Last time around I had gently touched on the subject of eminent religious heads who advise couples on how to lead a married life while having avowed themselves to a singular life. Since I didn’t receive any death threats (yet), I have decided to extend on that theme and ponder the very question of marriage. Not it’s legitimacy but more so its purpose, and consequently, its relevance.
Marriage is an institution one hears often. But then so is an asylum, the kind that one doesn’t necessarily voluntarily go to but is assigned to by men in white lab coats who spend a lot of time evaluating precisely what type of people they should send there in the interest of society at large. So, by that logic, marriage could be seen as something one gets confined to when they display anomalies in their behaviour that make them perhaps dangerous to society at large. And who are the people in the white lab coats here: most often the parents.
The idea of marriage, as solemnly viewed, is to bring two people together in harmony. In today’s times, a Netflix account can do that just as well although you may argue about which series to binge watch. Not that marriage is without its share of arguments. Netflix, then, is much cheaper on a monthly basis.
So should one marry or not, that’s the conundrum. If you are of a religious bent and a formal ceremony in the presence of your lord, god or cult leader by any other name means that much to you, by all means go ahead. Equally compelling could be a the wish to have Akon come and sing at your sangeet while your friends perform some half-rehearsed dance number. Either ways, whatever makes you happy. As long as the central axis of the whole ritual is to unite two people while distracting them from what’s really coming their way: a life of annoying or being annoyed by only one person for the rest of your life.
The opposite would be to not get married. You could choose to cohabitate and share responsibilities and expenses and never be any different from a married couple. Sure some people may raise an eyebrow at first but eventually everybody has their day to get on with, with their own set of problems to occupy themselves with. Simply put, living in can be tantamount to marriage.
In an age when love is so commoditised and dispensable the idea of an eternity together can sound like a drab bargain. While some of us idolise the ideal of finding meaning only through coupling, others might feel equally useful pursuing the fine arts or simply the decadence of sleeping till late every day. As long as it keeps you on the brink of sanity, it can be your worthwhile life choice.
I am not trying to be a fence sitter about this, merely attempting to help you reach your point of conviction, whichever side of the border it may fall. If you choose to cohabitate, congratulations! And should you instead opt to marry, once again congrats!...