Indian Married Life
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
There are, no doubt, a lot of writings on the theme of happy married life. And it still is a theme, which can be discussed from various angles, given the variety in human experience.
There are a lot of good books on this theme written by English authors of the west. And if one reads them, at least from some of them, one would get a lot of very good ideas that could help a person get a better understanding of the various dimensions of this highly complex theme. Since human psychological reactions and reflexes are more or less, the same all over the world, in a general way, many of the things said could apply to the Asians and among them the Indians, also. But there is slight yet distinct difference in the Asian social experience from that of the English social experience. It is in this context that this book is going to of use to the reader.
The topic is definitely a complex one, given the resourcefulness of the human imagination and its mysterious ways of working. There are so many things that are brought into the fore when two human beings decide to forge an alliance, the like of which is not seen in any other spheres of partnership. It involves so many things, which are not conceivable, when the idea of such a partnership is first proposed. And, indeed, it cannot be limited to any terms and conditions that can be put into paper as in the case of a business partnership, even though it must be admitted that there are persons who have tried that also.
It involves so many variables, each one of them pertaining to a lot of interrelated things, all of them sensitive to many other factors. When a man marries a woman, in the Indian context, what join together are not just the two persons, but also a lot of other things. It is an action that provokes reactions at many other places and among so many other persons that it is a thing to be handled with velvet gloves and done with delicate care. Those who have not heeded this warning have lived to grasp the intense significance of this statement.
Married life is not seen here as an experiment, but as one of plunging with no aim of returning to the base if there is a problem. Once in it, one has to swim on and on, with the partner, one has chosen. And don’t doubt when I say that the affinity of the partners to each other can make a big difference in how efficiently they can swim in the tidal waves that is bear upon life.
Indian culture and languages: Before entering a detailed dissertation on this theme, I would like to say something about Indian culture and languages. In India, very few people think or talk in English, at the everyday level of social interaction. Most Indian thinking and interactions are more or less in the vernacular. The peculiarities of these languages do affect the norms of interaction.
Indian languages are, more or less, feudal in structure. That means Indian languages discern society as a hierarchical set-up and the wordings are in such a manner, so as to keep this structure intact. There are many levels in society, and these are denoted by the words used in addressing, and referring to a person. In India, the actuality is that many of the levels at times do overlap or do exist in an array of confusing social altitudes. And it also brings about a string of relationships, all members of which are arranged in particular levels of relations, with some persons coming above another person and some ending up below others. This sort of arrangement has a factor of direction to it, in terms of who should display respect to whom. Husbands, wife, parents, their relatives all come in this web of relationship, with a concurrent web of direction of respect to go with it. Along with it comes a sort of authority a relative or elder has on another person.
Now, in this discourse on married life that I am going to start, all these themes make it different from a typical book on married life written by an English author on the English people. And the reader may bear in mind that it is not a discussion on idealistic factors, but about the ground realities of the Indian social scene.