Monday, February 12, 2007

Arranged Marriages - India

I have been to nearly half-a-dozen weddings and missed as many, since Dec last year….It’s wedding season they say, this time of the year…
When it comes to ‘tying the knot’, in India, getting married the traditional way-a la “Arranged Marriage” is a THE way to go it seems.

The concept of Arranged Marriages is still a mystery to me. Frankly speaking, I am stumped by the logic behind arranged marriages. The most obvious question still bothers me- How can a person marry someone he/she doesn’t know?! It’s true; we don’t know the person (read personality/character) whom we are marrying. Simply because we haven’t known him/her for long. Did I say for long?…oops…Correction, we just meet him/her once and that’s it!! We decide whether to marry him/her from that one meeting which is nothing but an introduction. So it all comes down to just one basic thing and a set of typical questions in that meeting (or introduction or kanda pohe or whatever).The basic thing of course is the looks and the persona and it’s quite easy to get tricked by that isn’t it?! Whether we got fooled or were plain lucky can be decided only afta marriage!!!

Anyways, afta the so called introduction, both sides give their verdict…Obviously if it’s a ‘Yes’ from both, we proceed to the next stage..that is matching of kundalis …or does that take place before…well doesn’t matter…I can’t figure that out either. Coz even if the kundalis don’t match and the families like the boy/girl, the astrologer has to match them someway!!! Alrite, forget that…Engagement follows which is a normal thing in any marriage and then the World Cup finals-Wedding i.e.

I must say here that I love the wedding celebrations in India. The feast, the colorful crowds, the traditional ceremonies, the fireworks et al make for great day out.

But But But, HOWWWW do we decide from that meeting…still pondering on that one and I guess will continue to do so…Coz it's only after marriage that manifestation of the true character occurs and we get some not so pleasant surprises unlike love marriages where we know a person very well.


Hrishikesh said...

Mate, I realized that before you :))

Amit said...

Dude, as Australian as I've become and all the rest of it, with my modern outlook, blah blah blah; You do realise that "Arranged Marriages" are not only a custom of Indians, but also a custom that's been ongoing in European and Middle Eastern countries. A lot of Europeans (Greeks, Italians, Macedonians, Maltese, Portuguese, etc.) and Middle Easterners(Syrians, Turkish, Iraqis, Lebanese, etc.) had arranged marriages as well. There is a logic behind it. Although a lot of Europeans now have migrated to USA, Canada, UK, AUS, etc., they have now turned to other ways of courtship.
A lotta times, due to personal reasons, you may not be able to approach a girl to ask her out, date, etc. Or maybe, just ex-relationship that ended badly, or plain, simply, you just cant find a bloody chick!! Hence, your out come= no girl, no marriage. SINGLE!!
But if you're parents helped you out with looking for a girl and pushed you into a marriage (with your approval and the girl's ofcourse), you're looking at a family life and kids perhaps.
Now, your concern, you ask? Dunno what the girls like? What sorta person she is? etc. etc. These days, unless the family is still a conservative type, I'm sure you could request the parents of the girl to take her out for a coffee, a walk or just lunch, which may be labelled as a 'date'. This way, you've had your private conversation moment and not under the watchful eye of parents. Now, you say, "But the kinda girls my parents are looking for are all conservative, and won't let them go out with me." Mate, as bad and arrogant as this sounds, but, you're better off marrying a girl you like in your first impression and get married and have a family, rather than try to have a girlfriend, etc.
Here's the kicker, when you have an arranged marriage, majority of the times, the couple is in compromise and 'trying to understand each other' mode and usually it works out.
And a lotta relationships that turn into marriages, the boy or the girl know if they're 'it' for each other in the 1st or 2nd date.
And, finally, if a marriage has to break-up, it could happen, whether its arranged or not. So, mate, keep your mind 'open' and accept the culture we've been brought up with, the same culture, your parents got together and their parents and so on. And mind you, they've all had successful marriages with bright, successful children, like yourself.
N.B. I can't believe I actually said all those things. I must have been really tired or just simply bored.

Amit said...

I'm sure mate, you'll have another plethora of qs, but, love marriages don't always end like a fairytale.

Rohan S said...

Amit, mate! That's some interesting stuff u've written!!! ...
Well, I love and hate some things of our great Indian culture...But the sheer dislike of Arranged marriages had a reason....and the reason, I wrote this post was out of sheer anger, frustration and sadness of some experience I have had.... Since then, I had always looked at arranged marriages in a negative way.
Reading your post does make me feel good about arranged marriages...Your comment makes a lot of sense...May be ,the things you said reveals the logic behind arranged marriages:) ...Cheers for that mate!