Do you think Marriage is ‘just’ the consensual union of two persons?
Well…Not at least in my country! More than this, here, it’s a socially and ritually recognised coming together of two partners which in addition to love also establishes rights and obligations between them, and between them and their In-laws, and not to forget, the relatives!
It’s complicated as majority of us actually like these customs, and go miles to maintain a ‘preset’ social image. The couple remain too busy tending ‘important’ relations that it gives them quite some time off each other. Possibly these potent distractions have contributed to ‘one-life, one-life partner’ concept, prevalent here (you spend less time with each other which is by default the ‘quality’ time 🙂 ). Though, variations do occur but yeah, the expectations are heavier on the side of a ‘SHE’.
It’s rather hilarious that the moment a girl is chosen for the wedding, she is paralleled to Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth). There’s no harm in that but after all, the girl is compared to a Goddess, and the Goddess is obviously expected to shower bounty of riches in every possible form. Undoubtedly, the Bride-cum-Goddess is lost in a catch-22 situation as it difficult to satisfy the never-ending greed of the pack, and she is soon to run out of the resources. Minus-resources, she longingly looks towards her saviours, ‘her parents’ who are often seen desperate to fill her emptying cache. Receiving such inexhaustible boon, the people live happily ever after…well…not exactly…such people are never happy; the feeling is temporary, soon to fade!
I too am married and have seen plenty of marriages (simple and extravagant; successful and unsuccessful; happy and unhappy) in my culture and a few subcultures as well. Exceptions do occur, mind you! Not everyone is equally ‘insatiable’. I am one fortunate soul but marriage in itself is no less than an adventure from the very beginning!
Lately I got interested in researching the basic philosophy behind this marriage thing (so expect some more such articles 🙂 ), and here is the crux (and I believe many of my own culture people don’t know it!). In our sacred scriptures eight types of marriages are described, out of which ‘Braham Vivah’ is considered the ideal form of marriage between a Boy and a Girl from equal stature families. In this, Boy’s family approaches the girl’s family; No Dowry is involved; and the girl is accepted in two sets of clothes and a few ornaments. (It’s hard to spot these days as no girl wants to have such limited options 😉 ).
Our Shashtra also acknowledges Love marriages as a marriage which does not involve the consent of any of the parents. Interestingly, a marriage would also take place when everyone was ready except for the girl’s parents. (Past people were bolder, I tell you. People today are so confused, they don’t know their own history and keep condemning love marriage for no good reason except for breaking some hearts 😦 ).
None of the eight marriage types revealed anything in particular about the much hyped Dowry from bride’s side however when the Boy is either not of equal stature or is deficient in some nature, it is said that he used to pay the girl’s family (reverse of present day Dowry).
So basically this unnecessary burden of dowry is added later on by some clever minded folks. What else justifies this evil?
One of my colleague said that earlier both the families used to contribute positively in some form so that the newlywed couple could settle their home; it was a kind of help but slowly this became an obligation to be born only by the girl’s family.
Having a son is still considered a privilege by many. This is partly because our system still works on family ties, and the ageing parents still hope to be taken care by the son during the dusk of their life.
Okay fine, I have no problem with that. What I wonder ‘Is it some of fee that a girl’s parents pay in advance to buy a pass for their daughter to enter your home? And then she is also expected to take care of you more than her own parents!’
Surprisingly a girl manages to do it somehow but don’t you think it’s too mean for an expectation!
(*This post is author’s personal view on the matter and is not targeted at any special person. Day to day observations and ‘the willing’ but ‘confused’ ‘to-be-wed’ people inspired this write-up)
“Serving others without expecting anything back!”
“Putting others before you!”
Altruism, Hmmm! Sounds good but pretty unreal, at least in today’s world.
But don’t we keep hearing about people, going an extra mile, doing unbelievable things, and guess what, expecting NOTHING in return! I mean really!
Twenty-four-year old, Mr Roman Saini, gathered public applause for opening a free on-line tuition academy known as ‘Un-Academy’. The important thing is, he did so after resigning from a job of the most prestigious rank (IAS) in our country. Plus, he too is a certified medico. Kudos to him; he must be a courageous unselfish man but one thing that kept bothering me while reading the NEWS was, “He resigned just after two years of his job! How will he pay his bills?”
(Ordinary me, he must be having some back-up plans!)
Well ordinary people like me can’t think of leaving their beloved jobs, partly, because they love money and partly, because they are not genius like him! 😉
Then I thought, “Do I have to be a ‘genius’ to serve people selflessly? No! I assume. I can serve the Nation right from where I am standing NOW i.e. an educational Institution and I think, I am doing good :).”
In my opinion, serving others comes natural to us and being unselfish depends on time and upbringing. I hope you must have heard about NSS (National Service Scheme) with a motto, ‘NOT ME BUT YOU’. It is part of the academic curricula here and camps are organized regularly, to serve the community (I am not sure about selflessness). Students get enrolled to NSS at the time of admission only. Problem is they don’t have even the slightest idea what NSS is all about; they just go with the flow until one day when they are face to face with real action during the NSS camp.
We are having a ‘7-days’ camp these days in which students mostly are involved in cleaning of the surroundings and spreading awareness regarding various social issues. But the question is, “How aware are they themselves?” Because what I have seen on their faces and in their actions, seems to be a feeling of ‘regret’ and ‘helplessness’. Undoubtedly, they are contributing but the efforts are not wilful. They do so because they have to, not because they want to do!
Funny part is- we are teaching them to serve the community and also expecting that they should be treated with refreshments and hot steaming food! Where is selfless thing here?
I am not against Students or anybody. I totally support them. My point is, why push someone when the will to serve ‘selflessly’ is absent? In-fact we are making them hate, serving others, for good. They are supposed to love ‘serving’ without expecting anything for them. Aren’t they? Why don’t we help them realize their role in the community and then ask to contribute, wholeheartedly? Is it really much to ask?
Okay, enough is said but let me tell you the good side of the coin. Our campus is shining clean, thanks to the unwilling efforts of poor students. Out of disappointment, they uprooted all the superfluous weeds. The yellow marigold and pink roses are standing tall, glorifying as if looking down at the wilting weeds and saying,
“Serving time is over for someone,
and today that someone is,
NOT ME BUT YOU!” 😉
[Sometimes emotions drag a post too long that’s why I have to divide it in two parts. I wish to share my frozen memories with you guys and I want that you go till the end. Not just click the like button and move on. So, those who missed initial part, click Frozen memories (I)
and then continue…
…Snow time would bring a different kind of holidaying. The electricity would stay disrupted for days and the phone lines wouldn’t work. The temperature outside used to be very low and if anything containing water, is left outside overnight, the surface water would freeze. There used to be race to own the natural glasses so formed and I used to think ‘how amazing ‘Nature’ is!’
There would be no scarcity of water. Go outside, collect some fresh fallen snow from the roof and put it in a pot kept over hearth and Ta-Da! Warm water, is ready for every household chore.
Once the magic called ‘Snow’ was enjoyed to the max, after-days would be spent with the family by savouring myriad delicacies, playing indoor games, and occasional outings to bid farewell to melting snow.
I can hear a crunchy sound, even right now, in my ears which was produced after intentionally stepping on the left over snow patches under the trees or on the straw.
I don’t exactly remember how young I was then but what I know is that papa would clean the snow from door to the main street, and some sort of ‘gully’ would be formed, and when I walked through that gully, I couldn’t see anything! This means either I was really small or it used to snow really huge, at that time.
But Gradually, year by year, things changed. Now the ‘Sigri’ is replaced by heaters and blowers; hearths by Gas/electricity appliances. No one wishes to take unnecessary pain when they can afford luxury. Every room has personal lavishness.
Good! It shows our Nation is undergoing development.
Bad! No more real automatic fun! People do gather on occasions but fun part has to be added, voluntarily.
Moreover, it doesn’t snow like that any more! Even if it does, stays for brief time period.
The environmental conditions of my place altered supposedly after the installation of a cement factory in the vicinity. There are scanty rains and negligible snow-fall.
At larger level, the winter of this year, is supposed to be abnormal one with a raised night temperature. Everyone says it’s because of ‘Global warming’ caused supposedly by the over indulgence in such and many more luxuries, and is a return-gift of ‘Developing’ too much, from the creator (Nature).
Initially, Man survived the absence of such luxuries; he lived in harmony with nature.
Then, Nature stayed where it was; Man moved on. He progressed and made his life comfortable, well…at the cost of Nature.
Now, It’s a war between the creator (Nature) and creation (Man).
It’s payback time.
Global warming is a serious problem. We all read and hear about it, every now and then, and show some momentary concern also but it is today that I realized one more thing about Global Warming, “it is also capable of melting down your frozen childhood memories and strip any chance to relive them.
I feel pity for the next generation for their chance of experiencing the joy of ‘Snow’ that we used to have, is evaporating in to oblivion….