Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gnawing Thoughts Behind the Big Fat Bengali Wedding

The Yash Raj Films and the Suraj Barjatiyas have given us an idea since our childhood in the early nineties that marriages consist of food, songs, dance, family and all such rosy pictures. The hero and the heroine dance to the tunes of dholak. For those of us – the Bengali brides – the gaaye holud, ayiburo bhaat, benarasi etc surround the mind and block the reality of marriage.

Leave the in-laws, for not all of them are bad. Leave the other in-future troubles like kids, managing house and job etc as well, for the immediate concern is something which is of most importance. Having been an ardent fan of Pride and Prejudice, I still find it relevant to our marriage scenario. The blind search for groom is not my concern today. But what about the finance? While I was talking to my BFF (best friend forever) last evening, we realized that getting married is not at all the fairy-tale dream we used to think it to be. Cinderella was lucky to get a groom who would pay for her side of expenses as well. In real life, when the girl is from a middle class family – and whose parents have spent a considerable amount on her education – it becomes her responsibility to save for her marriage. But was it really wrong for Mrs.Bennet to be happy when she found that Lizzy would be marrying a rich man like Mr.Darcy and that too perhaps any dowry?

However, the catch here is that by the time an independent girl has saved some money for herself as a future provision and spent some for her family and luxury, she reaches 27 – she has hardly saved anything for her marriage or her future life and her parents are already asking her to settle down in the next couple of years.

My question here is, when you are educating your boy and expecting him to marry with his own money, you give him till 30-32years to settle down. Then when you are talking all the women's emancipation big words and educating your girl, then why the extra pressure on her to marry by 28years? The gynaecological stuff is understandable, but medical science has advanced far beyond such troubles. And anyway, our generation hardly thinks beyond one, to a maximum of two kids.

I understand the points-of-view of our parents’ generation. They have their logic. But to think that a girl has it easier is very unfair. She has to compete with equally talented girls and boys, she has to maintain a balance between work and home as well. If a boy comes at 10 o’ clock and has his dinner and goes straight to bed, he will be sympathized for his tough work schedule. But if a girl with the same work schedule does the same, she will be chastised for neglecting her family – even if it is her father’s side of the family and not her in-laws. And then we are given the biological ultimatum for marriage, which is another pressure in itself. I don’t say that boys have it easier. I say that we work equally hard, proving ourselves everywhere, within a tighter deadline.

And then there is the inviting of the whole world to celebrate the union of two souls. Of course, these blessings don’t come without a piece or two of criticism regarding the food or the reception during the wedding.

And what to say about the unnecessary pomp and show? Why waste lakhs for just one evening when you could use it for a good vacation afterwards? the trouble is just that I hate spending money for marriage. If marriage IS the union of two souls, why spend so much on showing off the bond? Just a simple wedding of family members and close friends should be enough. Well, I surely hope I get such a wedding!

Well, I might be triggering some opposing views with this post, but it was just my point-of-view. And after all, it’s my blog, right? I have every right to write what I want! :-)

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