By Nanditha Sankar:
Enter 25, for some unfortunate souls, it starts the moment you finish your graduation. Right about everyone from the “concerned” next door auntie to the very same relatives who would’ve only appeared twice or thrice in our lives,Â will magically enter our lives out of nowhere and pop the question of why the young man/woman of the house should be married off to some respectable family ASAP. Somehow, it falls upon the list of “duties” of parents to find a suitable match for their kids and along come the added perks of social status boost amidst kitty party chit-chat.
Moving on to the nuances of marriage, a recent US based survey conducted on 5,000 people pointed out that many singles enter into wedlock negating the element of love from the equation. While 31 % of the men were ready to marry someone who had everything they were looking for but love, the percentage of women who thought the same say was 23%. More than pondering over the number disparity between the sexes, it is the idea of marrying for love or for other reasons that is important here.
Would you marry without love?
Hell no, would be the answer in unison. Everyone of us would be expectant of coming across that one person who truly fits the bill and falling in love with them. But rarely does this happen.
In the case of our country, it becomes incumbent upon the parents to marry their kids off before they enter into their 30s. The moment a youth is handed a job and 1-2 years of having led their life enjoying the pleasures of independent living, they’re shoved into the portals of marriage. The Great Indian Wedding, as it has come to be known for the sheer pomposity it serves to highlight more than the union of two people, kicks off at a very early stage. The prospective brides/grooms are reduced to mere pieces on the board and their chances of finding love become all the more slim. This comes with the added pressure of seeing everyone they’d ever known since kindergarten, school and college, getting hitched (yes, this was another reason slated in the same survey). Like the little boy who asked his parents to rush him into the nearest Hot-Wheels store for fear that he would be left out among his peers, so does the marriage process happen.
In the middle of all this hullabaloo, love takes a second seat. The argument on the importance of love is oft repeated. Surely, it leads to better understanding of the other person rather than embracing a stranger for life. Sure enough, it gives us a glimpse of what life would be with whoever we’re involved with at that point of time. But for those who haven’t been in love and are about to take the plunge, all I can say is that whatever reason it is they decide to go for it, the last thing it should be for is just looks/cash. Those two would take us nowhere in life except another plunge, this time for the worse.
And then again comes the question of why one should hurriedly rush into marriage? Do we really need the help of others to keep us happy? To provide for us? Aren’t we better off with the family we’ve been living together with for years? Nowhere is it laid down that marriage is the be-all and the end-all purpose of life. Yet, a large percent of us choose to take the plunge. For better or for worse is a question that we can answer for ourselves.
Caution: At this point I would caution readers not to take the all-so-happy made-for-each-other pictures of couples posted by face value.
“By all means marry: If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”