Marriage – a choice or necessity

This post is in continuation to my previous posts on Marriage. Reference to previous posts are below.

I often find myself in discussion on Marriage with people from different religion and nation.

People from India know rituals very well. But when you discuss this topic with people from different nations you learn different views on Marriage, ritual and tradition.

I have seen a trend following in the society. As a child, one has to under go schooling (with pressure to get top rank), as a grown ups, need a degree and then a job with good pay. With a job, the search for life partner gets started. Seems like without marriage you are outcaste or not a human. Seems to be a religious pressure or a social rule imposed on each residents.

I always ask a question to people marrying — Why do you marry?

They don’t have real answer to this question, people want to marry to enjoy married life and get child to keep their family tree going on.

None of them would be focused on building their work life, professional life or profession. A job or a degree is enough for their life.

If this social mentality is compared with rest of the world, one can notice people give importance in building their career, building a business, getting to a better position in job or profession. For such people marriage is a choice.

This brings one more question, why marriage is a necessity?

Few answers comes to my mind, one, some nations don’t have enough skilled people or people to meet the needs of labor so freedom from Government comes to have a big family. Second, religious pressure forcing people to marry as soon as possible.

 

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Tears of Innocent Eyes

In the last week of December 2010, I happen to see a little boy crying, his tears caught my attention. One person near me told, he was crying because his father came to take his custody.

Isn’t it irony? A child crying to go with dad. He was so scarred as if dad was going to kill him or he is a dangerous person. The story i heard from that person was, both husband and wife got separated from each other and this little kid was living with his grandma. He has not seen his father like others see their father. Now when he learned about father, he learned he will not be living with his father. Today he was not able to leave that secure lap of grandma and go with father. He was happy with grandma and mother.

People marry but either cheat while marrying or after marriage or fighting for money they get separated. And their kids tolerate punishment of separation.

What was that kids fault? Those tears in his eyes had lot of questions, why i was not given childhood like other children? why can’t I have parents? where is security of life and that too childhood?

Many say that today people have lost tolerance which is required to maintain marriage. But they have not defined what is the limit of tolerance? what should one tolerate and what one should not?

Divorce

Divorce — “What is the end of Marriage?’

This was written on the advertisement posted at the back of an auto.

Today I happen to travel by auto rickshaw. Ahead of my vehicle there was another auto rickshaw which had an above stated ad. It might be some daily soap telecasted on television. The question made me write this.

I agree with the statement “Marriage is the biggest mystery”. I have heard many rather most telling that some times they feel they are in heaven after marriage and every one should to marriage and some times they feel like this is the biggest mistake of their life. All such statements shows that we like when others do what we want and we don’t like when other do what they like which is against our wish.

It is easy to marry anyone wearing faces on your original face but how many days can you keep such make-up on your face?

That ad made me ask them a questions, “what do you think is marriage a deal or contract with expiry conditions?”

I have observed 3 different generations. First generation belongs to the group of 1970’s and 1980’s, second generation belongs to the group of 1990’s and 2000 and third generation belongs to the group who married after 2000. One most important thing to note was the tolerance capacity. In the first generation group tolerance capacity of both men and women was good, specially women. They use to tolerate a lot and their willingness to compromise and adjust was good. Which decreased in the second generation group people and in third generation group people it is at alarming state.

Second thing to observe was “acceptance”. In first generation I had seen that boy’s family members were putting more efforts to make atmosphere homely for the newly wed bride. All tried to co-operate with her or she use to get support from family, some where, some how. Which decreased in later two generations.

Third thing most important of all is “TRUTH and LOYALTY”. There is a drastic and vast difference between third generation group people and the former two groups. Today hardly husband and wife speak truth to each other, they try to conceal their past life or any act which contains controversy.  It is seen that mostly couples today are working and either male or female or both find suitable match in their work environment and try to develop relationships with them. We can say family value have become zero. Those who speak of family values hardly know what is family value. I have seen a family where if you ask mother to swear on the name of God and tell who is the father of her kids, I fear the fact which would come out would ruin whole family. Any one can make out that the two child have different face from their parents and can raise this doubt.


To get into relationship is easy but to maintain relationship is difficult. To build a relationship you need to give “space/freedom”, which acts like land. Nourish the plant of relationship with “trust”, “honesty”, “loyalty” and feeling to “do anything for each other”. Both should be able to accept each other in the form they are.
One thing to observe is, life cycle of human being is something like this, birth, childhood (education), teenage(education), young age(job + marriage) and then marry kids and become grandparents.

This has made marriage as an act. Isn’t it? When some thing becomes an act, one will not be able to find interest in it and will not be able to vein responsibility associated to it rather it would be difficult to recognize the responsibility associated with it.

And marriage brings a lots of responsibility on the shoulder of men and women. While writing this one incident comes to my mind.

Example:: I happen to talk with a wife of my friend some 9 months back. She is living with her in-laws and husband. Her husband’s brother live separate in different state. The family is small but still she have complains, “it is boring to work in kitchen, every one have different taste, his family is small… blah… blah…” with “some times I ask myself for this I married? then I tell myself I have married and I should learn to live this life.”

I wished to ask her, “why did you marry?, did you marry him looking at his salary or his looks or brain or family?” very funny, when you have everything in your plate you still complain that you have to eat this or your plate is small or the food is cold/hot or spices are more/less. After hearing this complain and her question “for this i married?” I felt its is good and I should appreciate those who complain after being abused by their in-laws and husband. “how can a full stomach understand the pain of hunger?”


There is no end condition or end to marriage. It is a bond between two souls but exceptions are there. When people make marriage a business then there has to be clause to terminate it, when people make marriage a way to earn money or ATM then there has to be limit to it, when people make strategies for marriage then there has to be a condition of failure with that strategy.

I am totally with Osho on marriage, as it is better not to marry anyone and cheat than to be free and freak with anyone you like, go behind anyone and get involved with anyone till you like and then quit with mutual consent for mutual happiness. And if marriage is a legal approval letter to get physically involved with some one inside 4 walls and then sniff for such pleasure outside 4 walls then I totally disagree with marriage and the marriage system. I even disagree with this system when it becomes an ATM for man to get money from woman, or when it becomes pleasure time for woman where she enjoys, food, lavish life on the money of man.

Divorce papers are just a letter stating that both those who lived under one roof will not be able to live under one roof until they both decide to tear the paper into pieces. I have heard from a lawyer friend that she had solved a case of 75 year old man who wanted divorce from his 72 year old wife. He wished to remarry and he realized at the age of 75 that he can’t live his life with his wife. What you did till 75 years?

It is hard for me to understand the changing meaning of marriage and divorce.

I want money

This post is not for asking money to the readers but focuses on another debatable topic.

We (asians) belong to a society where certain rituals still prevail. The traditions I am referring is dowry. Still today in many caste or religion in Asia, dowry is taken or given at the time of marriage, in the name of donation (Kanya Dana) or in the name of ritual. In India, Kerela have highest number of literates but still this ritual is being followed. Hyderabad, a place where education level is high and a technology hub but still people there follow this ritual. I am not condemning any state or nation for following this ritual but a simple question comes to me.

Why is it necessary to give dowry?

I had once asked this question to an elderly person. In response he told, it is given to ensure that the girl gets happiness in her husband’s house. She enjoys the same pleasure which she had enjoyed at her father’s house.

Then two more questions comes to me…. Can you ensure happiness of your daughter by simply giving money, jewelry to her husband? If you want to ensure that she enjoys same pleasure she enjoyed at her father’s house then why are you allowing her to marry?

At that time I was a little girl who just opposed that reason and decided to stick on her view that this is wrong. Today I petty on this mentality. I pray God to give them some good thinking. I believe to be happy is in one’s own hand. I think happiness can’t be sold or bought from any shop. Even if you spend whole world’s money in getting happiness, you will not be able to get one single moment of happiness. Instead of giving money and your daughter to anyone, i think its better to check the virtue of the man whose going to marry your daughter.

If you say, you want to ensure that your daughter gets all the facilities you gave her when she was living with you. Then why to marry? No two house will have same environment, culture and no two people will have same habits. If you think it would be difficult for your daughter to adjust then why to marry her. When you mix sugar in milk, both have to give up their nature to unite. Same is the case in marriage. Both have to change and give up their nature to unite and live together.

Still I am looking for a reason for dowry. When a man interested in marriage says, “I want money to marry you”. Which questions should my mind ask, questions on state of mind, knowledge, potentiality. And when a person gives dowry, which question should I ask, on the stability of his mind or is he pleading groom to marry her daughter.

Why you need money? Please let me know.

Grandma Story of two sparrows

Many of us would have either read the story of sparrow “chako-chaki” or would have heard from our grandma. Few days back I happen to read a story on a blog wherein wife had shown her love and care for her husband. She had bought some cloth pieces for him and without informing him, she had smartly taken her to tailor. Story had no evidence of husband being telling her to do so. After reading that story, I was not able to stop my hands to type a question to the writer. That question told the story of a wife who silently performed various duties, just reading the mind of husband. But in return her trust was broken by him. She never seemed to be wife to him. A question then came to me, does marriage means shouldering responsibility on only one person’s shoulder?

The writer of that story in reply to my question told me another story. I was expecting some elderly like advice from writer but the first reaction was “divorce”.

All this made me remember that childhood story. Story of “chako-chaki”. The story is “there is a chako (male sparrow) and chaki (female sparrow) use to live on a tree. Chako prepared nest for Chaki to lay eggs. The nest was ready and they use to live together happily. Every day, both use to fly around in search for food. While searching Chako got rice grain, Chaki got dal, they brought that to nest and chaki cooked “khichadi” (details on this on another blog).” By the time she cook food, we would have gone to sleep, isn’t?

One thing I observed in this story is responsibilities are divided between both husband and wife. Male sparrow knows how to make nest and Female sparrow knows how to make that nest of grass a sweet home. Male sparrow while making the nest considers the comfort of his female part and her eggs.  He knows very well that when those eggs will hatch, little ones will come out, they will feed them with all efforts and those little ones will one day fly away. But he will never make a nest which is week or poor. They why humans make poor house? I mean, why do we forget that our responsibility or “karma” is to do best of what we can do. Give our best to others without expecting anything from the other. Isn’t it the preaching of Gita?

But its general human tendency, that we start expecting from others when we give them something. But believe me, you can come out of this. If you try to judge yourself. Yes, we often judge others knowingly or unknowingly. We judge beauty, features, intelligence, income, house, wife, husband, life, kids and what not. But we dont judge ourselves. We dont comment on what we are. The day you start judging yourself you will never seat and comment on your neighbor, Television shows, etc. Because you will find yourself either not enough intelligent to comment or over intelligent.

In either case, commenting on others would not be wise. If you are not enough intelligent, there are chances of getting being defamed by other. And if you are over intelligent, then its your stupidity if you comment on other.

Here the discussion is about the duties a wife and husband should shoulder. So coming to the point. The next thing I observed is, husband brought some food grain, wife brought some food grain and then they cook the food. Responsibility to make house was being shared and now the responsibility to maintain the house is being shared.

In every walk of life, you have to do this. Some times, its husband who would be behaving in stupid manner and some times wife. Both should smartly handle each other at that moment. According to me a couple is who become complementary to each other. Together they are a strength. They should have an understanding of each other, what other likes and dislikes. Some times its necessary to speak and some times its necessary to remain silent. So both should try to understand each others words and silence.

I remember words of Osho about marriage. According to him, marriage should not be there. I request readers to listen his views on marriage. I am truly with his views. But at the same time, I would like to favor marriage, a marriage in which both husband and wife know their responsibility, they care for each other, be complementary and strength of each other, learn good things from each other, be pillar of each other’s life, instead of being enemies. Divorce is not the solution to any situation.

Will you marry me?

Let me describe the scene here,

the first instance when boy will see girl who have come to her place, he will look at the FIGURE, if he is fast and smart he will quickly measure her. As if he is going to be her tailor. Then he will turn his eyes and look at other people. But with cross eyes, he will closely measure each and every inch of that girl’s body. Seriously, can’t figure out whether he would like to be his husband or tailor.

Then when they are left alone to talk, share their views. His first question will be

“how are you?” as if he is blind,

“whats your name, though I have read your biodata, it would be good to hear your name from you”,  are you checking whether she remembers her name or not.

“Whats your qualification”. He would have read her qualification in biodata number of times along with her name, but still he will ask this funny question.

“What was your medium of education”, people either study in English or Gujarati (local language of Gujarat).

“How many percentage did you get in your high school, graduation and post graduation if done?” as if he is going to hire her in his office.

“Whats your favorite color?”, if she is going to name the color will you paint your house in that color or color yourself in that color so that she chooses to marry you.

If the girl is working then “where do you work” again a silly question, he would have read her office name number of times and would have discussed about her office with his friends, but as if he is ignorant he will ask the question.

“Since how long do you work there”, seriously there arises a doubt whether, boy wants to give her job or want to marry her.

“Do you know how to cook”, if the girl would say “no” will you become cook for him and if she will say “yes” will you appoint her as cook.

“Will you be able to live in joint family”, now this is a really funny question, his mother would have fought with his father to have a separate house but he wants his wife to live in joint family.

If the girls says “yes” his nerves will be pulled and instantly he will ask “do you think you will be able to manage everyone in the house”, as if he is considering his family members as horrible people and as if he is trying to judge her team management skills. But if the girl says “no” he will instantly ask with a smile on face “do you have any question for me”, as if he would have won the battle.

This is not the case with only boys,

there are girls who ask such silly questions, “whats your name”,

“do you smoke” if the boy says “yes”, she will instantly say, “I hate smokers and a big story of why she hate smokers”, if he will say “no”, she will say “smoking makes a man macho”.And I doubt she knows what it means to be “macho”.

Then she will ask “whats your income”, depending on the figure she will calculate the figure she can get from him for her expenses on clothes, beauty parlor, trips, and many unnecessary expenses. If the income is less all her dreams to rob him will break like a glass and her face will become pale.

All the time looking at his face and figuring out what he is taking note of, if he catches his eyes wandering on her dress,

she will immediately ask “which kind of dress you would like your wife to wear” depending on the answer her facial expressions will vary giving a feel of hot summer, happy winter and wet monsoon.

Finally, if both are through with such silly questions or bored with each other, they will get out of the room and point out each other’s weakness and reject the offer of marriage.

Have you noticed, neither the boy nor the girl asks any meaningful question.

Neither of them took a note of family background of each other, neither of them tried to find what is other’s view about their partner and how honest they are.

All such girls and boys, took note of physical beauty, monetary strength to decide their partner.

I am asking a simple question to such folk….

If you are looking for a person whose earns a big amount of money than your dad earns, so that you can get more money to spend on your unproductive activities, then why are you marring a human being why dont you marry a bank account or an ATM machine or a bank?

If you are looking for a person who can cook for your family, take care of your family members and fulfill your physical desire, do all this in best possible manner then why do you marry to a person from well to do family why dont you marry to a servant or a robot or some angel or some one who is out of this world?

In Short EXPECTATIONto get money from either girl or boy

EXPECTATIONto get physical pleasure

EXPECTATIONto get a wife like mother

EXPECTATIONto get a husband like dad

EXPECTATIONto get a beauty like Miss World or Miss Universe

EXPECTATIONto get a handsome like some Movie Actor

and any such expectation is not marriage.

Marriage is much more than these expectations. Its a special relationship where you open doors of your heart for some unknown person, you live for some unknown person, be part of that unknown person’s life and together bring family and society up. How that is possible?

Like any relationship, marriage also requires you to give some thing and in return (normal human tendency) you need something.

If only one shoulder is taking care of house, house will not sustain. Both male and female should be aware of their responsibilities.

Marriage

Should I put this issue here or should I shut my mouth on this matter?

Instead of beating my mind too hard on this. I would like to put on my views on marriage.

First of all What is Marriage? I believe its an institution which brings two souls together, enrich two culture with each other.

Marriage is also one of the Sanskara, which is listed in Hindu holy books. Marriage is referred as Yagna by such books.  In Hinduism, a person has to perform 16 Sanskara throughout his life. Marriage is a referred as a holy sacrifice being offered to God.

Does this sound strange? But after reading Bhagvada Purana, Gita and going through 16 Sanskara, I learned more rather, true meaning of Marriage.

If we ask most of the people around us, they will reply you looking at your age. I remember few incidents that I want to put here, (don’t worry I will not go out of track)

1) When I was a little kid, I was attending my cousin’s marriage and as per tradition, I was given some bell to ring at certain occasions. But being a child I had no knowledge about what was going on. In an innocent way, I almost asked every elder personally “why do we marry?” and “what is marriage?” But the smart elders either showed me moon or star, ie, they avoided answer with, “when you will grow up you will know?” “Its a ritual everyone have to follow”, “one have to marry in life, you will also marry”

I little had knowledge what they were telling, Were they telling me “we have suffered now it will be your turn”.

2) I was in 12 standard, I was attending my cousin’s marriage, I asked the same old questions and got same answers with some addition “you will soon learn what is marriage, in few years you will have to marry”

This would have happened with all most all of us or with most of us.

How disgusting it is, we throw (sorry if its harsh word) two people, who might be knowing or might not be knowing the correct meaning of marriage, in the institution of marriage. Its not only for marriage, if you look closely, you will learn, many of us are thrown the same way in studies, hobby classes and various activities.

Anyways, coming to the main topic, Marriage, as I said its a Yagna or sacrifice being offered to God. If you have seen Yagna, you would have noticed, a pandit (those who recite sholka, who has to be bhramin by caste, heart and act, more on this in another post) would recite some Mantra/Shloka and offer havi (sacrifice) in fire and then ask groom to put Sindoor in girl’s forehead, put Mangalsutra (a yellow thread or gold thread filled with black beads and finally ask both girl and boy to take 7 rounds of the holy fire. With this ritual you are married.

If you are christian, you go to church, where priest would recite some prayer and you exchange ring and you are married. If you are muslim, priest would recite some notes and will be asked you accept this marriage, when you say yes, 3 times you are married.

In all these process, do we really know what marriage is? Why do we marry?

Do we simply marry to have a physical relationship with our partner? Do we marry because either girl is looking very good or cute or boy is looking smart/dashing/good earning? Do we marry to get a child like some beautiful girl or an intelligent boy?

I think we hardly have any reason to marry. The most common reason we have is to get some partner with whom we can share our physical needs, a partner who can take care of family and social activities, a partner who can earn handsome amount, a partner who is good looking or attractive.

But HONESTLY let me tell you, Most of us are FOOLS when we are marrying rather all of us are fools when we are marrying. We blindly follow the choice which our elders thing are good for us.

Have you tried to peep in the room where girl and boy are asked to meet each other, ask questions and decide whether they would like to marry or not.

Keeping all this drama aside, if we look closely the definition of marriage written in ancient scriptures, its a yagna which two couple performs.  According to Purana, the process of marriage is some thing like this…..

Bride chooses her Mr. Right and the rituals of marriage starts, when it is scheduled. It should be noted here, according to such scriptures, marriage can only be done in certain seasons. More about these seasons in another post. According to ritual, a holy paper will be written containing details related to this marriage and will be placed in temple to get blessings of God. This can be called as “writing of Marriage”. After his process only you can invite your guests.

In ancient days, girl or boy was not allowed to meet, while today they meet each other to understand each other better before Hena is applied or Turmeric is applied on boy’s and girl’s body.

Boy’s family will send Hena to girl’s house along with a Saree called “Chundri”.

Girl’s elders or brother’s wife will apply that Hena on girl’s hands and legs.

In ancient days marriage was 5-7 day process. On each day there will be certain processes being followed. First day would be writing Marriage, Second day would be sending Saree, Third day would be sending Hena, Fourth day would be applying Hena, Fifth day would be donating Saree, gold and money to girl, this donation would come from her mother’s brothers, Sixth day would be doing Pooja (GrahaSanti),  Seventh would be the day of marriage.

In the GrahaSanti, family invite all the 12 Graha or Planets to give blessings to the child and help accomplish the marriage peacefully. In ancient days, there use to be fear of devils or negative energies to disturb the marriage so they use to inviting evils or positive energies.

On the day of marriage the priest or bhraman would lite a holy fire in a “havan kunda” a pot created with bricks made of mud and cow dung and water of holy rivers. In this “kunda” he will place wood of trees which are worshiped and dried cakes of cow dung. He will lite fire in this and keep on adding “ghee”, with this he will add “seasum seeds” and “wheet buds” (unpolished wheet).