Saturday, April 18, 2009


Back after the big event. 

It was good to have people I love around me, and it was great to be with him again finally, but that's about the good part. 

Finally, the public spectacle is over, the legalities having been done with, a few months earlier. Complete waste of money and effort, but there was no other way.

Someone really really needs to overhaul our marriage ceremonies, they are outdated, meaningless and infuriating. They were designed for a patriarchal, agrarian society and at least I for one am not living in one any more. 

And so many of our problems arise from that basic concept of marriage as "kanyadaan". That the girl is given from one family to another, rather than concentrating on the idea of two people coming together to share their lives. In my view, thats the basic idea of marriage, not families, and not future children. 

Yes , we managed to avoid the actual bit of it, by literally bribing the pandit. But of course one can't escape the assumptions the world makes, and the inherent treatment of woman as an object. A precious object perhaps, but an object nevertheless. It galls me to be in the company of jar and jameen in the trilogy. The whole ceremony itself needs to shift its focus from family to the couple. It would help if the pandit did not make asinine suggestions like saying "don't scold her in front of her friends". And it would massively help if the seven vows were equal, instead of taking every damn occassion to make the girl feel like she's secondary and servile.  

So for any of you who count yourself in my friends, please note the following:

1. My name ( first and last) remains what it was. So does my title of Ms. It does not become Mrs.
2. I am not automatically converted to a baby producing machine. 
3. Telling me "may you have a son" - is NOT a blessing in my book. I almost puked at a beggar who thus tried to curse me. 
4. I do not automatically resign my job and follow my husband. These aren't simple decisions, don't assume they are, simply because I'm the female.
5. Stop commenting on how I haven't changed, in terms of adding uselss chooda, mangalsutra, bichiya, sindoor on my frame.  If a symbol of marriage is needed, its needed on both parties. Think about why. If you can think that is. 


Guruprasad Kini (Guru) said...

Was waiting for a post along these lines :). Welcome back, anyway...

harjot said...

A couple of comments here:

1) There are some things that you just need to do to to keep your near and dear ones happy, even if you don't personally approve of them. Most of these traditions are mere symbolic gestures, and I am sure nobody expects you to follow them in letter and spirit.So don't dig deep into all this, and remember nobody can expect to spend every second of his/her life doing really meaningful stuff.Smile and play to the gallery :)

2) While a girl child is always a blessing , boys aren't such a curse either! Men may be absolute villains in life,but they are always good to mom. :)

Saravanan said...

Congratulations for all the sweet things that happened to your life. :).

In India marriage is more a union of families rather than individuals.

Wish you all the happiness.. :)

(BTW, you can ask your hubby to be a baby producing machine for a change, what say? )

Sonia said...

I too was expecting such an outburst :)
It was really good to see that you kept up your spirits and enjoyed the things that were there to enjoy.

Regarding your 5 points - The world has changed a lot ( as per my observation ). Give it some more time - itna gussa nahi karte :)

raindrops said...

If it is any consolation, it gets better from here on, and the horrendous bits are few and far in between. Of course, new battles take the place of old ones. Still, it's all worth it in the end - marriage is wonderful and I wish you two a lifetime of happiness. Congratulations!

Gunjan said...

read your blog after a long time...and as always, admired your thoughtfully written write-ups...

Don't blame all the rituals so much...they were made for some good and some reason... its just that some have deteriorated in meaning with time and we are clinging to some without any meaning....
But some are very nice and make us spend some time with our family, which we otherwise skip in the rush of life...

Keep writing!

Niranjan said...

Reaching late on this topic!
Congrats and all that of course. Pleasure to see both of you together in flesh and in your respective wedding dresses :)

If you reflect upon it, our tradition seems to view marriage as a social event and a marriage between the relations of the two families. A very different approach, than what probably exists in the West, the lifestyle that we nowadays seem to be following almost mechanically.

As already pointed out by one, the rituals are mere traditions and one shouldn't mind following them, just for fun.

Wishing you both on your journey together... I am sure everything will sort out and settle down in the course of time.

Tess said...

Thanks for the wishes everyone!

And I will swallow my rising irritation,seeing that everyone has my best interests at heart, while advising the "just do it, don't read into it approach". Of course, I disagree with the advice.

But, hey whats life without some disagreement :) And I'm up for an argument anytime on said topic!

quaintkal said...

hehe..loved this post a LOT!
am still single n can't help but think along on these lines once in a while whenever i do that is! n then i cant help but wonder whether i need to get married in the first place! :)

Tess said...

@quaintkal - thanks! thats a post close to my heart as well, something I feel strongly about and find that almost no one understands :) As for needing to get married ( or not) , I guess it depends on each person, there's certainly no absolute "must do" thing about it!