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Indian Marriages – The Real Face

The Real Face


The boy was 25 and the girl was 22. They both met for the arrange marriage and fell in love at first sight. Soon they tied the holy knot between themselves taking all the seven vows that every Hindu takes in his/her marriage. Both the families were from very rich family background. It was an arrange marriage but looked like a love marriage. The relatives used to call them a ‘made for each other’ couple. Just when their love started blossoming, there came news that the girl has committed suicide.
The marriage could only last for 3 months. It was a shock that completely destroyed the boy’s life and his whole family. The girl wanted to do job after marriage but boy’s family wanted her to be a housewife. May be this was not the only reason of girl’s suicide. But after the incident, boy’s family was sentenced to prison for 2 years on charges of dowry which was falsely charged by girl’s family as a revenge. The boy’s family is a decent family whose only mistake may be was not to deeply investigate about the girl’s family. Sources reveal that the marriage was not a bonding between the boy and the girl, but it was merely a contract between their families. The ingredients of that marriage were not love, faith, trust, family values and belongingness instead the marriage appeared to be a social obligation. Both families just focused on each other’s family status and financial status.

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She was beautiful, she was highly qualified, and she was career oriented. She postponed her marriage to accomplish her goals. She was searching for the right guy for many years. Soon she realized she was 30 and now she should marry for social obligation at least. So she finally chooses her soul mate who was of same community as hers and was 32 in age. Finally she got her man of her dreams after a long wait. Both agreed to the rituals and soon tied the knot. She was very happy that she is finally married. But destiny didn’t let her dreams go the way she wanted. After 3 months she herself with a heavy heart, signed the divorce papers. After the marriage she found her man untrustworthy in all aspects of life. He was found completely opposite in character that he appeared before marriage. She found a huge gap between herself and her husband in terms of compatibility, trustworthiness and loyalty. Girl’s family didn’t imagine this could happen with her only daughter. What could be the reason of the divorce? Could her marriage be saved? Is the age has anything to do with her marriage and the partner selection? Is it her luck or her wrong decision that was responsible for the divorce?

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Boy loved girl and girl loved boy. They were in an affair since they were in school. They were together in school, together in Diploma College, and also in Degree College. Just after celebrating 10 years of their affair, they were separated. They love each other since 10 years, but destiny has something worse planned for them. When girl’s family came to know about the affair, they restricted her going outside of the house. They made her life hell. She was not allowed to talk with any other boy and was asked to stay away from her boyfriend.They were not wrong in their demeanour and they didn’t cross their limits also. All they wanted was the support of their parents which also was not given.Actually the girl’s father wanted his son in law to have an annual salary package of 12 lakhs strictly and not below than that. Boy can’t reach that mark with his current package of 3.6 lakhs. So they decided to separate. They stopped meeting and obeyed what girl’s father said. Today in 2014, the girl is married to a guy 4 years older than her and having salary package of 14 lakhs. Today may be girl’s father has got his son in law but was it a right decision? Did father get everything he wanted? Will the girl stay happy in her married life?

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The boy was the most eligible bachelor, businessman by profession and was seeking a true life partner for him. His parents selected a girl and planned a meeting for him. Fortunately, they both liked each other and instantly said yes. Both the families finalized the marriage date and soon they tied the holy knot at their right ages.Everything was going smooth after marriage but only till a year when the girl was admitted in hospital due to some illness, which was later diagnosed as blood cancer. The boy and his family were in shock. The doctors said she was on last stage and was undergoing treatment before marriage also. It was revealed now that girl’s family has hidden her disease at the time of marriage. When boy’s family knew about her disease and the fact that it was not earlier communicated to them at the time of marriage, she was misbehaved and ill-treated thereafter. One can easily predict how she breathed her last days as she was not allowed to enter her in-laws home, she didn’t get any love from her husband since he knew about her illness and instead of supporting her he abused her daily. That just one thing that they hide from the boy’s family changed everything. Was it lack of transparency which was responsible for this breakup?

The above stories were not a piece of entertainment, all are real life stories.

It seems we have forgotten the real meaning of marriage. Marriage is an institution where two souls become one obeying all the vows that they take, throughout their life. But in 21st century the definition is changed – “Marriage is a social and legal contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, financially and robustly keeping family status as a key”. Are marriages made in heaven? Yes they are, but it seems we all have forgotten that. Today’s marriages are more likely a deal. This article throws some light on today’s marriage culture, reason for failures of marriages and the ingredients of a perfect marriage.

There are many faces of Indian marriages. Some marry due to social obligation; some do because of family pressure; some because they are alone and some do because they think they are ageing.
Today, if you ask from boys about their life plan, they say “Work for 6 years so that I will be financially stable before I get married.” “I want to enjoy my life before marriage, I want to visit the places I want, enjoy with my friends till 30.” Is there no life after marriage? What are the youth scared of? Studies show that if you marry at the right age your children will be more beautiful and healthier. It has been also proved that if you delay in marriage, then the chances of being prone to diseases for parents and children are more. Also an intelligent person has rightly said that the greatest profit you will get marrying at the right age is that you will never be alone in your older age as your children will be your best friends and you will get every possible help from your children in older age so as to make your afterlife more glorious.

Did you ever think why arranged marriages are now happening at a later age? Today a 25 year old boy is doing love marriage and at the same time a 28 year old girl is searching her soul mate for an arrange marriage. The study also revealed that 53 per cent of men think that between ’31-35’ is the best age to get married. Women, on the other hand, think that the best age to get married is ’26-30 years-old’. Why arrange marriages are postponed nowadays. The trend changed from last 10-12 years. This is also because of us, our societies. It’s because of us who expect double in marriage; from the opposite side no matter you are from the groom’s side or from a bride’s side. Boy expects double dowry or a bigger family financial status than his or his family has. And girl expect at least triple salary package for her partner than she has, or if the boy family is a business family then it’s a jackpot for her.

It’s money which is making every one’s life worse. According to youth, money comes before marriage and hence they are losing their age of marriage thereby increasing the average age of marriage for boys and for girls too. What actually we want in life is love, care and sense of belongingness, not money or a VIP status. Every day you return from your office and expect love and affection from your wife and children, you don’t need a money bed to relax on to relieve your tension. At the end of the day you need affection and a sense of togetherness rather than monetary things.

Till when I thought that this data is enough, I was wrong. Recently, I was having a random glimpse of some matrimonial profiles on internet and this is what I have found in their partner preference. “He should be a business class, and should be based out of metro cities only.” “Salary package expected 15 lakhs and above.”, “I am looking for an NRI boy or who is working outside India, others please excuse!”, “As we are residing in a 500 sq yards house, the boy should also own a 500 sq yards house at least”. It means she is interested in boys who have salaries greater than 15 lakhs or is an NRI, what if destiny has chosen a life partner for her who has lesser salary package but better conjugal happiness, she would never know about his existence because he will never contact her as he don’t match her partner preference. One can’t predict the future. Moreover this is not a criterion to decide your life partner.

There is one more bitter truth, in all the real life stories depicted above, the horoscopes from both sides were matched and fully verified till satisfaction. But still the result of every story is shocking. After these real life marriage failures, it’s very hard to believe in horoscopes. This has proved that our stars have nothing to do with marriage. People nowadays take views from many astrologers just to make sure that marriage will be successful or not. But it’s hard to believe in those astrologers whose only motive is to run their business by misleading their customers. If you ask for a match from 3 astrologers, its 100% possibility that all three would not be same. Stars should not be the only deciding criteria for marriage to happen, there are more things also that should be focused on as a criteria to choose a life partner. It’s the couple’s mutual understanding and personal characteristics also that serve an important role to make a marriage successful.

There was a myth that love marriages always fail. The success percentage of love marriages was very less. If we compare marriages 10-12 years back, and today’s marriages, there is a lot of difference. Love marriages were very rare at that time as there was a myth that love marriages never succeed and research showed that the success rate of love marriage was less than that of arrange marriage. But nowadays a larger percentage of marriages are love marriages and they are successful too. It’s proved that happier couples are found in love marriages as compared to arrange marriages.

Today’s youth thinks that no matter marriage is love or arranged, it’s up to us that how we treat it, how we maintain and sustain any relationship. But why we always think only after marriage, not before marriage. Before marriage we think how much dowry I will get? Should I ask for some cash also? Which car I should go for? Mostly girl’s families want a business man or an NRI for her daughter. Why only businessman? If he is serviceman then she is going to say NO, because she doesn’t want to live her life after marriage having deficit of anything. Is this the correct way to select a life partner? Nobody ever asks question like “Will I get love? Will I get respect?”

We usually say our relatives have done that for their daughter’s marriage, so we will do double than that. We are often influenced by the society but it’s only ourselves who are responsible for setting the benchmarks in our society like ‘below status line’, ‘below X salary line’ which is actually destroying the holy institution and the sole purpose is lost. Nowadays youth is happier before their marriage rather than after their marriage. It’s a survey that the percentage of happier and healthier people is less after marriage as compared before marriage, but that percentage should be more than the percentage before marriage.

The main point is the criteria for selecting the life partner. What must be the criteria? The traditional way to select the life partner comprises of the basic criterion to be followed. The considerations vary, but can include –

  • Religion : Marriages are usually arranged between individuals belonging to the same religion.
  • Caste and culture : Usually, first preference is given to the same caste.
  • Horoscope : Numerology and the positions of stars at birth is often used in Indian culture to predict the success of a particular match.
  • Profession and status : The profession, financial position and the social status of the individual is also taken into account.
  • Physical appearances of the individual is taken into account in some cases.

But are these should be the only criterion which make a successful marriage? There are many stories besides described above, in real life that have even worse ending than above stories. So was this criteria not followed? Yes that was followed. But there were certain ingredients missing which are more practical and if they followed then we can surely say that ‘there are no sad endings every time’.

  1. God-centred. God must be in the centre of each marriage for it to blossom and reach its full potential. Remember, you are a conduit of God’s love for your spouse. When a husband and wife are tapped into the bottomless ocean of the Lord’s grace, love and mercy, they are eager to have that overflow onto each other.
  2. Positivity. The happiest couples focus on do’s, not don’t s. Rather than just steering clear of negative interactions, they actively work to build positivity into their relationships. They show what psychologists call an “approach orientation,” moving toward what’s good, rather than moving away from what’s bad. So believe in positivity and be positive always.
  3. Love and understanding. Love has the key role to play in every relationship. If it’s lost everything is lost. Understanding should also exist in every bond of love. Every day is not the same and every moment is not the same. We all are human beings and to err is human. Understanding comes from forgetting all the mistakes of their partner and focus on positivity’s behind their mistakes. A good mutual understanding between two persons can make any relationship last long.
  4. Acceptance. Expecting one to change completely for us is ridiculous. Of course we should have some give and get policies in life. At the same time, one should be ready to accept life as it is. True love does not expect one to change for oneself. It accepts what you are; just as you are.Life without expectations is meaningless. But life full of expectations will ruin the entire future. Draw the line of limit. So, reduce your expectation, be practical and accept the reality. Your marriage will bloom.
  5. Rock-solid trust. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. It must be held as sacred. None among us are perfect, and we will make our mistakes, but in a successful marriage, trust must not be broken. It is an enormous leap of faith to align personal destiny equally with another, and without trust in that person, you will never make it. You have their back, and they have yours; never allow anything to come between. And neither spouse ever lies to the other, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation.
  6. Passion and commitment. Passion is a burning desire to be successful at a stated goal. The commitment to do whatever it takes to reach the finish line. It takes great sacrifice by both partners to reach the level of commitment necessary to make a marriage last.
  7. Emotional security. This is usually an overlooked aspect of human need: the requirement we have to keep a place where we feel safe and secure from the outside world. A marriage that is working well is just that. It’s the “us against the world” mentality, where we feel needed and wanted. When you listen to sports players talk after they win championships, someone will always say, “We closed ranks, and it was us against the world.” A successful marriage works the same way.
  8. Unbreakable respect. When two people are in love, they have a mutual respect and desire for each other that overrides any shortcomings and traits in the other person. There is an unbreakable respect and passion for that person. This should last not only when things are going great, but when the hard times come as well—when tragedy strikes or when people change. When respect leaves a marriage, the people involved will usually follow not far behind.
  9. Little Patience. A few moments of patience will save your entire life. Many marriages are broke down, due to the loss of “Few Moments” pause. Life is full of ups and downs, and obviously, issues will come in between any couples in any form. It could be in the form of relatives, family members or friends. Sometimes, it could be a financial problem or just a day to day activity change. Whatever the issue is, if you show patience for a few minutes at least, and let the flame to slow down and your mind to calm down, you may find lots of paths to travel and solve the issue.
  10. Unconditional. Marriage fails when your unconditional love turns into a conditional one. If you marry someone with some pre conditions in your mind, then just note in your diary that your marriage will fail soon, as conditions may change at any moment of your life. Change is the only constant thing of life. So, if you are conditional and not ready to cope up with changes, you may fail in your life. If you marry someone because she is beautiful, then the marriage will blast, if she loses that beauty. If you marry someone because he is wealthy, your marriage is built on money and not on love. It will drain up, if he loses all money. A marriage built on love, with only one condition that “I love you and be on your side without any conditions, no matter where to live or how to live” will live happily ever after.

This is first time I am writing on my blog something which is not a motivational one, but something which is influential. This article is an attempt to show the readers that love, trust and respect are the least preference in todays arrange marriages. This anecdote was an attempt to show what upper middle class Indian families think about marriages. The marriages usually miss the main ingredients due to which it doesn’t bloom.

The article was not related to any person or any caste or religion, rather it’s a composition that may or may not influence today’s youth. Still, I am sorry if I have hurt somebody’s feelings.

May be this post isn’t real for some readers and they have their own views on today’s marriages. I guess they would be having mixed feelings on this topic. So please share your views.

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By Alok Kundnani

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