Marriages in India are a serious affair. No matter whether it is a love marriage or an arranged one, usually, its success lies with the girl and the boy? Really? Naah! In India it depends on the girl, the boy, their parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, grannies, friends …. Phew! My apologies if I might have discredited any relationship by missing their mention here. Now let’s think about the feeling of falling in love, isn’t it incredible? But here, it only is so until it stays between the boy and the girl but as soon as this gets between their families, it is the beginning of the great Indian melodrama of every household.
Marriage for us is not a choice but an age based mandatory stage which prescribes getting married before you turn 30. Even if that means marrying a complete stranger, a guy you or your parents are not even so sure of, or even by paying an ostentatious dowry to buy a so called good husband for their presumably ageing girl. Well! But that’s not it. Even after being literally forced into or emotionally blackmailed into getting married, walking out of your marriage is not a choice but a social stigma.
Nevertheless, let’s be optimistic and think that after all the hell broke on this naïve couple they still managed to get married. Now our girl moves out of her parent’s house to accept the boy’s house and his parents as her own but wait the worst is yet to come, with the disturbed domestic balance due to the new generation girls being equally educated and having flourishing careers, being raised at par with the boys in the society. I really wonder if our elders seriously think that they are being fair in expecting these women to perform equally good in both the spheres of life, their career as well as taking care of their homes as an expert home maker, which in fact needed two in their times. Why is it a cultural shock to our elders to see these newly wed women working till late or attending office parties when the same done by the working men is completely acceptable. We are in the twentieth century asking for equal rights for men and women but we still believe that it is the women’s choice to work or not but taking care of the house is solely her responsibility. Why can’t we teach our son’s to take care of the household and cook as we teach our daughters, why don’t we teach them the lesson of equality that they should equally be contributing in running the daily chores of the household.
The best argument that my parents had once put up was that, even the western societies are envying us for the lowest rate of divorce and how our cultural upbringing has kept so many families from breaking. My mother even went to the extent of giving me her example of how she did not even talk to my dad for ages but she had never let anybody know of their differences. I mean seriously? But what was the point then and who are these ‘anybody’ at all, whose opinion of our ways of life is more important than our own happiness and how sure are you of them, still having a great opinion of you after all the years of your life that you sacrificed for them, living in distress in a broken relationship. Would it not have been better to move on in life for both in the relationship? Who knows if they could have made it to live happily ever after by parting their ways?
On this note I would leave you with the food for thoughts. Should we not be accepting the change? Change of the modern India? Accepting our men and women of being equally responsible for bread earning, the house, taking care of the children? Being prepared to accept the failures of the new member in our family, as we would accept her success? Can we not be more accepting of her ways of life? Can we not still keep the divorce rate of this society low but at the same time not make our children’s life a misery? Can we make marriage a less dreaded word so our children’s generation is also not cracking the same jokes as us, of how difficult a married life is?