My diaries on introspection 04/10/2008

For a long time I have kept away from controversial topics which are typically arguments which could topple or disturb popular emotions. But I have slowly begun to move away from such a stance and am trying to articulate ideas in a gradual fashion so that there is a tempering effect through these thoughts of mine.

One thing which immediatley comes to my mind is the elaborate rituals and process which are practised during a Hindu marriage. I have been a subject and party to this elaborate process during the course of my marriage and I have been trying to understand the process and more importantly some messages that I have more or less crystallised from this learning.

Most importantly the process involves participation of numerous parties from either side, that of the bride and the  bride-groom. This goes on to put light on the importance of having relatives, from bride and bride-groom,  for the occassion of the marriage. Though friends and well-wishers have a choice of being part of the occassion, relatives do not have that choice. I could look at it from numerous angles. On one hand, given the phenomenon of consanguineous marriages in my community, I would probably look at this process as a way of the entire community becoming aware that a particular pair have entered wedlock and another as prospective bride and bride-grooms having a field day during the marriage. We also have to account for poor communication in the days bygone and hence the need for such events to get the comunity together. Another angle would be the fact that there is a high chance of social rifts due to a variety of reasons and with strong focus on a particular family member performing a particular custom, there is a high chance of pacification during marriages. There is also a affirmation of relationships with gifts being bestowed and happiness partaken. In the camarederie that ensues, all broken ties are mended.

There are numerous symbolic gestures which are undertaken by either families, which symbolise the coming together of strangers and their committment to the institution of marriage. Now comes the important question, if there is a particular reason for marriages to evolve, differing from community to community, are they relevant in today’s society?

The reason for this question is simple and poignant, the very motive behind the customs have been forgotten and most of the customs are being done mechanically. The greater ramification of this question is our sense of filial affection for our heritage and culture. But my personal answer to such an argument would be that if you do not know the language, what is the use of memorising words and sentences. In such a case, your lips might move, but the heart does not speak.

This is a tough question and even more difficult to fathom the future of this thought. But it is definitely worthwile asking this question ourselves than being questioned by a curious outsider.

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