The whole procedure of finding a perfect match for the son/daughter who have attained the so called marriageable age is amusing. Suddenly sprung up a whole new species called “Shadiraam Gharjode” who drop by every Sunday, suggest some “potential candidates” over heavy breakfast and two rounds of “adrak waali chai” and make your parents guilty of the fact that their daughter is still not married and when this phase ends then starts the real torture; matrimonial sites, profiles, calls asking “Ladki ka colour fair to hoga na, jyada healthy to nahi, koi past wagairah ho to bate de” and of course the compatibility acquires a different parameters, “aajkal B.E.+MBA ki demand jyada hai technical match ban jata hai” (Give me a break dude ,are you planning to discuss circuits all through your life) .When gotra, profession, dowry, family status are matched then they come down to taking the opinions of the future bride and groom
Why does this institution of arranged marriage survive in India in this day and age? The India I am talking about is of the educated middle class where the incidence of arranged marriages are not only high but also considered as a legitimate way of finding a mate The answer lies partly in the elasticity of this institution and indeed most traditional customs that allows it to expand its definition to accommodate modernity such that, today’s arranged marriages places individual’s will at centre and parents assume a role where their one hand is raised for blessing and other immersed in wallet.
The arrangement in arranged marriage is clearly a manufactured one, sometimes taking some pseudo forms like a blind date, online meet ups, the reality swayamvar type shows all aim to let one meet a potential spouse. Here the idea of love is not so gently manufactured by contriving a spark or overflow of hormones but rather a well planned robbery.
In the west the idea of marriage has a notion that starts when one proposes and the other can withhold it for an indefinite period of time So we have marriage as a mirage that shimmers frequently but materializes rarely but imagine the same, when venues and the day of Roka and even which car is to be given as a gift have been fixed, how can a girl think over the proposal?
In an era where future and security hold more promise than present, arranged marriages continue to hold their charm. Whether choked in tradition or cloaked with modernity this institution of arranged marriage needs some serious help because sustenance of a long term marriage brings along with it a personal growth
“Wasn’t marriage, like life, un-stimulating and unprofitable and somewhat empty when too well ordered and protected and guarded? Wasn’t it finer, more splendid, more nourishing, when it was, like life itself, a mixture of the sordid and magnificent; of mud and stars; of earth and flowers; of love and hate and laughter and tears and ugliness and beauty and hurt?”