March 23, 2006

Books and Marriages

Marriage. This is a common topic for everybody irrespective of their age. Teenagers or adolescents ask their friends as to what type of marriage they would prefer- love or arranged? Parents often get worried about all that stuff going on in their children’s mind. They share it with their friends- mothers with neighbouring aunties and fathers with their colleagues or close friends. If a girl becomes twenty plus or is about to complete her graduation and if a boy has started earning, they will become the cynosure of this topic. Aunties and uncles will enquire parents when they are going to get their son/daughter married. What is the reason behind the delay? And, if parents say that their son/daughter is not willing to marry so early, the next obvious question would be koi hai kya? (Is your child seeing someone?) That is the only reason they can think of. Uhh! Can they not be sensible enough to know and understand that there can be many other reasons for a person to postpone his or her decision? Even worse, some will start spying their children.

What is so fun in wanting to know whether a person prefers a love marriage or an arranged one? Why would anyone want to know? And, even if they don’t want to get married, it’s their preference. Who are these uncles and aunties to bother? I have been asked the same many times. My only answer would be I have never given it a thought. May be this. Or, may be that.

I have thought about it lately. Not the kind I would prefer to get into. But, the similarities in marriage and buying books. What I mean to say is, there is everything so common between them. As we have two cases in marriage- love and arranged- we have two similar cases in buying books.

Arranged marriage is one where someone else (mostly parents) finds a suitable match for you. We won’t come to know much about the person until we get married to him or her. It is the same when someone goes to a book store and buys a book for you. You can’t say whether you like the book or not until you finish reading it. Then you come to a conclusion about the book- whether it’s worth buying or not, whether you made a wrong decision in obliging with the book.

Love marriage, on the other hand, is what most people think well. Here, you marry someone of your choice. It’s just like going to the book store and buying a book that you like immensely. You buy the book going just by the review on its back page and a few other pages that the book might have shown you. Once you buy it you will come to know whether what you had thought of about the book is right or wrong. The book may prove to possess all those virtues that you had desired in it, but you still may not like a few pages or few lines.

There is another case in the similarity between an arranged marriage and buying books. Unlike in the first case, here you accompany someone (who’s going to buy the book for you- parents) and get to see the book they had planned to buy for you before actually buying it. You say that you will first go through the review and a few pages before coming to a decision. They agree. You go to the book store and try to get a few glimpses of it the next day (you may see the person day in and day out in real life). You end up spending a lot of time with it, reading a few pages from the illustrious beginning or a few others somewhere in between being cautious all the time trying to avoid the shopkeeper’s curious glances at you. Out of your hurriedness and discomfort you will not get to know much about the book and in the end, having spent so much time with it in the book store, you will come out only after paying for it.


  1. i never thought something like these would be so synonymous. Great stuff

  2. Nice Mapping...

    I wanted to share some of my views on your theory....

    Instead of considering marriage as a book to be bought from the bookstore to be read...(its not Read Only Memory)It can be viewed as read and write option(I am not a CS guy...but can we say Random Access Memory?)

    We get not just the ownership rights to read the book but,
    'partnership' rights where each partners' books are exchanged, reviewed and edited by both parties, as necessary...and the revised editions are published frequently for mutual benefits.

    On an individual basis, your analogy holds true but,i think it would be better if there is a 'book exchange' scenario incorporated in the model....
    For 20 plus years, each individual maintaines his/her sole identity and once the necessary conditions (as u mentioned) are satisfied,
    'uncles and aunts' assume that they are 'sufficient enough' to consider the individual as a book ready for 'partnership rights'

    Any book will surely have some decent/adorable chapters, some time-pass chapters and some really boring ones. The individual chapters might be great but, the entire book might not convey a 'good story' or vice versa. Some books might require multiple readings to really grasp the 'essence'.

    Whether we exchange our books by external arrangement or internal assessment,hopefully we get someone who appreciates our
    'adorable'chapters, passes time
    with our 'mediocrity',taps our potential and gives us opportunities to do the same with openness and authenticity.....

  3. yeah, probably that's what we do while reading a book- flip the pages with mediocre stuff, engross ourselves fully in the interesting or gripping part of the book.

    But, one feels good if the book has more number of decent/adorable chapters than the irritating ones.

  4. good observation. so both ways its going to be shopping for a gal.

  5. Yeah Rightly put.

    Marriage esp. in a South Indian community like mine is quite haarowing an experience.
    I should know better, mah sis is gonna get married By God's grace in the near future.

    Nariya ways la Love marriage is better Indu and Nariya ways la arranged is better.


  6. I dont find ur analogy sensible at all. That's where my review ends.

    But, I'd love to learn how u prefer marriage ideally. We're not talking abt love mrgs here for a while. No one should ask you, no one should even raise the topic - atleast not until you are interested in marriage - and except you to come up one fine morning and say "hey ma, hey dad, get me married to this guy". Lets say thats how it is and lets also assume that u wont find such a person of interest until u reach lets say 30. Cuzz there's no guarantee that it will happen any earlier but if it does it would become the love marriage we decided not to talk abt here. Then the guy should like you and be willing to marry you.

    Ideally, you want ur conservative Indian parents to wait until u find a suitable guy who -there's this likelihood - cud be of a different caste or might possess a quality not to the liking of ur parents. Who knows they might be right?

    But, there's this love marriage possibility too which would be better left to the individual to resolve -yes its a problem - as per his/her priorities.

    Stop complaining about this crap. Just find ur way out. And if you do tell others the solution not the problem.

  7. sree: First of all, I failed to understand the sensibility in your comment. I am the person who has to decide when I should get married and to whom. And, when you don't want to talk about love marriages, then why do you crib about arrnged marriages?

    Nowhere in the post I had mentioned that I expect my parents to wait till I come up with the topic myself. All the while, I was talking about *others* who show great interest in knowing everything personal about unmarried people. And, I never denied the fact that people have their own view of marriage- arranged or love. I hadn't written anything on this too. Your interest in knowing my preference of marriage itself proves whatever I had written in the beginning of the post.

    How could you expect yourself to learn my preference even after reading my post. That itself says that you haven't got the essence of it.

    Finally, if you have forgotten, then let me remind you that this is my blog. If you don't like this *crap* then you can refrain from reading what I write.

  8. I'm sure and agree with you that u r the person who should be deciding when and with whom.

    I didn't want to talk abt love marriages because as I said its left to the individual to decide, try to convince and do whatever he/she thinks is appropriate. Oh and I thought we were talking abt the situation when the groom was not decided yet.

    I haven't said that u wanted ur parents to wait. Ideally, is that how u (girls) wanted it to be was my Q. Nor did I say u denied some fact. Oh! what were u thinking? I get it..ur first line says it all.

    I have no interest in knowing 'ur' preference rather girls' in general. I am not talking abt u in specific in the whole reply. How would u(girls) want this marriage thing to be handled?

    Finally to ur final point, "crap" is what u r complaining abt; not what u r writing - which means I had commented on the issue not the article. Oh and I knew this was coming: "my blog". Thanks for the info.

  9. sree: A single view or opinion cannot voice the whole population. My opinion or preference alone cannot reflect the entire girl population's view. Everybody has a right to have his/her own opinion about any issue, no matter whether it's a man or a woman.

  10. Yea, but it has to start somewhere, dont it? Since its "ur blog", u can write ur opinion w/o having to worry abt representing all the girl community in India.

    Sure everybody is entitled to an opinion. Have a good time.