Marriage – marriage what?

Marriage – marriage what?

It was September 2001; a bemused I, sat on the debate bench of the sultry classroom, during the first English lesson. The professor had decided to engage the boisterous section-B of to be computer science engineers to some supposedly intriguing discussion on love versus arranged marriage. Shortly, the unruly apathy of the 17-year-olds was silenced to discomfiture by the unwarranted – “Marriage’s very purpose is legal propagation of species. Does it make a difference if it is love or arranged?”

No sooner had the half-feminist, half-callous and gravely-casual, words fallen off my mouth, even the inconspicuous self-proclaimed Romeo of the classroom, who considered commitment a sin, let out a sneer at this supposed piece of female gender mouthing atrocities about a sanctimonious epiphany. I let the moment pass and smiled inward at the ignominy the situation must have stirred in the minds of the forty odd teenagers staring at me with half-awe and half-scorn. When the professor gathered herself from the bewilderment, she closed the debate diplomatically – Marriage is a socially-approved sexual and emotional union of a man and woman expected to be permanent.

An amused bunch of pals had shunned my statement as anything more than an element of jeer over canteen coffee breaks for college years to come. However, looking back at the facetiousness with which I had handled the ‘M’ word back then, makes me wonder if the real meaning to marriage can ever be understood? Even if it can be understood, is there any such meaning to it? And even if a meaning can be coined, is it a ‘real’ one?

As the college days hopped away, running into phases when one hates men, I had even turned into the unwilling feminist, declaring marriage as “legal rape”. I too like every dumb teenager dreamed of the Casanova knight who would ride me on the handsome horse, conveniently contrasting the upheaval of feminism in me!

When life grew out of flippant college-life to seek sense and self-realizations in the harmless name of ‘higher-studies’; life taught me a lot of lessons beyond the academic blah. As I rejected my very own obdurate definition of marriage, I had never bothered to ponder over it either. Standing at the zenith of murky transitions within me, enjoying life in varied colors, marriage is still an unfamiliar territory; I am reluctant to embrace.

It leaves within me incomplete descriptions, a myriad of questions and self-certified clarity. Marriage can’t be defined, but experienced; Marriage is a lifetime of optimistic contradictions; Marriage is a sweet metamorphosis of independence; Marriage is synonym to adjustment; Marriage is a fifty year challenge to see simplicity in complex life.

As the philosophical I evolve to reality, I fall back sipping the coffee, complacent to the oblivion around me, smiling at the breathing space of life still left to explore the world, jump the mile and carefree freedom. I snap back – “Marriage… marriage what?”


8 thoughts on “Marriage – marriage what?

  1. Naveen says:

    If the definition is taken as the description of the journey, with hindsight the insurance, it’s plain wrong. May be marriage is one of those lids that conveniently covers, so that there is only hope that’s seen as steam from the pot of life, if there is any. Good post.

  2. Divya Das says:

    Agnel, I disagree. I am not sure if standards and values of marriage can be made into a set of universal rules, such that anyone can make a judgment if it has sustained or not. The right to make its definition or break it should be given to the individuals who are willing to make it happen. They are the best judge of their own marriage!!Naveen, Wow! I had to read that a couple of times to vaguely gather what you meant! However, I do agree that sticking to definitions and leaving it to “Going with the flow” may not be the right things to do in a marriage.. May be! I am no expert either!! 🙂

  3. NIRMAL says:

    Ur blogs have nice usage of GRE words. :)I still think marriages have the respect and value, here back home esp in native place.I hv least doubt in my mind abt the value of M in ur place.

  4. Divya Das says:

    Agnel, I guess its too dear and sensitive a topic to debate!! hopefully I will come up with something lighter next time! 🙂

  5. Mithra says:

    Do we really need a marriage in the traditional sense? If there is a union of souls and similar thoughts, isn’t marriage nothing but a show put on for society?

  6. Divya Das says:

    Mithra, I agree with you every sense and word. When marriage is understood or experienced as anything beyond the two people involved in it, you are not living a marriage, but something else. Sometimes I wonder if the very cliche meaning to marriage as a celebration of love is a cowardice facade, meant to reaffirm one’s faith in love!Ironically, if one believes in love, why need a marriage at all??That boils it to ur defnition — for the society!

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