Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Sick Sad Indian Wedding

Typical Indian marriages are beautiful. They smell of henna, roses and marigolds. They are a glittery and shiny affair.  But behind the scenes, they are usually fishy.  While the wedding day is as glamorous as Bollywood, the story behind the wedding is a miniature model of the real sad and smelly streets of India. Explanation follows.

·         Arranged Marriage!!??
For two decades, our parents keep teaching us not to talk to strangers and one day we find out that we are married to one.  Arranged marriage is a weird concept that is still accepted and followed by a whole lot of people from all classes of Indian society. [Please note that we are not talking about its success or failure rate, only its strangeness].
This is the mini episode from the series “Indian parents are always right and their children are dumb”.  “Engineering, not fashion designing” and “Girls with Boyfriends are spoilt and wasted” are some other episodes from this series.

·         How old is She?
In rural India, girls are ready for marriage at 12. In towns, their families wait for them to turn 18 or else they might be jailed. In cities, they’ll start worrying about her marriage as soon as she is done with college.  Here is the irony. No matter what place and no matter what her age, a girl is never mature enough to decide what guy is right for her.  If she is 25 and unmarried, the neighbors will start getting panic attacks. If she manages to stay unmarried till 29, she’ll probably never get married.  
This is an episode from the series “Paraya Dhan: Girls are Born to Marry”.  “Amount of dowry is exponentially proportional to the girl’s age” is another episode from this series.

·         How old is He?
23 is no age for a man to get married. He has to build a career, become stable, self-sufficient, self-dependent and mature and capable enough to handle responsibilities, and that’s not until he is 27. Okay. So what if a girl and a boy went to college together, and fell in love with each other?  Simple! They’ll never get married to each other because the girl’s family will want her to marry at 25 but the boy’s family will not agree because he is still too young for marriage. [This is an excerpt from a real story]
This is an episode from the series “Naam Karega Roshan: Boys are Born a Boon” from which is another episode called “Amount of dowry is exponentially proportional to the guy’s salary package”.

·         Inter-caste? Make faces. Inter-religion? Faint.
The boy is tall, dark and handsome. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink and is medically fit. He is a banker and earns a reasonable salary.  But they can’t marry their girl to him because he is not from their caste. But why does it matter? Well, because the relatives, the cousins, the neighbors, the maid, the colleagues will ridicule it, talk about it and make faces, or even a more lame reason – “it has never ever happened in our family”-bla-bla-blah.
This is a ridiculous episode from the disgusting series “fake honour”. To this series belongs another sickening episodes “The Untouchables”.

These are a few points that I could recall at the moment and posted hastily because I was angry about it. But I'm sure a lot of Indians can add more to these. For people who think this doesn't happen anymore, consider yourself very lucky. And for those who have fought for their right to love and happiness, I completely admire and applaud you.