You Don't Need Love To Get Married In India, You Need The Same Caste

Anonymous Anonymous in Culture Shock on 12 March, 2017

As I sit down and start writing this, there are so many questions in my head. A four letter word – LOVE — constitutes of so many memories, emotions, strength and peace.

I would like to share our story, hoping no one ever has to go through this just because they love each other. Pause. To be honest, our story was quite simple and straightforward. We never fell in love, it followed us instead. Her being there for me and with me gave me the subtle happiness that I had never experienced before. I am pretty sure, it was the same for her with me on her side. Was this enough to get us married? NO.

I come from a conservative family that feels very strongly about their culture and values. I knew it was going to be a big NO from my family because she belonged to a different caste. We still decided to go ahead with our commitment towards each other because we knew together we could share our joy and happiness. We had so much to give, not just between us, but to everyone.

Advertisement
I would sometimes even tell her, "We are the 'A team', together we can pull off anything" and that was so true.

But why was it so hard for my family to accept her? I do not blame anyone but I fail to understand the perspective they have towards love where they are so unwilling to give it a chance. They had a firm stance and that was, they cannot accept her.

Yes, she came from a different caste but she's a human being first. May be with no knowledge of our caste and culture but someone who was willing to accept it with utmost happiness.

I also understand why the talk about love marriages is an offbeat topic in India. It's because the way it is looked at is how it will go with other family members and how it will affect them. Everyone holds their ground.

Advertisement

You cannot and should not judge a person based on their race and caste – that offends me. India has a vibrant mix of culture, what possible harm can people cause if they come from two different cultures? Instead all they can possibly do is celebrate the festivities of both cultures together — isn’t it a good thing? Why don’t we think like this?

Convincing my side of the family took me a long time and they agreed finally, only because they wanted to see me happy. I failed there again, I forced them to accept it. When you are forced, that is not love. It means you have no other option. But we took it as a good sign because we understood each other.

We knew how important our parents were to us and we had a lot of love and respect to give them. The next step was to fix a marriage date, my heart felt at peace, my face had a constant smile and on the inside I could feel all the energy but little did I know that everything was going to go down and go down in no time. Time was running, I was shuttling between both parents.

Something had to be done, her parents wanted to fix a marriage date soon but my parents did not.

As a society, why do the girl's parents say, "Because we are from the girl’s side, she has to get married early." Is this right? Is getting married at a certain age a criteria? Is it more important than the person she is going to get married to? And my parents would not budge because now they had agreed, so they didn't want to compromise over anything else.

Advertisement

We had to do something to address the concern from both sides – I saw no other option but to tell her parents to let us exchange our horoscopes. Again, this was to assure them that everything was good from my family’s side. 

The worst day of our life was yet to arrive, the horoscopes did not match and a decision was made by her family that this may not work. I was shocked.

The only reason I had our horoscopes exchanged was to buy us more time and give her parents some assurance that I was serious. Her parents supported our love for the longest time but the horoscopes even turned them against the love that we had for each other.

My mom had clearly told me that they will not see the horoscope because she was worried about what would happen if they did not match. We wouldn't have even seen this day had my family accepted our love since the beginning. Why is accepting love between two people so difficult? Why is it always thought on family level? Why as a society we base our love based on race and religion? These questions will remain unanswered but not my will to step down.

Having said this, I step out of my house again with both our horoscopes one last time praying to God that the astrologer I see tells me everything I want to hear.
Editor's Note:

Please share this story because this needs to spread like wild fire. When is a good time for this backward thinking to really end? How many years of modernisation?