You're marrying already?

"You're marrying already?" - this is a question a lot of people tend to ask, as soon as you tell them that you are planning to get married. More importantly, this is a question I have had to ask myself a lot of times before I jumped in for the whole marriage process.Also, what is marriage for that matter? I know the philosophical definitions: sharing your life and hopes and feelings and blah blah blah. But what did it mean to me? Wouldn't it first mean trusting someone with my deepest darkest secrets? Opening up and putting myself in a very vulnerable position? Everyone is my friend, yes... but what would it take in a person for me to open up that much? We all see a lot of couples around us: living lives, fighting, raising kids, enjoying each others' arms, arguing sometimes publicly and sometimes in their own homes,smiling upon seeing one another. It all qualifies as marriage.

My definition of marriage is different: I call it a gamble. It is a calculated risk about a person who we are willing to live with and trust. You might be going through a love marriage, or it might be an arranged marriage when you met your spouse through your parents. In any and every case, it is a gamble, because you never know a person 100%. And more importantly, you don't know what the person will become in the future. Even if you are sure from what you know now, the person you are in love with today might simply change: there is no guarantee. Never.

Was I then ready for marriage? No. I am being honest - I did not believe I was ready to trust someone so much. But I hoped that I will be, eventually. And I also knew that I had to do it one day: I cannot live life completely alone. I knew that I will definitely marry some day. When that day will be is a different question. What else did I seek out of marriage? Female companionship, for sure, including physical intimacy. And no I'm not talking about just sex, but rather the intimacy and comfort two people share in close proximity to each other. I was seeking comfort and trust: of being able to sit next to one another and share a small quiet moment. And no a guy cannot simply sit next to me and share a silent moment of sweetness: it has to be a girl. So, how about having a girlfriend?

I had a girlfriend, actually: and at a quite mature age when it wasn't simply infatuation. Things did not work out: that's all. She too used to be a good girl friend (note the separate words: please don't confuse further). And it was her who had proposed: she became a girlfriend. While it lasted, it was good. But things didn't work out. I also have a few other good girl friends. Some of them I could not visualize as my wife by my side: it seemed weird. And most of them were long-distance. I had learned from the last relationship that long-distance ones don't work out so well: there is something about physical presence and closeness that feeds an emotional gap. Phone calls or emails (that too few and far between) never fill that gap: perhaps they dig the wound deeper. I thought it would be better to keep a few friends than to alienate everyone going through a string of relationships. For me, a relationship is a very committed thing. If I propose a relationship to someone I would be thinking ahead to marriage and imagining her by my side at the wedding reception. This, somehow, I couldn't bring myself to doing with anyone I knew. They just weren't my type. And I wanted to discover new things about the girl I would marry... spend a few years just getting to know her. I already knew so much about my friends. It sounds crazy, right? But in my book, when I decide that marriage is a gamble, I did not find the thought so irrational. I wanted to make an informed guess, and then latch on. Whoever you marry, you have to accept certain shortcomings and certain other star qualities. Why waste the fun of discovering all that in a new person if possible?

At the same time, the need for companionship wasn't that great that I must go hunting for a wife or a girlfriend immediately. But I knew that it would take time. In my case, from the time I actively started the process (i.e. created a profile on a matrimonial website) to the time that I actually signed the wedding form, it took close to one-and-a-half years. And the social wedding is still pending. When I jumped on to this arranged marriage bandwagon, I had three things to fall back on, then. First, it would take time for any "proposal" to materialize so that I wouldn't be tied down immediately. Second, if I happened to find to fall in love with someone while this process was on, I could always abandon ship and marry this person. Third, and finally, I always retained the option of saying no. I knew that I would never say yes to a marriage if I did not meet the girl in person and spend time with her. So beginning the process of an arranged marriage did not seem like a bad idea, considering the timing in my life and what I saw myself doing in the future. I was ready to start the process of finding someone for the arranged marriage, not marrying immediately.

Comments

  1. Sudipta, I think in traditional India, the question often is "Why aren't you married yet?" ;-)

    But you definitely made a great case for the arranged marriage system.

    No matter what anybody says, the social profiling process and the traditional mode of enquiry does provide a solid platform to work on.

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  2. Hari, thanks... I am going to write another post on the topic anyway.

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  3. well being inexperienced dont know about the rest........but yes 1 thing is very true in relationships of heart, distances do matter!!!.....unfortunatly do have a heartbreaking experienc in this!!!!!

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  4. Shagufta, I'm sorry to hear that. I certainly wish that you should find your Mr. Right soon :)

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  5. Hearty Congratulations!

    btw, you are getting married already? ;)

    And, if you think abt it, almost any decision you take is a gamble, leave alone marriage. An informed chance is what everyone is looking for anyway.

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  6. Till date I haven't seen any marriage which is not arranged. People appear in the best outfit, the best venue is sought for and the best caterer is chosen. I am yet to see a clumsy marriage :).

    For me marriage can't be classified as love and arranged ones. Arranged marriage can be thought as a subset of love marriage where people willingly or unwillingly skips the pre-nuptial obedience. The closest analogy to the so-called 'arranged' marriage can be ... reaching a mathematical solution through jump in steps.

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  7. Kiran, thank you, thank you :) Yes... an informed gamble it is.

    Anirban, your first comment on the blog... welcome onboard! :) Signs that you are a geek: you start seeing marriage as an algebraic equation resolution. :D Ossum analogy, btw... very very well said!

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  8. Congratulations sir... wish you all the best ahead.
    Don't forget to post your post-marriage thoughts.. whether the 'deal' was worth it or not :p

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  9. Siddhartha, welcome onboard, sire! Yeah will post some day... lets see first if the gamble paid off :)

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  10. Really like the way you have put it. By the extension of your argument that you can never know one hundred percent, one can say, that, life itself is a gamble.

    P.S: Came here from sayesha's stage fright.

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