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Don’t we all have the ‘good cousin’ who had an arranged marriage and is so happy in it? Have you wondered why we glorify arranged marriages?
While India is changing and people are constantly trying to break stereotypes, I recently say what I call the ‘new era of arranged marriages.’ What is this new era of arranged marriage, you wonder? From what I have seen and experienced, what happens here is that after a breakup, the couple decides to enter an arranged marriage set-up.
Once they do so, everything about their previous relationship seems to miraculously vanish. Now all they can think about is how good their would-be spouse is. But that’s not all, these people now criticise others who are in relationships and call them shallow and tell them that they ‘cheating their parents.’
Regardless of their previous beliefs about children, they now want children as soon as possible since their ‘biological clock is ticking.’ They also believe that their spouse can never do any wrong. If their partner doesn’t talk to them, it is considered a sign of piousness and fidelity.
At the same time, they happily give in to al the demands of their in-laws, no matter how absurd they are. They believe all these things are somehow related to their values and sanskaars. (I am saying all these from what I have personally experienced. These may differ from person to person as what they see and perceive.)
No, this isn’t something from the 1900s, it is from the modern day of 2021! We still glorify arranged marriages and claim that we do so due to the ‘increase in the love marriage‘ And not to forget the fact that arranged marriages last longer than love marriages do.
I am sure all of us have that one ‘good cousin’ who has had an arranged marriages. This cousin is shown around and treated with great awe and love. Meanwhile, there is always the ‘bad cousin’ who had a love marriage and is shown in poor light to all other cousins.
Why is our youth made to believe in such kind of brainwashing? Is it because we want to control their choices or because that’s how things have been for years?
Today, people want an educated person as their partner. But education takes time. And you tend to be around at least 27 or 28 years old when you’re ‘settled.’ While 27 or 28 is considered early for men, women are believed to be ‘well past their prime.’ We need to normalise women being unmarried until they feel it is right. They need not ‘look their age’ as long as they are happy and healthy.
The other issue is that of pregnancy. One of my doctor friends once said that a woman must have at least one child before she turns 30 due to societal norms! While the opinions on this are plenty and varied, look at female celebrities who have had children in their late 30s and 40s. Yes, they have a certain level of fitness that we can’t maintain as easily, but we can at least try. You can get PCOD at 16, despite exercising regularly! So what’s age really got to do with any of this?
Hair is yet another pressing issue for both men and women. For men, it is the balding patch that bothers them, whereas for women, they are expected to grow out their hair to find a suitable match. I guess this nothing has been going around for a long time now. But isn’t it an issue that the couple needs to discuss together? Shouldn’t it be their choice in the end?
There is a belief that arranged marriages last longer than love marriages do. And often, yes, they do. But they last longer simply because of the stigma surrounding divorce in our society. Go and ask your married friends or cousins if their marriage is truly a bed of roses. Tolerance and suffering don’t mean a happy and successful marriage!
I am sure most of us have an innate need to have approval from everyone. This is mainly because, since childhood, we have been constantly critiqued and judged about everything. Right from our marks at school to our height, weight and even the way we speak.
So, as adults, when someone visits you for a prospective marriage meeting, the process repeats itself. And you may not like the other person or their views but the need to be approved by them and their family simply kicks in.
The desire to be accepted by society. People, please remember that these uncles and aunties who ‘care about you’ right now will not do so in the next 10 or 20 years! Society is what you and I make of it and this regressive mentality is not something we need to accept. No open-minded person would ever truly approve of it.
Dear people, be young at heart. A 100-year-old person can be incredibly interesting while a 20-something might be plain boring. What I am trying to say is that everything depends on how you choose to live your life. Don’t follow what others want you to, your ideas may not match!
Imagine this scenario – you have Rs. 1 crore and three months to get married without any societal pressures to do anything. What are the 10 things you would do in that time with that money? Make a list of these things and think clearly. In the end, the 10 things are what you desire and want to do. That is the person that you are, someone who isn’t guided by a remote, like a robot.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Gori Tere Pyaar Mein
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