Your mind is contented that you fell in love with the most wonderful man in this world. In that state you do not to check for its validity. Young, blooming, bubbly, and engrossed in hero-worship, you see your lover in the image of film characters. Meanwhile, you identify with their female counterparts whom they marry after fierce encounter with the villains. You are also inspired by the uncountable number of TV serial heroines who do not talk a word of sense or who are not allowed to talk that because that is what the viewers are pleased with.
Any way you feel elevated to the heavens because you are in love. Then the relationship becomes more intimate the next step may be sex. Then it may end up in marriage. Remember so far you do not know anything about your lover's personality, character, attitude, world-views, ambition, other than that he has a funky face.
If it ends up in marriage, what has been raising goose bumps so far-the romance- needs to be dumped into the waste bin, because marriage is not an ultimate realization of romance, in our society. It has very little to do with love, intimacy, romance or emotion. In the words of Dr. Praveena Kodoth in her study ‘Producing a Rationale for Dowry?’, ''Marriage is seen as a virtue in itself hence normative feminine values are dispersed over family economic background, bourgeois domesticity, which includes a measure of education, grooming and appearance''. The study though concentrated on certain castes at one area in Kanoor, Kerala, I think it has some wider application.
Virtue means the beneficial quality of something. A female to be chosen needs to be the essential stock-house of these qualities. For that certain values are incumbent upon them. Economic values-how much can her family offer in dowry and gold, how much can she earn through employment (wives are employable is not a choice but a norm), bourgeois domesticity-good education, traditional grooming, and appearance-should have fair/wheatish complexion, long hair, long eyes, morality etc. (Remember the lady in the Indulekha ad. clamoring for long hair and the girl in the wheat- skin ad, blushes with pride when mention is made about her skin colour). Sex is another value-she should be a prostitute on bed-and should deliver after nine months of marriage. Caste is another essential value.
Marriage is a social institution. So there is nothing wrong in expecting that females enter it with certain virtues and values that they think are essential. But there is a problem, if a man can enter it empty valued- currently there are no standard for his values. Means, he can, be immoral, alcoholic, druggist, spendthrift, playboy, of no economic worth, unemployed, sick, criminal and what not. Only he needs to be in the outfit of a man.
All these thoughts crossed my mind, when I heard about a 25 year old Kerala husband who made an attempt to chop off his 20 year old wife's neck after entering her engineering classroom and after that, attempted chopping his own neck to commit suicide. In the end, both are undergoing treatment in a hospital. Wife is an engineering student and the husband is unemployed and theirs is a eight-month old love marriage, as per the news.The wife was staying separated from the husband for the past four months.
We do not know what had gone wrong in their life. But what we can do is to learn something out of that, rather than turning the incident a mere statistics.
Girls, it is nice to love somebody, if it helps you know what kind of a person you are planning to live with. In a society that dictates that females have obligatory values in marriage, while men are set free, you need to love with your brain also and not only with your heart. In reality, loving a man only increases your obligatory value-price -dowry- because you have already tainted your morality in their view. If your lover-man insists that his parents skip that pre-conjugal negotiations that assess your obligatory values and instead negotiate between you to know what expectations you have from each other, you consider him serious.
So truly, is there any love-marriage happening there? Most probably all what we call love is an initial familiarity or an initial attraction. And that is why we often hear that there is no love after marriage.
Marriage is primarily a commitment between two people. It does not mean families are unwanted. They can be there as support forces.
And if such a character chance upon you, you exchange your telephone number with him, feel that you are in love with him, have sex with him in the name of love, and in the end feel that you have found the love of your life, you are only helping his desperate parents. Yet you want to marry him in the name of love and his parents in the name of your obligatory values. Oh! there is something seriously wrong with out our society.