“What do you think about inter-cast marriage?” a friend asked me on chat.
“I don’t have any problem with Inter-cast, inter-religion or inter-racial marriage as long as it’s not a loveless marriage.” Was my instant reply.
“But how can we judge that before taking decision? Especially in arrange marriages! I’m so confused!” came her reply after few moments delay.
I knew the reason of her confusion. I myself went through an arranged marriage and I was telling her that I didn’t support loveless marriage. It was natural for her to worry over how I found out that I loved my husband before getting married.
She’s not the only one who is in this dilemma. ‘Conservative’ is the word to describe Indian culture. My grandmother saw my grandfather after their marriage. My mother might have seen my father one or two times before marriage. But then they didn’t have much choice to reject the ‘Boy’ anyways. Today we have it. Our culture has evolved a bit and even if it is an arranged marriage, the decision lies with girl or boy (Mostly. In rural India it’s a different thing). Today if a girl doesn’t like a boy, she can choose not to marry him and vice versa.
But my friend’s problem was not this. It was: how could she decide that she wanted to marry the person in typically one or two meetings? And she expected an answer from me because I had done that and I am totally happy with my decision. Well, her question was simple, but the answer to that is complex and highly subjective. I couldn’t tell her how I choose my husband, because frankly I myself didn’t know exactly what made me take the decision. Things just clicked and I had this intuition that we will be happy together.
Now, some may say it was love at first sight. Yeah! I don’t believe in love at first sight. Actually, I don’t like to label love as one single feeling. Rather, love is a combination of different feelings such as affection, companionship, trust, attraction, responsibility and many more. And these feelings won’t develop in one or two meetings. Okay, maybe you can get attracted to someone because of their looks. But again, your decision shouldn’t be based solely on these superficial things. Look for someone whom you can relate to, someone whom you can trust. And believe me; you can judge these things in a few meetings. One of my friends who work in HR department of a multinational company once told me how they select prospective candidates for job openings. “The technical knowledge is being judged by some geeks”, she told me. “We judge if the person’s overall body language. Words might be misleading, but body never lies.” This applies when you are meeting your prospective bride/groom also.
I remember a scene from a famous Indian movie ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, where a girl asks the same advice to Munna, about how she can make sure the person she’s about to marry is the right one. He tells her to check how he behaves with the people below his stature. She observes her date and makes a decision. Superb scene. I totally agree.
How a person might behave with you can be judged by how he behaves with his own family, too. You cannot expect respect from one who has little respect for his own family. You should also observe the relationship between the family members. A marriage is not just a union of two people, but two families too. If they themselves don’t get along, how will they get along with your family?
And the most important point is, don’t wait for that ‘Perfect match’. It’s a myth. Nobody’s perfect and if you think otherwise, be ready to remain single all your life. People are nice as an individual, but here we are talking about marriage, where essentially two genders are involved. And they are from different planets. So it is not just important to marry the right person, but creating the right relation with your life partner is equally important. Everybody has arguments, fights. But how they affect your relation is of prime importance. For some, the arguments leave bitterness behind. For others, it may show them areas of improvement. After all, we don’t choose our parents and siblings; still we love them in spite of all the arguments. If you are at fault, don’t hesitate to say sorry. If it’s your spouse who botched it up, be forgiving. If you are going through rough patches, have faith in one another. Only this can build your relation.
Do marriages are made in heaven? Not at all. They are made on earth. It is easy to find a person, but the tough task is building a healthy relationship. Focus on it, rather than other meager issues, and you will get your happily ever after.