When traditions are broken

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4) A traditional family opposing marriage decision

Scenario: Ms. W meets a handsome guy, Mr. M at college and they secretly started loving each other. Ms. W belongs to a traditional family where only the concept of love marriage prevails. They can never accept a love marriage leave alone an inter-caste or inter-religion marriage. Luckily for her, the man she loves is of the same religion and caste but is not earning too well right now. Both of them have an age gap of one year and many think they look more like friends rather than lovers together. Ms. W is now scared of anyone leaking the news of her affair to her parents and even more scared of introducing Mr. M to them. She is still 20, and he is 21 and is deciding on starting on a combined startup for pushing forward their business ideas. It is at a starter stage but they do not want to risk losing each other. They want to be at least engaged to each other so as to get married after a few years when they become stable in their respective careers.

Point of View
Parents(of Mr. M and Ms. W)
” Our girl is still studying in college and we will wait till she finishes her studies to start searching for her groom in our caste and religion.
” We believe that love, at first sight, is merely an infatuation at this age, where she is exposed to the opposite sex. Love is truly only after marriage.
” We will choose the best life partner for her and marry her in a fully traditional way as the concept of dating and keeping boyfriends tarnishes character and will bring shame upon us.
” Our child is very shy and we as her parents are her best friends who know who suits her best, as marriage requires resilience, confidence, and a family-oriented nature.
” She will not be able to speak about any preferences from her future partner as her traditional upbringing and humbleness will not allow her to do. Hence, we will take the decision of choosing the right partner for her, and obviously take her consent before going forward.
” We can never in our worst dream imagine our child inviting her boyfriend or lover to our home for an introduction. What will people say? We will die of shame if she does take this a step forward…
” We think it is better to seek prospective spouses for our children as they may fall into temptation once they reach a marriageable age.
” Even if she has fallen for someone, she will slowly forget them and start loving her life partner once she is married…
” If we are convinced about her love interest(though chances are less) and get them engaged, what is the guarantee that he will surely marry her in future? What if he finds someone better and cheats on her by breaking the engagement? It will hurt our entire family and especially our girl…?

Couple( Mr. M and Ms. W)
” We are afraid of facing criticism from our parents about falling in love in college, where we sent for educating ourselves and not dating each other!
” What will happen if they do not understand and accept our love and advise us to break up reasoning that we have a long journey ahead of us in terms of career, responsibilities etc.
” We have to convince them to accept our love and only get us engaged by postponing our marriage for a few years. This seems a humongous task in itself.
” We know we are of marriageable age, we are totally committed to each other but still not get ready for getting married right now. We need a few years to advance our careers and then think of settling down. How to proceed?
” Thank God that we are from the same caste, else it would have been more difficult to convince them.
” What if some cousin, teacher or relative visits our college and catches us when we meet? It will be the end of the road for our love…
” We have traditional-minded parents and they do not believe in western concepts of dating, independence and freedom of choice in life making decisions. Can we really change their way of thinking and modernize it gradually?
” What if they do not accept us as a couple and force us to stop going to college or join the home business or arrange our marriage with their choice of partner?
” Will we be able to live without each other if something adverse happens? What if we are forced into a marriage?

” Making a calculated gamble is the best step forward. Analyze the situation at home and their state of mind with respect to their opinions and preferences about your marriage.
” If they are not in a hurry to get you married soon, it leaves time for planning and garnering support for convincing them.
” If they are in a hurry to marry you off soon, then it is better to start the mission impossible quite soon, after planning with your partner in crime!
” Start the conversation with the words about how much they mean to you, their importance in your life and how you would never ever think of deliberately committing a mistake which would bring their head down.
” Try to convince the parent who takes the final decision and is more understanding in the matters of the heart(comparatively) to convince your other parent. It is half the battle won with this step.
” Negotiate and convince like a child. It does not mean throwing things around in anger but a little emotional drama and tears may help in melting their hearts!
” Try to create a strong bond between your partner and your parents and surprise them with cool much-wanted gifts and outings planned together to celebrate your love for your parents. They will slowly start liking your partner for showering them with love and respect, because this is what all parents want is not it?
” Stick to your guns and stay firm with your decision of marrying your partner. Opposition and emotional blackmail will definitely follow But, somewhere down the line, your efforts may have changed their thoughts about your partner.
” Try to invite your partner and his parents for a traditional feast or during festivities to create more understanding and the common factors they have, as they are of the same caste. If all goes well then the two of you will be on the right track for marriage, with the much-needed blessings of both sets of parents!

Confronting the break in tradition -Part 4

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