Vantage point

Monday, December 02, 2002

Conversation with a female friend (FF) over MSN. Background for this chat is that her parents are suggesting that she should get married, if not immediately, then in a couple of years tops. She too thinks that 2 years is the max she should stay unmarried.

Me: So if you get married...there is no one in sight right now, so it will be an arranged marriage right?
FF: Yes, 99.9% it will be arranged.
Me: Wow, thats weird....imagine, if the guy u marry turns out to be similar to the ones u've rejected in the past.
FF: How do you mean?
Me: When you go in for arranged marriage, what will be the criteria you will judge a man by?
FF: Obviously good family, educated, earning well, looks also will matter a bit, culture, etc.
Me: Yeah, now remember those two guys XX and ZZ?
FF: Yeah?
Me: They would fit into all these criteria. Each and every one.
FF: Yes, but there has to be a spark.
Me: Come on, what spark can there be in an arranged marriage setting? Arranged marriage is like shopping during a Sale. If you like it, you take it at once or someone else will pounce on it. All these concepts like "spark" definitely don't come into play.
FF: Yes, but still, when it's the right guy, you just know.
Me: Maybe, but you haven't found Mr. Right in all these years. But you HAVE to get married in two years. So you will go for the next best thing, right?
FF: Right.
Me: See, think of it this way. Suppose there is a girl whom say I fall in love with right now, and she'll say no..for whatever reasons girls
say no 'cant think of you that way' or something, but in all probability, 5 years later or so, a similar girl, if i approach by the arranged marriage method
FF: Yes?
Me: She will say yes without even thinking of the reasons that she might have used to reject me otherwise
FF: Yes, but by then you will be well settled in life, with a good job and all.
Me: Yeah, but is there anything about me right now that suggests I might not have a good job in the near future? For instance, those two guys you rejected. Both were from a good college, with good marks and will definitely end up with great careers and well settled in life.
FF: That is true.
Me: So you might just end up spending your life with someone like them.
FF: Yes
Me: Then why say no before and waste so many years?
FF: See, you have to be practical. You can't stay alone all your life.
Me: Yeah, I agree. So, generally thinking...what the hell is 'love' anyway in marriages during the beginning? Isn't it just compromise in most cases?
FF: I suppose so.
Me: Except for the lucky few for whom teenage or collegetime love ends up as marriage, the reason girls say yes to guys..or vice versa during arranged marriage is "compromise".
FF: There is no other option.
Me: I know. If it works, who are we to complain?. but you know, that's the main reason 95% arranged marriages work.
FF: What?
Me: Compromise. Both parties enter with a willingness to compromise and without any major emotional expectations. Since there are no major emotional expectations(there are the materialistic and existential ones of course) there is no question of any isappointment.
FF: Hmm, maybe.
Me: Heehee, realise something?
FF: What?
Me: You have wasted so much time by rejecting those two guys.
FF: Shut up, that was different.
Me: How?
FF: I could not blindly say yes, just looking at the factual realities and lose the chance to find love, could I?
Me: What do you mean?
FF: I mean you said there are a lucky few who have their teenage or collegetime loves as their life partners. If I had staidly accepted one of those two guys, I would have forfeited the opportunity of being among those lucky ones. Okay, right now, I may be without that love, but at least I did not give up hope.
Me: You are right, that makes perfect sense.
FF: Yes, and who knows, in two years time, I could still find that love, anywhere, in my neighbourhood, my office, among my friends, anywhere.
Me: You are right. So with arranged marriage as a reliable high success ratio backup, let us go and search for our respective loves.
FF: :) Yes, all the best. May you find that love soon
Me: You too.