I’ve found it a bit strange how many people react with a slightly embarrassed smile when I tell them mine is a “love” marriage.
Ideally, all marriages should be a result of love, which makes the term “love marriage” odd in itself. However, in our society, parents often take this decision on behalf of their children. And this gave rise to a separate term, “love marriage”, for situations where love comes first and parents come in later.
Eyes of society
Even with this distinction, things can get complicated and overlap in an Indian marriage setup. This means that sometimes couples have to hide the fact that theirs is a love marriage and instead, make it look like an arranged one.
Now, this could be due to varied reasons. Traditionally, our Indian community has not been keen on two people being in love before they enter holy matrimony. There’s a certain amount of “shame” and disgrace in falling in love, without the parent’s approval.
I’m not sure where this stems from, but I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that we, especially women, must remain virgins before marriage. When you say “love marriage,” obviously there is some hanky-panky involved before the wedding, isn’t it? Oh, the horror!!!
Personally, I feel society should start looking at it the other way. Maybe they can be happy thinking that at least you “made the wrong right” by marrying the (last) person you fooled around with? I say “last”, because society needn’t know how many relationships you were in earlier, (or later for that matter) do they?
I think it also has to do with the notion of respect and obedience, inculcated in Indian kids from an early age. Apparently, those who opt for arranged marriages are the ones who respect their parents the most; and those who fall in love, are disrespectful towards their entire “khandaan“!
To understand why we, as a society, fail to think otherwise, I spoke with a few couples who had a “love” marriage in the garb of an “arranged” one. Let’s find out what made them hide their truth.
S for Smart
A 25-year-old young man, let’s call him Mr. S, got married a few months back to the girl he has loved for over a decade. However, neither the parents nor friends had a clue about their relationship.
When asked why they chose to keep it a secret, he answered,
Our society is always looking for gossip. If a relationship does not end in marriage, it almost becomes a stigma (unfortunately, more for the girl than the guy). In most schools and colleges, news about who is in a relationship with whom spreads like wildfire. And bad examination scores, if any, get directly linked to your love life!
He added that when people know you’re in a relationship, even basic tasks such as checking messages on the phone, being on a call, or even just sitting lost in thoughts, can be construed in relation to your love affair. You are bound to lose your peace of mind!
Well, it actually kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? To keep your affairs under wraps? Of course, in a country like ours, you can get away with this only when there are no “real” differences (read religion/community/language/ ethnicity/class/caste and what not!) between the two families.
D for Dutiful
Let’s now hear from a dutiful daughter on how 5 years back, she managed to marry the man of her choice, with the blessings of her parents and all the proceedings of an arranged marriage.
I met my husband through my bestie. From Day 1, my mother knew about him. In the next few months, when we got serious, I shared my feelings and also my reservations about him with my mother. I had to tell my father that he was a friend’s cousin who I met at a party. And that we’d been chatting for some time and now he wants to meet him. My father asked for his “bio-data” and photos. It was hilarious how we both sat down to make one! My husband even asked his colleague to click a few “shaadi.com” pictures of him! I sent them all to my father and after some convincing, he finally agreed to meet him! I must say he did take his time to “agree” to the proposal. When done in the traditional way, my father felt he had a say in it. And that made him happy I guess. Now I’m sure both my parents know this wasn’t a pure “arranged” affair. But my relatives? Well, as we both belong to different communities, I’m pretty sure some of them are still confused! When I look back, I realize that more than my parents, I agreed to do all of the above for the society we live in. And the irony of it all? My parents had a love marriage too!
It shows how many hoops we have to jump through in order to get married to the one we love. But in the end, if we get to be with the partner of our choice, without hurting the sentiments of our parents, I’d say it’s worth it!
Plus, it makes for great stories to look back at, laugh about, and tell your grand-kids! Do you have one? Share with us and we shall feature it on our Instagram handle here.?
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aweekinlife.com. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and A Week In Life does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.