“Marriage” – A beautiful and divine ceremony which binds two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other, giving birth to a confining and an intimate union of souls which brings out the very best in each other. Confused by the marriage equation and dissented from the rest of the world, people in India envision marriage as merging of the families of bride and groom rather than the ones to be matched. Behind every great man there is only a surprised woman. From the union of two hearts which need to settle and flow, it has now become the rivers of family and celestial powers which guide you to the sea.
With socializing platforms like Tinder becoming popular, India is still perplexed by the matrimonial sites for matching people. The next process of shortlisting groom/bride is well taken care of by the parents who start using their laptops 24/7 solely for this purpose. After a very stringent selection process of filtering out the so called “Alliance determining factors” such as caste, complexion, salary, age, height, weight, education and many more, a final shortlist of the marriage material is made. Then comes the determining factor for the success of a marriage, checking and matching of horoscopes done by a ‘PUN’dit. After the pundit’s approval, comes the most hilarious part of the scrutiny ‘visiting the bride’s place’.
Once such instance was the official showcasing ceremony of my friend. Brides are treated like an item on sale, to be examined thoroughly for damage and quality before pasting an “accepted” label onto their foreheads. In some cases such outrageous demands begin with scrutinizing the bride-to-be for appearance, dowry demands, asked to sing, cook and dance. The girl is at times asked to prepare and serve food as per the liking of the groom’s family. This food can range from the demand for a ‘papad’ to a full six course meal. There are numerous goosey examples of bride/groom being rejected by the other family without even thinking about what they think and have for each other.
The boy’s family then inform about their decision to the bride’s family usually over phone the next day. Regardless of the fact that the couple is going to settle somewhere away from their families, an inspection of the boy’s house is done to find out their respect in the locality, size of the family, facilities to comfort their daughter and the list is endless.
A decision about marriage is often taken even before the guy and girl are allowed to meet and talk to each other in private. After the selection process and the families liking each other, it rarely proceeds to this stage where they are permitted to interact in private. Hold on! Privacy here comes as a special edition, along with the bride’s brother/sister. Gradually a total stranger becomes the most important person in your life just after a few meetings.
This concept of arranged marriage in India is preferred by the families for this very reason, that it is important for the families to like the boy and the girl respectively and the other family, to agree for the marriage. The whole idea that for a relationship to be a success, it is necessary that the girl and boy should be compatible is taken for a toss. It is only after the wedding that they are given the chance to understand the other person and make proper adjustments.
Everything said and done, even though unexplainable, the success rate of these weddings is high. We often hear our grandparents and parents fondly say that theirs was a match made in heaven and it is bliss to have found their partners.
Snubbed is the bond that underlies
The married ones must relish
Relationship between families
Arranged marriage tries to establish
With experience they view
Decisions that try to swing
Socially a protected life of you
They take pride to bring
By Sweta Sudesh, PGPM 2016-18