June 30, 2009

Battle between Love Marriage & Arrange Marriage

So I am going to try and talk about the eternally ranging battle in society, Love vs. Arrange Marriage. Which one is better for today’s time? Why do people prefer one to another? Why does one method work for a person and other for another person? I always have had long arguments and discussions with friends over the way I feel works for me. But today I am going to try to keep a neutral opinion and talk about this.

With whom we want to spend our life with should be an individual choice. Family, society and the world at large come much later in the picture. It is the two individuals you decide it because it is their life; how they choose to get married is their choice. Love is a beautiful feeling. They say when one is truly in love, the whole world seems beautiful to you. I remember the old songs where when two individuals fall in love, the birds start chirping, streams start making music and there is happiness all around. If love is such a beautiful feeling then finding the person you love is the most beautiful journey you can take in your life. When two people meet, it is not always love at first sight. People meet as friends, get to know each other, spend time with each other and this way know if they are right for each other. In Love marriage you always have the time to get to know the person; the real person. When people meet for arrange marriage arrangement, they always know this that they have to make a good impression. It is all love-dovey, hunky-dorry in the start. Whereas when you are in a relationship before marriage, you get to see the good and the bad side of the individual. You know each other on a more intimate level; you are aware of the likes and dislikes of that individual. This would mean fewer surprises after marriage. The more time you spend with someone the more you get to know that person. Love marriage is all about the decision of an individual; there are no parents or relatives involved; they come into picture at later stage of the relationship. You are making decisions about your own life, as two grown-up individuals should do. There are no chachis and mamis trying to convince you for some random guy they feel is so very well suited for you. When you are in a relationship, you get to know each other’s deepest, darkest secrets and come to accept each other the way we are. You are responsible for your own actions, of the choices we make and if God-forbid things go wrong in a relationship then only you are to be blamed. You would not be saying to someone else that you choose that guy or girl for me and see where I have ended. Before your relationship ends in a love marriage, you have the dating and courtship period. The time when you and I are the only two people who exists in the world. The person you are marrying is no stranger for you; you actually have got time to know him/her before you two decide on getting married.

Arrange Marriage, just the thought of it send shudders down the spine of a lot of people. The idea of marrying a total stranger is completely alien in the western world but in India it seems to work. My parents had a typical arrange marriage and after so many years of marriage they are still going strong. There must be something in the arrange marriage that makes it tick. People must not be fool to go for an arrange marriage; they would be having a belief in this system which makes them choose it for finding their life partner. India is a collective system and not an individualistic system. Here people are attached to their family, friends and society. So when the decision of marriage takes place, people look for consensus from all direction before taking the plunge. When you get married in India, you just don’t marry a person, you marry the family, relatives and the society that individual lives in. So when an arrange marriage takes place, it is perceived as a joint consensus from all the spheres of an individual’s life. Arrange Marriage is backed by the society; you have a strong family support; you are not on your own here. Society & family aside, if we look at Arrange Marriage from an individual point of view then also you can see good points in it. The idea of starting a life journey together with a person where you both are in the process of knowing each other, learning about each other and in the process falling in love; is divine. In India when you get married, you just don’t marry the person but the whole family. You have to not only mould your self to the life of the partner but also that of his or her family. Arrange Marriages normally take place between people of the same cast and religion. The husband and wife are aware of each other’s customs and traditions and adjusting to it is easier. Arrange Marriage take place with the consensus of the family and society, so there is more acceptance of this kind of marriage in an Indian society.

So done with all the goody-goody points of both Love and Arrange Marriage; now for some bashing. Love Marriage when taken place without the consensus of family, can lead to unhappiness in the long run. You don’t have a family to support you during tough times and to share your happiness in good times. Even if the marriage takes place with the consent of parents, there can be clashes due to couple coming from different cultures. The belief systems with which they both are brought up with are different. They might differ in opinions on food habits, religious beliefs or what value system to impart in kids. Now lets talk about Arrange Marriage. Arrange Marriages are fixed through families; the couple actually get less time to get to know each other. Even if they do spend time with each other what is the guarantee that you will truly know the real person. No one wants to show the bad side of him or her. In today’s times, with individuals getting more and more independent, the idea of Arrange marriage seems a little old fashioned.

Marriage is the union of two souls. It is a beautiful commitment that two people make to spend the rest of their life together; to be with each other in sickness and health; happiness and sorrow. Whichever way one chooses to marry, we just have to know that there is someone out there that God has chosen for us and he will lead us to him. The path he chooses for us all may be different but the destination is the same; to finding our soul mate.


Anonymous said...

its the same question that i have been questioning and still questioning all the time...i mean my parents had an arranged marriage and to be blunt and frank i never saw the feeling in their eyes...that i really really want to feel when i get married to someone...my parents have been there together only because of me and my siblings and yes the most freakin so called society...i don't believe in arranged marriages...i seriously think that if i ever EVER get married..i would want to give it time...no matter if i am 30 or 40...age doesn't matter once you find someone you really care about.u've written it really well! loved reading! will come back again! :)

Pallavi said...

this is a battle which goes in my mind always. I would hate to get into a typical arrange marriage set up. Just marrying a stranger whom you have no feelings what so ever is just not possible for me.