Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Bullock Cart Yoke

How exactly does one define love between a boy and a girl? Some believe in love at first sight. Others say that its infatuation and you develop love only after knowing and moving with a person for sometime and realize that you like each others company. Still others say that its the intense feeling that you simply cannot live without the other.

Everyone has a different perception about love. Basically its accepting each others companionship and staying committed to it. Coming to think of it, Facebook has a status 'Committed' and not 'In Love'.

Marriage is the process of legalizing that commitment.

For the extremely shy introverts out there it may not be easy to find a person on their own. Friends sometimes pitch in and help two folks, whom they think will get along well, enter into a relationship. If this happens, what do you call it? Love or Arranged? 

Arranged Marriages of today are way different from yesteryears. Its not that the families decide the bride and the groom and the parties involved merely nod their heads in agreement.
The preferences of the girl and the boy are asked well before the parents start looking for alliances. Once they find a suitable match, the girl and the guy meet and converse with each other, sometimes over many meetings. Only when they think they are quite compatible and will be successful in a relationship, do the parents proceed with the engagement etc.
I also know a few cases where the guy or the girl realized that they had made the wrong choice after the engagement and the whole marriage was called off. What I am trying to say is that, the personal preferences of the bride and the groom are given top prioirity in todays arranged marriages. Its more like a date arranged by parents after considering some of their own priorities like caste, family background etc. which for now  cannot be totally done away with in todays India.

There are cases when the couple know each other for a very long time and their relationship is already well established after going through all the challenges that grow while building one. For them marriage is just a formality. For the rest, there is not much difference between love and arranged. In most cases we may not reveal our true selves fully till we are married. Not intentionally, it just happens. In arranged marriages, the couple enter the marriage without too many expectations and with a more open mind. Of course they take some time to get accustomed to each other and communicate openly. Additionally there is a suspense factor. You dont know everything about each other and there is definitely a thrill in knowing little little facts as we move along. Even in arranged marriages, its imperative that the couple marry only because they like each other and not because they are forced by someone. That is just plunging each others lives into misery!

In love marriages, the couple is already in a very comfortable level of communication.Thats an advantage but having said that their expectations tend to be at a higher level. If its a relationship where their compatibility is perfect there is nothing like it.  But sometimes, certain attracting factors tend to take upper hand in making a decision and the compatibility is overlooked.
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Image Source Yann at Wikimedia Commons
Whatever be the path one follows to enter a marriage, life after that is a totally different ball game.

Spending some happy hours and moments with a person, sharing gifts and cards, hanging out together and speaking words of romance, hugs, tender kisses etc ...All these are sweet.But marriage is sharing ones life in all its entirety with a person and its much more complex and much more challenging.

In Tamil Brahmin marriages, one of the customs during the wedding is that the priest places a miniature bullock cart yoke between the bride and the groom and narrates some verses. This is to indicate that in a marriage one needs to move like the two bullocks tied to the yoke. For a smooth ride they both have to re-adjust their paces and walk in unison.

I had an arranged marriage and this is my 7th year in matrimony. When I see old couples walking together in silence , I can feel the million words they share without actually speaking. Reaching that beautiful level of companionship takes time and perseverance whatever be the path one chose to get into the marriage - Love, Arranged, at a temple, in court , whatever. Few points from my view :

Sinusoidal Relationship Curve :

Our feelings and opinions about any person is like a sinusoidal curve. There are times when it is at its positive peak and there are times when it hits the rock bottom. In relationships the same thing applies and when people decide to snap it at the negative vertex, it results in divorces and breakups. People we love may not always act in a way we like. One must learn to either put up with the negatives or get the other person to change. Both are possible but needs patience.

Nobody is Perfect:

Learn to love each others commendable qualities as well as the shortcomings. None of us are perfect. If we meet half of our spouse's expectations there must be another 50% where we fare pretty badly and vice versa. Accept the person as they are and love him or her with all your heart.

Adjust and Compromise:

There is greater happiness in giving than in taking. Similarly there is greater pleasure in giving in to another person's way rather than stubbornly sticking to the way you want. Small adjustments need to come from both ends.

Do Away with the Ego:

"Why should I listen to you?You cannot order me around" etc are sometimes just not worth it. The other person's advice may actually be valid but our big bad Ego will come in the way just to mess things up. Learn to keep it under control.

Dont bond with grudges:

If there were moments when he hurt you real bad (I dont mean physical abuse here) there would be moments when you totally drove him crazy. We are all humans , we are not perfect. There are so many times when our EQ is at its worst best. It serves no purpose to cling on to grudges and make each others lives miserable.

Share responsibilities:

A taxi driver once told me ' You must have kids. They strengthen the bond'(they are the topmost sources of free advice in the world). When the couple stops concentrating on each others likes, dislikes etc and starts sharing a big responsibility the bond becomes stronger. Not necessarily through children alone. Being an active part of each other's families will go a long way.

Love and  nurture:

For a marriage to be successful, it needs a whole lot of love. Not just towards each other but to the very relationship itself. Despite squabbles and misunderstandings, both husband and wife should firmly stick on to the belief in the marriage and work towards nurturing it. To do so, there needs to be lots and lots of open communication. Many marriages fail mainly due to lack of the same. The more open you are, the stronger the bond.

Give it some time:

In many of the posts that I read for this contest, people kept saying that if they went for a love marriage, they would be soleley responsible if something went wrong. Something going wrong and walking out of the marriage is a very easy way out. Its becoming very common today. Relationships need time. Things will not always be rosy. Allow it to blossom , wither and re-blossom.

In short any marriage begins with two pendulums swinging haphazardly in their own directions and getting attracted to each other. It takes some time for the pendulums to blend with each others momentum and then start swinging together in unison. It needs time, love, patience and above all maturity.

This post has been written as part of the Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage contest by Indiblogger and Sony Entertainment Television. Do visit www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange.

87 comments:

  1. Hmm...very well Said Jess! Exactly my sentiment

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    1. Thanks Rajrupa :) And thats a new way of calling me :D

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  2. Jaish, this is a good anatomy on relationship... Kudos

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    1. Thanks for reading and for the comment Sathish. :)

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  3. well written Jaish...
    nobody is perfect and no marriage is guaranteed..it is the twosome who have to do mutual efforts to make the relationship stronger :)
    All the best!

    Jasmeet

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    1. Yes Jasmeet, the success depends a lot on the effort by the twosome.

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  4. Jayashree it is such a pleasure to read you regardless of the subject you decide to choose to write about! A lovely and a mature post reflects the strength of character and the thought process. Best wishes for the contest!

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    1. Thanks Rahul. I feel so good about myself reading such a wonderful comment :) Thank you for the continuous support and encouragement :)

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  5. A great post Jaish:)
    All the best!

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  6. EXCELLENT POST JAYSHREE! (Note the caps and bold because this post is that good!)

    You've accurately pointed out what both partners must do to make a marriage work! Too often ego comes in between (especially in love marriage these days because we have everything at our disposal; hence the loss of patience). Also, men aren't ready to share the baby's or kitchen's responsibility.

    Once both pay head to your points, the marriage will be happy!

    Great post again...

    Cheers :)

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    1. Thank you sooooooooo much Vishal. Your comment esp due to the caps and bold made my day and put me straight on cloud nine. You are right, ego comes in because things are a lot easier for us and we have everything at our disposal.

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  7. Very good post about the arranged marriage vis a vis love marriage and your suggestions for good married life are very good and suitable for persons married either in arranged or love marriage

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    1. Thank you SVS. As u said, I dont think the path to the marriage decides the quality of the marriage. Adjustments need to come in arranged as well as the love marriages :)

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  8. //This is to indicate that in a marriage one needs to move like the two bullocks tied to the yoke. For a smooth ride they both have to re-adjust their paces and walk in unison//
    Whoa our ancestors have a way with tacit rites!

    2.5 years into married life and you have pointed out everything that needs to be pointed out in a married relationship Jaysh! Your guy is lucky! ;) This is THE best article I have read in the competition series so far!

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    1. 2.5 years? This is my 7th year kappu :) I keep telling my guy that he is lucky anyways ha ha.... Thanks for the comment :)

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  9. What a post!!
    you are right...

    http://apparitionofmine.blogspot.in/

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  10. Quite a detailed post on the various facets of love and marriage. I esp liked the ritual that you have narrated from the Hindu Brahmin marriage. It is an apt example of synergy and of course, marriage.

    Good luck on the contest.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thank you Susan. Its a simple thing that speaks out a lot of meaning.

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  11. Nice points and good defense of arranged marriage system in current day. True that arranged marriage is hardly what it used to be. Some people fall in love and all that. But otherwise most decent people get along with each other fairly well.

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    1. True TF, today most couples are educated and have a lot of worldly exposure and hence are mature enough to get along well with each other. Thanks for the comment :)

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  12. Happy to read your entry..! Liked the way you presented Arrange marriage. All the best ..!

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  13. your post is full of wisdom & common sense-a sure win .

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    1. Thank you sooooooooooo much Indu :) The word 'Sure Win' itself was like winning...Thanks a ton :D

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  14. This is a great post for the contest - Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage. Wish you all the best!

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  15. Well written post Jaish and i endorse most of your points for a successful marriage be it arranged or a love marriage. I wish you the very best for the competition.

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    1. Glad to know that your thoughts follow the same line Engram. Thank you :)

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  16. I too maintain that most arranged marriages in educated homes is fixed with both the boy and girl agreeing to come together after some interaction (sometimes over a long period). The families are mature and understanding if they find themselves incompatible and want to call it off. A well presented argument for a long, happy married life -- arranged or otherwise. All the best, Jaishree. :)

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    1. I agree Zephyr. Today parents are much more educated than yesteryears and give the maximum priority to the happiness of their children more than anything else when it comes to fixing the marriage. Thanks for the comment :)

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  17. Good points here and I was not aware of the curve. :)

    All the best!!!

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  18. very well written jaish .. great post !!

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  19. After reading your post, I wish I would have been married for 7 years & have such great experience to quote.Though we differ at what people believe Arranged Marriage is.

    Nicely written!
    All the best :)

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  20. A matured post..good luck for the context.

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  21. all i will say is lovely and thoughtful article..

    although I dont understand Arranged - love both lead to marriage .. So whats the difference once married you are husband and wife .. how you behave with each other is most important , rather then how you got there LOVE or arranged ...

    Bikram's

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    1. Thats exactly what I am trying to say Bikram. What matters is how you carry it fwd!

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  22. nice jaish ..well written , all the best :)))

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  23. That's a very mature and boldly written topic, Best of luck for the contest , hope you could nail it!

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment Rupertt :)

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  24. A winning piece...so very penned!! The yoke may be a metaphor for something burdensome, but I liked the way you have used it for a bond between two people, such as marriage! LOvely....

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    1. Hmm, I never thought of the burdensome part. Actually its like if you dont know how to balance , marriage would also be burdensome! rt? :) Thanks a lot for the sweet words

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  25. Nice post! Good luck! I've seen that most of the entries are speaking the same thing. It is dependent on the girl and the boy to make it a success irrespective of how they found each other. And, arranged marriages have evolved beautifully and adapted well to our culture. My only grouse when parents find matches is that they narrow it first by caste, region and religion and later by other qualities. Even progressive families are cagey about these criteria.

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    1. Hmm, they need something to get started and narrow down rt? SO they start with region , caste etc :) Which as I said cannot be done away with for now!

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  26. such a good read jaish...!! i loved the way you penned down your points... simple yet illustrative!

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    1. Thanks a lot Apala. Looking fwd to another super entry from you for Blogaton on Sunday :D

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  27. Well-done, Jayashree! Great pointers to a well-thought out article. All the best for the contest!

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  28. Wow, that's a quick guide to successful relationships :) Nice !

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  29. Nice objective analysis and good suggestions to conclude. However I feel that your definition of arranged marriage is largely applicable to the urban areas while in the rural areas the arranged marriages continue to happen like in the olden days.

    Best wishes for the contest!

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    1. Valid point Deepak. Some rural places have things we simply cant digest like honor killings too when people decide to marry the people they love! Leaving aside the extreme cases, yes, in villages arranged marriages dont happen after considering so many things. But I feel they are also moving in this direction and would be similar to the urban areas with time. Thanks for the comment!

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  30. Nice pointer to the FB committed and not in love bit! :) ..

    As always a nice post Jaish :)

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  31. nicely depicted . . loved the way you narrowed it down to crucial points . . all the best for the contest :)

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  32. Phew...I liked the thought/ observation- FB has link on "committed" and not "in love"...but in this age who honor commitment? Couples who divorce forgets the commitment (7 vachan) they take going rounds and rounds the wedding fire..uska kya?

    Love has become so superficial these days...

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    1. Hi numerounity

      As I mentioned, divorce is indeed an easy way out that many couples resort to these days. Its like a pain killer that only attacks our sensation to the pain and not the actual cause of the pain. Couples do forget their commitments when they resort to this measure. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I'm sure you will walk home with an award in your hand for this. All the very best. Keep up the good work

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    1. Thank you so much for the continuous encouragement Haricharan :)

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  34. Very poignant and true. Best of luck for the contest.

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  35. I so wanted to take part in this contest but a bad cold/cough had me so tired last week, I should have gotten to it earlier but oh well! :( I'll spend the entire next couple of days reading these entries! But now that I am here, just thought of letting you know (since you enjoyed one part), that the series Second Chances has been completed. You can read the entire series starting here. Would love to know what you think!

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    1. Am back after reading the post this time! :) Beautiful post Jaish, must say your 7 year experience shows up so much throughout the post! :) Written very maturely and I like how you really haven't taken sides even though the post is interspersed with aspects of Arranged Marriage from your angle. Its so true - at the end of the day the whole world can try to separate you or keep you together, but unless and until the man and woman want to stay together or separate, no one can make them do it. I also really appreciated the last few lines. In today's world, its become very easy to go different ways. If it doesn't work out, leave. With people more educated and financially independent, they don't want to stick together. I do not mean that they should stick together in loveless marriages. But every relationship needs nurturing, time and care. One has to admit that tolerance levels seem to have gone down as well.

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  36. I dont know much about the contest, I came to read your blog and found this. And it is very thoughtful. I usually love to write long, profound comments, specially theoretical ones. But ahem, I guess I am a bit of an ignoramus as a practitioner. So I read every point you make and take it to my heart if I ever get into one. And will pass on your message to those who may need it (and there are sooooo many!)

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    1. Thanks Bhavana. Thanks for stepping in and for the comments and I am so glad that you found it worthy enough to pass on to others. That was so nice to hear. Thanks :D

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  37. Lovely and insightful post Jaish....I loved those 8 points .....I liked the comparison of relationships with sinusoidal wave....so true!

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  38. Hey lovely Lady! :) GM and is there a TINY reason to smile today? Please collect your blog award at my blog!

    Do stop by my blog! Kappu

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    1. Thanks a ton kappu . U made my day :)

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  39. phew, that's quite an analysis!! i have exhausted all my comments on this topic :D. all i can say is all the best for the contest!!

    am trying to finish all pending reads. will keep visiting your blog and see what's happening here whenever i have time. take care :)

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    1. Thanks Deb . Do visit whenever you have time . :)

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  40. It doesn't matter if a wedding is arranged or not.All that matters is, how people learn to accept others in their life and live in harmony with them. Those points are so true. We need to adjust and learn not to give importance to our ego and pride at all times!

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    1. Thanks for stepping in Ashwini. RIghtly said

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  41. Jaish very well written! All the best :)

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  42. loved the 8 points...gr88 post..voted..All the best for the contest..:)

    here is my take..
    http://dare-to-think-beyond-horizon.blogspot.in/2012/08/5-artists-one-topic-love-marriage-vs.html

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