Marriage is perhaps the most important step in an individual’s life and more so in a country such as India where it comes with a lot of extra responsibility. For a man, it is his duty to take care of his lady and love her to the very best of his abilities – to make her feel special everyday. For the lady, it’s her responsibility to work, depending on her social strata and also bear children and if possible take care of the household as much as is possible for her. Marriages in India are of two kinds – love marriages and arranged marriages.
For all intents and purposes, in a traditional country such as India arranged marriages are given equal, if not more, weightage as love marriages. This form of marriage is for people who never really have had the chance to select their life partners due to any of the following reasons:
Main reasons behind arranged marriages in India
- The lady or gentleman in question was academically or professionally inclined, which never gave him, or her, the opportunity or sufficient time to look for a loved one.
- The family values and principles scoff upon such deviant decisions or actions.
- The lady or gentleman was never able to be accepted in love due to whatever reason before and are now successful in their lives and are thus in a good position to finally settle down in life.
- The person in question is getting too old and thus needs to be married so as to avoid the social stigma that comes in case someone is not married.
The process in case of these marriages can be long drawn as there are plenty of visits to be made before agreement is finally reached. Under normal circumstances, these procedures get over and done with quickly if the prospective groom or bride is accepted by the other family. However, it can get tiresome and also painful for the people in question if success is hard to come by.
For starters, the lady is always judged by how she looks, how docile and demure she is and whether or not she works anywhere. In most traditional families, which normally prefer such marriages, qualities like being a good cook or even good in extracurricular activities like music or academics is a major draw.
The gentlemen are normally queried regarding their qualification as well as their income, which is the most important aspect for the lady’s parents. In a patriarchal society such as India, men are supposed to take care of women and if they are deemed unfit to be financially incapable of doing that they are discarded without a second thought.
On the face of it, it is hard to disagree with these customs that have stood the test of time – after all, parents are more experienced in life and are thus wiser and better guides of their children. They do understand what is better for their wards even after they have grown up and are financially and emotionally independent. It is also hard to doubt their intentions but perhaps some finer aspects of the notion or system of marriage, as well as life in general, are missed with these practices.
- People are often found to have lost their faith in these processes because of the relentless social scrutiny that they are subjected to and because how they are judged on the basis of success and failure in these cases. After a point in time, it becomes a source of harassment for the prospective bride and groom and instead of being an enjoyable experience altogether it becomes taxing for one and all.
- With these detailed and meticulous searches, it basically boils down to looking for people that fit a certain notion, a definite stereotype. Marriage is supposed to bond two people in holy matrimony but nowadays it has mostly, and unfortunately, become a process to join two very capable and skilled as well as acceptable individuals who may not be mentally compatible and may drift apart after a few years down the line. Such thoughts are rarely given any consideration.
- The essence of any partnership that is expected to last a lifetime is mental similarity that is reflected in areas like culture and values. It is necessary to ask if people are intelligent and perceptive enough to understand how the other person is in a space of an hour or even a year. For most it is like venturing into the unknown with no idea of what to expect. Perhaps, even in love marriages it is hard to know a person completely but at least some knowledge is there. In most arranged marriages, thus, there is a good chance that either one of the couple is making a major compromise somewhere and that may not be the ideal way to go about it. In such cases any decision often involves the prestige of the whole family, especially among relatives and peers. Annulment of marriage, due to even for the most justifiable reasons, is viewed with derision and people are often forced into marriages even without their consent. This contributes to several problems later on in life for both husband and wife.
The basic essence of life is to lead one with honor and dignity and for some that may come at the cost of social relationships like marriage. Perhaps it is always more advisable to be happy alone than suffer with others – life is one to be enjoyed and not regretted.