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Marriages Are NOT Made In Heaven! : On The Glorification Of Arranged Marriages In India

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By Juhi:

As I look at married couples all around, in grocery stores, shopping malls, or baby shops, I wonder if they really love each other. I wonder if they ever planned their old age days, did they plan anything at all after their honeymoon and kids?


I am going to attend my uncle’s wedding. It is an arranged one. All the relatives and the friends are invited and a grand party will be organized. Everyone will wear fancy, attractive and expensive dresses and dance, enjoy, have good food and then set back to their respective homes. Bride and groom, after many hectic days, would prefer to sleep and then more rituals will follow. Eventually, both of them will get used to it and apply this “getting used to” philosophy for rest of their lives.

In India, most people marry in the same way. Some get lucky enough and find their love of life in the person they marry, but most of them end up having forced, monotonous and most of the time, a miserable life. However, they stick wide smiles on their faces, trying to validate the theory of our ancestors that “for the sake of society, marry someone who belongs to the same caste, religion, has good job and family background, and love will happen eventually”. Why don’t people understand that we can’t arrange marriages, they get arranged by themselves when the correct time and person arrives. Marriage is an important affair and it involves the person with whom we have to share the rest of our lives with.

How could we take such a big decision by referring to some papers or consulting priests? Our life is not about the alignment of stars, it is about us, people around us, our objectives, believes, habits and families. We consider betting in sports as a serious crime, then why do we bet our lives in the institution of marriage?

We will have to change the definition of successful marriages. It should not be about big fat weddings or “no divorce” marriages or couple with children doing fine. It should be about couples falling in love everyday and growing old together not because they have to, but because they want to.

Why can’t people get little more pragmatic and realistic about marriages? How difficult is it to realize that everyone of us wants happiness and peace, not compromises?

You must be to comment.
  1. akshita

    I completely agree with these statements. I mean this something very interesting and paradoxical that throughout our life we are told not to talk or mingle with strangers but with such a crucial phenomenon people have to experiment. At one point we have thorough studies of equality, secularism etc. but simultaneously we abide by the policy of marriages within the same class, caste or religion. That’s sad about our society.

  2. anuradha

    even i feel the same…it is very disgusting…when i hear that she or he sacrificed their love just becoz their loved ones are not from d same cast…its very sad…its d bad face of society …

  3. radom

    It should be about couples falling in love everyday and growing old together not because they have to, but because they want to.
    Madam come out of your fairy tale. Life is not bed of roses for all 67% of your fellow brethren are dependent on government for the most basic need of food and you talk about growing old because they want to, not because they have to. The marriage system is result of the society, society will change so will the institution of marriage. Have faith and keep calm.

    1. adya00

      Fairytale? What happens now is a nightmare. Its a violation of an individual’s right. Why on earth should anyone restrict themselves to one caste, religion? If the two people can figure out how to leave with each other, what problem does the society have with that?

  4. radom

    you censor the comments of the youth, and when the government does it, you will put up another post. Double Standards.

  5. AMAN

    Dear friends…. I am here on the same stage, how can I live my whole life with an unknown person whom I do not know. I don’t know this society what needs. Before few day I married my love but she is from other caste, this is not any issues for us but don’t know why our parents not accepting us, they are forcing us to leave each other and marry with the person which is from same caste. It is impossible for me to live without my love. we tried too much to convince our parents but can’t and Now they have separated us but still we love each other. I hope we’ll be together again and then no one can separate us.
    I’ve told to my parents that I don’t have to marry with other girl and no one can do second marriage. If we won’t live together then we can die together. I Love her too much, more than my life.

  6. youthagainstarranged

    I think it is one of the the most disturbing feature in our current society (IMHO even bigger than political scams). And the fact that this is happening even in really well educated families — even in families where parents are teacher that makes it even more grave offense.
    For example-
    Just look at the cast/religion based matrimony sites (e.g., brahminmatriomy) and the number of registrants on these sites and you can understand how deep rooted and pre-dated these beliefs are. Boys and girls working in call centers, big software companies, abroad (US/Europe), pursuing PhD — register on these sites with preference to people of the same caste! We haven’t started talking about religion yet. And these people are supposedly the enlightened/educated ones. I can’t even think what is the state in our villages.

    I have friends, family members and relatives who fall into this (above) category. And what worries me that these are the same people who support Anna Hazare, protest against reservation in education systems and promotions…asking for merit based system !

    1. rananjay

      u r free to choose ur partner but dont try to give sermon to others, people ll do the things they consider right for them…….why ur r overburdened wd others behavior u dont register ur self in cast matrimonial ,problem gets solved, r u a philosopher that people shd pay heed on ur opinion .U r young u r not able to understand everything after few years u ll understand ……..i know u ll again do ur thethrology(rigid on ur opinion)(its not an english word dont consult dictionary) but u dnt have power to force us or dictate us we ll do what we consider right for ourselves ……

  7. Lizzy

    “Everyone of us wants happiness and peace, not compromises. It should be about couples falling in love everyday and growing old together not because they have to, but because they want to.” That’s where u have nailed it ! Hopefully more parents & youngsters ‘ill come ahead & see the light.

  8. Ila

    I think it’s up to the people to choose if they want to have a big fat wedding r not! Rest of it I agree with.

  9. ankurtulsian

    Before agreeing or disagreeing to these statements, let me try and make a few arguments to add perspective to something we like to see in black and white shades.

    Love is a hackneyed expression used too freely – however, I am not sure how many of us really understand what it is. Most of our notions about love come from the mushy romantic movies that we might have grown up seeing. Personally I think very few people are lucky in their lives to find their true love before marriage.

    Marriage is an arrangement for life and I would say it needs to be practical decision if anything else. For better or for worse, spending your life with a second person involves a lot of adjustments and compromises. What one needs to figure out, if one can, is what are the compromises you are willing to make. What are your set of non-negotiables when it comes to living life your way. If one sees them not to be threatened, I believe that in the longer run, a marriage works.

    Indian societies come with a preconceived notion about men and women. There is a lot of unnecessary taboo about friendship between boys and girls and so on. Plus, in the social setup we come from, families feel responsible for helping each other out through decision-making – whether it be about marriage, or simply about the next house to be purchased. In this context, parents and the extended families have worked out an algorithm over the years that could lead to a happy marriage. The assumption is that people coming from similar castes, lifestyles, class, family background etc tend to think similarly. Which means they would tend to have a similar set on non-negotiables – hence compatible. The problem is that there is a gross level of generalization at each step of deduction, especially in the context of more liberalized section of men and women – hence, the growing dissent.

    I don’t think it is about love or arranged marriages – it is about being pragmatic and about understanding what would it mean to spend the rest of your lives with someone – every moment.

  10. ateet

    I agree but article doesn’t state about reality. We see western culture following similar pattern but are they really happy, when we are born we don’t to choose our parents but we fall in love with them and our extended family no matter how horrible they are, question here is whats the solution at present we are in a middle of westernization and old cultural heritage of arrange marriage.

    We see consistent break-up and divorce as a trend in the present Indian scenario especially in metro’s. I myself believe in true love and god only knows how many times i have had one of those. But, i also believe arrange marriage is not as devastating as it sound, till the point person who has agreed to take on world if things go wrong.

    I belong to a typical marwadi family but i have a sister who is a super model at an age of 26, an age where rest of my cousins have two to three kids. She is self-dependent in everything and all those pressure of society, family and friends to get married doesn’t effect her. And Guys we are talking about hardcore marwadi family where still my mom cant show her face or talk to my grand father as marwadi culture.

    So solution to this article is simple buck up make your life and live by your own rules because once you get on your feet no matter what happen no one can force you do anything.

    You can fall in love, Fall out of love, get married dont get married, go for a live in, stay single or change side become gay or lesbo for life and i mean no one can judge you.

    Take care,

    And god bless us all !!!!!

  11. Ashwin

    The feeling of there is some thing special between me and the other person, is it love? Yes it is love Wow I am in love —- dose not totally qualify to step into the married life …. It may help for some people when they are really committed ….. and this commitment is given an anchoring with rituals and so on …. if commitment is not there then it dose not matter weather its love marriage or arranged both will suffer any way.

  12. vani

    marriage on the whole is a bit of a fallacy, don’t you think? It’s like choosing a room mate for the rest of your life. Let’s not be deceived that love has anything to do with marriage or vis-a-vis. We all need somebody, sure we do, but why must we waste so many resources to prove our point. I think it’s time to get over our our insecurities; If you really want to be with someone, go ahead and live with them. you don’t have to beat drums about it in the middle of the night when neighbours are cursing your absolutely out of tune band wallahs. Eventually,whether you found your own life partner, or someone else arranged it for you, it doesn’t matter. you are going to want ‘out’ at some point anyway, and the legalities of marriage simply make that harder to do.

  13. Narender Singh Phartyal

    A successful marriage is the one in which:

    Both the partners respect each other

    Both the partners support each other

    Each person cherishes the other

    Each person likes the other

  14. Narendra

    Arranged marriage is not bad because oftenly we did mistakes by choosing a wrong partner in attraction…because now morality has degraded in boys too much,most of them wants sex enjoyment only from girls..they cleverly used everything to catch…i mean… you know everything..IN MY FRIENDS..truly saying..who did sex with any girl before marriage never married with that grl..they are flitters ..they run over more beauty,more charming look ..& they later became rapists..rapist is the future tense of playboy…they are not my friends now… so if it is a love marriage it should with family support…if boy is good from heart even then family is not supporting then you have to wait for their permission…you have to pray to god…..then miracle happens dear..the thing which have to be will be……

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