Mere Brother Ki Dulhan : Love Marriage versus Arranged Marriage.

My eldest brother has always been the most obedient of all the three of us in my house. He is a little different in his etiquette from other guys simply because he possesses some really good habits that many guys and few girls (like me) do not own! For instance, he cleans his room and wakes up early in the morning and takes a bath and blah! Blah!! Blah!!! And when the time for his marriage came, he handed over the responsibility of finding him a bride to my Mom and Dad (quite expected!). Delighted by his sense of reverence, my parents began their hunt for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan on various matrimonial sites. (I am sure most of you are aware of those sites!)

Now let me explain the backdrop here. My brother is about six feet in height and slim. So, we wanted a tall girl for him (at least over 5’3″) with a slim figure. He has a wheatish complexion and thus, a girl with a lighter complexion would be jussssst fine. My father gives a high priority to education, hence, a girl with a strong academic background. . Also, because my brother is an Engineer + MBA, the girl must match his qualifications. Since our family is a respectable one(that’s my Dad’s language), the girl’s family background must be decent too. Apart from these basic requirements, they also looked for smartness, good manners, lesser liabilities and more assets, good financial conditions, etc. etc. Caste wasn’t such a great issue on our side but still they avoided inter-caste girls as much as they could. In short, we looked for a complete package! The only thing that we did not want was Dowry! The terms and conditions were duly mentioned and photographs were displayed on the profile of www.shaadi.com , www.bharatmatrimony.com  andwww.rajputmatrimony.com (Promotion of these sites is not at all intended)

Now when you begin checking out various profiles on such sites, irrespective of gender, your search involves the following steps:

1.     Read the full name. (In order to determine the religion/caste)

2.     Find out the Gotra

3.     Look at the photograph

4.     Look at the physical features

5.     Analyze the qualifications

6.     Current city and hometown

7.     Annual income

8.     Number of brothers/sisters (Liabilities!)

9.     Hobbies, interests etc (People barely notice that)

10. View Phone number/contact/express interest/send mail.

Now while some people get rejected right at step 1, others get rejected at step 3 or step 7. The least important step is usually step 9. Who cares about the convictions of a person when he/she is good-looking and earns a lot! Following a more or less similar pattern, we scanned various profiles, contacted some and avoided others. In a similar fashion, my brother’s profile got dismissed too, although i can’t really tell the exact step up to which he qualified. In arrange marriages, people certainly look out for a complete package. They are so not ready to compromise at even a single thing. I remember viewing some random girl’s profile who was merely a graduate from a not-so-good university but was pretty. She expected a groom whose annual income be above 50 Lacs. This led to another observation. A person must possess at least one of the three:

  • Looks
  • Wealth
  • Education

Having even one of the three qualities increases the prospects of getting a good life partner. Having none of these means, settling down for something less than what you could have got if you had a love marriage (I shall come to that in a little while). And if a person doesn’t have enough of any of these, then uski tohRam milaye jodi…

When a person falls in love, the sweetness of someone’s voice happens to be more important than the thickness of the lips. He/she becomes more sensitive to the tender touch than the complexion of the skin. It does not matter if they look good together; what matters is that they are great together. Even one’s gender has become irrelevant now! Perhaps that’s why they say, love is blind. A person does not become blind in love, or, in other words, fails to perceive things. He does notice the flaws that exist. The point is that they are not as weighty to him as to the rest of the world. While the smallest factor, be it the shape of the nose or the size of the forehead, becomes extremely significant in an arrange marriage, a love marriage has the ability to even overcome the barriers created by religion and caste.  Height, weight, complexion, financial status, family background, etc. are not at all a trouble. I have seen a number of weird looking couples- a six feet tall guy with a girl who’s barely five feet or a fat chick with a lean guy. They find each other irresistible despite such physical and materialistic defects. Their love for one another and perhaps, to some extent, their qualifications and wealth, counts way more than their minor imperfections (After all, sirf pyaar se pet nahi bharta!).

Just like the two sides of a coin, both, arrange marriage and love marriage have their own sets of pros and cons. But when the question of either one’s superiority arises, I would simply like to believe in destiny. I feel that any relation that is guided by circumstances emerges the strongest in any kind of situation. An association created by human beings is subject to estrangement but the one that results from a game of fate lasts. As a matter of fact, ‘serendipity’ has become one of my favorite words (and movie too!). And instead of getting myself trapped in a tussle between the two kinds of marriages, I would love to count on serendipity.

P.S. This post has been submitted for the currently trending topic on Indiblogger , “Love Marriage ya Arranged Marriage!” https://www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange

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The Last Drop.

Drops of rain ornamented the railing of the porch where they sat religiously for their evening tea. The leaves of the money plant conspired with water droplets and tickled Hugo’s ear. The poor thing  jumped in surprise and annoyance and began to bark at the innocent plant. The old couple chuckled at the sight.

“Have you ever seen a container overflowing with water?” asked the old man.

“Joseph,  I have lived for sixty-four years. Of course I have. Why do you ask?” replied his soul-mate in her usual mocking tone.

Joseph and Liah have been more than happily married for forty six years now. They melted into each other perfectly; understanding not only each other’s words but also silence. Time and again, however, they surprised each other with their witty romantic expressions of their love that only augmented their fondness for one another.

“You see, Liah, just before the container begins to over-flow, it reaches its equilibrium. A drop of water falls in the container such that, neither the water in the container spills over, nor the container is capable of holding any extra drop. It’s in equilibrium. It’s stable. Complete.”

“Umm.. okay. So?” she asked, still confused.

He looked at her straight in the eye, smiled and said,

“You are that last drop of water in my life, Liah. You  complete  me.”

 

55 Word Story : KILL

 

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She dreamt of success at night. But unconscious enthrallment under the spell of cocaine drove her days to an umimagined land. The twelve months slipped away in stupor. Eventually, the results brought her back  to congnizance. She had killed her time, her dreams, her morale and then, the grisliest of all happened. She terminated herself.

 

55 Word Story : SIN

 

“You’ll rot in hell for your sins!” She wailed and cursed her son’s killer.

He began to walk away in all his might. His pallid face blushed with stains of blood. The ghastly thoughts of his assaulted daughter haunted his mind every minute. His heart, a graveyard of memories, finally lay satiated with immoral morality.

 

55 Word Story : DECEPTION

 

 

Photo credits: Sneha Sen Sharma

 

 

Despondent. Deceived. Languished. Afraid yet fearless. Indecisive. She decided to give up on life. And there she stood at the edge of the terrace of that skyscraper. She opened her hands wide, closed her eyes and welcomed death. She opened her eyes again after 8 months. Death duped her too.

55 Word Story : THE CAFE

 

She would sit there everyday for hours, lost in thoughts, playing with the sole ring she wore. One day, while passing by her table, I spotted her ring and picked it up. When she came to the café next evening, I approached her with her ring in my hand. “Yes, I will marry you.” 

 

55 Word Story : WORK

 

It was 1993. Ramu woke up every morning and went to work. Stink, filth and muck were his children, apart from seven others. “Government passes The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act”. Ramu lost his job. The Act posed a question on his existence. Who would sweep their poop henceforth?