Stubborn Indian Arranged Weddings

Pardon me, as I move away from my regular kinds of posts and talk about something that started off as a regular conversation between me and mom but soon turned into something more intense.

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Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against arranged marriages. My parents had an arranged marriage, and the way it has progressed in today’s time, it’s actually quite fantastic! Say you are single and are looking out for serious love but aren’t able to find anyone. So you’re just set up. By your parents. Then you date for a while, and if all goes well, you get married.

But this is just the good side. Sadly, there are still so many people who haven’t graduated their thoughts and idea on arranged marriages. You see, in olden times, yeaaaars back, when dating was more of a taboo in our culture, the boy and girl would just meet 2-3 times ( in some cases, not even meet at all!!) and give a yes or no and get married soon. But as times progressed, people started giving it more time, to see if the boy and girl are truly compatible. I mean, come on! Anybody can put up their best behavior for a couple of dates.

Yesterday, I was speaking to mom about a lady, in her early 30s, get married for the third time. I asked my mom what happened to her previous marriages. Answer: the guys turned out to be jerks! The curious me inquired a little more, found out they were arranged marriages, where the guy and girl just met 2-3 times, ‘tsk-tsk-ed’ vigorously and went on to get a big shock. She was marrying the 3rd man, the same damn way!!! Arranged with only 2-3 meetings. What the—-? Did she not learn from the previous two times at all?

Then mom went onto say how in a lot of places, it isn’t done the new way. 2-3 meetings are considered enough. And how the lady couldn’t demand much as she was a two time divorcee which meant the groom had the upper hand. 

I was shocked beyond words. Now, I know many families consider 2-3 dates enough to say a yes or no and 2-3 months enough time to get married. I have also seen many girls after saying a more or less yes, finding out the guy is a a jerk and calling off the wedding. But getting married in a rush 2 times and repeating the same mistake for the 3rd time!!!

Now, marriage is a big deal in India. BIG BIG deal. And by 25-26, majority of the girls married – love or arranged. Guys by 27-28. But is that big deal bigger than your daughter’s happiness?

While in conversation, mom told me how parents now wanted to just get her married and settled and and finish that ‘responsibility’ before anything happens to them. Mind you its a 30-something, working woman we’re talking about her. Then I wondered, why isn’t she saying anything?? Turns out, she goes into bouts of depression. That the peers her age are happily married, many of them with children. That’s when I understood, she was a victim of the old-time thinking. Her depression isn’t only from the broken marriages. But also the fact that she should have been married with a family at this age like her friends but isn’t. Notice: ‘should’ have been. Had she been taught that marriage isn’t the ultimate goal, maybe she would be able to pick herself up better. 

And when will people here stop giving a damn about the society?

“Meeting 2-3 times is enough. Ok 4-5 maximum. After that, if you still need time to say a yes or no, it’s going to look so bad.”

Is it going to look worse than your daughter stuck in a ‘stable’, meaningless, marriage with someone who may be a nice guy, but is just not her type? Or worse, some guy who turns out to be a freak?

Please Indian parents stuck in the previous century, open your eyes. 

PS: At the end of this post, I’m just going to say I’m pretty damn lucky to have parents who are liberal and progressive thinkers. 😀 Thank god for that!