We all are well acquainted with Indian arranged marriage scenario. The 'matrimonial hunt' that ensued when my parents started seeking a 'suitable bride', brought both enlightenment and laughter to my life.
In 2015 my family met a girl's family. After a series of meetings and interviews (which were as good as an interrogation), I finally met the girl. Her discomfort was obvious to my eyes. For breaking the cold and silent discomfort, I started a conversation about how powerful and successful girls are these days. I hoped for some light in her but unfortunately, this conversation made her sink even more.
After minutes of awkward silence I said, "hmmm I realise you are not ready for this alliance" and apologised for anything that may have sounded wrong. I told her that she had nothing to worry about. I said I'll make some lame excuse and break this arrangement and she will be left unscarred.
I got up and started to walk away and then suddenly a soft sob was followed by "I want to marry you." I stopped, turned around and asked why?
She: I want freedom!
Me: And how do you think getting in a bond would set you free?
She: Because I am getting married for the sake of my parents!
Me: Can I help you? Are you being forced or subjugated?
Me: Then what do you want freedom from? Please understand I can only help you if I know the root of the problem.
She: I get everything that a husband can give from my childhood friend. She was also my classmate, my college mate and we have been together ever since.
The reality took seconds to sink in and I realised that she wants to get married for hiding behind the shield of being a wife. She was a lesbian and obviously, at some point of time, her family got a whiff of it and were hurrying her into a wed lock.
We live in a society where marriage and having kids are seen as the ultimate life solution. A society where being backward is called 'cultural' and being intolerant towards emotions of others is called 'care'.