In India (actually Indians all over the world, mostly) have this concept of arranged marriages. Traditionally, the parents choose your life partner for you. In extreme cases, the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding. In other cases, they meet anywhere between one to three times before they are engaged and then starts the courtship period. Period from engagement to the actual wedding. Weird, isn’t it?? I,till date, haven’t understood this concept. But, I am staring at it from real close quarters.
The brother, not having found a girl on his own, has decided to go the arranged marriage way. I can’t blame him much because he is the obedient one and the parents are rather conservative. The mother in particular. But she being the manipulator she is, will hide it in a cover of being being open minded. But then again, no foreigners, no one other than gujjus (slang for Gujaratis, those from the state of Gujarat on the western coast of India-land of Gandhi), should be this and that, and that and that. Basically a text book picture of perfection. As the saying goes any girl considered worthy of marriage should be sundar (beautiful), susheel (cheerful) and sabhya (good cultured). The boy has no such jingle but should be from a good family and well settled.
Now these are very subjective terms. When the parents got married, social norms were different. If the boy was from a good family and having big bucks (either making some moolah himself or just inheriting it) he was the absolute catch. Better still if he was an only child. Imagine, the inheritance from the elders. Education is a plus point but not totally essential. Complete bullocks for personal opinion, dreams, hopes and most importantly, love. My parents met thrice before they decided to get married. And, I am the off shoot of the disaster that followed. I really cannot imagine how I could entrust the parents to look for a boy who they think is suitable based on some preconceived pointers as my significant other. They don’t even know me!!
Anyway, good for them, the brother is a lot more confirmative to social norm and doesn’t mind taking the conservative way. While, I am not against his idea of arranged marriage. There is a huge difference between the parents’ idea of arranged marriage and the brother’s. He is thinking of it to be a more as a dating process where the only role the parents play is that of introducing the girl (or the boy as the case may be). From there on, they date. Get to know each other and then decide on whether or not to get married. Six months, a year, maybe more.
The parents have no such concept. They think, it’s going to be one meeting (boy and girl hanging out over coffee and if things go well, a meal might follow). More of a formality considering the girl is pretty (sundar), from a cultured family (sabhya) and cheerful or rather confirmative is what I’d like to put it as (Susheel). What’s more to see then, eh?? She fits the bill of perfection. So while the brother is looking at time to know the girl and then decide, the mother already has details of the wedding planned out.
I am anyway the rebellious one and so no one will pay heed to my opinions. But the brother is putting his foot down and fighting with the parents tooth and nail. It’s something I hope works and the mother doesn’t manipulate him to take a decision he will regret for the rest of his life. But then again, I hope that the girl can knock some sense into the parents and make my life easier. It’s something I have been hoping for thirty years and it hasn’t happened. So, ordinarily, I should have given up by now, I haven’t. I still hope for any miracle to get out of the clutches of the parents!!! God, listen to me, please….and fast!!