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While Indian marriages are often based on horoscope testing and compatibility, should we focus on health tests instead?
The waiting room of a pathology lab unexpectedly turned into a learning experience. At a recent visit for the annual check-up, I had no time for my usual promises of sticking to a ‘healthy lifestyle’, the reason being a laboratory pamphlet entitled ‘Soul to Soul’. Intrigued I picked it up, not really knowing what to expect inside…
Let me get straight to the point. This was a marketing leaflet that described a package of tests for a young couple to be done prior to marriage.
Now I had heard of horoscope matching or psychological profiling before marriage but blood tests? That was something new…
I spoke to the doctor in charge and she explained the details. Perfectly healthy individuals (both men and women) may have genes that are carriers of hereditary diseases. When such a couple gets married and if those specific genes come together then their child is likely to suffer from the disease. Knowing before hand can help avert unhappiness. E.g. Some type of Anaemia.
Most of us know our blood group but do we all know our Rh factor? We have heard of tragic instances when an O negative mother has lost her second or subsequent babies if she were to carry a Rh positive baby. Medical counselling can help protect the mother and child if the condition is known.
Tests are available to screen for HIV or Hepatitis or other chronic infections or silent hereditary conditions. They can help identify possible health issues and treat them. Thus a young couple about to begin a life together can lead a healthy life which in turn is a strong foundation to achieve their professional and life goals.
Most highly qualified youth with fat salaries are much sought after as grooms or brides. What may be ignored is that they usually face considerable stress at their workplace. This can lead to changes in cholesterol levels or set them up for diabetes. Timely screening via blood tests will warn about looming disorders.
The doctor I met told me that there is small but slowly increasing number of young people who opt for such tests. The aim is to treat (if required) or suggest lifestyle modifications to a ‘would be’ couple.
We now read that divorce rates are increasing in India. Parents want their children to be happy and healthy and to prosper. Horoscopes are matched prior to marriage for this purpose. Whether arranged or so-called ‘love’ marriage, a young couple needs time to truly settle down together. Health issues are something that they do not need.
While I am not qualified to comment on the authenticity and reliable outcomes of astrological predictions, surely such tests are a more scientific and rational method of pre-marital screening? They offer a concrete solution to an existing or silent health problem.
What do you think?
Pic credit: Cimorenegal (Used under a Creative Commons license)
Archana is a physiotherapist, fitness enthusiast, amateur field botanist and nurtures a few bonsai. Happiest on a road less traveled. read more...
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Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).
Gender stereotypes, though a by-product of the patriarchal society that we have always lived in, are now so intricately woven into our conditioning that despite our progressive thinking, we are unable to break free from them.
Repeatedly crossing, while on my morning walk ̶ a sticky, vine-coloured patch on the walkway, painted by jamuns that have fallen from the jamun tree, crushed by the impact of their fall, and perhaps, inadvertently trampled upon by walkers, awakens memories of the mulberry tree that stood in my parents’ house when I was growing up. Right at the entrance of the house, the tree caused a similar red and violet chaos on the floor, which greeted us each time we entered the gate.
Today, as I walked by this red-violet patch, I was reminded of an incident that my mother had narrated to me several times. It had taken place shortly after her marriage and her arrival in this house from her hometown.