Disclaimer: I am aware that the nature of this post may be controversial. Therefore I would like to apologise in advance, if in the process of writing this post I have offended anyone’s sentiments. I would also like to say that I am expressing my thoughts on the matter as honestly as I can and hope that it is taken in the same spirit.
I don’t watch T.V. Not much anyway. My family consists of the worst type of T.V. hoggers, thus effectively ensuring that I get no T.V time whatsoever. It doesn’t bother me too much considering the fact that I don’t find any of the programmes interesting except the ones on Food Network. Now that I can watch 24×7 and never get tired of drooling over food. I love food, if you can’t tell already. However that is not the point of this post. In fact I don’t know what the point is, considering that I started this post months ago and haven’t gotten around to finishing it till now. So yeah, back to watching T.V. and it’s significance to this post. There really isn’t any. Only because I can’t remember where I was going with the whole thing. To cut a long story short and to ensure no one reading this curses me for wasting their time I’ll get to the part where I explain why I think Indian’s can’t afford to fall in love.
Indian culture is without doubt one of the most conservative cultures out there. There are expectations (often considered unreasonable by western standards) held of every single member in society no matter what their role. The repercussions of not meeting these expectations usually are very severe. While there are many common aspects to the Indian culture there are so many ways in which they differ, which can be attributed to the vastness of the country and the influence of factors such as religion. Even within the same religion there are variations in customs. Despite all these differences there is one steadfast rule that is common to all Indians, respect your parents and don’t do anything to disappoint them. A good Indian son/daughter is expected to abide by the wishes of his/her parents, even in choosing who to spend the rest of their life with. Therefore the consequences of choosing one’s own life partner particularly against the wishes of one’s parents are grim. Majority of Indian parents are pro arranged marriage, simply because it is a fundamental part of their culture. The perfect alliance would ideally be from a family that is similar to one’s own in terms of religion, sub-culture etc. Only because the higher the similarities; the better the understanding between the couple. At least that is the idea commonly held by many.
So to defy the expectations of not only one’s parents but the rest of your family members (extended and otherwise), not to mention your neighbours, acquaintances and the people who don’t quite like you is kind of a big deal. That is exactly what an Indian youth does when he/she falls in love with someone who may be considered “unworthy” in the eyes of his/her parents. There are cases where both individuals are murdered because they brought shame on the family honour. I know it all seems a bit melodramatic. Kill someone? For falling in love?Who does that? Indians apparently. I must say though that not everyone in India does this and it’s definitely not the norm, but there are cases in which it does therefore making falling in love an offence punishable by death. There are other cases which involve a lot beating up, shouting and a ban from leaving the house (especially with girls). Some in which both individuals are forced to marry someone else of their family’s choosing and others in which they get married either with a reluctant acceptance from their families or after being disowned. This is all of course accompanied by shit loads of drama no matter the outcome. It’s a wonder Indian couples want to stay together after all the craziness, that is if they’re still alive (Joking Joking, Indians please don’t hunt me down).
I have to mention though that there are Indian parents who are cool with love marriages and support their child’s love life. Like the couple whose reception I attended a while back. Both sets of parents were as Indian as you can get and they were super supportive and happy. I remember the groom’s mom saying that she was saved the bother of having to look for an alliance, which can be a bit of a challenge. I only wanted to write this post because I watched a T.V show kind of like a talk-show where all these couples came forward to discuss the various ordeals faced by them before, during and after their marriage. The stories I heard left me feeling appalled, horrified and thoroughly disgusted. Unfortunately since it was a long time ago I can’t remember the specifics, though this is probably how the whole T.V thing in the beginning of this post ties in. Personally I would much rather avoid my mother’s wrath by not falling in love ever, but meh let’s see. 😉