Picture this. You are living in your dream-city. Making a good start of your career or at least are on the path of making one. And one day you get a call from your parents (from your home) asking you to pack-up and come home for a day or two because you have to “settle down” NOW. It is a common phrasing used in families: “padh likh li ab shaddi kar lo” for girls, and for boys “achi job lag gai, bhagwan ki krupa se, ab achi bahu mil jaaye”. This situation is not just seen in movies or soaps, but they happen for real. It has happened with me. And am pretty sure with many of us reading this.
Some of us would have met someone with whom we are sure we want to spend our life with and some of us still are confused whether we want to really settle down, and few others just needs time. Who decided that so-and-so is the right age to get married, because after that, all the good guys/girls would already be taken? What is wrong with trying to find that right person with whom you can spend the time? I am not bias towards those that chose to go for arrange marriage. But I feel that all of us ought to have the choice and not be given the only choice to stay with someone whom you (can) love. My parents say that love can happen even after you marry. I disagree. I feel that it is affection and not love. Love is passion which you do not ALWAYS find it with each other when you are trying to adjust with the responsibilities and trying to build a bond with your spouse.
Not all love marriages are successful neither are arrange marriages. In today’s age more often than not we find people in the court after 1, 2 or even 5 years of marriage. The reason being initially we try to adjust with our spouses and then at some point, we just snap. And then you cannot stand them because you are not able to keep up the façade any longer. So you end up being divorced or try to keep up the good front in the public and lead a solitary life with no love or affection in the confines of your privacy.
But the story doesn’t end there. You are a divorcee now (if you manage to get a divorce). Again you are force and “suggested” not so subtly to RE-marry. This is because again you won’t have a suitable spouse if you don’t re-marry now. Else it will be again late. Is this all our life about? Marriage! And if divorced, Re-marriage…
The point is if a love marriage goes wrong you are asked for an arranged re-marriage, and if arrange marriage goes wrong you are asked for an arranged re-marriage. True they say no one would force you to marry someone you don’t want to… but dare you say no to so-and-so, all your relatives would bombard you with all the whys and whats (and it is supposed to be logical according to them)! Hence you are manipulated in saying yes and making you think that it was because you liked them. The questions they ask are the testimony of it. So you cannot deny it in the future. (It’s a TRAP)
I wonder why if you choose a guy on your own and ask your parents’ permission to stay with for the rest of your life. And if YOU arrange a meeting with both families why that cannot be regarded as a healthy arrange marriage? You all would be happy. Right? How can that be possible? Because then there are issues of caste, profession, etc. Rarely, we find families accepting their daughter’s choice of son-in-law or their son’s choice of daughter-in-law. And both the families melding as if it were a normal union of families as it is in a normal arrange marriage. Otherwise arrange marriage is just yet another interview which we give for yet another job just that in some cases both would be doing 2 full-time jobs. Imagine that…!!
Another question (specifically for girls) that comes to my mind about it is if it is just yet another interview why are not we (girls) allowed to continue with our job, make career and just be allowed to choose the man, who is just not there because of some papers but would understand our dreams, our hopes, our expectations. The one who wouldn't mind cleaning the dishes or help me out with dinner or groceries. He wouldn't do it as a part of responsibility but because that is how it is to be. The one who would help me change diapers of our baby not because we had decided it was his turn of the night but because he knows I am tired for the day. The one for whom I wouldn’t mind waiting till he is home not because it is my responsibility but because I don't ever want to go to bed without him beside me… I would not want to marry anyone because I do not have any other option but because he is the one I want to be with.