I’m going to talk about post wedding scenes in India as how I perceive them.
Ofcourse I’m not going to get personal, but this is what my understanding of the institution of marriage has come to. The actual day of the wedding is a sacrosanct day for almost all indians, especially the BollyLovers out there. Love, Arranged, Bhaag ke, Aashirwaad leke or ‘What Happens in Las Vegas’ style (let’s assume such stuff happens :P). It’s a good happy day.
And then: Fast Forward.
I’m sure a couple would want to settle down, have kids, be completely independent and yet, a lot depends on the upbringing of both, how the in-laws think, if they’re modern or traditional, open to changes et all. Most of the time, I see newly married girls staying with their parents for upto four days a week. Having said that, I don’t mind that happening, but it is surprising for me as I’ve not heard my Mom or same aged Aunties say they did so too.
Okay, I might come off as a little backward, as though I have rewinded a decade or more, because the ‘society’ we live in is really forward, compromising and liberal. But in my views Indian Weddings are Pareto inefficient. It means that while one party is better off, the other definitely isn’t. Or both the parties have not benefited after the event has occurred. How so?
Indian weddings see buckets of tears shed and ‘Iska theek se dhyaan rakhna’s passed in the bidaai sessions. Oh-so-melodramatic! But in ninety-nine out of hundred cases, the bride has to leave back her lifestyle and ‘taur tareekey’ and adjust herself to one that she has no clue about. Now let’s take a look at the biggest problems she faces.
Firstly, it is difficult for her to leave her parents back home while the guy gets to stay with, and look after his parents. Secondly, an Indian wife marries not only the husband, but also the in-laws. Surveys say that many divorces happen not because of problems with husbands, but with the in-laws, and mere inaction from the husband’s side. Well, the poor chap is caught right in the middle. Thirdly, and sorry to say this, but many Indian housewives think they are maids of the house, or maybe their replacements. So there are evidently a lot of expectations from this new member of the family. And she has to keep up to them most of the times, sacrificing what not.
We barely see Ghar-Jamaais in India. Think about it in the exactly opposite way. Let’s reverse the trend and think what would happen if it became mandatory for guys to stay with the girls. Most of us will write this thought off as fiction. So why does this modern society with forward thinking and a liberal outlook accept such traditions that go back centuries without questioning what lies at the base of it? The woman, in most of the cases has to really adjust a lot.
So how to make such weddings Pareto efficient i.e. making both parties better off? One solution could be, that the married couple stay in a different home together, thus the guy makes equal number of sacrifices. But not all can afford such a lifestyle. Both can have alternate days at running errands for the house and other household chores. Seems quite practical but ofcourse without ego clashes. oh, and yes! Stop watching Saas-Bahu soaps and Taarak Mehta.
So the only point I want to make is that in this Patriarchal system, let us make some place for the home maker. The woman behind every successful man deserves her due credit. Let’s make space for this Husband-Wife symbiotic relation so it can flourish without bounds.