Friday, March 26, 2010

What is it about marriages? Why is it such a big deal?

A friend of mine got married recently and then the most irritating question that I had to face from anyone who came to know about this news was "So, when are you getting married?". I know, I know. Everyone faces this question at some point in your life and feel that you aren't old enough, but my case is different. How, you ask? Here's how:

The answer to that question is "I'm not getting married" which means not I'm not getting married now or for a few years but I'm not getting married, ever!

Now, everyone, including you, Yes, you! would immediately start judging me if I'm sane or has something gone wrong with me. Let me make this clear. I have nothing against the institution of marriage and I'm not like Kamal Haasan or anybody to say such things. All I'm saying is that I don't want to get married.


Why is it that people find it so difficult to digest this fact. Whenever this argument pops up, it invariably ends in the other person judging me to be incorrigibly insane and hoping that some day I'd change my decision, eventually and most certainly.

This decision was made, not recently. It was made when I was in school and people said I was too young to understand life so I'd change pretty soon. Now, 10 years later, my conviction has only gotten stronger with my experiences and other's plight in this complex world of social living.

I like my life the way it is. I don't want to introduce unnecessary complications by bringing in another person into it forcibly. Now, here come my justification for my decision.

Point 1: If I were duplicated, the other me wouldn't want to live with me. I'd just be intolerable. I know it. Trust me.

I feel everyone should ask this question to themselves before getting married. It'd reduce the number of divorce cases in the world.

Point 2: I know what all the person (whoever it is) has to sacrifice if they have to be able to live with my family and adapt our culture and way of living. Let's face it, however open and unorthodox a family is, it is still new to the bride. A strange new world unseen of earlier.

This is a major reason why inter-caste and inter-religion marriages are still not done in India. It is not about the religion. It is about daily life. How someone brushes, what time they get up, what duties they perform on a daily basis, how they greet someone, how they move socially etc etc. Each religion and caste has their own unique ways and would find it difficult to accept  a new way. Let me make myself clear (in case this blog is pulled-up against me years later by media and before they misquote me, leading to all sorts of controversies). I AM NOT SUPPORTING RELIGIOUS BIAS but let's be practical and think for a moment. How many of you have gone to another city and found it really difficult to cope with the way it functions compared to your home city. "Home sweet Home" as the cliché goes, right?

If that is the case with just a city, then why not for a life partner and the way you are going to live the rest of your life?

There are so many other factors such as financial stability before one gets married which for sure, I’m not even remotely close to achieving yet. Forget spouse. I can't even support myself for a few months if I get laid off suddenly (God forbid). One might say, that's just temporary, soon I’ll be able to do all that but is that completely true? Ask yourself, were you able to buy that dream car after getting married (with your hard-earned money, not got in dowry), that you always wanted when you were a bachelor? And how many people still live in slums and have kids and grand kids to take care of. Have they managed to come out of poverty after marriage? Is marriage some kind of a miracle that solves all your problems? No. Definitely not. Further, it only adds to your woes.

OK. Let's digress a bit and say that I, indeed, change my mind and get married one day. Why does it have to be a responsibility of others to have told me to do so? Whenever this topic comes up, everyone just assume that it is their utmost responsibility to change my mind. Why can’t it be my own decision? So what if I never change my mind? Why can’t people respect that? Why is it so difficult? What is it that makes people detest bachelorhood like plague. Is it jealousy? As the old Tamil saying goes “யாம் பெற்ற இன்பம் இவ்வையகமும் பெற வேண்டாமா? ” meaning that the world has to experience the pleasures that I have.

The other conclusion that they might jump into is that I might gay. No people, I'm not GAY. I'm pretty straight. Let me make that crystal clear.

Then there is the question of "Who would stand by your side when you're old?” Let me answer that question with another. What if your wife dies before you and what if you aren't blessed with kids or worse, what if your kids abandon you? Then what? Isn’t that just pathetic? I’ll just save enough money to get myself admitted into an old age home and spend my old age with similar people. And there's the Internet for social life. I anyways am not such a social being who needs to be out all the time. I'm more of an indoor person.

Turn to any channel that talks about marriages and the first thing they make fun of is how their partner is a pain in the smallest of things of everyday life. And ask any married man and he’d say don't ever get married but when it comes to seriously considering such an option, they all turn against it. I simply don't understand!

Then there is the evergreen saying of “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”. Well, why can't that woman be one's mother or sister. Does it necessarily have to be one's wife?

Finally, I conclude with the obvious facts that everyone ends this topic with. Is AB Vajpayee married. Is APJ Abdul Kalam married? Who were the women behind these great personalities’ success? I wonder. I urge everyone to respect and accept a person’s decision about marriage whatever be it.

Disclaimer: If this post has hurt the feelings or sentiments of anyone, I apologise as I did not mean to do so. This post speaks in general about everything and does not intend to specify/identify/associate with anyone or their views.