The most important or rather most talked about topic in our country after cricket, is Marriage. And there comes a juncture in life when its importance supersedes that of cricket. Being standing at this crossroads, I would like to put here my perspective towards marriages in our country. It is said marriages are made in heaven. But after seeing the recent commercials on heavenly apps for one of the mobile operators on television, I seriously doubt its credibility. And in case it is still made in heaven, it has to go though some stringent quality checks before it is acceptable for general use.
In our country once the boy or girl attains marriageable age, which is not a fixed number; parents get anxious to get their children married off to the most suitable bride or groom available on the planet. Usually the process starts off with fixing the criterias for the partner. Its begins with the looks, complexion, education, profession, age and goes upto family background, number of siblings and their education, profession etc. etc. The list sometimes gets endless when number of people giving their opinion are plenty. Though fully aware of the fact that there is no living species on earth which can satisfy all the above mentioned criterias, the search for the unknown goes on for a while. Now when the sense prevails and search for the God particle bears no fruit, the list of criterias get compromised a bit. With each passing year of the search, the degree of compromise gets stronger and stronger.
A major aspect of marriages in India is the caste and religion. As per the ground rule, a boy and a girl can't get married unless both of them belong to the same religion and caste. But once a suitable match is found after crossing these initial hurdles, there comes into picture the all-powerful source of match known as the horoscope. It acts as the Oracle which foresees the future of the alliance in all possible aspects. The major input to this prophecy is usually the date and time of your birth. Now the question that arises here is, does it really take into account the factors which fixed the day or time of birth. It may so happen that the doctor was having a bad day and he turned for the surgery 15 minutes late from the pre-scheduled time. Or it may be the case that the nurse forgot to wear her watch in a hurry and asked for the time to the attendant whose watch is set to a different time zone. These are just few possibilities whose probabilities have not been seriously looked into. And the consequences being, your ideal partner for life changes with each position of the second hand of the clock. So it leaves us with an astronomical figure of 3600 distinct matches per hour. But the irony is that our country doesn't have a sex ratio to match up to this statistics.
Now the most important aspect of marriages in India is the choice between love and arranged marriage. Though love marriages are increasingly getting accepted in the society, arranged marriages still holds the fort. But it’s basically two sides of the same coin. While one of them is about arranging the love, the other one is about loving the arrangement. So when they say marriages are made in heaven, the arrangement has to be done down on the earth. Coming to the first option, arranging the love is not everyone's cup of tea. It requires considerable investment of time, money and emotions. And in case you end of successfully investing in all of these, it doesn't necessarily end up in a marriage. What starts with the boy loving the girl or vice versa, has to end up in their families loving each other. The situation gets more chaotic when the two people differ in their caste, religion or region. All the praises about national integration goes for a toss when it comes to marriage. The whole country support and cheer for the batsman who hits a last ball boundary to win the match for India, even if he belongs to a different religion, caste or region. But when it comes to finding an alliance for their children, it has to be from their backyard.
The second option which is about loving the arrangement is a bit straight-forward compared to the first one. Here the arrangements are done in the beginning taking into account all the criterias mentioned previously. The love plays the second fiddle. After all the necessary negotiations, partners are given the choice to give their opinion about the arrangements. And if you are not so lucky, you don't even get the privilege of availing that option after a few unsuccessful attempts. This option has a higher probability of ending up in a marriage and the investment on time, money and emotions follows afterwards. Unlike the first option, where the partners previously know each other, in this case they have to start from being complete strangers to becoming partners for life.
Let’s end this topic by sharing my own take on this sensitive matter. There can be instances where both these arrangements can coexist. But the probability of such a scenario can be equated to the probability of Sachin Tendulkar retiring from cricket before the next World Cup. But whatever might be the arrangement, it is irrelevant as long as the person discovers a friend in his/her partner. With the start of the new innings in life, there comes a whole set of challenges, and the success in tackling those depends on the strength of the partnership. As it is said, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”, it requires some intergalactic force to find a suitable match in a lifetime. So those of you who have found their friend for life, you should be thanking your stars. And for me, the search still continues…