There is a reason behind the whole process of life and birth. Darwinism aside, it was basically designed with one main idea in mind: we should never be able to choose our parents. This is mostly so that you may hate them, even complain about them but you can’t change them. Law may provide complacent solace in some forms but like toothpaste out of a tube, there is no reversing the flow.
Marriage on the other hand provides no such comfortable convenience of pre-ordained decisions. If you believe in stupidities like “marriages are made in heaven” then I don’t really want to be the one to break it to you – just ask Santa in the next letter you send to the North Pole!
Marriage is the one effective way of realising the futility of all your decisions. No matter how much you plan it, you will still not be completely satisfied with your lot. In fact satisfaction here is as much a state as is Bihar.
But there is something to making your own mistakes; when we get into a love marriage (as opposed to non-love marriages?) atleast our stubborn-headedness will always keep us from admitting the bare-naked truth. Men driving and men marrying for love are similar in that regard; there are no wrong turns to be acknowledged.
Arranged marriages on the other hand can seem like an acquisition of a new set of parents which is totally forced. Sure you will be given your two moments of tranquillity with the guy/girl before they betroth you to him/her for eternity. But in that little moment, you will be expected to figure out everything about this person and, more importantly, appreciate those things. Nevermind the in-laws which is another set of problems altogether.
But how do you get to know a person in one such orchestrated staged meeting? We all act our best when being examined, whether we studied the Hawthorne Effect or not. I can’t think of any man who would belch, fart and scratch himself in any permutated order on the day he meets his eternal partner for the first time. The horror then when she realises later that she has married the roadside fleabag bumpkin of her un-dreams!
Here is the problem. Beyond the clutches of cultural make-up, we all have a twisted side; something that is contained more due to legal restraints rather than social sensibilities. Better then to find someone to annoy who won’t mind it as much (perhaps even be reverse-twisted enough to enjoy it) rather than pissing the life out of a complete unsuspecting stranger!
A study I browsed through long back highlighted how single men are the happiest form of life, followed by married women, married men and then single women right down there. I didn’t quite agree with it; for me it was more a matter of phases (depending on which side of whose bed we wake up in, on that hour on that given day.) but it did justify Wilde’s observation that women marry for security whereas men marry out of curiosity and both are eventually disappointed.
Marriage is not at all about finding love at first sight; it is about companionship; overall, it’s like having a special friend who you also have sex with, frequently, and you enjoy it, and you wanted to, not just because she begged. Marry for a particular trait (looks, likes, leather fetish) and you will marry a few more times. When the person is right, sometimes all you need is a small hello. As for the passionate meeting of eyes across the room followed by heavy panting in the backseat of some car? -that was lust my friend and she wasn’t as pretty as you went on to describe her to your mates the next day. That, the evening before, was alcohol working.
Which brings me to the conclusion: companionship or a good partner can not be ascertained over a cup of coffee or a snug snog. It needs more work than that (and I don’t mean tandem biking). But it is real fun working at it. Most of my friends are married. Most of them chose each other themselves. Some have kids too and boy do I like doting over them. (Ishaan and Rehaan, I am talking about the two of you.)
So in a way, I guess I am encouraging the rest of you out there to go forth and find your own partner to copulate (no not you, you are married already sir). Don’t let your unchangeable set of parents decide this. Sure you can, and I am certain with some sincere effort you and your arranged partner too may go on to have a blissful life. But, as far as track records go, your parents already decreed where you went to school and look what a waste that has turned out to be.