This has been happening for quite sometime. Wake up in the morning, log on to your facebook and you see one more notification of someone getting engaged, someone getting married, someone getting laid! (Probably mark should add this functionality too!).
And obviously so, this is the marriage season on in india, and I belong to this group or this age, where people do generally get married. So, it is nothing but obvious that my friends are all getting hooked.
Interacting with many of these recently married, or soon to be married couples, gives me one good insight. Get an arranged marriage, and it is just an affair. Dare an affair, and there are lots of things to be arranged. The biggest of them all, convincing parents.
More the differences, more time consuming it is.
1. Different caste?
The most common problem. Everyone, right from the mom and dad, to the door ka uncle, whom you meet only during weddings, and also the kaam wali bai, who needs to know why are you getting married to someone outside your caste. Understandable if you are a parsi, and your community population is dwindling, but not otherwise, they say.
A reddy girl, cannot marry a choudhary guy. Final. Why? Both the families celebrate the same set of festivals, have similar rituals, follow similar traditions, and even look quite similar. So why? You may ask? A No, is a NO! unless you want your limbs cut off, by one of our factionist brothers from Telangana. (Anyways, the nosed man is not very active these days!)
2. Different language?
Again a big obstacle, and a very common one! Come on now, India has about a 1000 languages ( 18 official languages), and liberalization has allowed us to travel across the country. It is obvious that a Tam-Brahm girl would fall in love with a Punju guy ( remember 2 States, by Chetan Bhagat), or a rajasthani girl being pataaofied by a mallu guy! But well, parents on either side would sure be dead against it. Why? Dude, you want your father to be able to atleast communicate to your father in law!
Living in both Chennai, and Delhi, the difference in life style could not get more starker. They could have been two completely different countries all together. Iraq and America would have more similarities, in every walk of life!
How do you convince you parents? Show them the beauty of multi cultural interaction, and tell your punju father how it is very important to be learning to save more money from your Tamilian filter coffee drinking, Hindu paper reading father in law!
3. Different religion?
All hell breaks lose! WHY? Why? And after many more doubts on proper downloads of sanskar, the mother still asks WHY? Why on earth you, a pious Brahmin boy, who does not eat good things like chicken and mutton at home (and hogs the same like a pig in a hotel with beer!) want to get married to a muslim girl? WHY?
In this case, the occasional kashmira shawl sales man also needs to be convinced. After all, a muslim girl is going to come next to buy his shawls.
Remember Veer-Jaara, convince your parents that you are doing all this in for the betterment of the Indian society, and to ensure cross-cultural exposure to your kids! Or maybe, you can just tell them, it is necessary like IIPM has a necessary international exposure!
Beware, they might just slam you back with Sonia Gandhi’s example, and try showing you logic that only if Rajiv Gandhi had married a hindu girl, the country would have been a lot better now! No Italian dope to the dying BJP!( yeah, and who know, No Bofors case for the CBI. No Q)
4. Rich – poor divide?
Now this is a very serious difference. How can a Raja bhoj, let his daughter get married to a gangu telli? Remember Dulhe Raja? But well, the dulha needs to be determined, and push his way through to the riches and the coffins of his soon-to-be father in law. Whatever it takes.
This particularly reminds me of a friend, Raju, who recently had to meet his rich girl’s parents to convince them for their marriage. After the initial pleasantries, the soon-to-be father in law (FIL) guided Raju to the study room to get to know him better.
“So, Raju, What are your plans?” FIL asks Raju
“I’m an software engineer at Acer, working for the last four years.”, raju replied sheepishly knowing very well that his meager salary of 3.3 lakhs per annum was less than FIL’s daily income.
“Well, that’s admirable” FIL replied. “But what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter?”
“I will work hard, and God will surely provide for us” Raju explained.
“And how will you buy her a nice engagement ring?”
“I will work hard, and God will provide for us”
“And children?” asked the father. “How will you support children?”
“Not a worry, sir, God will provide” replied Raju non-chalantly.
The conversation continued for about 10 more minutes in much the same fashion.
After Raju left, his girl asked her father what did he feel of Raju?
“Well, he has no sound job, income and no plans either”, he despairs with the girl looking at him with tension written all across her face.
“But, the good news is that he thinks I’m God”
“You can marry him!”, egoistically.
They are now getting married in June.
This brings me to the next divide, EGO!
5. Ego clashes?
Mohabbatein! If you remember seeing the SRK romantic movie of early 2000’s, you would realize that there is no solid reason for the father Amitabh bacchhan to reject SRK’s candidature. ( This is what marriages have become, one more job opening!). It was just his ego, that he could not let go!
I wonder, why are most of the parents against the overall concept of a love marriage? I know of a friend, who loved a girl from his same caste, and everything. If he would have applied for an arranged marriage, a good possibility that his parents could have selected the same girl! But they were against this alliance? Surprising!
It is more to do with the inherent right that parent seem to be losing than anything else. At the birth of a child itself, the parent takes this ordeal of selecting a bride for their son, as their inate right. Now when you, the son, gets a girl on your own, your are stealing them of this right, and they do not want that.
No parent would accept this, but this seems to be the inherent truth!
Again, here, persistence is the only way guys!
6. Age difference?
Guy elder to girl by any number of years, still okay! Girl elder to guy? Unpardonable. It is an age old custom without any sound logic. In the olden days, it was considered normal for the guy to be atleast 10 years elder to the girl.
In the good olden days, the men fought wars, while the women filled bindis of water from far off places. In this milieu, it was necessary that the guy crosses a certain threshold of age to get married, and parents of girls have always been desperate to get their daughters married off as quickly as possible.
A recent study says, that girls tend to age more quickly than guys, and thus to maintain compatibility and also to ensure that the couple looks good together it was necessary that the girl is younger to her husband. A different study also says that women have an average life expectancy atleast 5 years more then men. By this logic, to avoid the woman from spending more years as a widow, she should be allowed to marry grooms five years younger to her, to ensure death at the same time.
Ultimately, whatever your parents give as a reason for this, there is no way in which you can overcome this. The girl, if elder to you, is always going to remain so, and the only way to overcome this is to die hard convince your parents.
I personally think, this norm that guys should be elder to their wives, stem from the inherent need of every male to be dominating, and ensuring younger wife gave them a free license to do this!
And if this was not enough, Let me remind you that God’s wife is elder to him! (er! Sachin Tendulkar)
7. Boy – Boy?
This is something that is very much in fashion of late, and the Indian constitution has recently also legalized it. Now this is one case, where the issue stems due to the lack of a difference, unlike the remaining reason where the issue is due the reasons. Now the basic reason for this issue, is lack of awareness and an inherent tendency against change that each of us have it within. You father would say, “You marrying a boy? Which boy gets married to a boy? I have not seen anyone being happy after doing this!”
Probably, our generation, after seeing many a happy gay couples would allow our children to pursue the sexuality and the orientation of their choice!
Whatever be the reason guys ( and girls!), if the voice within you shouts that yes, “She is the one! She is the one!” No reason or difference( or maybe the lack of it) should stop you from relentlessly pursuing it. Nothing on earth can come between us should be the motto, and watch titanic to gather inspiration.
Okay! Need more inspiration? Watch any hindi movie, and this would be the theme plot. Want more realistic inspiration? Watch a telugu movie, sans the fights!
This post is dedicated to Srinivas Jarkula, who is getting married this Sunday in the district capital of KHAMMAM! (Well, it is some obscure place in Andhra!) Wish you guys a very very happy married life!