I have never seen myself hitting such high pressure peaks in my life. My temper soars high, words just fly out of my mouth, sometimes its hot anger that leaves me fuming in silence – well, I never knew it took so much to get married to someone, through an arranged, parents settled proposal. While the alliance seeking process goes on in full swing at my place, I am finding it increasingly hard to digest certain shortcomings of arranged marriages.
Before I say anything else, let me make it clear that I am not against arranged marriages. All the business of horoscope matching and knowing the family well and all that is definitely worthwhile and something that is unique to the Indian society. But what I look for is a change, to suit the present generation. Things are not the same as it were, some 30 years ago, when my parents got married.
Now, the scene at home. My mom has registered my name and horoscope with at least three places, hmm..let me recollect – Taamras, Sringeri mutt and Mahalingapuram chart (well, all that is what I found out hearsay)..and you would see her settling down with the classifieds of The Hindu on Sunday and dutifully ticking and sorting out the vadamas and ashtasahasraams and brihacharanaams..Man, and what happens to the other charts? They send you piles and piles of computer generated sheets that list endlessly, a record of prospective grooms.
The Taamras thing really sends me into fits of rage. The ‘wonderful’ software actually matches your profile to all the other such groom profiles based on gothram, nakshatram and all the nuances of zodiac. When my mom told me this for the first time, I was shocked. Shocked. And I just yelled, “you trust a computer, but not me??”
And how could I forget tamil matrimony in between all this? It lines up in my dad’s inbox so obediently , “Tamil Matrimony.com – matches on 12/02/2005” and so on and so forth. The mechanised messages read “Dear Member M123456, Congratulations!! (Well?) you have received a message from profile id MXXXXX” and probably ends with a good luck. And Imagine, for once I regretted having been in software, for I had to sincerely open my dad’s inbox everyday and show them the mail. Since, my parents didn’t understand the complicated working mechanism of the colourful site, they would make me do all the messaging part of it, while I sat and cursed my luck.
I would sit and wonder, how I would ever find the man of my lifetime there. Ah, no offence meant to the people who got married that way, but it’s all a question of choice or one’s individual way of looking at things. My biggest problem is that I need the time to know a guy before I married him. But as my mom reasoned it out two days ago (during yet another fight) that time constraints are high in an arranged marriage, I just wondered why a small accommodation like this couldn’t be made. After all, even mothers work these days and they would be more outgoing.
Girls today are more independent, much more educated than before, and hence wouldn’t just give into a relationship after a one time meeting with the person, whom you are expected to spend a lifetime with. At least, I wouldn’t. while I continue to ask for time, my parents insist that the family is good and the guy ought to be good. Fair enough, he might be a good guy but the question is, do I get along well with him? Do we really “click”?
Frustrated parents and relatives would immediately say, Ok, if you have someone in mind, let us know, we will get you married to him! And whenever, someone said that, I would question, “Then, would you drop the gothram and nakshatram business?”.Once my mom said, let me give you the list of nakshatrams, you shortlist based on that. Fantastic!! Might as well go for an arranged marriage.
My stand is probably confusing to many or may be everyone. But all that I am asking for is, a little bit of flexibility. Some bending of rules. Honestly speaking, I wouldn’t easily settle for someone, even if I tried looking for somebody, all by myself. That is the way we (I add my sis here too!) have been brought up. But if I did find someone, good enough, I would just wish my parents would accommodate, without all these lengthy rituals, trusting me! Even if it’s somebody whom they see for me, all I want would be some time to know the guy!
All said and done, last year, at the marina beach, I tried my hand at “killi josiyam” and the parrot, that spelt out my fate, took a card, which the guy described to me. “while you and your parents have different things in mind about your marriage, you would get married to a guy whom you like and who suits your parents wishes too,” he predicted. And what do I do now? I only continue to hope that what he said would be true! Then, I would thank him and his cutie parrot!