Sunday, January 25, 2015

Of boyfriends and bridegrooms

Okay, so I began writing this after having seen a post on Facebook which said, 'too many weddings this weekend on my Facebook feed'. That set me thinking. Our Facebook feed has grown older with us. When I first created my account, all I could think of were my tenth standard board exams and so did the many others who were my 'friends' in the then 'most-safe' social-networking-site. Now, almost seven years later, it has become a platform where people are openly sharing their marriage and HONEYMOON pictures for the whole wide world to see. I, on the other hand would never want the world to see my marriage photos. If I wanted you to see how I looked in my wedding attire, I would probably invite you to the wedding itself.   

Anyway, coming to the point of this blog post, I wonder, if getting married is the be-all and end-all in life. I looked at these Facebook posts, engagement news, wedding pictures, reception stories, pre-wedding, post-wedding photo-shoots - boyfriend marries girlfriend, boyfriend dumps girlfriend to get married to an other girl, or a couple breaks up because the boy is too young to get married whereas the girl's family is insistent of marriage. 

There are conditions. The girl has to marry someone who is from the same caste, well educated and earn a handsome amount of money. So if a boy doesn't fulfil this pre-requisite then he cannot marry the girl he loves. The boy's family on the other hand, insists that the girl be virgin. Yes, so that no other man has seen or touched her. But the boy, oh man, a boy need not necessarily be virgin. Well, he is a man. That's why, they say. Idiocy, sheer idiocy, I say. 

But hey, that's normal in India. 

I ask why. Why the difference? If you have the audacity to ask me that, then I am going to probably get all tests done and even go to the extent of finding out if your private parts have rubbed against anyone during the last ten years of your existence on planet earth and throw it on your face to explain why I 'reject' you. 

If a boy fulfils all the pre-requisites but is not of the same caste, they will still not get you married. Why, because oh my God, what will the society say? How can I marry my beautiful Punjabi daughter to a Tamil Hindu boy? What will people think? What about my standing in public circles? No, nobody gives a damn about how the girl is going to feel, if she gets into an 'arranged marriage set-up', having to live with some random stranger for the rest of her life where it is going to probably take 5 years to get to know him. Well, I guess that's enough time to probably, you know, divorce him. 

But I know the bride's or the groom's family to be hypocrites too. If a girl or a boy brings home a foreigner (read, white skin) they READILY agree, while they probably wouldn't have, had it been an Indian from a different caste, probably more career-oriented and responsible instead of being a 'reckless backpacker'.  

You know why? The grody ideology also weighs on how the child is going to be born, a white-skinned grandson or granddaughter. Sure sounds like a pretty thing to own, right? Nobody considers that the girl or boy can also face impotency. Bro, deal with it. That's a possibility. 

Now comes to best part. I tell someone that a boy got married to his girlfriend, who is from a different caste, just to you know, see what they say. So the first question they ask is, 'is the boy rich or the girl rich'? If I say the girl's family is well-to-do, then the the reply goes to an exclamation 'oh, he so foxily managed to woo a rich girl so he can earn good dowry, wow.' I roll my eyes and heave a sigh of disgust. 

Let me change the story the next time I talk to someone.

This time guess what they say when I say the boy's family is well-to-do. They say, 'wow, women these days date men who have money, for that is what speaks. And then they get married to them. Shameless herd'. Excuse me, aren't you a woman yourself? Such men and women should be slaughtered. No, I am serious.  

When I say both families are well-to-do or both families are plain middle class, then they say 'birds of the same feather flock together'. The next question is, 'so the girl is a housewife, right?'. 

I am appalled at how puny someone's outlook on life can be. 

Is it wrong to fall in love? At least we as a generation do not want to get married to some random person and still keep thinking of the ones we were once in love with. What the HELL is wrong with India? If a person is not from the same 'community', isn't he or she human enough? or do you want someone who is Holier Than Thou? If the country doesn't progress, then the skewed mindsets of people are to be blamed. 

Go ahead, judge me for standing up and voicing my opinion.

That doesn't mean I forget gratitude. Thank you very much, for patiently reading through this though. 

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