The Great Indian Paradox

One of the biggest paradoxes about the Indian society is its obsession for getting people married. It’s something I have never got, and something I never will understand.

I have tried to analyse it from a researcher’s point of view, written a paper on the matrimonial as a narrative of India, gone through matrimonial ads on the net and newspaper, not cos I’m on the lookout for a prospective groom but because I am trying to understand the concept of marriages in India.

And yet, I have not got any answers to all the questions I have asked.

All our lives, us girls are protected from boys – and this is a rampant feature in India and many other Asian countries. We are told not to talk to boys, not to be too friendly with them, not to be seen going for a movie with a boy, not talk on the phone with them, to shy away from them, to beware of them, to protect your chastity from them… why?

Because the concept of a platonic relationship between a boy and girl can never exist in the Indian society… because girls are indoctrinated with the theory that “boys are bad”

And one fine day you turn 20 something, and it’s that time of your life when the people who said you would burn in fire and brimstone if you dared to look at a boy, are all of a sudden conspiring to not only find you a boy, but ensure you procreate with an ABSOLUTE STRANGER, all in the name of “marriage”

And I just don’t get it.

The sad part is, it seems that the people who created this paradox are its biggest victims. Their only consolation is that “marriage is a necessary evil”..and what pisses me off the most, is that most people have allowed themselves to succumb to this ‘necessary evil’ without so much as thinking about it. And that girls my age think that a sentence as lame as “when you get married, you will understand” is going to console me.

I’m sorry, I do not understand. I refuse to abide by a theory that is illogical, I refuse to see how it is abnormal to be seen talking to a boy all your life, but its completely normal to want to spend the rest of your life with someone on the basis of his photograph. To be a virgin all your life, but to set an auspicious date so as to lose it with someone you don’t even know.

And to make matters worse
– Scientific studies have proved that man’s lifespan increases by ten years after marriage, but women unfortunately have only four years to gain, or should I say, six years to lose?
– The wife is STILL expected to be the one to compromise on her career if her pati parmeshwar gets a transfer. Interestingly, I have never heard of a female equivalent of ‘pati parmeshwar’. I have heard of ‘sati savitri’, but alas, sati nowadays only connotes the social evil that is forced self immolation.
– a boy is PERFECT if he agrees to cook and be a house husband. But if a girl does the same thing, she’s just ‘normal’
– A line of educational degrees appended to your name is a great way of securing a worthy spouse, and a greater way of securing a good dowry.

And you expect me to believe that marriage is the “best thing” that could happen to me??????

What am I missing out here?????

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18 Responses to “The Great Indian Paradox”

  1. sou Says:

    oooo lotsa angst and trauma.. yeah it is a sad state of affairs.. i know so many distinct categories of ppl traumatized by “marriage” friends who, like you, don’t want to get marriedfriends who want to marry but have a list of weird requirements created by the parents which ensure she won’t get a groomfriends who have somebody to get married to but have to wait and pretend that they do not want to marryits such a circus! And don’t even get me started on the lame arguments they come up with to convince you to marry..this brings me back to my herd mentality post.. the main thing is.. marriage was good enough for “them” how dare you feel superior and think differently

  2. Too_Many_Thoughts Says:

    I totally agree with you and sou(the commentator above). As soon as a female turn’s 20, the search for the groom is on, whether you like it or not.It is as though the wishes of the “would-be bride” is worthless. And one thing I have never been able to understand is that how come, is it perfectly okay to marry a perfect stranger but it’s frowned upon, if a couple decide to get married.Plus, I hate the way the female should be all dressed up and presented as though she is some sort of piece of furniture to be admired and not a human being.However, this is created by, nonetheless, by women.

  3. autogato Says:

    Holy crap, that was amazing. I want to read it again and again and think over it and chew on it and taste it! It was wonderful!

  4. Crazy Head Says:

    Applause!! Applause!! Trauma Queen you have unearthed the crux of painful indian psyche…..Yesterday, I had a similar discussion with a naive cousin of mine.. who went on parroting the words “you will understand once you get married.” I simply did not understand her and could never explain my viewpoint because i realized through the course of the argument that she was stereotyped into believing that marriage was important. Poor Soul!! And some souls like me who join the herd of arranged married with the hope that they will not allow perpetrators of such evil influence their child… AMEN…PSST:And I believe married people ask single people to get married for the simple reason that since they have fallen into a damn pit for the rest of their pathetic lives, they do not like other people roaming happy and free!!!

  5. Trauma Queen Says:

    wowseems i have touched the heartstring of many a girl out there!yet, im curous to know how indian boys react to all this, cos this is a not a women only issue, they suffer as muchok not as much….but all the reasons sou listed, r traumas that indian men also go thru…this is weurdly like my planet of the wapes post, everyone agrees, but no one knows why they r agreeing…i like crazy head’s idea of “since they have fallen into a damn pit for the rest of their pathetic lives, they do not like other people roaming happy and free!!!”i really dont know…

  6. Noodlehead Says:

    i agree when you say that boys have it equally bad….case in point – my brother who’s a “marriageable” 28 years! Despite my parents not hounding him, he’s being pressurized by other people in the family. I guess this is one reason he’s cut his trips to India by half 😦 I miss him!My folks have been amazing and I only realized this when I saw friends who made excuses to go out with men friends or were petrified that their parents would find out that they had asked a male/female friend to come home and hang out! They made it a point to send bro and me to co-ed schools so that we would interact with the opposite sex. In fact, my brother is the shy type who hardly spoke to girls but mom always nudged him to go ahead and have more female friends.As for crazy head’s comment – I think it’s true to a certain extent. Being single gives you more leeway to do whatever you want. Once married, there’s no more I, me, myself….it’s all about, we, our and ourselves. It’s up to each individual to squeeze in some time for I, me, myself (and this is not always easy)!Having said that, being married is not so bad 🙂 It’s just a different experience, a transition of sorts! Some enjoy it and others don’t!

  7. phreakv6 Says:

    What am I missing out here?????a nice long vacation and warm sandy beaches and a nice cocktail in a tall glass with little straw hats (on the drink that is).

  8. Too_Many_Thoughts Says:

    ..I cannot help but agree with u(again)But still..men has set up these norms, but more so, the females tend to follow them religiously and make others do the same as well.Well, that’s what I believe.Keep posting!Take care

  9. autogato Says:

    You did touch some heartstrings. I can’t completely relate to the things that you wrote about, but it did touch me in that I imagine that it must be difficult for women growing up in this paradox. I’d love to read more of your thoughts about it.

  10. The Wise Man From Hell Says:

    basically you are in a rebellious mood. hope you can get that mood across to about 500 million more women, which is the easy part, and then the remaining men (of course the said 500 million women can clobber the men into submission) … then we will have some chance of change happening… or you can go ahead and do what you feel like, and feel happy about it, instead of screaming yourself hoarse. One will give you an audience, the other will give you happiness, the choice is yours…until then, sit back and enjoy the ride that is life, girl…

  11. Las puertas de la opinión (Matriculate, BBA, MBA) Says:

    I don’t why people make such a big deal about this. I have very simple requirements for the person I marry:1) Should strongly resemble Angelina Jolie.. (at least for the appropraite body parts)2) If not (1), should resemble Kate Beckinsale .. (at least for the appropraite body parts)3) If neithe (1) nor (2), should resemble John Abraham (hey it’s ok these days)4) Should be ok with my girlfriends living with us.

  12. Trauma Queen Says:

    sadn here i deluded myself into thinking men folk might relate to this.sadnessnot so wise man: easier said than done,,,dont u think??/?

  13. The Wise Man From Hell Says:

    well TQ – easier said than done… which part?: a) para 1? that is difficult. I was trying to indicate the futility of an exercise such as this…b) para 2? – well, its a system, and we finally always come round to the system’s pespective, because we are not living in isolation, but within a network of dependencies … which makes it possible for most of us to at most let off steam about how ridiculous this whole thing is… for people that aren’t really too bothered about the value-chains and such other stuff that we have inherited by way of traditionalist perspective, all this is just bunkum; they’ll anyways do what they feel like. But for people who are brought up within the mores of Indian society, with a whiff of conservatism thrown in, this becomes a torturous affair… to break out, or break down?and hey, for all the different shades of crap we indian men get painted in, we too go through this …

  14. Kiran Says:

    perfect case of much ado about nothing…take it easy…

  15. frissko Says:

    “Because the concept of a platonic relationship between a boy and girl can never exist in the Indian society…”Does it exist, in an utter-honest sense, in any society?..(given that the guy and girl are straight)..Ofcourse, that doesnt give anybody the right to keep the 2 sexes from each other…Liked the initial parts of the post…(well the marriage thing is true with men too, i am on the verge of telling a whole bunch of my relatives that i am impotent, so that they wudnt bother me any furthur)the series of cliches towards the end are probably true with many..but noone is under orders to live by someone else’s priorities/doctrines…

  16. autogato Says:

    Oh, Frissko, a platonic relationship between a male and female can exist. It’s not a mythology or a fairy tale. It truly can exist. I’m very lucky to be blessed with some amazing ones. However, it requires honesty with one another about one’s intentions. Respect is also key. Of course, those are key in any friendship.

  17. Trauma Queen Says:

    yus autogato..i agree with u…platonic relationships can exist…very beautifully without any weirdness happening…

  18. Uday Says:

    Love this post! You have summarised it all very well, without sounding like a “bra burning feminist”. Its very imp to be able to do that, ‘cuz otherwise, most people (read men and hyderabadi women) will jst ignore you (and consequently what you have to say) as “that crazy feminist”One of the best I’ve seen on this topic! Platonic relationships do exist. Only, some people are foolish enough to read too much into them. I need not be seeing or even hitting on every girl I talk to. When will this f***** up world understand that! :sigh:


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