Sunday, October 17, 2010

No longer a working 'girl'

 Raghav was a handsome and highly qualified young man holding a very important position in a bank. He was  the only son of  well-to-do parents hailing from a business family. He had everything a young and talented man could ask for ----- except a wife.
    Raghav was very particular that the woman he married to be a working woman even if she was not a great looker. His parents, on the other hand,  had a long list of specifications in addition to the single-point agenda that Raghav had set. So the search began for that elusive girl who would fit the bill.
  Many houses were visited , many girls were seen, and an equal number of bajies, bondas , kesaries  and coffees  were consumed and yet there was no sign of the girl in sight. If the girl was working , the parents would not approve , for she wasn't so good-looking, or not fair enough or the staus of the parents were not high enough and so on. Ironically,  when the girl had all the desirable qualities, she was the non- working type.
     The years slipped by. Poor Raghav ---- a few strands of grey hair on his head and a few extra kilos around the waist ------- slipped in, as friends and relatives pitched in to find the perfect girl for Raghav.They persuaded Raghav and his parents to be more practical and compromise just a bit on the specifications. After all, the 'Boy' also was not the same handsome young Raghav of the past. The same logic would apply to the girls too.
  Around this time , a distant cousin dug up a girl, who was fairly good- looking and was also an officer in a bank. Well-wishers advised the boy and his parents not to dilly- dally and quickly finalise the alliance, for they may not find another girl of equal merit. Also the boy was getting older. It was alright if the girl was a little short and stout. She could always wear platform heels, couldn't she ? The most important thing was that she was working woman and also decent to look at.
 Raghav and his new bride , Meena, had a wonderful honeymoon at Kodaikanal. At the end of the week,  it was time to get back to the routine grind. Come Monday morning ,  Raghav got ready for the office and dutifully offered to drop Meena at her place of work, altough her branch was quite some distance from his own.
  She seemed surprised by his offer and said " Bank? What bank? I don't have to go anywhere near a bank anymore."
 "But aren't you joining duty today? queried Raghav, taken aback.
     "Yes,  I have joined duty ---- not at the bank, but at home --- as a housewife. I have had enough of working outside. Now I wish to work only at home, raise a family and lead a contented and peaceful life. I put in my papers at the bank the day we decided to become life partners. There is no financial compulsion for me to continue as a working woman. Now, darling,  would you be a pet and drop me at the market? Vegetables are always so fresh and cheap in the mornings."
  Raghav, who was too stunned to make any meaningful response, kept mumbling incoherently, and drove the car like an automaton. The last image which froze in his mind  as he drove away from the market was that of a short woman trying to balance herself on platform heels , waving with one hand while the other hand clutched an enormous shopping basket. Some corner of his brain registered a shouted reminder " Come home early for lunch, I am making drumstick sambhar and potato curry." 

Do arranged marriages work? Opinions tend to differ.

Can love grow out of an arranged marriage? 
Absolutely, and in the same way that love can grow in romance novels from a marriage of convenience. But there's more to love than finding a suitable match. Love can grow for many reasons, from lust at first sight to friendship that develops over a long period of time. It's impossible to predict whether a union will be successful. The only two people who can make it work are the bride and groom, the hero and heroine of their own story.

I am sure all South Indians would  love this blog, and may even be able to relate to it. It happened to someone known to me years ago, but believe me, it is still happening and there is nothing really wrong in it.


  1. nice story how ironical,
    I think love can grow out of a arranged one and even love marriages can fail, there is no right or wrong way of falling in love or getting married, as long as it works out in the end

  2. Marriage if not based on trust and truth remains in trouble. Both spouses are usually unhappy in this kind of marriages. I know it happened to several people...lies..from both sides.

    Arranged marriage or love marriage would work if based on truth and trust.

  3. That is very true Shuchita. It is finally up to the partners to make it work or not. And there is nothing wrong in divorce too, for isn't it better than living in a dis-functional relationship and suffering forever in the false belief that one day things would turn out fine.
    Thanks for your comment.

  4. Yes A, truth and trust are the only solid foundation on which a good and long lasting relationship can stand.
    In this case unpredictable things happened, but it would have all worked out finally, for the very meaning of life is unpredictablity, for if one knew the answers for everything, then there won't be any fun or challenges in life.

  5. hi rama ,beutiful story and nicely put up.This happens with most of them,my own brother in law did this for years and finally he found a "working gal"moderately gud looking and he is happy.he is 32 now!he has searched for 3 years.I am really surprised the changing views of realtionships!How can a wife's"work"factor be a factor for "love".right?

  6. Very interesting story, Rama! Yes, truth and honesty are important as is repect and similer
    dreams and lifestyles. When I think of arranged marriages I think of 14 year old girls and fat fifty year old men and to me that is disgusting!

  7. Stonepost:
    It is very rare to have 14 year old girl marrying a 50 year old man. Arranged marriages are part of the not only Indian custom, but also a part of many other countries like Japan, Sri lanka etc. and it has worked well, and is still the most preferred of the marriages all over the world even in America and UK.
    The world is changing, no longer do we have boys and girls falling in love blindly and plunging into marriage, for they also seem to be looking for the same qualities in their search for their respective spouses,(as their parents)and find it is not so easy to get all of them: so they have put the burden on the parents and well wishers to help them in this matter, for they know eventually they have the last word, for finally the girl and the boy have to like each other.
    Also with the marriage portals in the the internet, it is much easier to see, go out with the people they have zeroed in, and feel the compatibility, and finally if they feel most of it is alright they go ahead and get engaged and married.
    It is now a days a long process, but it is worth it for people these days want to be sure of what they are getting into, and they are in no hurry. Of course, the risk factor cannot be ruled out even when we go through all the details: but what to do as there is always risk in everything in life, for one cannot always be 100% sure. One has to trust their own gut instinct and pray that everything is alright.

  8. Beautiful header picture, Rama. Is that you and your family??? What a nice looking family...

    Thanks for coming to my blog. I hope you come back often.

    I found your story very interesting. Finding a life partner is hard... We don't have 'arranged' marriages here --but maybe if we did (or at least, worked harder finding the 'right' person), maybe there wouldn't be so many divorces.

    Thanks again.

  9. Hello!Dear Friend,This is very interesting history.Thank You very much for sharing.

  10. For some unexplained reason, this story reminded me of an old movie by Visu, Manal Kayiru. Love marriage or arranged marriage....the success depends on both the individuals and how far they have a give and take attitude.

  11. yes as sg says, Love marriage or arranged marriage....the success depends on both the individuals and how far they have a give and take attitude.

  12. Your blog is very interesting!

  13. This is so beautiful and insightful. Arranged marriage is a huge theme in my novel and I do think that love can spout from one. You are so right that it depends on the individuals. Lovely story and post.

  14. The recipe is give and take for a successful marriage. Nothing is perfect even for a marriage made in heaven!!

  15. You are very correct, but are there any marriages made in heaven Keats?

  16. Enjoyed reading the story. Yeah, there's nothing like a ready-made perfect match. The man and woman who enters marriage should be willing to take each other as he/she is. Expectations are what land in disasters. And it's not a one-day affair. It's a lifetime of understanding and loving each other :)

  17. arranged or love marriage will work if the partners are compatible and work hard to make it work.

  18. Marriage, Love, relationship, working/non working partner- if we blog about each subject, we can create a full fledged blog for each subject.

    But I enjoyed reading the story.

  19. anything can happen in anything anyone can fail

  20. Hi Rama,

    First time on your blog, and I loved this story. It is the story of so many people around us. Why only South Indians, all Indians will love it :). The matchmaking stays pretty much the same all around our country. Luckily for me, my marriage was what we both call "self-arranged." We met through an internet matrimonial site, were in touch through emails, then met personally and decided to get married and then brought in our parents into the decision. It was not love but a great friendship, physical chemistry, and the knowledge about each other of what we valued.

    But, you are right, the best of matches can fall out of love. It is a totally different ball game when you make a life with somebody or raise a family. It is a world apart from dating or being in a relationship of love.

    Really wonderful post!

  21. Arranged or not, marriages are hard work and expectations can be very high. I always feel devastated when my husband and I argue, but as long as we recover and get back on an even keel, all is well. I'm sure arranged marriages can work as well as any other. We just have to remember that we can all make mistakes, and forgive!

  22. Rama...thanks so much for stopping by my blog(s)! I'm glad cos now I found yours and its very interesting! Here's my spin...arranged marriages fail, love marriages fail, arranged marriages work and love marriages work! I have been married for 30 yrs now....semi arranged. My husband pursued me doggedly all through college and I finally caved in.....! My folks wanted me to marry him even before it was a win win all around! But whatever it is, it takes two to make it work. We've had our shares of ups and downs without any question, but communication is key! That along with love and respect will make any marriage work!

  23. You are right, though arranged marriage seems to be some what safe , still things can go wrong, one should finally have faith in oneself to deal with it appropriately. Even I have been married for 29 years, we would be celebrating our 30th anniversary in just a few days. We have had our ups and downs but still we are happy together.

  24. rama ji..thanks wishes to u and yr near ones too..:)

  25. Arranged or Love Marriage does not make the difference.
    What makes things tick is the individuals.

  26. Doesn't matter whether the marriage is an arranged one or a loved one, what matters is whether both are ready to compromise and make things work. Thanks for dropping by our blog.

  27. My own marriage was arranged and it worked pretty well. Mutual trust, respect and love for each other make the union successful. In the long run whether the match was arranged or love does not really matter.

  28. Hello Rama,

    Very interesting post.In his search for a working girl,Raghav only became old and finally found someone who is not interested in working.But even working at home is a tough job.

    Whether a marriage is an arranged one or love marriage, there is no guarantee that it will work unless the partners understand and appreciated each other without having any preconceived notions of their own. I have seen love marriages fail and arranged marriages also can also spell disaster.

    The most difficult part about a difficult marriage is that partners go through enormous suffering and agony.It is always better to get out of a contentious and quarrel some marriage.

    I enjoyed your story immensely,

  29. I agree with Ramesh that any marriage will work with give and take policy.

    Let it be give, give and give or take, take and take or the ideal one of give and take!

    But certainly not on 'giving up' policy!

  30. Rama, loved this post! Unfortunately people dont realize that there is no thing called a perfect match! Arranged or love... doesnt matter.. true lessons to be learned begin once you start living together and it is all about making compromises by either of the couple and learning pluses from each other to lead a successful life.
    But to be honest, I have come across men and women like Raghav who are happy with their choices of living alone after years of searching for the "right" partner and not finding one, there is no compulsion to learn lessons and evolve :-)

  31. Hi Padmaja,
    Good see you come to my space after a long time.
    This happened to some one known to me, and he is also very happy with her. Initially they have all kinds of conditions, but once married everything is accepted. Don't we all have certain expectations, but soon learn to accept things that may eventually come our way and be happy?
    More than dwelling in such issues I had written this piece many years ago as a humorous 'middle'.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  32. An old issue but it still rears its head in this and that society here and there. Anyway, marriages are made in heaven, and so are thunders and lightnings!!