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Marriage is About a Whole Picture

Aug 8, 2008
The family and its honour held the highest place and the marriages of both the boys and the girls were fixed by the elders of the family according to the status of the family. There was no question of the youngsters giving their views and quite often marriages were fixed even before the children reached their teens.

My mother, who was fortunate enough to be born in a rich family in the capital of India, could be educated till class 8th. Her parents were kind and intelligent and all the girls of the family too were sent to
schools along with the boys. Of course there were separate schools for girls and while traveling to school the cart carrying the girls was well covered so no one would get a glimpse of them.

But as per the custom my mother's marriage was fixed in her childhood and she was not able to study further as the in-laws decided that the marriage should be performed now. She was extremely intelligent, a
gold medalist and the English ladies, who were the teachers at her school all felt very sorry that she had to leave her studies.

Relating all this about my mother because it's important to tell how the attitude to marriage was in those days. A girl in India if put under such circumstances today would be a very frustrated person, but my mother had that bringing up that she took to her duty of getting married very calmly and joyously. She left the bigger city Delhi and moved to my fathers city of Dholpur, where she spent the next 25 years of her life.

She brought us all eleven brothers and sisters in this world and gave us so much love and care that we are all happily settled in our lives. We never saw her frustrated and perhaps that is the reason we also learnt to accept what comes. The french song Que-sere sera - whatever will be, will be, always reminds me of her smiling face.

Drifting from the topic, but mothers are mothers and when they are gone, they become the most treasured memory one can have. To come back to the marriage and dating scenario, according to the Hindu way of life marriage is a duty for everyone and the time to be spend being fully involved in the pleasures and pains of the mundane living is from the age of 25 years to 50 years.

This is the second stage of life which has four stages to be passed through wherin we do all the needful for this world and the next world too. This attitude to marriage has one very major difference from the western concept.

Here marriage is:

1. Not for your own or the individuals happiness alone, but a reason for celebration for all the members who are joined by love and affection.

2. It is not the be all and end all in life, but a part of our journey through life.

3. The expectations are limited and the desire to settle and be happy and let others be happy is strong.

4.marriage is sacred ,a pious knot tied between two individuals for procreation and the keeping of family name and prestige.

I am reminded of the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin and cannot but see that in the times which she has depicted marriages were very much the concern of the families in those societies too. So essentially east or west marriages were to fulfill some purpose which seems to be getting lost in the me and mine pursuit of mundane pleasures alone.

Appreciate the factor of compatibility of partners which is much discussed to day, also the factor of equality amongst partners, which is also fair, but only to the extent that we do not forget that nature has made some basic differences which can never be removed, and hence need to be respected.

To conclude would only like to say that this is one topic which affects each life deeply and so It is my sincere wish that the partners to be give the maximum thought to the new life that they may bring into this world and take great care to create a happy,congenial environment.
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