By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram
As customary it is in India, for girls to get married as soon as you enter the 20’s, I was no exception. A few days after I turned 21, my parents sat me down for an “adult ” talk. (The last time that happened was before I entered my engineering college where I got a discourse on the do’s and don’ts at college). My parents bogged me down with questions pertaining to my social life, more directed towards my “preferences” to the opposite sex. When my parents were convinced that I wasn’t seeing anybody, out popped their question – “Are you ready to get married?”
Boy that did set me to think. I set my grey cells in action and tried to introspect if I indeed was ready for marriage. After days of pondering, I decided that the answer was a “yes”!! When I told my pals’ bout my decision, I received a variety of emotions – some rolled their eyes, some laughed it off, some cried (honestly!!) but most of them were shocked. My girl pals bombarded me with a lot of (silly) questions like:
What happens to your career?
Why do you want to settle down so early on in your life?
What happens to your identity?
and many more!! Does this drive me to another state of confusion?!? No!! I was sure that my decision was spot on. Here’s why.
I’m blessed to have wonderful parents, who belong to a small group of people who have evolved with the times and they have always been very liberal with me. They have been very supportive in whatever I have done till date and have always ensured that I carve a niche for myself in whatever I do. Till date, I have been able to do just that and I know for a fact that people recognise me for who I am and what I stand for. They have made sure that my head is held high all the time and that has indeed made me a better person. And I am sure that my partner would respect my ideals and give me the same encouragement that my parents have showered and I am absolutely sure that he would support me in my every step towards success. So, getting married is definitely not going to stop me from achieving my goals.
The entire concept of an arranged marriage, these days can be compared to an online dating process with parental control! My parents, who are very liberal, did give me an option of finding my partner while I pursued my masters, within their reasonable expectations and by far, the only expectation they set forth was that the guy had to be a Tam – Brahm!! But with my studies occupying most of the time, I just found it to be a humungous task and removed it off my list of things – to – do.
I find the whole concept of arranged marriage very appealing. I like the fact that there is commitment before there is love – there is a strange allure to that. In arranged marriages, two people make a commitment to each other and then embark upon the voyage of really getting to know each other – trust before anything else. This is what drove me to ask my parents to hunt down a groom for me.
That’s when the whole fun started! Stay tuned for the fun ride J