In July, I was at home and had the rare opportunity to be glued to the television set when my mom was watching Bade Ache Lagte Hain on Sony. It was during one of the commercials then, that I first saw the ad for the upcoming show, Love Marriage ya Arranged Marriage. Being a media college student and with my recent experience of working with a news channel, the moment I saw the ad, I was sure of one thing- The effect of the youth in influencing the decisions of a popular entertainment channel is immense and everyone is now learning to play effective TRP games. Haha…
It was a matter of great surprise for me when I opened IndiBlogger that night and found a new contest by Sony waiting for me to present my views about it: Would you prefer a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? I was amazed and subsequently, have spent almost an entire month in trying to decide my take on the subject.
My close friends, if they are reading this, they surely would have been intrigued right from the title of the post to read the entire entry. The reason? ‘How can someone like Antarik, who bothers the least about all the love and marriage stuff, and writes only about what he cares on his blog, write an entry like this one?’ I can almost imagine them saying this! And I can’t blame them. For a college guy living in the heart of the Capital and staying in a hostel for most part of it, not having a girl friend is a very uncommon and probably question-raising situation. But yeah, this is true for me. I do not have a girl friend yet and so, there hardly arises a question of me knowing the kind of marriage I would personally prefer.
Since the time I was born, I have attended all the marriages of my aunts and uncles. I hardly have any stark memories from any of those, considering that I was too young then to stick things to my memory for permanence. There is one common thing in all of them though- All are arranged marriages. (I remember being part of a play in the Annual Day of my school when I was in Class 8 where I was playing the role of a husband who was ready to burn his wife because she couldn’t pay the dowry. Although that arranged marriage was too sensitive, I can’t say it wasn’t funny. The final scene had me and my family behind the bars chakki-peesing :D)
When I moved to Delhi four years ago, for the first time I noticed the concept of love marriages in real life- the marriage of my roommates’ parents. Otherwise, before that, love marriages took place only in films and it was something that was always against parents’ will.
It was here in Delhi that I noticed the grandness of flaunting the fact that one was in a relationship. The advent of facebook into the Indian markets at that time, gave a kick to this movement. Now, every single person was either single or committed. Changing the status from “in a relationship” to “single” and then to “it’s complicated” now happened within minutes. Relationships became a show-to-my-friends affair.
All this has been going on in my mind since I started thinking about what to write for this topic. Love vs Arranged is a hugely debated and discussed topic in almost all families. I remember my mom joking about my marriage when I was young- You wouldn’t wait for us to look for a bride for you. You would get married, come to us and say, “Accept her or we are leaving”. My grandmother often talks about seeing me, the eldest son in the family, getting married. She says, Marry an Odia girl and nobody else. Explaining to a 70-year old what love marriages are and how prevalent they are in today’s time, would be a waste of time and perhaps, hurting her sentiments and so I smile and nod.
What remains now is the direct answer to the question- Which is better? I, being a 20-year old, with no experience of being in a relation (say love) or having any idea when my parents would be getting me married (say arranged), am hardly the right person to speak on behalf of any of the two strong contenders here. If I have to decide, perhaps, I would prefer to wait right now and see if I get myself into a love relation before my family starts to arrange for a bride for me. Till then, let the debate continue and some emo-scientific researches arrive so as to facilitate an easier understanding of this complex life-subject and help me and my fellow mates choose a destiny for themselves. Haha…