The other day, I received a call from a very dear friend who gave me the most exciting and in all senses the breaking news of his life, “Dude, I got married.”
“Wow! Congrats yaar!” came back the reply from my end.
“Yup, Thanks. But there is a problem. We have not informed her parents.” After a long long time, I was getting to hear this. On one hand where it sounded like a script from a Bollywood movie, on the other hand there was an apprehension as to what’s going to happen in the near future? How the girl’s parents would react to the feat that their child had accomplished? Would they give their approval or would they boycott their daughter from their family?
The problem was compounded, thanks to the nature of the marriage that had ensued. The guy belongs to a North Indian family, which is not so rigid when it comes to marrying a girl from a different caste or culture. On the other hand, the girl belongs to a family which is a hard core South Indian Pundit family, who cannot but imagine marrying their daughter in another caste, leave alone marrying her to a North Indian.
The thought of how the girl’s parents would react is making the couple very nervous. Though they had the courage to take this very significant step in their lives, this thought is driving them nuts. The girl fears the worst and is expecting her to be thrown out of her family. The guy, on his part, though he feels happy, is concerned about his girl who is all set to go through what can surely be called an emotional turmoil in more ways than one.
Though we proudly cite living in the 21st century India, there are certain elements in our country and our culture (which is too varied to be classified as one), which makes me wonder whether we have been successful in evolving from that conservative mentality, which personally for me, represent the core when it comes to differentiating between modern and not so modern.
Somehow, in all this hooplah attached to the caste and culture, the 21st century kids and youngsters are caught confused, not knowing which way to tread. On one hand where they witness the intermixing of various dfferent cultures, thanks to the increased movement of people and increased globalization; on the other hand, they are expected to stick to their hard core values being imposed on them by their very own parents and grandparents who want them to keep their family and clan flag flying high.
For a girl, who wishes to see everyone happy around her, it becomes what can be termed as mission impossible. Atleast in this case, if she choses to go along with the love of her life, which she has, she is bound to lose upon the love and affection she received throughout her life from her parents (acting too rigid to understand what their child wants, just because of societal and family pressure) and if she would have decided to leave her boyfriend (at one time and now her husband), she would have to repent throughout her life for having done so (which thankfully has not been the case here).
At the end of it all, if we take a very pragmatic point of view, it is the couple who will be spending their lives together for most part of their life, if we ignore the few interactions that they are bound to be having with their family during those events and celebrations where each and every member of the extended family happens to gather at one place at the same point of time.
But on an emotional level, the couple would certainly want, at least the immediate family to be blessing the couple and welcoming them with open arms. After all, this is what will make them really happy.
For the parents who tend to involve their egos and self-respect with their child’s wishes, it is my earnest request to think beyond what the society tells them to think. For them, the point that they need to consider is whether they would want to place their children above in the priority list, over and above the society and the extended family members.