I had looked at a related topic in my post Whats with One True Love? However, then I was far far away from India, snugly comfortable in grey England, free to be fiery and rebellious since the society there lets a stranger live their life quietly without the usual questions in India, 'So what does your better half do?" ( the better half of me contemplates what the other half is about to do - because the right hand never knows when the left hand is going to be up to punch you!) 'How many children do you have?' (Currently, I am in the 'out of wedlock' phase, wondering if I should add a couple more to the population, without disturbing the relationship status) See, now I'm an inherently well-brought up child, polite to a fault. So all these are responses that dance around in my brain while I laugh sheepishly and mouth the right answers - Oh you see, I'm not married! or No no, no children yet!
The other day, I sat down with my best friend, who incidentally is also taking the deep plunge later this year to figure out how concepts of marriage have changed and along with it our expectations. Let me give you a background. My friend and I never run out of topics. We choose a broad area and then start free-wheeling discussions that might look like Google suggestions - you know the links that take you to websites you never thought could have connected material?? Well, whenever we talk of marriage, we end up discussing even colours of nail-polish and/or the price of bhindi and baingan. It is all connected, if you don't see the link, well, next time you are invited to silently audit the discussion. No, you can't participate, but you can hear our conversations. (We pride ourselves on being deep-thinking individuals with very original thoughts!)
The conversation began with our weariness over all things domestic - the maid's unflexibile timing that limits my chances to leave early for a lunch date with her, the rising rents that make living in Mumbai alone such a pain, the pressures of a media job that leave hardly no time for a social life or even for a more fulfilling personal life. This is where the topic marriage sneaks a back-door entry. Mamma has once again raised the topic of me growing older, she concurs that her aai thinks this year is a good time to take the plunge of faith.
Now marriage is a complex topic with complex rationales and algorithms that might explain a successful alliance or the probability of the match succeeding to stay together life-long. Maybe other aspects will be brought up in the comments sections (as I have realised these days. I always tell readers to go down the comments section too - so many well-thought out comments give other aspects of the debate that my sometimes linear, otherwise muddled post missed!) However, there is yet another myth we always talk about - how it is untrue to say there are more failed marriages now than among the earlier generations. Statistically and legally, you could perhaps argue that and score yourself a point. But I know several sets of parents among friends and family, who lived out their lives in unhappy marriages, out of societal and familial pressures. They were no less unhappy than many are today, perhaps it might not have been on the account of wanting to balance careers and personal lives or independence and dependence. But it wasn't like they were less issues. I think that point of view is a gross overgeneralisation. They suffered silently and took the blows as their just or unjust deliverance. They cribbed, grew bitter or turned to God and godliness or took out their frustrations elsewhere. Today, realities are different and therefore our approach to problems and the solutions arrived at!
On a funny note, I have been trying to arrive at the reason why there is a sudden spate of marriages among my social circle this year. So far in the past four or five years, the average of friends getting married have been at best one or two. 2012 seems to be a watershed year...( can't stop laughing at the term watershed- interpreted literally, you know where that line of thought will take you!) Maybe the Mayan prophecy of 2012 being the end of the world is not so wrong after all - for many in my universe, it is the end of the world as they know it! Now that's the best part about prophesies. If you want to believe it, its just about interpreting realities to suit your premise! On that cheeky note, a toast to all those getting knotty and knotted! :)
(Image courtesy: Baloo's Cartoon Blog, Cartoon Resource)