Two people meet,they talk , they find each other interesting and keep seeing , talking and finally get married . If things go well , if they remain understanding , sincere and patient throughout the life the marriage goes on , Else they separate to find a better life for each .
This might sound a normal scenario . But , that is not the case around me . Come let’s have a peep into some real time conversations happening .
This happens in India – the land of diversity – diversity goes from languages to religions which further divides to castes , diversity in skin tones to hair textures , diversity in food we eat and festivals we celebrate . Its all diversity in a jar . Travel towards South India , you reach the very own “God’s Own Country” , Kerala . This is where I’m born and brought up .
Come to a home where the son is of marriageable age ( Yes , we have such ages . If a man wants to get married when he is 21 or 22 it is considered too young by the society ) the most common conversations go as follows .
Mother ( mostly the final decision maker ): “She should be fair , educated and at least at par with our financial standards”
“Fair, tall, slim , educated, religious and should bring atleast $$$$ dowry . As gold , cash and car . After all my son is earning $$$ . So definitely he deserves these”
“ Fair , slim, educated- but we wont let her work and from a well off family . No dowry demands from out side , let them give what they want”.
There will be fathers in these family – but mostly they dont have any much opinion at this stage except to nod at their wife .
But sisters do have opinion , like “ she should be beautiful , she should be fair or slim .. “
Lets come to the Hero hero , the would be husband . What does he say ?
Assuming he do not have any girl friends to be considered as life partners , the most cliche statement will be “ whoever my mother and sister likes !!” ( We can wonder why he even chose to get married , for the sake of mother?or sister ?”)
A handful have a decision to say “ I’ll find the person , you dont have to worry about it .”
Let us assume , the person was in a long term relationship with someone . He prefers to take this relationship to a marriage and live together ( living together before marriage is not yet accepted in the society ) .
Mother : “ What ??You want to marry her ? She is not suitable for you . Her family doesnt match ours . Her fathers job is &&& only !! Her uncles dont have proper earning . Her auntys father in laws sisters daughter eloped with some one. Her maternal grandfathers brothers wife’s sister is mentally unstable” . Do you find this hilarious or insane ? But it is a truth that if the family does not like a girl , they would come up with any sort of reasoning to stop it .Yes, our parents want us to be independent and yet dependent always and anytime . Major life decisions like what to study or whom to marry are almost always parental decisions . But a kid is given his independence in eating Lays or Prinkles , going for a movie or outing , are fine with most parents .
Inspite of all this if the son goes ahead with his decision :
Sobbing mother “ She would have done some black magic . Else my son would never do this”
Consoling aunt “ He would have got a much better , beautiful , rich girl . What did he find interesting in her ?”
Some Uncle /Aunt “The gold she wore was too less , and her family also do not look aristocratic .He shouldn’t have married her”.
Father “ Let him decide, that is his life . But he has brought a shame to all of us”.
And for some unfortunate reason , the marriage collapses. Now ,
Mother “I told you , she would never suit you” or “ we knew it from day one itself that this wont last”
Some uncle /aunt / relative “ The girl and her family looked very substandard . So we knew this would ultimately happen “
Father “ Atleast from now on , listen to us”.
In case the marriage survives , both husband and wife would definitely be strong willed fighters who has decided to be together forever . They may have to fight for a week or few weeks or months or years even .
This is just one side – the grooms side . The other side , the brides side in the next post .
Note: This happens in most of the families around me irrspective of their socio economic status . Let them be educated or not , holding high official positions or not, most of these happen .
To be continued ….