Marriage: "Arranged" or "Love"???

You might argue that this is the 21st century when most parents' primary concern is seeing their child being happy in marriage and thereafter. Gone are the days when parents would raise a hue and cry when their son would break to them the news that he has discovered his soulmate he would want to tie the knot to. Gone are the days when in anticipation of those daunting consequences, the docile son would never attach serious contemplation on the act of "love marriage". Or well, if he might have already committed that cardinal sin of falling in love, he wouldn't leave a single stone unturned in ruining the calm of his partner and himself whenever the subject of marriage was broached. Today's parents are a lot more understanding and have happily delegated the right to choose a life-partner to the one it matters the most. But well, let us not forget that it is not the era wherein you are set that matters, its the mindset that does. Despite all the commendable contribution from the elders of the family towards their composure, the nubile lot of today still find themselves torn when it comes to this debate between arranged and love marriage.

To elucidate the governing factors for this dilemma, let us consider an example. Meghna(name changed for privacy's sake), a software engineer placed in Hyderabad, says that whenever she makes a call back home her mother never forgets to mention to her the subject of her marriage and at her age of 26 it is pretty much a justified concern. They have given her all the freedom to choose for herself, and that seems to make the choice making an even more arduous task. It has now been sometime that she has been seeing this nice guy, but of a different caste and she likes him quite. But then, she is paranoid of the fact that the one she has chosen might not meet those unstated expectations of her parents and the last thing she would want to do is upset them. Could they be so liberal as to forget those caste considerations? So, she continues to be in this grave dilemma of whether to pursue this association she is pretty fond of, or to nip it in the bud. According to her, a clearly stated template for the groom-to-be would make life easier, than being given all the freedom which at times could get too hard to handle. She chucks at her disposition,"with great freedom comes great responsibility".

The manifestation of this dilemma in a different kind can be seen in Rahul(again, name changed) who works in an advertising agency, Bangalore. He describes himself as the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve which slips away at the sight of every beautiful female around. He gets so captivated with the "beauty" aspect that the other components of marriage doesn't make much sense to him when he is dating a girl. He definitely doesn't want to give up his right to freedom of choice, but then, when it comes to choosing he is all jitters. He is scared that he might be making the wrong decision that could doom his life. Infact, he isn't even sure of what that decision should entail.

Finally meet Prachi(not the real name), who is in search of her mr. perfect for years now who has still not arrived. Belonging to those extremely choosy and nitpicking kinds she finds too many faults with every guy she dates. And since all of her choices have been "wrong"(by her standards!!!) till date, she is definite of not hitting the bull's eye ever. So, she wants her parents to bear the brunt of being the "wrong" chooser who in turn knowing her stratagem well enough shirk off that responsibility with deft dexterity with sermons on "your life, your choice". She is well aware of the fact that she cannot marry a person she has not known well enough for some time at least, but then, she is also aware of the fact that the "knowing well" process has imbibed in her this perennial fear of "tie and die".

All in all, lucky are those who know their mind well enough as to the one they want to spend their life with. And lets not blame the ones who don't because statistics get scarier by the day. Arranged marriages, the once considered safer option, have a larger failure rate in these changing times when people don't think twice before revolting a wrong choice made for them. So love marriages could no longer be considered a vice but rather the responsibility to live upto your choice for a lifetime. Any crisis in your relationship post marriage would have only yourself to blame. No doubt why this choice between love and arranged marriages look like the typical "between the fire and the frying pan" problem.

Taking into account all such predicaments, a well thought of solution to the dilemma is a combination of both - a little bit of arrangement and a little bit of love - in any order. That way, it could either be the groom/bride in question who breaks his/her choice to the family who does a virtue evaluation of the same. Mind it, this is not the conventional "asking for permission" phase, but one which gives your entire family a share of your happiness and an opportunity for them to voice their opinions. During this time you feel more secure and more certain of your decision when your family supports the same. The other way round, it could be your family who makes a choice for you and gives you all the time to fall in love with the chosen one. That way you have the prudent decision of your elders to give you peace of mind as far as the choice of person is concerned, and also the advantage of having your choice in knowing your partner well
enough before the wedding bells toll.

But then, the indubitable fact remains that the success of a marriage depends on the individuals constituting it. "love" or "arranged" is just the process of coming or bringing together. The survival of the marriage solely depends on the coveting of that togetherness and making every effort to preserve the same.


At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The undeniable responsibility to out parents (to keep them happy ) who sacrified and gave to bring us up, translates in indian terms into "Arranged Marriage" . When will we learn to live lives of our own and not for society ?

This is one horse tat has been beaten to death a long time bacK, you would do better to drop such frivolous topics and take something worthwhile "something off the beaten track".

guess u have been watchin a lot of spiderman too these days .. and the usage would be "between the devil n the deep sea' ;) (the frying pan stuff)

At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very enlightening article... I myself never attached too much thought on the topic untill I read ur article... as for me, I fall in the meghna category... paranoid of the fact that the one I have chosen might not meet those unstated expectations of my parents and the last thing I would want to do is upset them... and the cast factor too...

ur solution is great... will try it...

ps: u could have also talked about the plight girls face in the arranged marriage process... parading before guys... getting rejected etc..etc..

At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am sure my fellow blogger would appreciate that english is a vast language and has more than one proverb that conveys the same meaning.:-)

At 3:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh but i thought "from the frying pan into the fire" works better than "between the fire and the frying pan" or mayb i should update my english .. neeways no offence meant.. as some one said "I am but a kid, beholding in awe the great ocean that is literature"..

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to be like Rahul but sadly iam not y..:))sheer lack of oppertunity .I portray myself as a play boy, no less but being an indian(which i assmume bestows in me the qualities of morality and honesty).I can never ditch my love, and think now its time to move-on something new.
I have just one life and god has made so many "types"which ought to experience.
And i consider marriage as a life long commitment ,which i belive one has to honour no matter how it happens, Be it arranged or luv,we simply dont have the discretion to look for a scapegoat to harp its failures .
Being an indian though im a hard rock fan english movie freak ,I still consider the institution of marriage "sacred".
And u can bet on it we all r still non-americans at heart what about u ????

At 12:22 AM, Blogger pegasus said...

Nice article...
so what do you conclude.. what should one go for...

i think it is important to be able to bond with the partner ( emotionally) and know him/ her before one actually takes a decision which is binding for the life-time.

At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a fourth category of person - lets call him Siddarth.

So Sid has grown up with the mindset that he will marry the girl of his parents choice. Even being an NRI, he still has this mentality. After all, all his family members have had arranged marriages, and why should he be any different? But he knows this. That if he meets a girl, the girl of his dreams, the one who he is absolutely sure is the one for him, the one who he will be in mohabbat with, he will do anything possible to make her his.

Now Sid is 25. His parents are looking for a girl. Sid's parents would look for a suitable family, and then Sid and the girl would have a brief meet, or say an hour. In this one hour, Sid would decide if this girl is for him. There will be no going out, as this would taint the girl's reputation.

In the meantime, Sid starts liking someone else. He is not sure if this is mohabbat or not. He hasn't figured out his feelings, and isn't sure if she is the one or not. But he knows she is someone he will be happy with.

Should Sid now go against his family and raise all hell for this girl? Or should he let his parents find a girl for him and let him decide his fate in an hour.

It all depends on how strongly Sid feels for this girl. But what if Sid can't figure out what he feels for her?


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