DippyBlogs (dippyblogs) wrote,

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Matrimony in Bharat

[Note: This is not for the world weary, or the non-Indian, or the been-there-thought and said-that population. This is for me, for myself, as means of putting down my thoughts, clarifying - more like clearing my mind from objects lodged over the past few weeks, all interestingly surrounding the one single topic - Marriage. Not mine, but an analysis of the various that have happened around me over the past two to three years. A spectator to the ins and outs of most of them, I feel as experienced in talking the walk as can be possible without ever walking the talk.
Its a tad long.
Now that I have the disclaimer(s) through, lets proceed in emptying out my brains contents and giving them a swirl]

Marriage - like the proverbial Hindi saying - शादी का लड्डू; जो खाए पछताए, जो ना खाए पछताए‌ - is an elusive concept. Most say is it indeed the sweet that can cause loose motions when eaten, and envied when not. Yet there is a growing majority (?) which seem to say sweets are passée, and they are happier off not having the craving, or the resultant medicine requirements.

The point however remains, that like most other animals, human beings also want to short-list one person with whom they would like to mate. Now, being the only animal species on Earth with "Judgement", humans also want a host of other qualities - companionship and what not.
Hence evolved a number of related customs (for with Man, everything becomes a custom, doesn't it?), including nuptials. Everywhere in the world, there is the custom by virtue of which a human being decides that they have had enough of being the "child" around, and they would want someone dedicated to listen to their woes and delights, of their age group. Parents just don't cut that figure (I'm talking of vast majorities). Hence, go acquire a mate. Someone of an age groups close to theirs, with whom sharing life would be tolerable, and in fact, favourable in many respects. It is the beginning of an adult life, hence living with a 'new' person may be just as good as someone with whom you have already spent 20 odd years of your life (including the time when you were dribbling spit and sporting rashes in nether regions).

In most customs, in interest of the gene pool, it is prohibited that the person marry someone related at all - even by quirk of fate - not as far as possible to trace anyway. While some others purport marrying cousins, if only to keep social ties and characters close, while allowing a growth in the genetic makeup - inasmuch as would be possible.

However, we will leave all that aside. The point is, people developed customs and in various ways and means, got married. All over. (And progenated, but then that story is for another day.)

With passing of eons, the main difference that arose in the making of a marriage, especially in India - was binary. In India, over years, the system of dating evolved to the stage where parents would find the best possible suitors through personal acquaintances and run you through them, and then after a suitable time you could choose the person you liked from among them all. (In a way much better than your friends choosing a list of people, or you short-listing on the basis of personal claims.) This is the so-called 'arranged marriage'. Of course, the system got corrupted and evolved into the monster(?) it is at the present date. Parents choose opposite sex person, you meet, say hello and tick against pre-selected basic criterion, marry. If you are from an "open-minded" family, you get to meet a couple more times before the rituals commence.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the 'love marriage'. The marriage where boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, decide they should tie the knot. Simple - but not exactly a phenomenon common for every (un)common man.
[I would not like to get side tracked into the presence/absence/meaning/senselessness of 'Larranged' marriages and its cousins. For your understanding, marriages arranged where boy n girl also fall in love by first sight, or lucky you! the two processes happen simultaneously, independently]

However, an interest is noted in the tracking of 'success' of marriages. With 'developed' nations leading the way towards divorces and more divorces, many are led to wonder whether earlier generations were happier, or more compromising and accomodating, or simply, terrible in math. In a country like India, a divorce, to date, is uncommon. Generally accepted it is today, but till a few years ago - unheard of. The 'bad' people got divorced. (just like the flippant people had love marriages)
Did that outlook help? Perhaps it did force people to stay together longer, have more patience, and also, look through a new set of glasses at each other. It was torture for the socially-inclined, unhappy couples of course. But that concept was suited to the closed economy. Stabler lives, virtually unchanging life generation to generation could afford a little marital discord, we say.

Today however, it is a different scenario. A love marriage is what most parents would want - taking the headache of looking for a groom/bride off their hands. Yet, more and more couples seem dissatisfied. Sure, they married whom they wanted to - but like they say - the more things change the more they remain the same. Marriage essentially remains one of two families. Marry the person, sure. However, the family becomes part of yours. No one denounces their parents because they have a mate. Not usually, anyway. And hence springs Autumn in the land of newly-wed happily married totally in-love people. So much so that in some cases, that divorce becomes the new agreement and love may well take a hike through the universe.Sometimes love does come to the rescue - and sometimes Willpower does. Marriages limp through, and also flourish.

To solve that, many would fall back upon the age old arranged methodology. Marry two people from suitable families. Once the families match, habits and habitats do too, and chances of discord reduced. What about Love you may say. Oh - its companionship you want, not love. That comes later. When you get to know someone, Love, will come.
Only, it just never might. A clinical match-up of backgrounds sure does make living with an unknown person easier, but marriage is more than fixing up a room-mate in a hostel. The latter lasts for a couple of years - and the former - hopefully a lifetime. All said though, a tenderness does develop in most cases and though not as violent as the ups and downs of love, lasts much longer, through thick and thin. And that is saying a lot.

Considering that, it is simple enough to say settling down remains the key. When life poses challenges - no one can rise above Love or Matchmaking. When you live past the challenges, that's when you know where you stand - together or apart. And that's what makes a marriage. The ability of a couple of people to know each other, having adapted to Family or Personalities, lived through each day and emerge at the end of a decade and say - yes, we do, and will live together.

What about knowing the person before saying "Yes"? That, though a good benchmark, can be misleading. Everyone changes after entering into a 'permanent' relationship. It is but human nature. Ask the 5 yr old live-in couple why they divorced a year after marriage. A marriage is like no other relationship - no matter what it is equated to. And it is only when you are in it, apparently, that you know what it is. Whether you run to the loo or not, is another matter - and totally up to the participants!

Tags: contemplating, global (universal), interesting, memoria, observing, thoughts, wondering

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