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Have you ever wondered what the point of arranged marriages is? Every proposal and ritual is incredibly patriarchal!
I’ve seen girls who are ‘overweight’ asked to ‘lose weight’ and the ones who are ‘slim’ are told to ‘gain weight,’ for their marriage proposal to be successful. Listening to all this advice, the girls start a diet programme which is aimed at catching the eyes of a boy.
Have you ever wondered what this system is implying to us? Maybe it’s trying to tell us that physical beauty is more important and attractive than inner beauty. I believe inner beauty is difficult for people to perceive since they are busy looking into the business of other people.
On the one hand, our society teaches us to look at the hearts of the people. But on the other, it does something that is way more hypocritical and disgusting.
And the funniest part in all of this is that boys don’t usually have to waste their time on dieting or weight loss or gain. Why? Simply because they can ‘get’ the girls very easily. What are we, then? Fish? Or hens?
However, it doesn’t end here. What is the logic behind arranged marriages? A boy and his family come and see a girl who is made to stand like a statue in a museum. Meanwhile her relatives, the so-called ‘karnoomaar’ discuss matters where she has no say, other than to give consent. Well, in some cases, the girl’s consent isn’t even considered.
The boy gets to go and visit the girl’s house, a place where he won’t even be living. But the girl who will be moving to the boy’s house doesn’t do so. Instead, her relatives visit and make sure that the house is fit for the girl. Now tell me, who’s going to live where?
In most arranged marriages, whether the man and woman like each other or feel they are suitable for each other matters less than the ‘matching’ of their physical features. Their match is confirmed only after the height, weight, colour, hair and other physical attributes are looked at with a lot of care. Only if all these match, are they called a ‘perfect match.’
Then comes the marriage where men are served food first and women second. Why? Because ‘chettaayimaarkk nalla vishappindavum, avaralle nammale nokkunne. Numma pennungal ellam sahikkanam.’ (Men may be hungry and they are our caretakers. As women, we are supposed to put up with things.)
If the couple can’t stand each other after their marriage, they are asked to tolerate things for the sake of their children. Especially the women, they are constantly asked to sacrifice their lives and dreams, which isn’t really necessary in the first place. Thus, divorce rates are low in our country. Our adults are busy having children rather than getting therapy for their issues.
Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Ghum Hain Kisikey Pyaar Mein
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