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This blog is named after one of my poems. Even thought its not the best of the lot, I just fell in love with those words- The Psyche Unknown...

Friday, May 27, 2011

The big fat Indian wedding 1.a (Reprise)

Disclaimer 1)I am not undergoing some marriage phase, just like most thought when I posted the prequel. Hell, I am glad to be breathing amidst all the work. So no questions or rhetorical clich├ęs about it, please.

Disclaimer 2) Please note, I am not for or against love marriages or arranged marriages. Whatever works best for an individual.  Just trying to find sense in some age old practices that is facing the altar of current gen bloggers and video makers. As mentioned in version 1 of the post, ancient Indians (like really ancient, not the sati system propagandists) did not start a tradition, study or rituals without the blend of rational and logical reasoning in it. Considering millions of years have passed, the true purpose and meaning is lost somewhere in translation and pass down.

Disclaimer 3) This post is ridiculously long. But I am almost sure it will hold your attention if you have read my previous post and/or are interested in this topic.

Disclaimer 4) I know I am not married and my mom would scorn at another wedding article brushing it aside as it has come from an inexperienced writer but one doesn’t need to be in the marital realm to observe the world and use some common sense along with some research to say what I am about to say.

It has been a little more than a year that I wrote the first part to this post. And you must understand, over time, my wisdom tooth has grown. I am not continuing this post where I left off but this one is to say few “my bad’s”, to rephrase some points and add some new ones that is intended to those who go all ballistic over arranged marriages.

What inspired me? A blog of another NRI blogger who seemed like he left India prior independence and never returned to see the current Indian arranged marriage scene. I revisited my first post and saw some points that now I disagree rather resent writing myself and thought since that was the most commented post of mine, I let those people know who actively took part in the discussion that I did have few points that were supremely foolish and self contradictory. They were from someone who hadn’t understood why Indian traditions are the way they are-like this afore mentioned individual!
You might ask, So now you think you are an expert on Indian culture? The answer is No, I surely am not. But one recent event in the near past had me searching for answers for so many deep questions. I stumbled upon answers for many more questions than I hoped to. I am still rolling on that ground and there is a lot to cover. And already I feel the wisdom tooth effects that I can’t resist sharing. :D

This doesn’t mean I don’t stick by the ranting about a girl’s age of marriage. I still hold every word of it in firm grasp. Marriage shouldn’t be thrust upon someone as a priority at 21. Women need to see the world at a young age. To explore the twists and turns of living alone, being responsible for one-self, making life-sustaining decisions on their own is something that everyone needs to experience. It only makes an individual stronger and well prepared for life. One should know life without companionship too.
Also I still think that marriage shouldn’t be treated as a responsibility of parents. Given that the parents having seen the world a lot more, their guidance and help to a certain extent is most essential in the process but in no way should they treat it as a responsibility-financially or emotionally, failing which they are deemed as bad parents either by society or themselves.
But I understand that is not possible largely. It probably was construed to be so, fearing that the children would make all the wrong choices but if there is effective upbringing in the household and a sensible kid at hand, I don’t see the reason for Indian parents to get so worked up about marriages anyway.

Coming to the topic of arranged marriages alone, my take previously on money minting dingy offices and websites may have been a little immature. I agree that it has worked for many and will continue to do so too. Although I still detest the thought especially after personally knowing many people who mess around with the contents of various profiles just for kicks! And of course I staunchly hate the make up+photoshoped photos with unnatural poses up everywhere.

I still stand by my thoughts on Astrology although I have dug up material a little more in detail. And I still would say, Indian weddings are a showcase of your ability to handle pressure in some really grueling ways.

So keeping my reprise aside, the next part is for all those who think arranged marriages are drag and senseless. Let me enlighten you my comrades, that enlightenment is a long process. Discovering truths takes an everlasting turn. So its ok if you post blogs like the one I did a year ago but keep an open mind that you may be wrong! That’s how you learn.

Firstly, Stop thinking that since 95% of arranged marriages don’t end up in divorce, it is definitely a compromise and the couples are not happy in it together. Nobody is happy all the time. Its how you adjust and adapt to the conditions that make you seem happy or sad. Doesn’t matter which way down the fork you walked-love or arranged or single, compromises and adjustments come as a package.

Secondly, the boy and girl in question aren’t forced into a small room to talk for the first time. Get over it. In the age of Mochas and Baristas, the parents know better than to lock them up in a room!

Thirdly, dowry existed in India; it does in some parts now too. But it is diminishing at a rapid rate with what, all the guys becoming more gentlemanly, educated and citizens of the world. Everybody knows what started as a voluntary action turned into an obligation, the wheel which is now spinning back home again. So a girl’s father needn’t always give car/gold/utilities to the groom! Chances these days are the guy has better collections already than the father can offer! If you still find someone taking or asking for it, well, you know he doesn’t fit the above description and/or that he is a jackass! Some parents do fall for societal pressures. You can always get them not to bother about their peers if you have good communication skills. If you can’t then it’s not the “arranged marriage concept” that is at fault, it is you! And FYI, some love marriages involve the son-of-a-dowry too!

Fourthly, why castes, religions are so important- Because in olden days, the newly wed couples had no option but to stay with the grooms parents and as always with the “previous generation” at any point of time, rituals, customs and habits have to be sworn by, by the new bride. It was and still is difficult for most to change all habits, language, traditions, food etc. when there is a cross over. So our ancestors made intra religion marriages mandatory and put a price across the heads that didn’t follow just so that it would warn the future generations from being miserable all their life. In the current world, they still follow it, for the very same reason. So unless you know you are super flexible and would welcome a complete make over with open arms for the rest of your life, just follow what is proven! In the case you think that the rule is beneath you and your parents are mad about your choice, understand that they may not be open to change as you are! Its just an individual outlook.

Fifthly, restrictions based on zodiacs, gothras and the likes are all here for a reason. Something I hadn't understood when I wrote the first part. The constellations were used to recognize the month you were born, which based on its position has an impact on a person’s personality. Why? The initial development of humans is influenced by every single atom around. Physically and emotionally. At the time of your birth (month), there are specific stellar movements which create different auras accordingly. The radiations, weather and every universal aspect just like your immediate surroundings form your deepest traits. Even as grown-ups don’t you feel gloomy when the skies are all dark and depressing during autmn? Don’t you feel happy and cherished when colors of spring entice you all around? It works on similar lines. Observations have been made for ages and comparisons and compatibilities are hence tested even today. There are tons of exceptions as with anything and if you check, most of the “loved and then married” successful couples are zodiacally compatible!

The gothras in the grand span of human life, shortly put, are here to prevent the Y chromosome from being extinct due to overlapping defective genes! Our Vedic folks weren’t kidding when they designed this system. They had the knowledge of it without microscopes and other gadgets. May be hard to believe, but its all there for real.. And it’s not trash talk but is scientifically scanned news for you! I won’t give it all away. Look it up, trust me, it will turn out to be an eye- opener.

There is more, but enough for this post.
And to those who read part one-don’t gloat that you won on some points. This is the very same self evolution I was talking about in one of my comments. I am glad I wrote what I thought then and I am glad to have written now. I am happy that I did not give in to your arguments and found out I was mistaken on some points on my own. I saw sense in it myself rather than just agreeing with you. And so will it be. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The white of sunlight reflected on the gravelly surface of her refuge.. Her empty eyes were transfixed on the shadows induced by the thick leafless branches of the tree which stood close. Random lines on the low roof of the cave seemed like an artist's conspiracy to her.. Her mind fluttered incessantly within the deeply tanned skin and what she felt like burnt flesh. She tried to figure out the engrained puzzle on the wall while a moth beholding spring flew about with full spirit over her grizzled hair.

She never dreamed of this. She never wanted it in the first place. But yet there she was, desiring something she knew she had lost, aching for something she knew she probably never would have got in the first place and hoping against hope that the reality was false.
For someone who lived mostly in an unreal world, the truth seemed harsher than she had known it to be. Illusions of mind were dangerous. Building bridges across the playful musings of her conscience and reality proved to be catastrophic. She should have understood that long ago. As endearing as her fantasies were, it was time to give them up now.

Her self-loathing had reached an unsettling level. Somehow she abhorred herself more for not being able to understand what was on the wall rather than what had happened that day. Trying to give it a meaning seemed very important at that moment. Trying to attach significance to every slope in life was important to her. She didn't mind the blinding light that encroached her cave, her senses seemed to have hidden in the darkest corners. This wasn't a first. For the second time her fort had been torn down in the most similar way and although she looked less naked than earlier, she felt more assailable than ever. Anguish appeared to tear her apart in slices.. so much that her song which never left those pale pink lips was lost somewhere in her swarthy thoughts.

The shadows began to creep on to her agonizing thoughtless air castle, ridiculing her existence and purpose. That infuriated her.. Mockery was something she couldn't tolerate. She would have to just rebuild her fort elsewhere. She would have to walk strong again. She would have to emerge armor-clad for the next battle. She wouldn't give up. It was those playful colors in her mind that had made her stronger after all.
Or so she thought..
She walked out of her cave and lurched through the rubble around to find what she had lost. She needed her imagination to survive the lonely flight of life. Her clothes were ragged and her face was distraught. Fatigue and fear pulled her back but she fought. She would continue dreaming, for that was one place she needn't fight for survival, one place where objects moved at her command. She would find solace. Probably a little late but she definitely would! She would build her fort stronger this time, may be laced with some guile. A fort that couldn't be torn apart but only conquered. And if someone cared to try and succeed she would embrace reality. A thought that she couldn't fathom for now. But that was the only way. She would search for that better place, be it atop the highest mountain or along the deepest ocean. A place that she could fantasize without seeing the end. A place which would heal her reality. She had to be patient for it would reap what she yearned for.

The descending sun played tricks with her eyes. She thought she saw water rippling beside the cave. She collapsed on her knees when she saw the golden-white hooves of a centaur majestically strolling across the banks of the lake. The greenest of forests behind him with the twilight aura lighting up the dew drops like diamonds on leaves and the coolest of breeze brushing away her bruises. Her skin began to glisten fairy-like and her smile was returning. She knew nor cared to check if it was real, for she was in a place far blessed than the mortal world had ever delivered. Her rags disappeared and she sat high on the same branch of the same tree. She could see her fort walls towering high by the second at a distance, stronger than ever. She smiled. She would mend... in her own way.....