'A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person' - Mignon Mclaughlin
In India, we mainly center our focus on two kinds - love ya arranged. Though India has been and, to a great extent, still is a home to several other kinds of marriages, that many have only heard of. Do you know 40% of the child marriages in the world take place in India? Are you aware that ghost marriage, open marriage, group marriage, sororate marriage and widow inheritance and polyandry are very much practiced in many parts of India? How do I know? Well, I run a blog on marriage and relationships. :)
Coming back to love or arranged marriage topic. I do not know which side to choose or should I ask if these two are really different from one another? For example, have a look at this.
In the long, adventurous journey of marriage, what matters the most is the destination. Where you reach after being married to each other for years is that which determines the success of the relationship. How you met, which is precisely the biggest differentiating factor between Indian love and arranged marriages, seems so trivial when we look at marriages from a higher plane. Here is a comparison between the two:
Since the time I have grown up, I always wanted to have a love marriage even at a time when I did not even understand the 'true' meaning of marriage. Why? Because I was a rebel and because in those days love marriage was more of a trend. And also because I dreamed of my life as a Bollywood fairy tale where I go on a trip and find a 'Raj' or a life where someone as funny-handsome-rich-desirable-honest-etc-etc as the 'Rahul' of Indian romantic movies would walk upto me with a marriage proposal.
Ironically, I met many of them. In the autos, flights, trains, office mess, friends' home, Orkut and even on a wrong phone call. While they all started out just as the Rs of the movies, much sooner than my expectations, they all showed their true colors - typical men. Men who woo you, who make attempts to make you laugh, who pretend they are jack of all trades, who sometimes show you attitude before you show it to them and who, at the end of the day, come down to just that one thing.
Interestingly, all of them made me lose my interest in them much before that. But my faith in love remained. I kept telling myself that probably that is why love is so difficult, people say. I crossed 27 without any sign of the love I wanted and needed. I did fall in love more times than one can imagine - with a vegetable vendor once, with an unknown firangi stranger who helped me save my life at 12 in the night, with the sweet boy who walked upto me to tell me that I was the best orator he had ever met (and I gave him frowns or rather a bad attitude then) or the one who admitted he was an IIM graduate!
Sadly, these bouts of love hardly survived beyond a few hours.
Flashback to Meerut, my home town and my home. The day I joined Infosys as a SE, my dad had started looking for matches for me. Several proposals came my way - from microsoft to Xansa to a US firm to PhD in Switzerland to Defense to IFS to Infosys to Oracle to what not! And my typical answers to all of them were - not my type, spark nahi hai, aise stranger se shaadi kaise karoon etc etc.
Four years passed. One day I asked myself 'who is my ideal partner?'. And the reply was totally evasive. I did not know. That was the day, sometime in Feb 2009, when I discovered my true Self - I did not know what I wanted! And I handed over my life to my dad who knew what was better for me than me, myself.
A proposal came that my dad described as 'I just couldnt say no to' and my dad got our numbers exchanged. We talked and I simply saluted my dad for being so right. I just couldnt say no. We were different yet complimentary to each other. His govt, transferable job meant an end to my corporate career but I did not care. I was sure I had found the biggest treasure of my life - an honest, simple, understanding partner who has strong moral values and superbly high thinking.
We married three months later and now I am a happily married woman with a 2 yr old daughter. I and many of my friends can not believe that I am the same girl who could go on non-stop about spark, chemistry and the love bell and now I am settled in an arranged marriage as a loving, lovely house wife.
The chatterbox in me is well complimented by his tight lipped self; my fascination to small, little things in life gets a direction with his long term vision and yet we are similar in many ways.
What would you call this? Arranged marriage? Then what about the fact that I said YES to him without even seeing any picture of his? He was not on FB or orkut those days and nor he had any digital pic of his on his computer and yeah he had a very plain, basic mobile phone. But more important than that, I did not even feel the need to see his face. I saw his heart and that was enough for me. I was in love with him. Below is a picture from our initial courtship days.
So, like the title of this post says, go for a happy marriage. Choose a partner who can keep you happy because of all things, happiness matters the most.
It does not matter how you met. It does not make a deal at all if you dragged him into your life or he snailed or your parents scheduled the meet. What makes the difference is - are you both happy with each other? If yes, then three cheers to marriage!
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