• Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Arranged Marriages: How are promises of a lifetime made in one day? By Sonakshi Srivastava Publishe

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Janbaz Rao, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Janbaz Rao

    Janbaz Rao SENIOR MEMBER

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    Arranged Marriages: How are promises of a lifetime made in one day?
    By Sonakshi Srivastava Published: April 16, 2018
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    Was she looking into the boy’s eyes and falling in love or seeing a reflection of herself as some crazy-cat-lady without him? PHOTO: PINTEREST

    I grew up with a mother who constantly wondered what her life would have been like if she hadn’t gotten married at 23. What if her college days were spent in Delhi instead of in her own small town? Would the lap of a big city nurture a strong independent woman just like itself?

    My mother was meant to go to a renowned college in Delhi but for some reason had to settle for the one which was a bicycle ride away from my grandparents’ home. After she finished her MA and graduated top of her class, the wedding talks started.

    I am 23-years-old now, and my mother was already married by the time she was as old as I am.

    I have heard more about the antics of my oldest cousin on that fateful day when my mother met my father than I have about what my parents said to each other. He was a big-city man with a bank job (stable!), and she was fresh out of college.

    How are promises of a lifetime made in one day?

    What made her do it is a question I ask her often, and I think she is still looking for the answer to that question. Her immediate answer to this question and many others that I ask (I can be quite annoying) is that “in those times, things were like that.”

    Life is not usually as dramatic as a Bollywood film, so there were no villains in this story who forced my mother against her will, no blackmailing, no cajoling and no drama whatsoever. My grandfather was a respected Hindi poet and teacher who was reluctant to get his only daughter married so young. He asked her if she was happy with the decision and wanted to go forward with the wedding.

    My mother sometimes ponders if it was my grandmother’s worry that got to her or was it the lack of exposure to the outside world and opportunities? We both usually jokingly settle on the latter, and she insists that the marriage was ultimately a great idea because she got great offsprings out of it. She did go on to become a strong independent woman in spite of the two abovementioned offsprings and found her strengths, interests, and passions.

    From a young age, it appeared to me that the answer to a lot of world’s problems is education, exposure, and opportunities. I believed that poverty, pollution, illiteracy, sexism, classism and a variety of other -isms could be solved through these three essential ingredients. My mother’s experience of arranged marriage made me believe that all a woman needs to do is get a taste of the real, diverse, incredible, complicated, tough world and it would be too hard for her to settle for anything less.

    When I was 16, I moved away from India and was constantly barraged with questions about India and arranged marriages; it seems like we have a bit of a global image when it comes to arranged marriages. My answers were always a combination of cluelessness about marriage (I was 16!) and the Indian middle-class’ despicable tendency to blame everything even slightly “controversial” on the poor. It was always a thing that happened in the past or in the present only the uneducated and unaware resorted to it as they could not afford the organic ingredients of education, exposure and opportunities.

    It has been some years since and now marriage does not seem like such a distant reality with the everyday announcement of another classmate or friend getting engaged. Although there is little change in the story that I have heard for the past decade, the girl and the boy (man and woman probably) meet once or twice and decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

    How are promises of a lifetime made in one day?

    These are friends that I studied in school or university, women who I have shared my opinions, hopes, and dreams with. Women, who have previously acknowledged the absurdity of having to decide on a husband one fine day. My friends can afford the organic ingredients of education, exposure and opportunities, so they have definitely tasted the real world.

    Questioning the arrangement of arranged marriages is not necessarily a point on the love marriage side. There are great marriages and terrible marriages on both sides. Yes, arranged marriage has evolved from the bride and groom meeting for the first time on their wedding to some sort of a dating app wherein the family swipes right for you, and then you meet or date that person for the sole purpose of getting married. Perhaps a lot of times, it is an informed decision, and there is nothing wrong in actively seeking companionship for life.

    Recently, a friend said that she actively plans on fighting the pressure that she knows will eventually come. In a sense, we all know that pressure is coming so when someone finally decides to go for an arranged marriage, I cannot help but wonder if she made an informed decision or was just tired of all the fighting and finally gave in? Was she looking into the boy’s eyes and falling in love or seeing a reflection of herself as some crazy-cat-lady without him?

    Another friend who recently got engaged mentioned in passing, that the older girls of the community who did not want to get married when the “time was right” are now at 28 and are somehow equivalent to the soggy-brownish, leftover lettuce on the supermarket shelf that nobody wants to buy.

    It is this phenomenon of a woman having an expiration date where much of the fear and coercion lies. This is also where the major gender difference lies as men don’t have the same expiration date and are perhaps not as commodified as women (does not mean that there is no pressure on men, just that it is a whole other thing).

    The communities are tight, gossip is plenty, and the options are seemingly limited. So even if you traverse the world and come back to the same smirking aunties and uncles whose foremost adjective for you is unmarried, then it is understandable how mindsets don’t change. Even if you are top of your class but are somehow still bringing shame and worry to your family just by the mere act of being single, then I see why most women take the decision that my mother did. The pressure in our “modernised” Indian society has become implicit rather than explicit.

    Irrespective of how the marriage turns out, women often make this decision because they have to and not because they want to. I just wish that someone looked into the eyes of all the old uncles and aunties, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers and asked them, how are promises of a lifetime made in one day?

    This post was originally published on BrownGirlMagazine and republished with permission.
     
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  2. LeGenD

    LeGenD SENIOR MEMBER

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    What is wrong with so-called modern/enlightened women - is a question worth asking.
     
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  3. Shamsher1990

    Shamsher1990 FULL MEMBER

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    The fun fact is, even after vetting the person for many years together; people tend to get bored of same partner in 3-4 years to the point they cann't even live together. Also I find humorous that someone in their early 20s can make a very informed decision about another person even after staying with them for 2-3 years. Priorities in early 20s are totally different from the rest of the life.
     
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  4. Iqbal Ali

    Iqbal Ali SENIOR MEMBER

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    Why one should love arranged marriages
    By Sidrah Moiz Khan Published: July 8, 2012
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    Statistics have proven that the probability of a love marriage failing is higher than an arranged marriage.

    It is hard for every girl growing up in Pakistan to brave drawing-room meetings, aimed at deciding their fates for life. But one only finds the recipe for matrimonial bliss, after coming to terms with it.

    Arranged marriages may seem awry to some, but you only realise when you have undergone or seen cases in which love marriages don’t quite prove to be the best way out.

    Here are some of the reasons why I believe arranged marriages trump love marriages.


    Statistics have proven that the probability of a love marriage failing is higher than an arranged marriage.

    People who usually fall in love are bound to be blinded by passion that love ignites in you. On the contrary, arranged marriages are well-thought out, considered and then arranged.

    Therefore, people who are in love usually end up putting their best self forward during the first few months, for the sake of maintaining the relationship.

    On the contrary, in arranged marriages, people are usually transparent and keep it truthful because there’s no such fear of losing.

    Given this fact, love marriages are on a constant downward spiral while it is usually the opposite when it comes to arranged marriages.

    On the other hand, as the classic adage goes, parents want the best for their child; when it comes to choosing someone you want to spend your life with, you can actually give benefit of the doubt to your parents.

    However, saying that either of the two remains successful would be unfair as marriage is a gamble and the outcome usually depends on how the couple perseveres.

    Read more by Sidrah here or follow her on Twitter @seedwah
    https://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/12572/why-one-should-love-arranged-marriages/
     
  5. Metanoia

    Metanoia FULL MEMBER

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  6. Iqbal Ali

    Iqbal Ali SENIOR MEMBER

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    Personally love before marriage is stupid.

    Arranged marriages are the way to go.

    Islamic marriages are the way to go.

    Dating and friendship before marriage, thats all nonsense.
     
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  7. El Sidd

    El Sidd ELITE MEMBER

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    Marriage is Evil.
     
  8. Zen0

    Zen0 BANNED

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    Statistically its more successful than love marriages
     
  9. Rusty

    Rusty SENIOR MEMBER

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    There is nothing wrong with being introduced to someone and then you both decide to get married.

    Unfortunately, that is not how arranged marriages work in South Asia a lot of times.

    I have personally seen both the man and the woman being coerced into a marriage.

    Sometimes its guilt trips, and other times it's violence.


    I am also personally disgusted at some people who "promise" their kids in marriage to someone else while the kids are young.

    Children are Humans, not dogs that you can trade.
     
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  10. Arsalan

    Arsalan STAFF

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    Question:How are promises of a lifetime made in one day?

    Answer: Because those promises made in one day manage to last a life time!!

    Just compare the divorce ratio in love vs arrange marriages, easier still, compare the divorce ratio in UK (mostly love marriages) with that of Pakistan (Mostly arranged)
     
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  11. Patriot & Ready

    Patriot & Ready FULL MEMBER

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    Mutually agreed arranged marriages work, forced marriages are prison sentences. Love marriages have high risks of failure.
     
  12. El Sidd

    El Sidd ELITE MEMBER

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    NO shit !! Amish bouy !!
     
  13. baajey

    baajey SENIOR MEMBER

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    statistically the conclusion might be "yes", but considering the factors such as "financial independence" of both partners play a major role.
    love marriages happen on equal terms, and when these terms are somehow broken, the marriage seems to break; unless one of the partners bow down and live a life of compromise.
    the most primitive, medieval and patriarchal societies will have arrange marriages based on family status, which often has a dominant earning partner and a submissive dependent female partner. now its anybody's guess that the submissive partner cannot afford to antagonize the dominant one or she will have no way to survive.
    developed nations , otoh, have marriages based on two equal partners. if at any point of time, one of the partners is unhappy, he or she files for divorce as both are financially independent; and in case not, there is always alimony.
     
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  14. Well.wisher

    Well.wisher SENIOR MEMBER

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    Arrange marriage is a sick idea .
     
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  15. Thumboor

    Thumboor FULL MEMBER

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    I dont really mind tbh, saves me the hassle of trying to find someone myself. :happy:
    If both consent to it, what seems to be the issue?