Marriages in India- a social obligation?

written by Japleen Pasricha

Why does young India get married? Or to be more precise,
why does young educated urban/sub-urban India get married?
The ideal answer(s) to this question would be:

Because they have found the love of their lives,
that person is the one for them,
they want to wake up every morning next to them,
they cannot imagine their lives without them,
they want to spend the rest of their lives with them,
they want to grow old with them.

(Okay, sorry! Too much mushiness happening here!)

But hey, we are talking about India, aren’t we? So who is this young India? Let’s define them first:
we are the young Indians, we go to collge, we complete university, we have fancy degrees like and MBAs from even fancier institutes like the IITs and IIMs. Some of us even have foreign degress, you see imported maal is always good. We work in big multinationals and banks and what not. Our dear young India is very modern, you see. We only talk in English, drink black coffee, strictly use Apple products (hey don’t you dare, Steve Jobs is our God), we eat in high-end cafes and loung bars and we mingle with all sorts of people, men and women alike. We are very open-minded, you see. But we also don’t forget that we, at the end, are Indians. We should never forget our sanskars. So when it comes to finding “the one” for us, we turn to our mommys and papas. Because we respect our elders and we trust their choices, even blindly.

So besides these (obvious) reasons what are the other ones that make young Indians take the big step? Let’s list down some of them.

-My parents think I should get married.
-It is high time, I should settle down, get married and have a couple of kids.
-The society expects this of me.
-Getting married is a social duty.
-If I don’t get married how will my family grow, and most importantly the heir who will carry on my name.
-I want a big fat dowry.
-It is beneficial for my business
-I want to have sex, unlimited sex.
-I am now in the marriageable age (or what that even means)
-My friends and cousins are getting married.
-I have a few grey hair now, better get married than sorry.
-After a degree in engineering, an MBA and a job as an investment banker, I am earning enough to settle down.
-Ooohh, I have always dreamt of getting married, and all my girlfriends are already hooked up. So it’s only fair that I should be too.
-Arranged marriages- because that’s how we roll.
-Because I don’t know how to talk to women, better mommy finds me one.
-Because I never talked to guys, and of course mommy knows the best.
-Because “log kya kahenge” (mind you, this is one of the epic ones..)

(My head might crack up but the list will go on and on. So I better stop here.)

Young India has a truck load of pretty good reasons to tie the knot. Mind you, they all are very rational and logical. You see, the young India strives for perfection.
And what is perfection without a fair, homely convent-educated girl or a teetotaler boy from a decent family based in the USA/UK with a handsome package. What else does one need?
The young India follows it’s timetable very sternly and marriage is of course a part of the timetable. Then comes the kids and after that we all know how life goes on.

How does young India contribute to the society?
By getting married, which is very important.
It is almost a social obligation. And you HAVE TO get married, no choice bro!
Doesn’t matter if you are ready or not,
doesn’t matter if you know, let alone love the person, you have to get married.
Because it is the right thing to do.
And who told you that?
Of course your mommy and papa and they know the best. And who told them?
Of course their mommy and papa.

Hence it goes on, without any one ever questioning the mommy and papa that why is it so important to get married.
It is a tradition, a ritual which has been passed down generations and young India doesn’t dare to raise an eyebrow (well, at least the majority doesn’t).
Because you see, we are Indians and we don’t argue back with our elders. And we are very much better off than the West, where relationships are weak and divorce rates are high. Chi! We are so much better!
Although we do ignore the fact that we have a low divorce rate because divorce is still a taboo in our country or domestic violence is rampant or many women are not financially independent or the parents don’t accept their daughters back at their homes and many more such archaic excuses.
We only care what the statistics say. And numbers speak louder than real situations, of course. So 10 : 1 and we won. Bohoo West!

We are the young Indians and we are proud of it. Although even after having white-collared jobs -
we expect a large dowry and also want the woman to leave her home, her family and everything and come and live with us.
Our parents should become her parents and our family should become her family.
Because that’s the way it has been, isnt’ it? And who questions such traditions? Tauba Tauba, not we!
We are the cultured young India. We havn’t forgotten our values. So our wives come and live with us and our families and take our name, and wear ridiculous symbols to shout to the world that they are married (even if they don’t like to, they must).
Then our kids take our names and we become their first guradians. And so with kids we fulfill our duty to the society. We have given them the future of India who will make India a better place to live in (hopefully).

And that’s how my dears we make marriage a social obligation, because this is our happy land and to reach the happy land what do we do? Yes, you guessed it right. We get married!

MIND MANTRA - I congratulate the author japleen pasricha for such a good article.. It has spoken what the mind of many literate young indians speak..before they are coaxed into marriage..
Marriage is a beautiful institution...but ITS TIME TO ACCEPT IT... ITS NOT MEANT FOR EVERYONE... SOME OF US ARE MEANT TO BE FREE!!

As a psychiatrist I meet so many people suffering from Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress due to a bad or failed marriage...
so many people who have given up on their dreams for marriage...
so many people who look at their children to do things they couldn't..


Dr.Hemant Mittal

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