“And they lived happily ever after!” — Is this still relevant in our society? Is this the habitual or inveterate way to look forward, particularly in an arranged marriage? Rather, I think it is a myth that has been propagated since time immemorial. So, what does it mean? Do all arranged marriages reflect the goal of a happy ending? Is it not peculiar that in our country we never let our kids play with a stranger, but push them to live their entire lives with an unknown person with much boasting?
We never let youngsters talk to an stranger since childhood. We raise them in a rigid, conservative family set up. But unfortunately, just to satisfy our personal egos, we thrust them into nuptials knots for the sake of tradition. We become judgmental when it comes to our kids’ future planning. We never allow them to disclose their intimate choices. Families care a damn about the kids’ well-being.
Then appears the so-called big, fat Indian wedding with a long list of ‘gifts’ for dowry. In addition, the typical matrimonial site with its bizarre declarations like ‘Early alliance invited for a slim, fair girl, not less than 25 years with a highly qualified background’. We can introspect a clear reflection of racism and body-shaming from this above advertisement.
Finally, let’s take a further glance at post-marital issues such as torture for dowry or demand for a sanskaari bride, amongst others. All these patriarchal releases are relevant for the bride only. Surprisingly, grooms are devoid of such expectations and owe no such commitment to their respective families. They are the carefree ones who are free to use their privileges. Only brides are expected to reinstate such cultural norms, and they have the quotas for such indignity. We bring them up with a mindset of Paraya Dhan (someone else’s wealth).
Hence, to discard this mindset, we have to allow ourselves to adapt a reformative and behavioural change in our approach towards marriage. A spontaneous moment of tenderness shouldn’t be ruptured forcefully. A wedding should be a matter of choice, instead of being organised by chance. All responsibilities should be carried out by both the parties in a coherent way to lighten the burden from the shoulders of one￼ side. Love marriages should be highlighted in our community to overcome inter-caste and inter-religious differences among classes.
Note: The article was originally published here.