Friday, July 5, 2013

To aid and abet, or not

A colleague in office has fallen in love.   I act as a sounding board for her anxieties about the guy and the parents and other stuff, being a) a friend b) older than her c) having had a love marriage myself, with its share of teething problems. She is extremely close to her family, especially her dad and right now is torn between her boyfriend and her parents. Her parents are not for the guy, for various reasons, some of which reasons I empathise with.  Her mother consulted an astrologer about the match, and he came back with first a NO. Then, when the anxious mother found that there had been a mistake, he re-calculated, and came back with a YES.

The colleague doesn't believe in astrology-shastrology herself, but she's glad for the positive verdict, because now she'll have an ally in her mother, if for no reason other than the fact that the marriage is not 'doomed to failure'.

I don not know if astrology is really such a great forecaster of whether a marriage will be happy or not... I have 5 relatives in my family, all of whom have had arranged marriages, with their horoscopes matched to perfection. One of them was widowed after 5 years of marriage. 3 of them are divorced. And the one has issues. And this is just couples I know. There are many more instances of people whom I don't directly know who've been cheated by the stars that foretold a happy-ever-after ending.

I married the Acha without any matching of horoscopes.  The Acha's parents rigidly opposed the match,  for various reasons they considered important. One of the reasons was that they consulted an astrologer, who said that we would have no peace in the house, as there would be constant strife between us.  LOL. I am yet to see a couple who do NOT fight. My parents did. His parents do. My sister and husband do. My aunts and their husbands did/do. The reasons for and the intensity of the fights and the way they got resolved was different, but they all were/ are happy. ( I say were, because, my dad and one of my uncles are no more).

Its difficult enough to live in a hostel and adjust with various room-mates/inmates. And you do not have to share a bed / loo / towels with them. There is no social conditioning that ONE of you always has to cook/clean and generally take on responsibility for the collective happiness. In a marriage, all of this applies. So it is but natural that there will be some(lots) of friction at times. The wife of today, rebels against having to burn both ends of the candle herself. The husband of today is coming to terms with the fact that he will have to pull his weight equally around the house. Stereotypes die hard, but the old order is indeed changing, albeit slowly. Mutual adjustments, not one-sided compromises are the order of the day.

But I digress. Once during the courtship days, when I was really upset at the way matters seemed to be heading, I confided in a priest of a local temple I used to go to regularly.  And I told this old man that as per our horoscopes, there was to be no peace in our house, if we got married. And that the required number of  poruthams  (this is one of the terms in horoscope matching, where you are supposed to have a minimum number of matches of certain variables, for a successful partnership) was sadly lacking. At which that wise old man said that what was most important was manaporutham - a matching of minds/thoughts. And that so long as we had that, all the rest of the poruthams would either fall in place or didn't really matter.

Which brings me back to my colleague.  She's known this guy for a short while only. She does not know his parents/family. She's only seen him at his best. It is kind of a whirlwind courtship, where after some 4 meetings, the guy proposed to her on his knees in front of the Taj. Enough to turn any young girl's head.

I've heard and ready enough about love at first sight, but in real life, I am a little sceptical about these grand gestures. I like people to get to know each other really well before they decide to commit to a lifetime together.I believe family and family background, matters to a certain extent. Roses and stuff will of course be a-plenty in the initial days. But there will come a day, when they will peter out (or am I being a cynic here?)
 And so , I am torn between wanting to offer my young colleague support in her love affair, and wanting to caution her against getting overwhelmed.

I have as of now told her not to commit to the guy, but get to know him better. (They're not in the same city, and so this would take time) To get to know his parents as well.  To try and get her parents around and not rush into anything on impulse.What would be your advice, people?


Cee Kay said...

My advice would be the same as yours - get to know the guy better. 4 dates is far too short a time to really know someone. In fact, it can take a lifetime and you still might not know him/her but that is beside the point. If he is trying to rush her into a marriage, that can be a red flag or, at the least, sign of immaturity.

dipali said...

Absolutely. No need to rush.