Tuesday, May 31, 2005

U can not do away with the feeling of love !

Now that my exams are over I am back in business of Blogging.:)
We r in midst of a really hot hot summer
with temperatures touching 43 degree C with added humidity! I travelled a lot due to my official preoccupations criss crossing boundaries of Bengal, Jharkhand & Orissa during last two weeks !

And while coming back i saw an interesting spectacle. Just when my train was passing over a river I saw below this big love sign with an arrow made on its parched sandbed .

And I thought even this blistering heat can not prevent someone to show their emotion on a river bed and that too in a midst of a jungle!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Interruption Interruption Interruption...

Its exam time folks!
So I have to interupt this thread in the middle!

Only after 28th my blogging activity will return to its normal.

and then we will talk about marriages in the context of indian society in detail


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Arranged & Love Marriages Part-IV

///In Mumbai, too, more and more children of parents I know are leaving it to mom and dad to look for the right alliance. ‘My mother knows me better than I know myself,’ a young man confessed, ‘I trust her judgement. My dad has seen the world, he has more experience. They know what’s good for me.’ And these are guys in their mid-thirties, who have studied in foreign universities, dated a few girls, done the party circuit. And yet, when it came to marriage, they were more than happy to settle for a conventional, old-fashioned match. Much like their grandparents!

It was my generation that stupidly rebelled against a system that had worked perfectly well for centuries. A lot of us paid the price for letting our impulsive hearts decide who our life partners would be. No regrets. Just that I fear we were blindly following the West and taking our cues from Hollywood, just to prove to our parents how ‘liberated’ and ‘modern’ we were.

Our kids are smarter. And more realistic. They’ve seen too many marriages collapse and they definitely don’t want repeat performances in their own lives. Force-fed on romantic drivel from countless movies, it’s a generation that laughs at the old Mills and Boon version of marriage. They ache for performance and stability. If an arranged match can provide both, they’re not averse to considering it.

My own girls receive proposals from suitable (!) boys, through well-meaning intermediaries. So far nothing has clicked. But at least the girls aren’t scoffing. Ditto for the boys, who shrug ‘whatever’, which translates to ‘It’s okay’. Which is perhaps why I wasn’t caught entirely by surprise when I met those desi young marrieds in the US.

They were refreshingly candid while talking about the methodical manner in which their parents had gone about the whole thing. The girls were all educated, attractive professionals who looked happy enough as they adapted to an entirely alien culture with an entirely alien partner.

We got to know each other only after the wedding. But it has worked out,’ they insisted. Some had had earlier relationships, but claimed that fact did not colour their decision. They’d made informed choices and expressed no regrets.

On the other hand, I also met alarmingly young divorcees (some with babies), who lamented the day they’d said, ‘I do’ to a boyfriend of long standing. ‘We thought we knew each other so well. We were used to each other’s ways, too. God knows what went wrong after we got married. It reached a point where we couldn’t stand the sight of one another.’ Can happen. Does happen. Love . . . passion . . . desire . . . madness . . . where does everything vanish? Nobody knows.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Arranged & Love Marriages -Part III

....I often ask my father what he thinks are the two basic factors that made his marriage a success. He always gives me the same answer: ‘character and abiding love’. With these comes the rest of the package. It helped, of course, that my father flipped for my mother’s looks at first glance. But what about her? Did she have a choice in the matter? He insists she did and that nobody could have forced the spirited seventeen-year-old Shakuntala to marry a man she did not fancy.

What about fights? Differences? Tantrums? Of course their marriage had their fair share of all these. But beyond occasional arguments and sulks, I don’t recall a day of sustained hostility or unpleasantness. If they had problems, they settled them in privacy. It was, in many ways, a great marriage, full of sharing, caring and deep understanding. And more than that, full of communication.

One need not rule out either communication or passion in a modern-day arranged match. Recently, while in America, I met several extremely bright American Desis. I confess I was a little surprised when told that most of the young couples slaving away for their MBAs, were in fact, not the dating couples I imagined, who’d taken campus romance to the altar, but couples who’d met as strangers through family intervention. In this day and age, these kids had taken the crucial seven steps around the holy fire, without so much as holding hands before the wedding night! And here they were, some with young children, others still settling into their new lives as ‘young marrieds’, but nobody could possibly guess that they had opted for a conventional ‘arranged’ marriage out of choice. When I expressed my surprise, they drawled, ‘Aaw—no big deal . . . it has worked out just great!’ And so it seemed!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Arranged & Love Marriage Part-II

......My father recalls his first encounter with my mother with a wry smile, so many decades later. He describes each stage as if it happened last week. How his eldest brother asked to see the ‘girl’ in broad daylight, and insisted on her displaying a bit of her ankles too! This was to make sure my mother was not lame, had no deformities in her lower limbs that a flowing nine-yard saree could successfully camouflage, and that she could walk unaided! The ‘broad daylight’ factor was to judge the exact shade of her complexion—naturally light-skinned, or caked with ‘snow’ and talcum powder? Fortunately, she was not asked to sing, dance or produce a culinary miracle for the guests’ benefit!

Apart from this, their formal meeting, my uncle also surprised my mother’s family with an unscheduled visit, during which he demanded the ‘girl’ be produced in an ‘as is’ condition, without as much as running a comb through her hair (beware! Maybe the future bride is bald and wearing a wig!).

Once she passed his scrutiny, the talks progressed to the matching of horoscopes. Alas! The family priest declared the match entirely unsuitable, insisting there was no hope for such an ill-starred couple. I understand he was ‘persuaded’ to reconfigure the astral positions with a few additional rupees thrown in for a fresh verdict. And bingo! The match was declared to be perfect after all. And so it was!...

Arranged & Love Marriages-Part-I

While browsing on the net I came across with the writings of Shobha De. Though she is not my favourite novelist, I found the topic quite closer to my heart. I remember those days when in college we discussed at great length on pros and cons of Arranged and Love marriages. So i thought why not throw the issue open to u all out there! But before that lets read what Mrs De has to say on this...

...I have seen as many successful ‘arranged’ marriages, as ‘love’ marriages. This is, of course, a peculiarly Indian description that amuses the rest of the world. But hey, I see ‘arranged’ or ‘semi-arranged’ marriages catching on, even in the West. Perhaps people have woken up to the reality that there are no real guarantees, no safety nets, either way. You can consult the most revered astrologer, talk to the family pundit, match horoscopes for all the ‘gunas’ endorsed by the shastras, but if a marriage has to collapse, it will. Ditto for a marriage driven by emotion, which we so cutely call a ‘love marriage’. It’s a fifty-fifty chance, whichever option one takes.

Young people have figured this out, perhaps intuitively. A lot of kids today are entrusting this all-important decision to their folks—parents, relatives, even well-meaning friends. Of course, the new ‘arrangement’ is more open-ended and better structured. Devoid of the old ‘rules’, which prescribed the ghastly ‘Dekho’ session, the social meetings orchestrated by middle men or women these days work in a more acceptable fashion....