Three years ago the LBC wrote on Marriage and my own post generated quite a bit of comments and responses. That topic was suggested by Conrad The Old Fossil who is on a sabbatical from the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently five of us write on the same topic every Friday. Today’s topic has been chosen by me. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!
You may therefore wonder why I chose a topic that has already been written about earlier. A few months ago when the LBC was compiling a list of topics to write on this year, three of my young friends were quite desperate to get married. To use their own reasons for this desperation, one due to loneliness, having already tasted matrimony once and divorced, and the other two with no earlier experience of matrimony but with their hormones playing havoc with their being. The matter was being discussed with me by all three of them with varying intensity, and up popped the topic for the LBC list.
Coincidentally enough, one of them annonced his engagement just yesterday; I attended the wedding reception of the other hormone case yesterday evening, and exchanged notes on types of love with the lonely individual. just the evening before last. And here I am today, overcoming my writer’s block at the altar of the LBC to write about matrimony!
In India, the pressure to get married starts when one is quite young. Apart from the hormone problem, pressure comes from family, friends and even well meaning strangers that you will meet on trains and planes who will try to find your marital status so that they can suggest a match. The pressure takes these forms.
Matrimony, the process, for most urban Indians starts with a classified advertisement.
There are other avenues open to finding the better half of one’s life such as, family network, marriage brokers, now sophisticatedly called bureaus, and increasingly, social networking websites.
In India, there are three distinctly different types of marriages, the most common, even today being the arranged marriage using the first two as well as the classified advertising route; the so called love marriage where the boy and the girl meet somewhere and decide to get married; and the third the second being given the blessing of both sets of parents who allow a period of courtship before the formal marriage ceremony itself.
One now increasingly comes across live-in relationships as well which either end up in marriages or break up with the very rare long lived ones going on for decades.
Having got married one or more of the following things happen. That is the state of matrimony. 1. Joyful companionship for the rest of their lives; 2. Antagonist staying together, primarily for the sake of children and societal expectations; 3. You go your way, I will go mine but let us stay married – primarily when a lot of money is involved; 4. One spouse is unfaithful till found out; 5. One spouse gets tangled up in an abusive relationship; 6. Long distance relationship and so on till finally parting of ways takes place either a simple parting or a divorce.
Perhaps it is just that I am blind to happy married couple who do not have time for me, but I am increasingly coming across instances of all the situations bar the first one.
I think that this is because the value system that my generation grew up in is no longer the value system for young people. There seems to be a remarkable resistance to adjust in relationships. I am also informed by very observant young people that women no longer have to face stigma if they break up relationships. This may well be true in urban areas and I suspect that in rural India options one and two would be in operation.
But for all that, the institution of matrimony still flourishes. And that surprises me. Does it you?