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Indian young adults date. Even fall in love. But many still get into an arranged marriage decided by their families. Clearly, ‘love’ and ‘marriage’ are strange bedfellows!
Boy sees girl across the room. she sees him too. their eyes meet and they fall in love to be married and live happily ever after.
This is the premise of a number of Bollywood movies. However, we live in India, and IRL, girl and boy turn 24, complete their graduation, go and get jobs, and then get coaxed into marriage by their family (and every bloody relative and neighbour).
Boy sees girl across the room in a room full of people (mostly family, and a few other matchmakers) and they get married as decided by their parents (with their consent these days). Girl leaves everything – from her family to her job (and possibly her identity, and in some cases her brain) to go and live with her husband and his family.
And it all feels natural. This is what we see around us, so it is also what we believe.
But does marriage ensure love? When we are young we believed that someday we will get married to someone and that someone will love us until death. What’s more: we will love that person till death. But what if we don’t like each other enough? What if the two of us don’t fall in love?
This is the truth about marriage that no one told us about. We just assume that it will be ok. How are we that trusting? Shouldn’t we be questioning this system as intelligent individuals before going through with it blindly? We match Kundalis to check for our compatibilities, but miss out on getting to know the person we intend to spend a major part of our lives with. How does it make sense? Many people would say that there are no guarantees in love. And that’s completely true, but isn’t making an informed decision the logical way to go about anything in life?
Arranged marriage is what it is. It’s an arrangement between two individuals and their families. It’s not about love. It’s about money and social status and looks. Its one of the the major factors the caste system still exists in our country. It’s also a major factor for the existence of dowry. The honour killings of people who dare to love are an indication of how dangerous freedom of choice is considered in our nation.
Some people date when they are young, but as soon as they turn to their mid 20s they are forced to marry someone unknown deemed ‘proper’ as per looks and social status and most importantly caste. Men are judged by how much they earn and women based on their looks. Deals are struck between families regarding money. The hoopla of the marriage ceremony is what is in the limelight.
The responsibility is on our shoulders as a society to let people make their own choices. We need to open our minds and stop being scared of what others think. All of us need love in lives. Let us become part of the solution rather than the problem.
Image source: shutterstock
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