funny thing isn’t it? It makes us think the worst of the circumstances and tells us that we are not at all prepared to handle the challenges in life.This, in fact, was the motivation for my article – 11 Practical Steps To Guide You Through The journey Of Overcoming Fears. That aside, it really gets us thinking and it takes over us sometimes. But this time, I thought, let us try and spur a debate about arranged marriages in India or love marriages or basically marriages in India and how they are perceived and how they can be perceived. Here are a few pointers to spur the open debate.
1) Marriage is not between two people, it is between two families
No better lie was ever told, was there? Well someone once told me that I was intelligent – maybe that was a better lie 😛 . But still this lie too comes up close to that one 😀
– It might have made sense with the previous generation where arranged marriages were the norm
– It probably made sense to marry someone to a family since the concept of joint family was very prevalent and the poor wife was expected to adjust to everyone in the family. And sometimes even the smallest kids of the family ended up bullying her just for the reason that they could!
– Or maybe earlier, marriage was a business transaction, a king would marry his daughter to his neighboring king as an act of diplomacy and to an extent common sense as well. Now this happens with the business families to an extent.
Apart from this, I find it hard to identify any other reason to endorse the above statement of marriage between two families.
2) Why do you want to marry?
Well setting the debate straight, I don’t want to get into the question of whether love marriage or arranged marriage is better. Both of them have their own stories and we shall save that debate for another day. For now let us try and answer the question – Why do you want to marry?
– Companionship? Fulfilment of sharing and living your life with another person, your better half?
– Every one of your friends are already married or the last one is engaged
– You love someone and you realize that it doesn’t make sense living away from them
And so many other reasons I am sure. But in the bigger picture – what is the purpose of this marriage. What are your reasons to get married to someone? It goes a long way in putting the marriage in perspective.
3) Why marry early?
Again trying to see the logic in marrying early in life
– The previous generation depended on a job where financial security was a HUGE concern and if someone married late, they would risk having kids when they are older and will not have enough savings to take care of them. The logical part of the brain says time, but in the materialistic world, money seems to have made its own inroads.
– All the good ones are gone! Well, without trying to sound like an obnoxious jerk, I have heard people say this – I want to get married early because all the good brides/grooms are gone! Yeah, as if they are a property for the bid!
– Although I completely disagree to the commodity principle in the previous point, for those who still believe in it internally, all I have to say is this – don’t let the illusion of scarcity get to you. There always will be choices in life!
4) The parental pressure
This might sound like an overstatement, but the sense of privacy in India needs a slight improvement. Every person around you thinks that it is their business to get you married. I wonder why they are so enthusiastic about what’s happening in our lives.
Every other function you go to, this will be the question – so when is the date? When are you going to offer us a nice dinner?
Sheesh! There is so much about life and marriage is a very personal choice and sometimes, we got to keep people away and this applies to parents too.
5) Your Life
In the end, all that matters is your life, your reasons to get married, your reasons to choose to be with someone in your life.
It is a very personal choice and you need to teach people to respect that. Or else they will start governing and planning every aspect of your life including when you are going to have a baby and which school you are going to send them to!
Forget the society – it is a great follower but not a leader. Your reason for marriage is when you feel that you are ready and you feel that there is someone who makes your life extremely beautiful and makes you smile for simply no reason at all.
Marriage is not about families, it is about love, happiness and personal growth. There is no perfect time or age to get married, it is just when you two feel like it.
Well, that’s my opening debate, care to join in with more thoughts? :).
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