In the past week, two of my friends...yes, well, they ARE friends, though they are close to my daughter's age....have called with the news that they are getting married...or planning to.
In one instance, the young man and woman who want to get married belong to communities that are not very different from one another. Though the couple in question were apprehensive about how the parents would take it (the couple met at work, though at the moment they work in different cities)...but things seem to have gone smoothly, and a jubilant SMS announced to me that AY and ST would now be getting engaged officially.
What a difference between this and the other couple! They do not belong to the same religion and this, for some reason, is an insuperable objection to one set of parents. Their opposition has, I think, brought about the couple's decision to marry forthwith.
In India, the whole family is invested in the marriage, that's a fine thing. But that doesn't mean that the family can also dictate whom the young man or woman can marry. When are we parents going to realize that our children may be biologically our children, but they are adults leading their own lives? If they are telling us about the people they want to marry, it's just their affectionate way of including us in their lives. I think we have as little right to make objections to our child's choice of spouse, as we have to interfere in our neighbour's child's wedding!
I strongly feel that if a parent strips the tags from the person hes child has chosen, s/he will find a person that would not be very different from the parent's own choice. And to me, the fact that my child has found hes own partner is a validation of the way I have brought that child up...s/he is now an adult and thinking on hes own. If, of course, I am *asked* find a spouse for my child through the arranged marriage setup, that is my duty and I will do it, too.
But parents, wake up! The days of "control" are over loooong ago..if we accept our child's choice and try to get to know the spouse-to-be, we may awaken a resultant affection in that person, and since it's going to be a lifelong relationship, having such a positive start is surely a better thing to do than to make objections and awaken negative feelings in the heart of the person with whom your child proposes to spend hes life.
You may, or may not, like your daughter- or son-in-law (or partner, of either sex.) But isn't it better to see if you can like each other, before giving up?
I feel parents often complicate their own lives with unreasonable expectations and worries of "what will others say"...
And if my grown-up child is making a mistake...what of that? Are there no parent-arranged marriages which don't work out? Every marriage, once the knot is tied, is about two people and two families getting together; it's a working out of relationships.
If you support your child's choice today, IF something goes wrong tomorrow, s/he will turn to you and you can support them through the marital difficulties. By opposing the child today, you are cutting your child off from you, and more important, yourself from your child.
How I wish I could call up some people and make them see how simple it would be to be happy and peaceful....!