Time to Change the Disgraceful Prenuptial Affairs

Walking down the aisle with the person of love is a dream which is cherished by nearly everyone. A marriage is a celebration of love and bonding between two individuals. However, there are certain prenuptial requirements which can deter the charm and enjoyment of a marriage. The matrimonial ads have always fascinated me. Even a few years ago, reading them aloud and laughing out an their absurdity used to our favourite timepass. The “Brides Wanted” ads were so similar, whether it is meant for Hindus, Muslims or Christians. Though I do not follow them anymore, it remains the same till now. The grooms and their parents are always on a lookout for a bride who is “fair, really beautiful, convent-educated with traditional values and modern outlook”. The other requirements notwithstanding, people are still obsessed with fair complexioned girls. It acts as a mirror of the Indian psyche which is yet to shed its fetish for fair skin and embrace inner qualities of a person. When I was a kid, there was only the Fair and Lovely advertisement which was seen on TV. The people around me and the culture in which I was brought up gave no importance to superficial aspects like skin colour. On the contrary, priority was given to our education, our thinking and our power to judge things in the future. However, the past few years have proved me wrong again. The consumer market is now flooded with fairness products who unabashedly flaunts their bias towards fair skin. Popular actresses and well known celebrities are all promoting the so-called fairness products. I feel it’s a shame that we are drawing the younger generation towards a notion that beauty is all about possessing a fair skin and not a fair mind. The concepts of fair ideas and fair judgements are nowhere being instilled in the minds of the young people. For a country like India where majority of the people are below the age of 25, I feel there is the utmost need for all of us, at least the so-called educated ones, to be the change and stop this shameless portrayal of our preference towards fair-complexioned people.

For a girl the insult does not stop with the ridiculous matrimonial ads. Arrange marriages are something which have been part of our society from time immemorial. The arrangement is done after following a number of prenuptial steps, the first being the grooms side visiting the brides place, with or without the groom! As a witness to such situations, I can assure you that there are still some family members in every family who resort to bizarre methods of checking whether everything is fine with the bride. The most interesting thing is that all those are done by trick methods – the girl being asked to serve tea to everyone in order to see whether she walks properly or not, the girl being asked to lift her sari in a bid to know whether the her facial colour matches her other body parts! This, for me, can be termed simply ridiculous and demeaning.

Matching of horoscopes still forms an integral part of a prenuptial list in majority of the marriages, specially the ones which are arranged. The fact that the concept of Mangalik is still now given utmost importance irks me to the core. Personally I feel it defies logic and reasoning. A Mangalik cannot marry a Non-Mangalik and if such a situation occurs the Mangalik person has to marry objects like a tree or an idol so as to resolve the ill-effects of Mangal Dosha. In this 21st century, wherein people are striving and reaching new feats everyday, certain segment of people are not able to overcome such disgraceful notions. The practice of entering into a “false marriage” makes it all the more undesirable. It is like insulting you for being a Mangalik, thereby ridiculing your birth!

There are a lot of things which irritates us and we are eager to change them at the earliest. However, how much we detest them we tend to succumb to societal pressure and practice them. Though our lives are nowadays dominated with everything science and technology, we are still unable to conquer such stereotypes which were entrusted to us by some people with selfish motives. People fail to understand that it is not our skin colour or our natal time that lead to a harmonious marriage. It is compatibility along with some spoonful of adjustments which determine the success of a marriage. On a personal note, I would also like to say a blood test before marriage is far more important and its heartening to see that there are a few couples who have vowed to follow this regime. Our skin colour and horoscope matching may or may not result in a successful marriage, but a blood test before marriage will definitely help us in saving our progeny from life-threatening diseases like Thalassemia.

Marriage is an important phase in our lives. Hence, instead of complicating things it is always better to spread cheer, happiness and positive vibes during the entire affair. It is time we change and distinguish between traditional values and superstitions. We are being educated not just to land up with a lucrative job and a plush apartment, but to think sensibly and to compare between right and wrong. It is important for us to know and imbibe traditonal values but without getting trapped by beliefs which are illogical and absurd as that might stagnate the society.

11 thoughts on “Time to Change the Disgraceful Prenuptial Affairs

  1. all well and fine, but this post of yours is still NOT eligible for contest. The contest t&c on the main page clearly reads- ” All entries must have a link to http://facebook.com/sftimetochange“. and as a basic courtesy you should also mention indiblogger and the contest name 🙂 do these things and then delete this comment of mine (I thought this way would be the quickest to bring this to your notice 🙂 ) and then do me a return-favour if you wish- read my entry 🙂

    1. Prashant I did mention the link. It is there, though I have not mentioned Indiblogger and that is a mistake on my part. I got a mail saying my post has been approved so I think it is eligible. Is it so?

      1. hmmm, noticed now that it does contains the link albeit in the middle of the article. Usually people expect to find the link either at start or end, that’s why. Still I would suggest to put the link at the end too, just bcoz its a standard practice to put at end, though technically you seem fulfilling the t&c. And well, if you got a mail saying that, I think it simply means that your post has been submitted correctly, NOT that it fulls all the t&c of the contest too,… anyway, it looks you have not much to worry, in case you want to edit it, do so, or you can leave it….

        BTW, interesting topic chosen, marital procedures are quite absurd, but guess you have to live with it till the “traditional” arranged marriage system exists. In fact traditional arranged marriage is also the root cause for dowry, which is in turn the root cause for female foeticide, so its actually quite complicated and it will take decades to get over, traditions die (go) hard…

        1. Thanks a lot for your feedback. Yes traditional arranged marriage is the root to a lot of problems. However, the Mangalik aspect is not limited to arrange marriages. There are a lot of families who till now tend to rely on astrological predictions even for love marriages. It is the mindset of the people, the fear and the superstition with which they are living which need to change fast in order to bestow our future generation with a livable society.

  2. its a good post ….its on the way to be an eye opener for society not thinking about the future of a girl!

    cheers
    Nishchal

    1. Thanks for reading my post and giving your feedback. I feel it is high time we stop being dogmatic and become really modern in the true sense of the term, not only outwardly.

  3.  Hi!  I’m Jim Spath’s girlfriend, Heather in Washington DC.  I love your writing!  This is not the only piece I have read.  Thanks so much for putting your work online!  While it bridges cultures highlighting our common problems, it also reminds us how distinct are worlds are. 

    I saw that Aish Rai is getting grief in the press for her baby weight.  I hope she is not among those who are hawking skin lightening products!  I’ve been a huge fan for years.  AND she looks great with her baby weight!  Different than before, but she’s still one of the world’s great beauties.  I hope motherhood brings her great happiness regardless!

    I just looked up Manglik.  They mention Aish there too.  Jim, being an engineer, would kill me for this but should I get a vedic chart done for myself?  I really want things to work out for us and my luck has been so bad until now.  ; >

    1. Hi Heather! Good to know that you like my blog. Abesh told me about you after coming back from US and also showed us the snaps taken with you and Jim.

      Yes Aish Rai is getting a lot of negative publicity for her baby weight. I don’t understand why the media is after her weight. Whether she is fat or not is none of their concern. She has her priorities as an individual – when she was acting full-time, she maintained her weight and looked gorgeous. Now that she is giving preference to her daughter she might not be that interested about her weight and stuff. As long as she and her baby remain healthy, it should not matter to anyone else.

      I am also against making such Vedic charts and all. Everyone, when they go through bad phases, tend to fall into the trap of astrology. I feel it is more to hear whether there is something good in store for you rather than anything else. What is destined tp happen will definitely happen no matter how much you try to thwart them. It will be better if you just enjoy the moment to the fullest rather than thinking about the future and getting depressed. I wish you all the luck 😀 

  4. Often the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it – Mark Twain

    1. Sayuli thanks for reading my post. It is very true that people always come up with some sort of justifications for the prevalent customs and rituals. The problem is that even in the 21st century, even the so called educated ones never ever think whether there is actually any logic or reasoning behind them. On the contrary they tend to follow them blindly and proclaim that we follow our traditions with immense pride!

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