Once, in the class I teach, there came a point where everything seemed too drowsy. I did not even know what went wrong. Although I was explaining the author’s ideas on how women were ‘treated’ after marriage by their partners, something was missing from the class. I have always felt that acting on immediate spur during a particularly monotonous and routine process, could rejuvenate the situation. It is as if a stream of creative energy flows into my being and I share it with everyone else surrounding me.
At the spur of the moment, I decided to ask three questions.1. What is marriage?
2. Which form of marriage do you prefer?
3. Which is the marriageable age in your opinion, for both boys and girls?
Read the previous chapter here
When even their dating is pre-arranged by their respective families, it is a question to what extent one’s independent creative self could harmonize itself with the mechanical processes involved. What should be an organic process of meeting individuals turns into an orchestrated ritual guarded safely by the family.
I made my students promise, nothing in our discussion should go out of this class. Then our discussion continued. However, I still noticed some reluctance on their part to use explicit terminologies such as “love marriage”. Some of them had other ideas of marriage to discuss too. So I invented this quick metaphor. I said, “Let’s consider arranged marriages ‘ration shops’, where one has only limited choices. Also, consider love marriages supermarkets, where you have plenty of options to choose from, on your own.”
|Image Courtesy: Google|
Then I urged them to suggest their ideas. I was looking for what each of them thought about the second question. Which form of marriage do you prefer? When family arranges marriages, proposals reached the man or woman only through the family. In other words, the individual’s say was only limited to the later part of the selection process; the first selection would already have taken place. This was the reason why I used the ration shop metaphor to suggest arranged marriages.
One of the students stood up. He said smiling, “Sir, I would like to go to a ration shop inside a supermarket.”
|Image Courtesy: weddingfotographer.files.wordpress.com|
What he mentioned was a phenomenon the late 90s have witnessed in the culture, popularly known “arranged-love marriages”. Though it sounds a bit paradoxical, this super baby is born out of the nuclear family culture. The nuclear families could not afford to lose their only son or only daughter just because they had made their own choices in selecting their life partners. So the boy and girl would come to their parents and talk about their relationship, as usual. Here is the blessed part: after much word-battle, in some cases, if the family is traditional or orthodox or due to some psychological reason with the father or mother figure, the parents consent.
The good news is that within urban societies in India, “arranged-love marriages” are gaining popularity and acceptance. So love, finally, is on the march.
This article is first published in http://www.nexttimelucky.blogspot.in/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anu Lal is a bestselling author, book reviewer, blogger, and educator. His recent book, You Should Know How I Feel... has been a bestseller in Amazon India.
He is the first Indian author to write a trilogy in short story collections in English. The first book in 'Hope, Vengeance, and History' trilogy is Wall of Colours and Other Stories, which is published in July 2013. His latest book is Prabuddha:The Clear-sighted.
Book-2 in the 'Hope, Vengeance, and History' trilogy will hit bookstores across the world, in January 2015.
He blogs at THE INDIAN COMMENTATOR.