Sometimes I wonder why my 28 years of marriage has gone smoothly without a single fight.
Especially when yours truly is a super strong character, who does not take anything lying down.
One of the factors definitely is -- that i went for an arranged marriage.
Of course we saw each other and gave our consent. Our parents gauged our compatibility. Our horoscopes were matched to see if the most intelligent force blessed the union.
Being a handsome young sailor i had my share of opportunities for a love marriage -- but i knew that love marriages do NOT work.
I wanted a girl who could blush, for the blush is the most powerful charm of a girl's beauty. And is not a blush the color of virtue?
I was acutely aware of the worry and strain of the Western marriage concept where sex plays a major role. When the feelings wane we all know what is in store.
The western marraige is based on lust and feelings , the Eastern on TRUST honour and committment. An Indian woman does NOT go for silicon implants to SAVE her marriage.
An arranged marriage is a compromise. It is a 51:49 relationship.
When a cup of tea has to be made there is no doubt who is gonna make it. When it comes to security of the family there is no doubt who will provide that.
In India the divorce rate is less than 1% while in the west it is greater than 50%.
Country / % Divorce
Albania / 19
Belarus / 45
Bosnia & Herz/ 8
Costa Rica/ 47
Czech Republic/ 66
Dominican Rep/ 41
Egypt / 17
El Salvador/ 23
Estonia / 58
European Union/ 47
Finland / 47
France / 55
Greece / 25
Iceland / 37
Italy / 27
Japan / 36
Jordan / 25
Kuwait / 42
Latvia / 52
Libya / 5
Liechtenstein / 48
Luxembourg / 62
Mexico / 15
Montenegro / 14
New Zealand / 45
Poland / 28
Qatar / 29
Rep of Macedonia/ 11
Romania / 28
Russia / 51
Saudi Arabia/ 20
Serbia / 22
South Africa/ 17
South Korea/ 35
Spain / 62
Sri Lanka 0.19
Syria / 9
Trinidad nTobago/ 35
Turkey / 20
United Kingdom/ 51
United States / 56
Uzbekistan / 8
Wrigley's chewing gum and perfumes are a must before a western date-- for the boy and girl must taste their mutual fruits -- before saying YES.
In the Eastern concept the boy gets to taste the fruits , only after the ceremony. It is an exciting period of discovery. Love will follow.
On the GRAPH of love versus time-- on X / Y axis, a love marriage starts at zero time ( wedding night ) on the horizontal axis and 100% love on the vertical axis.
What is already on top cannot go up any more--remember you had been surviving on love and fresh air and showing only your best behavior and profile to each other , hiding all your warts, BO with perfume and MO with Wrigleys.
Within two months the index falls like an asymptotic curve.
Everything in life is relative. In one , the index keeps falling , while in the other it has to rise.
For what was this love--just an arrangement of convenience.
If you were staying in Mumbai you fall in love with a girl from Mumbai--if you were in Timbuctoo you fall in love with a girl from there. True love knows no barriers of race, religion or age.
My arranged marriage started with the index on zero love at zero time. What is already at rock bottom cannot fall any further. It can only go up. Ego does not play a huge role.
Marriage is an institution which must be respected.
I remember when my crew was Jamaican , and if they did something extraordinary , like winning a race at the Flying Angels athletic meet --
I would pose a question. " Brown , whom did you run for" .
Pat comes the answer " I ran for Maaamma " .
Naturally-- Brown did NOT run for Paaapa because his mother never married,-- she just lived in with lot of men.
However here is my self proclaimed answer to the first question --the first line of this piece. At our honeymoon hotel , they had a package for honeymoon couples. There were 12 newly weds in a nice luxury coach.
Our first stop was the Ooty lake. All the eleven couples went for the foot paddle boats. I went for the rowing wooden boat with the heavy oars-- declined the services of a professional rower, and shot off to the other end of the huge lake like an arrow.
Very soon i could see 11 envious ladies cajoling their husbands to be more romantic ( like me ) and row serenade them , instead of forcing them to use their delicate leg power.
So we had 12 rowing boats in the lake -- pretty soon--with NO professional rowers in them.
Out of these 12 , 11 got stuck in the slush with the grooms unable to row further due to enervated tendons fatigued muscles and blistered palms -- triggering off a huge rescue operation which took two hours, in front of a huge sniggering crowd.-- what with so much of smeared lipsticks and smudged mascaras--
All 11 genteel brides had panicked and were in tears--some of them wailing loudly.
All 11 grooms gave me dirty looks, for spoiling their party -- Their brides were giving me side glances of admiration.
I could see that my wife was proud of me , for she started holding mE hand -- and she had reprogrammed her DNA to respect me for ever HA! ;-).
Below : This picture was taken immediately after the lake rowing incident- my nostrils are dilated and I am sweating and breathing hard -
PSSST, secret -- Why should i tell her than i was a champion team rower of whaler and cutters while in our Training ship which had 250 cadets . We practised almost daily for 2 years. I used to be the bowman , who had 1:6 ratio on the crutch pivot while the rest of the team had 1:3 ( boat is narrow at the bows )
--and my rowing tendons, were seasoned and tough -- like steel wires..