We already said adieu to winters and now, since the weather is pretty pleasant, it’s raining ‘marriages’ in my part of the country. As I always say, ‘Marriage’ here doesn’t mean just the union of two people but a lot of razzmatazz, ranging from tons of shopping, recurring visits to beauty salons and boutiques, bookings of Palaces, arrangements of delicious food, fancy decorations, pricey gifts, hip and happening DJ, and what not. ‘It’s a once-in-life-time event’ and people don’t leave any penny unspent (Yes I am talking about middle class people). Oh and did I forget to mention the alcohol! The major chunk of budget goes here, and why not, after-all this is what will remains the ‘talk-of-the-town’ for quite some time, probably until the next extravaganza ;).
This is the common way to express happiness here; ‘if you have it, you got to show it!’
Recently, I attended one such big fat Indian wedding. The entire setting was quite royal (nothing middle class). Everything was immense; the number of food stalls was such that you forgot the counting after a while; your tongue could get tired of tasting but the variety of snacks and sweets won’t exhaust. Most of the North Indian weddings follow suit. It’s actually a race to be the best displayer.
This trend, it keeps upgrading from time to time and people find different innovative ways of displaying their mirth and worth. Such weddings leave you enthralled for many days and the euphoria only goes after some reality check.
The parents who spend so much money for this ‘one day charm’, do they have any idea what the future would bring? Everyone hopes for good which is nice, and I too believe in that ‘living happily ever after’ thing. But sometimes we meet people who force us to change our mindset.
Today I met a girl of hardly 25 years, with a badly bruised face, swollen eyes and totally blank emotions. She is done with her marriage. Reason, her husband…he terribly abuses her, physically as well as mentally. The pain she was in made even a stranger like me, ache for her.
When you meet such people, you ought to question the exhibition of pseudo-joys that are displayed around; you actually face the ugly side of humanity; the cheapness that still resides in society; the low standards of people; the absurd thinking that wives are the puppets in the hands of husbands; the mentality that once married, a girl becomes the property of the husband; the evil of expecting (actually demanding) favours from girl’s family; a greed that is impossible to quench. And what does it take to make you believe this ugly side of life…A girl who has lost faith in human and humanity itself. And surely there are more like her.
The worst part is, not many parents in the middle class families here show the heart to call their suffering daughters back. First they spoil her life by marrying her early because they can’t let a ‘good proposal’ slip from hands, and when the decision turns out to be erroneous, they find it difficult to admit. And even if they do so, there’s always a tendency of making unjust settlements. “What the society will say”…is the most fearsome question ahead them!
Wedding a daughter is considered a big responsibility for parents here, but do they know what the bigger one is?
Deep down they know. Then why just prevent to be blind. Trusting their decision, a daughter nods to hold the hand of a stranger. Somebody tell them, not to be in so hurry. Give her some time. Atleast make her strong enough to support herself without depending on anyone. And when she is ready…
help her find a suitable ‘partner’ not an ‘owner’.
Wed Her Well.
Picture Credits: Google
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)
I was out to attend a family function with ‘Mr CoolHead’ and My ‘GlowinGal’. Every moment was enormously joyful and memorable. I want to remember some nutty parenting moments that may bury under the layers of time and for that I trust this blog more than my own memory. Moreover Sharing brings ultimate JOY. Even right now, I am having a big smile while putting my words on this blank page.
We all agree that children are cute and adorable but sometimes they become a big pain in the bum. How do you handle the situation? Of course, you pose like a perfectly calm parent, pretending as if nothing is bothering you! Am I right? Well, at-least that is what I tried to do.
Wearing high heels, as we neared our hilly destination, ‘GlowinGal’ was not at all willing to put her feet down. She insisted on picking up. I tried to convince but ended up loaded and stumbling here and there. Inside FUMING, outside calm as cucumber; I couldn’t afford to leave her on her own. So, a clumsy walk is all right as long as we are on track ;). (This is what I call harmonizing part of parenting act)
Amid the Bhangra beats and shaking booties, it was hard not to go with the flow. Life appeared to be nothing short of a dancing jamboree and then my eyes catch a wide open mouth and a tearful face of the apple of my eye. DJ was so loud, but I could read the message loud and clear…it’s time for an exit.
After much negotiation both of us came to an agreement…I could dance as long as she was in my arms! And that was no way, a good News! (This is what I call the huffing part of parenting act). However, Mr Coolhead is always there for a rescue with his icy cool temper.
All the dance maniacs were catching their breath for a moment. Out of nowhere, my princess comes and empties a full glass of water over the head of my nephew. Ouch! He is young and obviously had every reason to be mad. Before he reacts, I took a deep breath and patted his shoulder, “It happens buddy; be cool. Now that your hair are wet, let’s go for a fresh hairdo.” Poor Boy; He followed my words. (This is what I call ‘being Cool’ part of parenting act).
In a traditional setting, people were being distributed food in a very organized manner. A person would move with a bowl in his hand, and served to all. I was very careful not to waste any food, so every time I instructed him to give her a little. She amazed me by adapting to this mode of eating. In his own flow, the distributor served her a sweet dish which she doesn’t know the flavour of! There she was, yelling amid hundreds of people. I knew it was the time for a tantrum.
Kids have typical ways to express their disagreement. She again emptied her water glass in the plate, and I again took a deep breath, and chanted inside…I-G-N-O-R-E. Yes, I ignored as if nothing happened, picked up the water flooded plate, and disappeared from the scene… (and this is what I call the energy saving part of parenting act).
According to me, ‘NOT TO FRET’ is the most important part of intelligent parenting.
Well, in that case, I did a great Job. Didn’t I?
When you wake up in the morning and try to look at the clock with semi-closed eyes, only to find out that it’s already 8 O’clock!
Even then you can just pull the quilt and go back to your dreamland in the cozy world…this STRESSLESSNESS, this FREEDOM and this ACCEPTANCE… this is LOVE!
Because you know that there’s someone who UNDERSTANDS you and TREASURES you …
For what…YOU ARE!
Not, what YOU SHOULD BE…. 🙂
There are certain mysteries in this world, we should not try to solve at all because in such an urge we destroy their real charm. The more we try to get hold of them more we get mystified. Love mesmerizes each one of us. How hard you try, ‘the feeling’ of ‘falling in love’, cannot be explained by the words found in any dictionary. You can say it’s a feeling, out of the world. Those who have experienced it consider it divine and those who haven’t secretly yearn for it.
In an attempt to demystify love, men seek help from science as we all believe science is factual. Science says that all those heavenly feelings that one experiences while falling in love, are actually the result of a “hormonal play”. These hormones are the choreographer of entire love song and make you feel and do crazy things. They force the opposite sexes to take interest in each other, so that the reproduction occurs and life continues. It is in fact a logical explanation but then I am compelled to think if this is the case, why don’t we fall in love with every ‘opposite’ coming our way? How do we locate that ‘one person’, and then surrender? Psychology unfolds that there is a blueprint of the ‘love to be’, in our mind and once we come across a person who is a look like, we fall for him or her. Commendable revealing, isn’t it?
You must have heard people saying, “Har kisi ko nahi milta yahan pyar zindagi me, khush naseeb hain wo jinko hain mili ye bahaar zindagi me” (Love is not attained by everyone in life, consider them fortunate, who have). Does this mean that only few people are blessed with the blueprint and only they have the privilege to fall in love? Now, it is all getting jumbled. What if the encounter of two corresponding beings is delayed or they bump into each other pretty early. Ah! That, my dear, is not easy to answer.
In India at least love is mistaken to marriage (not bad as it guarantees reproduction). Here even those who are not able to find their analogous (blueprint match) themselves, get assistance from family and well wishers. But sometimes I just wonder about the fate of such relationships as life is long and who knows when and where, your predestined love to be, is waiting.
Often, we find reference of the “First love”. What could be so ‘special’ about it and moreover we are adding “First” as a prefix, meaning love can happen for second, third, ten, hundreds or even zillion times. But what about the Feeling, does it persist? Well the answer is No and Yes. No, because first time is only once in life time and it is exclusive. Yes, because love is definitely there. It may be of different magnitude and still so true (well, it can’t be anything else).
Love is said to be Nature’s way, if and only if you totally submit to nature. What I believe is, ‘Love’ is not a mystery in itself; meeting the ‘right person’ you fall in love with at the ‘right time’, IS. So, let the mystery sustain. Don’t endeavour to find your love as love will eventually find you. How? That still is a mystery.