As the youngest sibling, I take pride in having successfully married off my sister once and my brother twice. Twice? Did I just say twice? Oh yes. The first one was rescinded with a ceasefire between the two parties. It met a natural death by today's standards during the probation days after the engagement. Thankfully quiet earlier than the cards were printed. Or we as cunning Brahmins would resort to using whitener for replacing the name of the girl with a new one.
I also boast of immense knowledge gained in deciphering meaning out of nonsense matrimonial profiles scattered all over the newspaper on Wednesdays and over internet.
I have the first-hand experience in arranging arranged marriages and second-hand experience in knowing the nuances of love marriages through my cupid struck friends who turned Devdas eventually.
There are two types of marriages on earth. No points for guessing- Arrange marriage(AM) and Love Marriage(LM). The problem with these two is that AM is difficult to arrange these days and LM is difficult to be loved afterwards.
Arranged marriages are like multiple choice type examination. You are given 4 or 5 choices and as always you are not sure about the answer. So you reject the two based on the appearance and the family. Out of the three remaining, you make a guess and move on. If the answer is correct you score a plus one. If it misfires then you become a monumental example for others who champion the cause of love marriage over arranged marriage. Do not get disheartened by the failure. If success teaches one then failure teaches a hundred. Utilize the experience gained to write a book ‘101 ways to crack MCQs Marriage Choice Questions’.
Love marriages are like knockout examination where several questions are arranged one after the other. You get to answer one question at each stage. The correctness of the answer gives you another question and so on. The success in each question defines your credibility for the subsequent one.Failure in any knocks you out of the whole process. The first stage demands an intense preparation to woo and win over your love. You convince him or her for marriage in the second. Then you convince your mother, father, relatives, more relatives, neighbours, more neighbours, your kaam wali baai, your sabzi wala, your newspaper vendor etc preferably in that order. If by the time you have convinced an entire generation of people, who have no business other than poking their advice on you, and the love remains intact then you plan for an eventual marriage.
The classification can be further extended to-Love come Arranged marriage and Arranged come Love marriage. (Please don’t doubt the MS word's spellcheck, cum is deliberately replaced with come here.)
In the first one, the boy produces his love to his parents and says “ Maa, teri hone wali bahu(daughter-in-law)”.After few tantrums of his mother on the pretext of ethereal societal pressure and few rounds of confidence building measures with his father and a casual threat of elopement his parents give in. Then the parents brand themselves in society as the torchbearer of modern outlook and reluctantly arrange a decorous marriage ceremony. Here arrangement comes after love – so love come arranged marriage.
In the second type, the boy’s mother manifests a girl and says “Beta, teri hone wali Vadhu(bride)”. The boy shows a courteous displeasure through few synchronous movement of his nose and eyebrows and bridles on the poor choice of his parents. The parents eventually recede by threatening of searching no further prospect for the boy. When the boy anticipates a lurking uncertainity over his matrimony future, then with a bout of forced shyness he condescends to his mother’s choice “ As you say Maa. Have I denied you ever?”. Here love is forcibly inflicted upon the two young birds after bonding them in shackles of marriage.
The veterans of shaadi experiment would agree here that all the conventional system of hooking up are stale and consumes a lot of energy and time. So I suggest a revolutionary way with which we are more accustomed to. Marriage through an actual written examination.
Children in India are well-versed with appearing in examination. They are subjected to an intense testing procedure at every step, where they guzzle the syllabus, as large as Bible and Gita combined, to score more and more. So he or she competes to get admission in a school, then competes in annual examination spanning over next 12 years. Then competes to get into a college, there compete in the semester exams. Then compete again to get a good job.
So what if we add an extra pan India Marriage Examination (IME) like JEE for all who are willing to escape the grilling procedure of arranged and love marriage? A syllabus be defined incorporating the cultural and liberal ethos to satisfy the old and the young. Questions like fill in the blanks of humorous jokes to judge the sense of humor in boys and an essay on beauty tips to evaluate beauty index in girls. Job security and salary be given a separate marks percentage. The total marks scored to be the criteria for ranking boys and girls separately. Common ranked boys and girls accept the fait accompli and marry each other.
No searching on the matrimonial site, no proposing of girl or boy anymore. Just an extra examination and the most difficult dilemma of life can be solved using the most effective means -a pen and a paper.
Thankyou for reading