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8:35pm, 11th December, 2016

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What is the most important thing for a person in his/her life in India? Money? Job? Peace of mind? Nah. You are wrong. It’s marriage, duh, and that too a compulsorily arranged marriage.

This article is dedicated to my cousins, those who succumbed, those who are ready to succumb and those who plan to break free like me.
I grew up in a joint family with the number of my cousins being just two short of comprising an entire cricket team, with our ages ranging from 5 to 25. So, it’s like every two years one of them gets married and consequently I have been a witness to so many marriages being arranged that I now find myself experienced enough to write an entire thesis on arranged marriage.

Image source : onmogul
Times have changed but the approach to marriages in India remains as illogical and primitive as before. The concept of arranged marriages is beyond my understanding and never fails to frustrate me. And since my family is never going to consider me mature or even intelligent enough to listen to my views on any topic, I might as well voice my opinion here.
Yeah so, as soon as you complete your education and get a job, you are automatically signed up for apparently the most important event in your life – marriage. All the ghastly forces in your life, namely relatives, and anxious neighbours, team up to get you hitched as soon as possible. And the fact that you may not be ready to marry in anytime soon in the near future, doesn’t really matter to anyone. God forbid if you are on the wrong side of 25, everyone just gets hysterical about your marriage. And why not! After all, you have already stepped into old age and can permanently lapse into a vegetative state if not married immediately!

Image source : supercoloring.com
Indian parents start preparing for their kid’s marriage quite early. It begins with warning their children as soon as they are capable of comprehending, that under no circumstances, they can marry outside the caste. They firmly believe that caste priority prevails over all petty issues like conduct, character, compatibility, financial stability, blah, blah. As the children reach marriageable age, a proclamation is made among the neighbours and relatives that it’s time to get them hitched , so activate your radars and antennas and suggest suitable matches. As soon as a prospective match is found, some important things are checked first.
When looking for a groom –
*Looks like a human – Check
*Earns enough– Check
*Family– No criminal record. Hence,eligible.
*Visits brothels-No way to find out, so we don’t bother to
check.
*Has erectile dysfunction– Who cares! Anyways we can’t find that out either.
When looking for a bride-
*Looks, looks, looks.
*Again looks.
*Virginity cum character
*Education and career– Well, let’s be honest, as successful and intelligent she may
be, if she doesn’t match up to our standards of beauty, she is rejected.
*Again some more good looks.
If no major issues as listed above are found, the engagement date is fixed. Once they get engaged, the bride and groom are free to date and after they are given enough time to know each other, that is 3 months (Oh! That seems like a lifetime), they are married off.
Now that I have explained the process, I might as well explain its flaws. First of all, all our lives, we are taught not to talk to strangers. And now, all of a sudden, our parents expect us to spend our entire lives with a person of their choice whom we barely know.
And why the hell am I supposed to marry in my own caste? Why in God’s name would I shut my eyes to the millions of options I have out there? Or why can’t I marry the person I love? Am I supposed to check a person’s caste before falling in love with him? We can’t really choose who we love. Can we? 

 

Image source : nerdymeg
I believe the ideal way to choose a life partner is to date and judge for yourselves who you really want to spend your life with. And at the end, if you are unable to find your soulmate on your own, you can always turn to arranged marriages. My point is, arranged marriage should be a backup and not a compulsion.
Some people argue that in a love marriage, there is nothing new to look forward to and it gets boring. Well if I am marrying someone it would be ideal if I knew everything about him beforehand because what I am looking for is marriage and not some adventure ride full of surprises. Compatibility is the key to a happy marriage but unfortunately, it is the most underrated and overlooked thing in arranged marriages. 

Most importantly, nobody knows what’s good for you better than you. So you should have the sole right to choose your life partner. You cannot let others dictate your choices even if they are your parents. It’s not disobedience or disrespect, it’s your right as an individual.

So will you fight for your right? Or break under the pressure of arranged marriage? Let us know in the comments.

 

Feature Image Source:  bp.blogspot.com

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