Would your mother or aunt pull the hair of prospective bride you are selecting? Well, imagine a scene in a living room in one of the metros- say Mumbai. The bride demurely brings in a tray laden with snacks, keeps it gently in centre table and walks back slowly. The eyes are down cast and tries to look fleetingly at the groom and slides into a curtained room. The mother and aunt walk purposefully into the curtained room. A few minutes later there is a shriek- ahaa- ahaa. It is hair pulling ceremony. The men in the living room who look alarmed are now pacified by informing about this ceremony.
A few minutes later a frightened voice trying to sing an out of place song- oh sanam oh sanam- is heard. The men stop speaking wondering what is the need to sing a new film song at such a serious moment. They are reassured that this is voice testing.
This is how brides were selected not too long in the past. It seems to be not unlike buying cattle. I imagine doing this now and what reaction it would evoke. I try to think what would have happened if we had tried similar antics in any of the recent marriages in our family.
What has changed now? Has human expectations from matrimony changed? Do we view relationships among close family members differently now?
Yes, things have changed. The main change is education , economic and social expectations. What has remain unchanged is the emotional craving for closeness, companionship, sharing, mental and physical compatibility between spouses. But the time we devote to such activities seem to be reduced. A very senior executive of my employer who always appears relaxed and smiling gave a very interesting answer to a question on how he unwinds or relaxes. He said that he spends time with his wife and also with a pet dog. It was an endearing answer and certainly makes all of us think of our relationship with our spouse and children.
I had always believed that relationship between a working couple is different from that in which only the male member is working. Today looking at the world around us, I am not so sure. I think human beings take their environment for granted. Both partners earning a living is mostly incidental to the relationship. There could be ego issues. But finally the bottom line is that the couple living in Reykjavik –capital of Iceland- have the same emotional expectations as those living in Hissar in Haryana (excepting those characters in Na Aana is Desh Mein Lado- a serial in Colors T V Channel).
I sometimes wonder about what would be life if career or profession becomes an all consuming passion. The power point presentation at tomorrow’s meeting (MD would be present along with foreign JV Partners) is to be a game and life changer. MD would smile and say “good job done”. Colleagues would look at you enviously. Then life goes by. What do such a couple think on a Sunday evening when the rains are pouring (just as it is now when I am writing) and the excitement and challenge of working life is waning? Would the latest Bose Home Theatre system (basic set costs Rs. 2 lacs) give the same excitement as watching your own child whizzing past making a noise like a flying jet plane and the living room strewn with toys?
There are no answers. My belief after seeing my grandson Shivam is that watching a new life grow is the greatest gift God gives to human being. Having an opportunity to be part of the journey of that new life is the greatest pleasure that a human being enjoys.
What do you say?