Friday, August 11, 2006

Married? Happy? Both?

As I read the inlay card for the 'Director's Note' of the new Karan Johar flick Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’s music CD something he said about marriages caught my attention. Not that I am a die hard fan of the man or his movies but his theory of marriage was rather interesting.

According to him there are three kinds of marriages. The ‘arranged’ kind, which I have to agree with him, is a concept I have not completely understood myself but if as Indians we have learnt anything from history it is that arranged marriage is by far the most fail-safe type. People in these kinds of marriages somehow manage to make it work. Love seems to fall out of everywhere as they spend the rest of their lives figuring each other out. Love is planned and nurtured carefully. How two complete strangers make such a commitment is something that I have always wondered about. I guess once they get used to each other, love comes in various definitions. Everyone around the couple too are happy about the event which makes this kind the most popular one in India.

Then there is the 'love' kind. Quite possibly the most amazing kind according to me. I know people who have married this way and I can honestly vouch that despite the various joy and ugliness that might surround it, these people seldom regret their move. More often than not they would have confronted their elders in such cases but eventually happiness is all that remains. Of course, it would be foolish to assume these kinds always work. I also know folk who, despite being together and closely knit for several years, parted ways after a few years of marital bliss. Throw in a child into this equation and things definitely becoming more challenging to say the least.

The third kind is the kind Karan attempts in his movie. People marrying a friend to be safe and then realizing it might have been a mistake. People getting into wedlock just because they ‘know’ the other person well but sans the genuine love that is the root of all passion in the world. People who sit many a night staring into space wondering if the person sleeping next to them is indeed the soul mate they were supposed to be with. God forbid they do meet their soul mate after marriage then what can one do about it? How fair is it to the present partners? These, as far as I understand given my limited view…are the most unfortunate ones. On the one hand they are left with no options to explore and on the other they are forcing themselves to fall in love with the other person.

I know my parents, being a part of the royally orthodox bunch, will soon start asking me questions about my plans of ‘settling down’ in life. They will want me to be part of the crowd they were by going in for arranged marriage which does not scare me as much. But what scares me is the notion of being married to someone without love. What scares me is the concept of ‘making love grow’ after tying the knot. What scares me is the scheduled timing that takes place with such arrangements.

One cannot blame me for seeing it this way. Born and bred in a pretty liberal society back in India I have been completely exposed to a whole new set of ideologies in the western world for the past decade. This exposure has in effect changed the way I visualize wedlock. I am sure I am not the only one in this weird dilemma as to which way to go when it boils down to ‘spending the rest of my life with someone’.

I guess my blog would not have had this blessed article had true love been mine to keep. My world would probably have been a much better place. Maybe such questions that seem lethal at this point would have sounded better only in movies and inlay cards. Maybe I would have been a different person altogether. I do not know.

Maybe. Maybe not. But will I ever know? That…as it seems is the real question.

So what kind are you dear reader? Happy? Married? Or both?


2 reflections:

Ravi said...

Well I belong to the second category and I should say that I am very happy with the decision. While the first category might be more of adjustments and compromises, but if these are keeping two people happy, why not go for it.

shakri said...

To be so fortunate as to settle down with the one you fell in love with. Congratulations Ravi.

And regarding what you said, the whole dilemma is exactly around the one word you used - IF. Compromises and adjustments, as I am sure you will agree, exist in love marriages as well but the real question for me seems to be about is that the real key to happiness? And how much is one expected to really 'adjust' in such a scenario?