In India, it is normal to ask whether someone has had a love marriage (self-choice), arranged marriage (parents choice – children approved) or love-arranged marriage (self-choice with parents approval).
But there is another category called Forced Marriages.
The parents of the girl and sometimes the boy coerce them (physical force, emotional blackmail .. whatever) to marry “right” at the “right time”.
To an urban educated girl and maybe even a rural uneducated girl this internally feels like being sold into the oldest profession in the world. The difference being that the bride’s parents “pay the dowry and the bride pays her salary and service.
When a girl enters a loveless marriage treating it as the oldest profession in the world without involving her mind and heart, then that is how the husband is likely to end up treating her.
The parents feel very noble because they have not sold her to a sheikh for money, but they may as well have.
That the bride subjected to a forced marriage still loves her parents is a shocker. Still concerned about their pain, their reputation, their feelings she continues in the marriage. There she has a memory of love.
And then worried about society, afraid of facing the world on her own, not having been trained to think for herself she continues the rest of her life as a chattel.
Parents as a general rule do NOT understand their grown up children the least little bit. It is always projection of their hopes, expectations, needs and confidence-undermining unnerving concern.
People think that forced marriages end up like the movie ‘dhadkan’ or ‘hum dil de chuke sanam”. They in fact end up like the books “a doll’s house” or a “man of property”.
Last year, a young lady that kundA dEvI knows killed herself after a baby was born to her too. kunDa dEvI had to look after the mother keeping her at home, teaching her yoga and prAnAyAma and things.
That young lady was against getting married in general and wanted to study vEdAs, but her dad was dead against it. He did not see the error of his ways even after his daughter died.
I remember in my own days a young lady attempting suicide on her wedding day, rejecting her husband on the wedding night, breaking his heart and divorcing him to arrange her marriage with a much worse person later on!
These foolish parents contribute a miserable daughter, wife and mother to the universe and leave it to the universe to dry her tears. And these foolish daughters love such parents while hating the chap they married!
aSTAvakra said :
- You have lost kingdoms, sons, wives, bodies and comforts, birth after birth, even though you took an interest in them.
- Enough of artha, kAma and sukRta karma (purpose/wealth, desire and good deeds done well. You mind did not find peace in this dreary forest of samsAra (The I-view of the world).
- You have worked for many janmAs with your body, mind and speech. At least now cease this karma which gives sorrow and fatigue. (aSTAvakra samhitA (gItA)
I hate to feel bad about things I can’t change.
I can’t change the brides, the grooms or their parents.
But if you care for what I say – please for the love of God, do not force your children into marriages. Marriages are hard enough as it is. And don’t force them to stick around in bad marriages.
And if you are unlucky enough to be trapped in a bad marriage, for God’s sake get out. You be happy and let your unloved spouse be happy. It’s okay to have a failed marriage or several failed marriages. Even if you have to raise your children on your own. Many women and men have done it. Just don’t die either physically or mentally.
Life is not about what others think or reputations and money and all that.
Life is about something else altogether. There is a lot of life ahead, many things to try and mess up. Don’t miss that opportunity.
Yes, even self-choice marriages can turn bad. The same answer to those also.