Arranged Marriage

My brother’s marriage was arranged yesterday.

Our family including my brother went to the girl’s place. My brother spoke to the girl in person, alone for about half hour. The elders spoke about the whole thing for about 2-3 hours. The ‘would bes’ conveyed their respective okays. And bam! It has been decided the two shall marry.

Arranged Marriage

Not an unfamiliar situation in India.

My brother is a sincere, hard-working, loving and a very peaceful person. In the hum-drum of life and responsibilities, he did not have the time or inclination to fall in love. So we’ve been searching for a bride for him for years now. And this alliance finally clicked.

But I am not at peace!

My mother loves my brother dearly. But always had a complex of sorts that he is not highly educated. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts. And therefore, he will not be in ‘demand’ in the ‘marriage market’. Thereby, feeling that we somehow deserved less in terms of a nice Indian girl.

Don’t get me wrong. My mother adores him. But in our community education has high weightage. Girls and boys are highly educated and expect their spouses to be so. My brother did not get the chance to study higher. And he was also a disinterested student. And he had a job. His income was needed to run the house etc etc.

Despite this impediment of lack of a higher education, by sheer hard work and determination, he rose through the hierarchy at the work place. And is placed well in life. But the lack of better degrees was always the albatross around his neck.

Anyway, so this alliance has come to being. But I am unsure whether my brother is really happy with it or if he agreed to it to appease everyone else. Something that’s also not so uncommon in India.

I am also slightly ruffled by the fact  that – and I am going to seem pretty shallow here – the girl has buck teeth.

I haven’t actually seen the girl yet, just her photo. And I am the last person to judge a person from their photo. So I am willing to concede that on meeting the girl in person, my mum and brother both decided that considering the rest of the background, her teeth didn’t seem like a huge issue.

Buck teeth in itself is not the issue here. People can fall in love with all sorts of people. But that’s ‘falling in love’. This is arranged marriage. If I could be sure that my brother has genuinely liked the girl and doesn’t see her teeth as a detriment to this union, then I would be happy for them. But I fear that he’s getting married for the sake of getting married. Which would be unfair to the girl too.

I discussed this with a friend of mine who suggested that it was now too late to bring this up with my brother. He is an adult capable of making his decisions. When he agreed to the alliance, he must have weighed the situation in his mind before taking the decision. So now I should just be happy for him and not plant any seeds of doubt in his mind by throwing my doubts at him.

All I want is my brother to be happy. Because that will go a long way to keep his marriage strong and his wife happy in it.

I don’t want his wife to suffer either only cos my brother settled.

Do you think I am off the tangent?

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5 responses

  1. Okay, I can see this from both sides. Given the fact that your brother has fought and clawed his way up the ladder, you know he is a capable, intelligent human being. It is a fairly decent assumption that he weighed the pro-s and cons of agreeing to the arrangement, and I am sure that the influence of your family and peers and a great deal of weight in his decision. That being said, I know what it is like to watch a sibling in a relationship that is just plain not a 100% happy one and it hurts very bad. But even the closest of siblings generally won’t share EVERYTHING with each other. There be contributing factors in his life that he hasn’t shared with anyone, including you or your mother. It is perfectly okay to feel protective and worried, but he also needs to know that you love him and support him in whatever decision he has made. Trust me that is extremely important.

    On a smilier note, hope your doing well Anne!! Emailed you pics of wedding!

    • Thanks Jake for your comment. I will try to look at things from the perspective you gave. It does make some sense. But its about his entire life. I don’t want him to make a mistake like I did and then throw away your whole life. I wish I could know EVERYTHING (as you said).

      I am looking forward seeing your pics. Will sign into gmail right away… 🙂

  2. While I can’t address the issue of arranged marriage, I don’t think you’re off the tangent. He’s your brother. You love him and you want him to be happy. But like your friend said, he’s capable of making his own decisions and will have to live with them.

    • I suppose you are right. But I am still going to do what is in my power to do – that is pray to the Lord that He may let things work out if it is His will or create circumstances that may lead to the whole thing being called off.

      Thank you Terry for your response.

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