Shackled in a free country!

About two or three days ago, there was this news item about lowering the marriageable age for boys from 21 to 18. What does that mean? Does it mean that a. A boy can marry once he is 18 OR b. A boy can marry “a girl of his choice” when (or after) he reaches the age of 18?
Although the educated me wants to choose option b, but the truth is that in spite of all the so called progress and development we make and the pseudo education that we achieve, the option that is chosen is a! There is a minuscule minority (Fortunately I belong to that miniscule minority) who get to choose their life partners. But the majority of the country’s youth are still entangled in age old taboos and dilapidated thought processes!
I had the opportunity to interact with a co-worker of mine, who is currently undergoing a similar crisis in his life. The issue? Parents are not OK about his marrying a girl of his choice. “WHAT CRAP!” is how my mind reacts to his predicament. But the fact remains that even though he is 27 years old (a good 9 years more than the GOVERNMENT APPROVED AGE LIMIT) and earns a decent salary and is in every way capable of sustaining himself as well as his life partner, yet, there is this emotional stronghold of the parents, who are simply stubborn and unwilling to look at the poor couple’s view point.
The irony of this country is that a person at 18 is old enough to decide who runs the country but is not considered old enough to decide, who he/she will spend the rest of their life with! Amusing….but true.
The argument put forth (Which I whole heartedly back him on) by this co-worker is, “do you really think I will be happy with someone whom I don’t even know?” To which the parental retort is “How do you think we survived? We did not know each other before marriage!”.
While that is a valid point, what the parents need to realize is the fact that-first, their generation was not the kind of questioning generation that we are. And secondly, the wives of our generation are not as submissive as they were (OK NO READING BETWEEN THE LINES ON THIS SENTENCE) in their generation.
The girl of today, is well exposed to the world and its ways and has her own set of dreams and aspirations. So in such a situation, do the parents realize that the girl may not be happy either. And today’s girl is fully capable of walking out of a marriage that does not work!
So it is best if the people who have to spend their lives with each other, get to choose their life partners. The parents (and the so called orthodox older generation) need to realize that after reaching a certain age, the children are not children. The really do grow up and are fully capable of understanding the commitment and responsibility involved in getting married and starting a family. And it should be left entirely to the person in question as to ‘WHEN’ and ‘WHOM’ he/she wishes to spend the rest of their life with.
In my opinion, certain obstinate parents behave in a certain way because they don’t want to acknowledge the fact that their children are not small, immature and vulnerable any more. And they end up making, what could have otherwise been a very beautiful relationship, into an unnecessary power struggle.
The positive side is that the youth, in spite of all their acquired independence and freedom, still don’t want to hurt their parents (as much as possible) and that is precisely why they find themselves shackled! And some even go to the extent of sacrificing their own happiness, just to keep the parents happy and avoid any melodrama, which our country is (in)famous for. 🙂

So what’s the solution?

  1. RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME IS NOT A SOLUTION! IT IS COWARDICE!
  2. Dialog IS in fact the best solution.
  3. Expressing, clearly and precisely that you want to choose your own life partner, is always better. Of course there will be opposition. But the secret lies in sticking to your guns.

I am sure there would be a lot more approaches to this predicament, which may have may sufferers, some silent and some vocal. And I conclude that the decision to choose the life partner should be with the individual and he/she must not be coerced into getting into a life altering relationship, when they are not ready or unwilling.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sudha says:

    Very true! Two of my friends are in the same situation. The guy’s parents aren’t even listening to his pleas! Like you say, sticking to ones guns is the best option.

    And, yeah, my blog is in hibernation. Work is taking the life outta me. So no time to write.
    Looks like the number of blogs in your profile is increasing by the minute 😉 Rock on! Will try to catch up 🙂

  2. Maayaavi says:

    yeah …True. You are right. But the one who backs out of the realationship quoting their parent’s non-approval shows a lot about the person. If they can’t assert themselves then the relationship they are entering into is dommed to failure. Anything and evrything done from then on …causes a lot of emotional baggage. Self-denial and Sacrifice are but the same things viewed from different view points.

    I think when COVERT PERSUASION doesn’t work ….COERCIVE PERSUASION never will…..straight trees are cut first !

  3. loveleen says:

    The situation reminds me of the movie Chameli ki Shaadi.. remember how amrita singh aka chameli compares parents’ expectations from their children to be the same as those of a farmer growing mustard (i think??) only to extract oil out of it one day… 😀

  4. Anand says:

    This co-worker of mine, happily tied the knot last saturday 🙂

    Way to go!

    I thought I’d just share it here.

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