Jo khaaye woh pachhtaye; aur jo na khaye woh bhi pachhtaye; but what is the shaadi ka laddoo all about?

Sample this:

“Marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract through custom, ballot or civil process. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage.

The reasons people marry vary, but usually include one or more of the following: legal, social and economic stability; the formation of a family unit; procreation and the education and nurturing of children; legitimizing sexual relations; public declaration of love.”

Whoa! And me and my wife thought that we had got together just because I loved her and she couldn’t take the fact that no other girl would ever marry me because of the way I am.

Jokes aside, isn’t that description an awful lot for the two people directly involved in it?

Especially when the majority of us are told – in a very simple, matter-of-the-fact style – from a young age that someday we are going to get married and have children. It’s spoon-fed to us in a steady diet between playing with baby dolls, cricket and computer games.

Girls, I presume, even more than boys are – if you allow me a little Jehadi language – ‘indoctrinated’ into this level of expectation. It becomes very natural to assume that marriage is the next step in the evolution of adulthood.
Amazingly, despite a family coming apart every single day across modern, urban India, the idea of romance remains the most romanticised institution between men and women.

Nothing wrong with that. Except that it doesn’t always turn out that way. And not everyone would want it to be that way!

Unfortunately, because of the conditioning of the society itself, it is always excepted to turn out according to the fairy-tale script and everyone is expected it to want it that way. Or else, one is very swiftly and decisively labeled as the ‘gundee machhlee’.

The point is, if a man and woman get married just because it is one those things that you do in life, then it is pretty much like taking up a job that you would rather not do given other options. It is like a terribly lazy person like me having to do a door-to-door sales job, just because I HAVE to do SOMETHING.

Fortunately, a majority of people do want to spend a very long time with ‘that someone special’. Fortunate because togetherness is something that almost always – except in the case of mad mobs – stand for a lot of good. It encourages love, mild behaviour, relaxed nerves, sense of belonging and support for each other and, most of all, a feeling of completeness, calm and peace.

Of course, I do have a couple of very close friends who tell me that they feel all of the above when being alone too. Some of them just joke about it, but a couple are actually bachelors. At 50 plus! And there are thousands like them across the globe who are single and happy – with or without any kind of physical relation with persons of the same or opposite gender. Clearly, marriage is not mandatory for either emotional or physical needs of a person; not in today’s world where you can have a virtual soul-mate at a social networking site and where teenagers ‘have already been there, done that’ about physical exploration.

And that’s what brings forth the beauty of the idea of marriage. And this comes from a man who is married for more than 4 decades (to the same person, if I may add so :-))

Marriage is two people desperately wanting to stay together – whether or not it involves physical relationship amongst the two.

It is certainly not downplaying the importance of physicality, neither in marriage nor in life in general. Physicality has an immensely important place in life. But my aforementioned take on marriage is just to reiterate that marriage based on either latent or urgent need for physicality is not going to last too long. For, as it is widely documented, humans too, by nature, are polygamous.

So, either you want to be with your partner and are hence ‘married’ to her or him, or you would rather not be with the partner. In that case, you are ‘not married’ to the person. And hence, in lieu of the prison statement, you are allowed to not follow the ‘oft-documented’ rules of marriage! Blasphemous?


Author. Entrepreneur. Filmmaker. Journalist.

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