As Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput shared the story of their vivah on the latest episode of Koffee With Karan, I couldn’t help thinking of how an arranged set-up could actually be a more practical way to go about finding love, than seeking it alone in the big bad world. I judged the approach a little more every time my mum sneaked in pictures of random boys into my inbox, while my own attempts to help my cause were leading nowhere.
If you really bring it down to the basics, you might find that past your own judgements, meeting someone through family could give you a better footing. Of course I’m not talking about marrying the first guy or girl your parents pick for you. You should do the picking for sure. But finding the right kursi could be a lot easier with some well guided salesmanship.
So here’s an attempt to look beyond the awkwardness that comes with ‘arranged’, at what might well be the new ‘love’ story:
1. The Context Is Crystal Clear
For all the awkwardness that comes with the idea of an arranged marriage, there’s a good chance that you won’t find an elephant in the room at all. The context is clear when two adults meet with an agenda. Frankly, it saves time and heartache too. I’ve been on the phone and at restaurant tables with quite a few potential grooms and it was surprisingly easy to talk to them, given that we didn’t have to struggle with the ‘why’ of our meeting. What was also surprising is that the conversation remained focused on getting to know one another in a more practical way, rather than spending months trying to figure out whether you’re even on the same page as your potential partner. Interestingly, Mira’s goal on her first date with Shahid was only to see if she likes him enough to meet him a second time. That’s a great way to go about it actually.
2. Parents Are Involved, But So Is Their Wisdom
So what’s our main issue with an arranged marriage set-up? Well, to begin with, it’s the fact that parents are involved from day one. Which means that it might not feel like it’s your decision and yours alone. But actually, it very much is. While parents do the initial groundwork, prospective grooms and brides come fact-checked to an extent. The final call must be yours of course, they’re only making your process a bit easier. If you trust their judgement in other aspects of your life, maybe some credit is due when it comes to their understanding of the kind of life partner and family, that they think would work for you. And if you’re worried about causing them the embarrassment of rejection, trust me, they’re tough nuts.
3. It’s Easier to Grasp the Whole Package
If we lived our lives in a bubble, a marriage would only be about the two who make it. Parents in my opinion, can judge the whole ‘package’ a bit more wisely, simply based on their experience. With a new bond come expectations and responsibilities, that parents probably get better than us, because they’ve coped with it all themselves. While the final decision must always be yours, their conviction in your choice can help you make the right decision.
4. If You’re Ready, The Process Doesn't Quite Matter
Life, love and happiness come with no guarantees whatsoever, and neither does your chosen path to finding companionship. If you feel ready to share your life with someone, the process you follow to find that person shouldn’t override it. Also, having your parents look out for you is hardly a dent on your ego. They’ve been doing that since the day you were born. They might be limited by their conditioning and societal pressures, but they sure are on your team. I know my failed attempts at ‘meeting boys’ only brought me closer to mine.
5. All Love Needs Is An Open Mind
My experience with flings, serious relationships and arranged baat-cheet has taught me a larger lesson. It’s not so much about how you find love, it is about finding it. While we’re all limited in our own ways by our own thought processes, what we often stand the chance of finding in the most unexpected of places is perspective. As long as you’re ready for love, be sure to know that you might find it when you least expect it, even as you judge yourself in a room full of family members.
This is not to say that Shahid and Mira are the ‘perfect’ example to go by. There’s no such thing as perfect, and I’m sure your love life has helped you crack that by now. But I like that they didn’t judge their process of finding love, even though you and I did.