Day 5: December 5, 2021 — Marriage

In India, we are sold the idea that marriage is the end goal and that is what we must strive for. Indian society is pluralistic, but one thing we love and live for, across religions, castes, and communities, is the institution of marriage. Beyond the flamboyant, big fat Indian weddings are many other aspects.
1. Make sure you marry into the same caste. (We kill for this.)

2. Marry anyone but people from so and so religion or caste. (We kill for this too.)

3. Take a loan, bury yourself in a lifelong debt, but please prove that your wedding is better than, if not as trendy and vibrant as your neighbour’s or a distant relative’s or someone you never met in your life.

4. Marry quickly because you are getting old.

5. Get your daughter married before she has an affair with someone.

6. Get your son married. At least then he will behave himself.

7. Marry because you have to make children before it’s too late.

And many more ridiculous reasons I forget now. Men get a different kind of shit.

A lot is changing, however, and I acknowledge that and on the same note, I propose this idea of redefining marriage.

I take cues from two of my favourite authors:

Hanya Yanagihara’s breathtaking novel, A Little Life has Jude and Willem: two best friends who marry each other because besides the fact that they love each other, it is easy and comfortable. Willem takes the chance to explore his sexuality through the years before the marriage and for Jude, Willem is where he feels safest. The marriage, in many ways, is a mutually satisfying arrangement.

My other favourite author, Sayaka Murata’s latest short story called Clean Marriage is about an arrangement between a man and a woman, married by law but not sexually attracted to each other. Living together, more like roommates works out perfectly for them and that is all they expect out of the marriage.

I always had a problem with how marriage works in India, though I was sold to the concept and spent a good number of years looking for that ‘better half’ who will ‘complete’ me. These two novelists validated my thoughts on marriage.

Among my many friends, there are a couple who are single and there are plenty of times we discussed the idea of living together.

We are nothing like each but we do have many common interests, respect for each other’s lives, space, and boundaries, love each other unconditionally, dislike almost the same things, have the same political stance, hate the patriarchy, go soft for the same things, care for the planet, do not want to have children (so far), love and care for animals: the list can go on.
We are financially independent and can cater to our exquisite taste for places, books, arts, things, clothes, shoes, and social causes. We can cook, clean, drive, and definitely know our ways to enjoy life.

We have been looking for partners among men, for companionship mainly, so far it’s been a failure. We have a hard time connecting to anyone mentally, intellectually, and spiritually. And we really don’t want to live like the previous generation where we HAVE to compromise because we have no choice.
We do have the choice. We are just perfect for each other.

Now, can’t we just get married?

This is how I imagine it would be:

  1. We would cook and clean because we want to feed ourselves and keep our place fresh. We wouldn’t wait for someone to do it or have to fulfill this expectation of someone else.
  2. We would perfectly understand each other’s emotional ups and downs.
  3. Leave them be when they need space and hug them tight when they want to.
  4. Care for each other’s family members as we do now. Marriage adds a different kind of pressure to this, I sense this.
  5. Happily enjoy alone time and take care of the house when one is sick/goes out to party/meet other friends/on dates.
  6. Have stimulating and silly conversations about all the things under the sun, just like we do now.
  7. Respect each other’s space and boundaries without even trying.
  8. Let each other be.
  9. Eventually, we may express our love for each other differently, maybe get physical too.

Someone somewhere may have extensively studied and written about similar concepts of co-habiting for convenience. I made no effort to study these concepts or ideas. I just dived into writing about the idea that may work really well for me. ;)
That is all.

So, how’s my utopia?




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