November 4, 2008

The Knot

Being at that age and born of Indian parents, marriage is a topic which has occupied a great extend of conversations between my parents and me. There was a time, when I was just running from marriage. That was associated with many factors, one that I didn’t feel like it, topped with the fear of an arranged marriage.

Well, now what is different, I think what would be different is that I am not particularly running away from marriage, this is due to age and the fact that maybe now I have a bigger problem at hand. I seem to be in a situation where I need to convince my parents regarding my marriage itself. Some regional problems have landed on my plate and dealing with them seem to be ever so difficult, with no logic at works, and each of us believing in a different set of important ingredients required for a successful marriage. One side believes that two families need to be at complete peace and happily intermingled to ensure full support, and on the other hand, I feel that two people should be left to deal with their own issues and they should be left to intermingle with the two families. I do not deny that families do need to mingle, like at functions and occasions, but that would be a breeze in comparison to what happy intermingling would require.

When I think of intermingling, all that comes to me is the fact that, I do not know anyone amongst my relatives unless they are my parents’ bros/sis or at most their first cousins (by ‘know’ I mean I do know a great deal about them and talk to them at lengths whenever I do). And in most cases I have also seen that eventually you do end up being close and talking to those relatives who your parents speak to. So where is the problem? This means that you should be wiling to make the effort to let your kids know their family and who all they should know.

When I think of how close in laws eventually remain, I am not sure how close they do remain. As long as the link is there, and an effort from both sides, things usually go smooth, but when kids are far away and they keep in constant touch with both sets of parents; I believe both sets of parents keep in touch amongst themselves on a comparatively lower level. I think this is very understandable as they have no other common link other than the two kids who are living away from both of them.

When I think of how different cultures affect a marriage, there are more than enough areas where I feel there might be problems. Be it the wedding itself, or any of the numerous customs and functions at any time which usually surround any Indian family. But, does it really matter, as long as both the people involved are ready to do all the rituals and functions which need to be performed at various points in time. In most cases the functions are revolving around the couple and then in that case isn’t their acceptance more than enough? Cultures might be completely different, but if the families are receptive and ready to understand that their child’s spouse will not know many things, but is willing to do things, that should solve many problems. In the present times, I do believe strongly that not many children themselves know much about all the customs and functions that their parents do, and this seems to me to be a dwindling line ahead.

After these three considerations, I am also trying to understand where the extreme difficulty and sadness comes about from. I know that it’s not the expectation that you had from your child through the years, neither is it the norm as per what you would like the society in general to see your family.

But at the end of the day, why not just leave it if two old enough people have decided to give it a shot?


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