August 30, 2012

Love YA Arranged? - A Mental Debate

Please note : none of the images used in this blog post are my creation. They were obtained from various sources.
‘Ya’ means ‘OR’ in Hindi. It’s been used instead of ‘or’ to give it an Indian touch. Brilliant!! Coz the difference in opinions regarding the two types of marriages is found to vary beyond the threshold limit on our very own Indian soil. Here is a post regarding the two types of marriages. I’d like to mention that the conclusion is quite predictable and you probably guessed it right. I’d also like to thank you in advance for choosing to use/waste time for reading this fairly long post.


Let’s briefly check out some parts of the world…
1. In the west, I guess the importance of the word ‘love marriage’ and ‘arranged marriage’ is quite negligible (probably because of the relative ease of re-marriage.) It’s more like ‘Dating YA Marriage?’ out there.

2. Come to the Middle East and mostly because of a male dominant society, their quote of concern could be ‘One Wife YA Many Wives?’Not to mention the new trend of inter – national marriages (in most cases its Arab husbands for ladies of the east – Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan and even India). Yet that cannot be entirely deemed as love marriage because to a certain extend it is triggered by the dowry related pressure that the males would have to go through. (In some Arab societies it’s the groom that will have to give dowry...).
3. Coming to the eastern countries we could find some really weird phenomena in marriages that they are featured in National Geographic programs like – Taboo.(Indiantraditions make it into those programs too). In china, as far as I’ve known through reading, people are quite busy and finding a life partner is carried out mostly by marriage clients and websites. I personally don’t think marriage is as interesting for them as it is for us because of their ‘One Child’ policy. The biggest suspense in a married (love ya arranged) life is perhaps – ‘how many kids a couple would raise?’  At the same time we find that the Japanese are quite conservative while other nations like Indonesia, Malaysiaetc. are being greatly influenced by various foreign traditions.

Look at our own India on the other hand. As far as love and relationships are concerned, it’s the place where the wine, milk and oil mix up. Not to mention the migratory status that we hold, we are currently in a process of absorbing parts of all tradition that we come across in to ours and vice versa. It might be for good or bad (that would take us to another dimension in this debate yet loosely related to it coz after all – it’s through marriages that traditions are passed, modified or absorbed.) The Indian viewpoint towards marriages could be considered asan elastic that’s pulled on from every direction.
Recall Akshay Kumar’s dialogue in the movie Namastey London – “The body is in a foreign land but the soul is stuck in the gateway of India.”
Its sounds crazy but what else can you expect form a nation that’s been open to all sorts of communities and people since ancient times? Ever since the Asian continent was formed, the Indian subcontinent was a place where everything seemed to ‘drain down upon’ and it still continues to be that way. – We can be proud of that fact.
The only difference then and now is that this so called ‘change’ is much more rapid, especially since the big ‘drift’ that was triggered around 20+ years back.

THE STORY OF THE SO CALLED DRIFT… (It is simply a term that I’ve coined, nothing official.)
After independence, our country, for about 4 decades chose to remain economically sealed form the outside world. The earlier governments didn’t want to entertain international influence on our country and promoted self-growth in almost all sectors until India reached a desperate position where serious economic reforms had to be made. It was then when India welcomed other nations for trade. A phenomenon that we would termas – GLOBALISATION.  A move where the unified Indian subcontinent opened its gates to the world, again.
Until then I believe that the viewpoints among various generations of Indians did not vary much (my parents have an age difference of about 10 years I still find that their opinions on various aspects such as these to be more or less the same. But now, one can see the extent of difference in opinions between people having an age difference of even 3-4 years.) The gap that this drift gave rise to could be called – generation gap and it risesexponentially if plotted on to a graph with time in the x-axis. (Quite akin to the theory of singularity.)
The drift provided opportunities for intermingling and exchange, the keys that open the doors of change. Upon its inception, the younger youth and children whose minds could still be moulded like clay and the older youth, whose ideologies were rather hardened were equally exposed to the change. And here we are, 2012, the society is being transferred to those children who were once acquainted to a brave new world.
 I do not mean to say that the drift is the sole reason for all this ‘change’ (as if all Indians were senseless creatures, there were magnificent love marriages even before..) but it did trigger a relatively newer level of exposure via media, youth, technologically etc. on analysis it’s mostly the generation 85-90+ that somehow seems to have spearheaded it all. All the drift did was that it accelerated the pace. For example a load of new TV channels sprouted which promotes romance among other new aspects; in fact they did bring Indians closer, especially those who are now at their youth.
‘Love Marriage YA Arranged Marriage’ is one such sentence that clearly defines the generation gap that our country is currently in. We all know that generations are not discrete but continuous and hence the difference in opinions regarding the two not only varies between the generations but also among them at various levels. This simple sentence is therefore highly complicated. But is it really worth the difference?

The debate begins…
This post has given me the opportunity to sum up and put forth every single bit of information and thoughts that I have acquired (since I was born)regarding this far, it is one of the most steamed up topic in my life. I did think about it countless times where I normally used to be lost in thought or would deviate and eventually drop out of the topic. The same happened even while discussing with other people. But this time I had to freaking write it down – I had to conduct a debate with myself. It was one hell of a situation. My mind was in a state of civil war, divided into two parts that supported love and arranged marriage each and a small but fairly neutral /conclusive part. It was impossible to stay on one part and be finished with it. My conscious was subject to forceful random oscillation between the two parties as though they were playing badminton and nobody lost.
This post (including what’s written above) is somewhat a replica of the revolting thoughts that popped up one against the other. All I’ve tried to do was record them on to a paper as it is. Rearranging them according to topic would make this post even longer and hence I’ve used different fonts to represent the ‘FOR and AGAINST’.
This font – the neutral, inference points. (AsI’vealready used it above for introduction)[Font size is increased in some cases as summary.]
This font – for points that support love marriage/ is against arranged marriage.
This font – for points that support arrange marriage/ is against love marriage.
Let is first of all be clear with the definitions. [There is no standard definition for ‘love marriage/arranged marriage’ as such in dictionaries so these are imperfect definitions]
Arranged marriage – where the key role in a person’s marriage is done by family/other persons responsible. In most cases the partner will be not be more than an acquaintance until marriage and is mostly chosen for him/her. MARRIAGE BY FATE!           
Love marriage – the type of marriage where both partners decides to get married after knowing each other. MARRIAGE BY CHOICE!
Both, marriage by fate/choice remains uncertain in promising a successful marriage and both are dependent on time.
Considering arranged marriages as a thing of the past is the highest level of ignorance that anyone could possibly be in. To discover true love (by fate /by choice) one has to keep himself open.
India being the 2nd most populated country in the world will obviously have a database of numerous successful as well as unsuccessful marriages. There could be a successful arranged marriage for every unsuccessful love marriage and vice versa. Hence, arriving at a conclusion by pointing out such examples form other’s life or one’s own life would be highly inappropriate.
Traditionally, different communities conducted marriages (arranged) within them and hence expanded their race.
Yet love marriage did exist – there were many Hindu princess married off to Mughal kings.

But that cannot be called love marriage as the princess had little knowledge or choice about their grooms, it was their family (king) that chose to marry them off and there for it was more like an arranged marriage.

Yet the princess did have knowledge. They must’ve definitely heard about the kings that came for. Besides, the ultimate choice remained to her alone – all the grooms would line up and it was the princess who would go up to the person she loved to adorn him with the flower garland.

Dragging this topic to the past would be meaningless. The relevance for this topic is in the present scenario where technology defines life.
Technology as such has no discrimination between the two types of marriages. In fact, it has aided both.

(a) – matrimonial websites can be considered to support arranged form of marriage. (More like current Chinese custom)    
(b) – websites for dating could be considered to promote love first and then marriage if they ever chose to. (Like the western dating)

 Yet, (a) and (b) are way too fragile and cannot be considered to be entirely within the respective domains of arranged ya love marriage.
… And at this point we begin to realize how close they are related. Their differences gradually dissolve into one as we go in deeper.
Question: So with everything written above clearly understood why is there a steaming debate between the two in our society???
Answer:  It is because of our attempt to explain failed marriages. Just imagine, if all marriages were successful with everyone happy then why would anyone question the type of marriage?

The debate goes further in to the core…
Thanks to love marriages, the divorce rates have gone up.
Divorce rates actually increased due to the change in the trend in law and the people. Earlier getting divorced was taboo but not anymore.
These days, divorce rates are more or less equal for Love Ya Arranged marriage.
Arranged marriages guarantee family stability at times of crisis. When a couple faces problems they could easily resort to their religion/community/ traditional ways in overcoming the situation as both the husband and wife share the same values and inter-communal dilemma will never come up among them. It is more like updating the present Operating System (OS) with better features and at the same time facilitating easy removal of bugs that come up (debugging).
What if the ‘bugs’ were something that came built in with the OS? Like the bug of social evil. When the system of sati prevailed, every Hindu woman at some point would have wished if she were born in to some other religion or some man from other religion married her. Many such bugs continue to prevail in many communities. It’s never bad if you have 2 OS in your in your pc. When one seems to work imperfectly, the other one can always provide for the files.
[If ‘files’ are analogous to children then what about ‘programs’?]
Programs areanalogous to the methodology or viewpoint of the individual which can impact the day to day activities of a family. There is a high risk of difference in opinions and decision making as programs that run on an OS need not perfectly run on other OS.
But wait a minute, love marriage don’t always have to be from other communities/ religions. It can be from people with the same grounds as well
And in that case the entire situation is analogous to opening the same media file with different media player software.
Assumingthat the couple belongs to different backgrounds, haven’t you heard of WINE, (the ambitious project that enables programs of Microsoft Windows to run of Linux bases OS like Ubuntu? WINE – is analogous to mutual trust and agreement in a relation and it does exist among 2 OS.
WINE can never guarantee 100% execution of most programs and is always subject to change. Chances of being stuck and bugs increases with even lesser options for debugging owing to its complexity.

Love marriages are quite risky provided it is you who makes the most important decision of your life. Isn’t it better to give it away to you parents/relatives who have had a wealth of experience on a racetrack where you are just about to begin? Parents choose what’s best for us and they are the ones who know and understand us.
Once you are an adult, it is you who knows best about yourself and all parents need not necessarily as ideal as mentioned above. This is an era of rapid change. How can one confirm that the decisions of his/her parents will support the scenario that he/she alone will have to face years after they have gone? It is the youth who can clearly see the horizon of the future world. Besides, our parents are bound to like the person we like; their disapproval could be merely because of the ego clash or maybe due to the fear of the unknown.
The youth may symbolize power and independence. Perhaps be even more empowered but the biggest drawback of the youth is their lack of experience despite boiling blood which holds a high chance of leading them to mistakes hard to correct. Parents may not understand the future world but they know and understand you... Marriage/family is not something new. You may be a person who is born into the changing society but parents are the ones who have seen the change happen to which they might not be adaptable but one should not misjudge them for having a narrow vision of the future. A structure with a strong foundation can only withstand the unpredictable winds of change. If our parents liked what we did then they might as well have encouraged us to play more video games/ study lesser, but they chose to do it differently because they like us more than what we like and does everything that’s best for us.
 If parents are the reason for successful arrange marriages, then arranged marriages are losing credibility as most parents these days barely know their children owing to a busier lifestyle.

Ok, what if the so called parents had a love marriage?
That could be were the whole vision changes, they would be the ones who are the perfect example of liberal parents, confident that their child will be able to successfully find his/her soul mate. They would also try their best to impart to their son/daughter the rights and wrongs of relationships.
There are also situations where such parents raise their children with extreme caution so that he/she doesn’t fall in love like they did. They would not be in a position to advice/ question the decisions of their child in building a relationship for him/her. They will have to helplessly watch their child making wrong decisions (a time when they go through the same situation they once put their parents in… perhaps a taste of one’s own medicine.)
A simple truth – what you do to your parents, your child could do the same to you.
Love marriages never brings rift in parental relationships. Parents may find it hard to agree to it and it could also bring about a shock to them but gradually in most cases they will accept it especially when a child is born. If your parents are ‘hurt’ merely due to the fact that you had a love marriage, then the ‘pain’ that you are putting them through is similar to ‘labor pain’ – it is not your fault that your mother had to go through a lot of pain an hardship to deliver you. Is it? After marriage (Love Ya Arranged) it’s quite natural for parents to feel that their child is drifting away from them. They should keep pace with it. It is inevitable.
It is not your fault if you marry against your parents’ wishes, but it is definitely your fault (sin) if your love for parents diminishes after marriage. Couples should make sure that the treat their parents well especially if it is a relationship that was made with disagreement from parent’s side. It is meaningless to have hatred towards parents simply because they opposed the marriage. Countering them would simply hurt them more and would make you a greater sinner. One must always tolerate their parent’s outburst of emotion, coz in the end it will always subside. That’s the parenting mantra – forgive… and if parents had no opposition, you’ve got to be grateful to them.

Love marriages are quite risky because of the fact the love [romance] is blind. Most people involved in romance will be in a state of perpetual illusion/dreams. Reality may seem horrible once the burden of family falls upon them. When the true color of an individual gets exposed and it would be too late by then. Arranged marriages on the other hand, will never happen until the financial stability of the couple is confirmed and besides there is ample time before the marriage where the couple can get to know each other and in the course of their family life, the couple will be prepared to adjust to whatever comes up as they gradually discover more of each other.
Arranged marriages could have problems related to dowry and could also tend to be expensive and there is also the biggest risk of an individual’s past-relationships creeping in after marriage. It could be a perfect medium for frauds, besides all forced child marriages are arranged marriages – a ‘bug’ in tradition.
Love marriages could also harbor fraud, heard of ‘love-jihad’? – Where people from other religions are lured in using love and made to convert to Islam for the sake of marriage. It is on the rise – pirated, duplicate OS.
Through the eyes of a pessimist, arranged marriage is like jumping into fire while love marriage is like drowning in water. The best way to stay safe? Never get married, enjoy loads of sex and if you really want to raise a kid – adopt! (If you risk nothing then you risk everything…)
Arranged marriages make it very hard for countless orphan youths of our country. To start a family, what else is more important than the partner’s approval?
That’s an inappropriate comment. There are countless marriage clients and sites that help them to arrange their marriage.

Reality – for orphans, being in a relationship is itself equivalent to attaining eternal happiness. They care little about HOW the relationship begins (Love Ya Arranged). They tend to commit, adjust and sacrifice the most in a relationship. They are the products of unsuccessful marriages (Love Ya Arranged) or ill fate. They truly are – the other side of the story. We debate about the type of love life while they starve for it. They value love more than we do. This debate is perhaps as foolish and unnecessary as blaming the gravity for making things fall… consider situation of homosexuals and transsexuals in our country they, they dream of an India where they are free to  fall in love and marryas we do and a society that’s cool with them arranging their marriage. We quarrel about things that we are anyway free to choose while they are suppressed for the same 2 things that they deserve to do but simply can’t and there’s no one to debate for them.  Democracy means – ‘all people’ and not ‘this people ya that people’.

From the genetic and evolutionary sides, love marriages hold the key. ‘Love’ is the essential ingredient for human evolution unlike most other animals where ‘to mate’ is more than enough. Humans being the weakest of all species chose ‘love’ to foster unity and more importantly to achieve better evolution. As researches suggest – a person seems to ‘fall in love’ with only those persons whose genetic codes differ from the former. More the difference in genetic codes and more is the chances of ‘falling’.
[That explains why one is attracted to a person whom others may find less attractive.]
As such, their offspring would a genetic code that combines both of its parent’s genetic variations and as a result – an evolutionary better generation of human beings.  Besides, doctors always advice to avoid marrying from close blood relations. The chances of the so called ‘better variation in genetic code’ are more in love marriages than arranged marriages.
Even if the genetic theory of love is really true, in India, arranged marriages poses no threat to better evolution because unlike any other nations, we ‘Indians’ have already been so mixed up since the evolution of homo sapiens. We are neither white nor black but brown and proud. The ‘variation’ would be satisfied.
If all Indians grasped the wisdom of the genetic theory of love, then we would have become one hell of a united nation not only in matters of marriage but in all aspects. Watch out for population explosion…
The conclusion and inference
Finally, after all those pop ups the conclusion appears to be no different from what every other person may have arrived at. I’ve mentioned it in the beginning but our curiosity prompted us to go on and here we are at the last phase, towards the end. What you feel now could be a pinch of what you’d probably feel when your end is near and you begin thinking about how you lived all your life. Life would have taught you a lesson and you might want to share it to the world. You may/may not regret it depending on the decisions you made. Did you know the truth in time or was it too late? It applies to all dilemmas that a person comes across in life. Did you use/waste your life-time over issues that were/weren’t worth enough?
We know how it all ends. They seem so different but arebasically the same. Marriage could be a fashion but life after marriage should be a passion and only then the fashion would show. All the types and traditions of marriage that prevail in the world are successful if and only if once condition is satisfied – the couple must discover true love.  Our prestigious nation shows us the way – our mindset towards relationship should be like the water that readily accepts the wine, milk and oil. Only then one will be able to blend in love to form and find a uniform solution, not a colloidal suspension.
“Love marriage Ya Arranged marriage” is a sentence that denotes a current trend and it is bound to eventually change. Perhaps to another sentence that we as people of this era might find highly unacceptable, disturbing or taboo. But debates over it would still prevail and so does true love.
The bleak advice that I could deliver regarding this sentence is to follow the path of GOD, before the start of any relationship(love ya arranged) LOVE your mate first rather than JUDGING him/her. If GOD judged us alone He would punish us for our sins. But it is because he chose to love us instead, that He is able to forgive us and hence we are able to see His love. Give your mate true love and you shall receive the same. In case don’t receive, always remember – YOU CAN CHOOSE, AT ANY POINT IN YOUR LIFE,GOD CAN JUDGE, AT ANY POINT IN ANYONE’S LIFE. HE WILL DECIDE WHO’S RIGHT AND WRONG. HIS DECISION WOULD BE FINAL AND JUST.

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