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-Fivr-

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Posted: 25 May 2011 at 8:44pm | IP Logged
Alright.. So this might be a totally pointless question, but bear with me for a bit. EmbarrassedLOL I was just reading this recently posted TOI article and it mentioned Priya being happy-go-lucky and content with her life the way it is! Which is all great, really! But I was just wondering if this is really possible outside of a television show - real wali duniya mein, especially with in the desi community is it possible for a girl OR a guy to be unmarried "past their prime shadi wali umar" and be perfectly happy/content with it? Ermm

Personally, I don't know if it's really possible. I mean, I don't think k marriage is the end-all-be-all of life and I do think you can live a pretty fulfilling life without getting married. But I also think that our culture (and I may be out-dated in my knowledge here since I haven't been back home in a long while.. Embarrassed) usually makes a taboo out of being unmarried past a certain age.. I mean, it might have changed and these may just be isolated incidents but I've heard of way too many "umar nikal jaye gi" and "achey larkey/larkiyan phir nahi milte" and "ab kaun shadi karey ga" type dialogues in social circles with a very sad/dejected connotation.. Jaise it's totally UNNATURAL for someone to be unmarried past a certain age and that we need to "rush" and get married jaldi sey "acha larka/larki" dhoond k because warna "achey larkey/larkiyan milte nahi".. LOL So really, in a culture that places marriage at such a pedestal (in a good way) it almost seems natural k they'll make a big fuss about getting married on "time".. And give you a bunch of grief (that may eventually rub off on you) for not getting married in your "shadi wali" umar..

However, if you do manage to ignore the immense societal pressures, then I guess there may also be a personal void that you may feel in your life.. To me marriage at the end is about companionship and partnership - about having someone there who you can share your life with, the good and the bad.. And it seems that as you grow older, you seem to be reminded of your loneliness even strongly.. All your friends/relatives get busy in their life and while you may be busy with work and stuff, at the end of the day you come to an empty home/room.. And I think THAT may be a bit harder to tackle or ignore.. It may be something that you'd be able to ignore for the most part or learn do deal with, but I do think k that regret/loneliness would still be there.. Just because we (men and women alike) need companionship - we don't like to be alone (most of us at least.. LOL). And I do think that while we may be content with our life for the most part, sooner or later the loneliness does catch up with us.. Even if it is just for a moment, as we look at a happy couple sitting on a bench or a mother play with her child or a dad giving "airplane rides" to his son.. We are reminded of what we may be missing out on and in those fleeting moments we can't ignore that strong feeling of regret..

Or at least that's what I think.. EmbarrassedLOL

So I guess, then I was wondering if we'd be able to see this "struggle" in Priya's character too? See her trying to find that balance between being content with her life and maybe tackling a few regrets in the process...? I don't want her to be crying din raat because she isn't married - I want her to be living a full life and being happy with it! But maybe, every once in a while she may be reminded of her loneliness..? I mean, I guess I'm just curious to see how Priya's character will be - will she be completed nonchalant about her marital status or will she be the "zindagi sey samjhota kar k - when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" type of girl..? *wonders* Ermm

*realizes she probably did not make any sense at all there*

Umm.. Sorry for the ramble guys! EmbarrassedLOL

 

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psawyer

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 12:55am | IP Logged
Hey Fivr! Hug lovely topic. Lemme give my two cents. 

Leaving aside the issue of culture and societal pressures - because, as you say, in our culture being unmarried is a total taboo and gossip/scandal-worthy thing - I think in your own personal life, it is possible to be content without marriage. Maybe that's because I have not grown up / lived in a country where every man and his dog will look at you weirdly if you are a single woman with no intention of getting married. It does make a difference where you are, what your surroundings are. Here in England, there is no shame or taboo in being a single woman not bothered with marriage - people don't immediately think that something is wrong with you, that you couldn't get married, as opposed to you didn't want to get married. 

It all comes down to self-esteem and your confidence in your own life. I agree with you that marriage isn't always - or just - about getting a man and popping out babies; it's about friendship and companionship and compatibility. BUT, I think you can get  that in other ways also. Yes, as you grow older, your friends get married and have kids and other lives and drift away from you, and that may make you feel lonely - but to my mind, there is a difference in being lonely and being alone. One can happily be alone without being lonely, as long as they are comfortable in their alone-ness. And there are plenty of people and opportunities in this world to find a moment of companionship with.

As human beings, I think we are not built entirely for solitude, though. We get sad and jealous and happy and lonely and yes, we are conditioned by birth (whether you are Indian, Pakistani, Asian or none of the above) to want to be with people, marriage or no marriage. So one cannot be perfectly happy by themselves. But my problem is that many people use this fear of being alone to jump into something that doesn't really help them in the long run.

You talk about the "perfect age to get married" syndrome - let me share some examples. I have some old friends from school who got married right out of high school and university, at 18 and 21. Now they have husband and three/four year old kids. Which is all well and good, and I'm happy for them - maybe they found exactly what they were looking for - but what now? Now you are a 23-year old wife and mother with a child and a marriage and mortgage and an uphill struggle. You've got about 50 years of the same thing, every day. What about the rest of your needs - the career, the friendships, the travelling, the learning about life and finding out who you really are? How can you effectively do all that while you have these ties so early in your life? By Indian standards, these girls married at "just the right time". To me, they seem impossibly young. I get very annoyed with all the auntie-jis who came up with this "prime shaadi wali umar" - where did they pull this number out of?! Back in the day, girls got married at 8, 9 , 13. These were prime ages? Children?! Now, the prime age is apparently 18-23, because after that the girl becomes...what? Stale? She loses her eggs so can't bear babies anymore? It's such an archaic and arbitrary system. And what it does is give these girls far too much pressure to marry someone in the correct time because with every passing year they are withering away Wacko. So they make bad choices and are either stuck with it for the rest of their lives, or they go on divorcing sprees and generally lose their identities. This is not a good picture of marriage. 

I think that you are right - people want companionship and partnership and to  fill that void. How they choose to fill it - with people, with work, with pets, with travelling etc - is each individual person's choice. But I think if a person can put aside the societal pressures - and indeed, the pressure that they put on themselves as a result of societal pressures - then they can be happy without marriage. In this day and age, where half of marriages end in divorce, and countless others are suffered in silence - do we really need to add to the statistics of marriage simply to please others? Whether or not this is controversial for others, to me it seems worth saying that people can live together and, have lives together, without marriage. I know many people who are not married but have lived together happily for years - they have children, joint bills, pets and all the other trappings of marriage. But because they never got "married", they effectively removed all that pressure and expectation and simply focused on what they wanted. And so they are happy. And can you really say that after all that, they are not married? Maybe they don't have the piece of paper, the ritual, the mangalsutra, the sindoor. But if that is what marriage means, then it has no meaning. Marriage is not about an object but about a state of mind and a higher connection between two people. If they are committed to each other and their lives, if they love each other - can we really say that this isn't exactly what marriage is supposed to be?

It's not a one-size fits all solution, certainly - but I think it is worth thinking about. The modern world brings with it many changes, and as women - especially women - get older and more independent, more feminist and more powerful in the world, I think that the associations we make with marriage vis a vis women should be rethought. As you rightly say, marriage is not the be-all and end-all of a woman's life anymore, and this needs to be reflected not only in society and the so-called patron saints of marriage, but also in the definition of the term itself. 

As for Priya, I certainly hope she is not the dukhyaari, zindagi se samjhota type girl. That would be staid and really quite irritating, though totally apropos of Ekta's taste in heroines LOL. One of my favourite promos of this show was the one where Ram and Priya are on the balcony and he asks her "Kabhi pyar nahi hua?" and she replies "koi mila nahi". He is surprised, but in the very next instant, she asks him the same thing, and his answer surprises her. But it's such a natural thing - she seems perfectly content with her reply that she simply never found the man she wanted to be with, and he finds it odd because she's so beautiful; he is perfectly content with his reply that he was always too busy with work, and she finds that odd and unsettling, as if thinking that work cannot be a substitute for love. 

This to me is the perfect portrayal of Priya - yes, she believes in love (and maybe marriage) and thinks that work/career cannot be the mainstay of your life to the exclusion of everything else...but at the same time, the fact that she didn't find anyone to love/marry before is not exactly sending her into fits of hysterical tears. I hope they keep that balance in her character and try to avoid the stereotypical cliches of the girl who prays to God to find her a husband, if only to make her worried parents happy Sleepy


Edited by psawyer - 26 May 2011 at 1:05am

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RockChicGirl

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 5:19am | IP Logged
Right now if you look at the world apart from North America and Europe marriage is the most important event for a person. But is it possible to ignore society and remain happy and single? I think that mostly depends on the kind of person you are. Mostly we humans are conditioned for companionship. And society around us makes it tougher esp for women to remain single. You might see guys having a boys night out...but rarely is that kind of thing seen among women atleast in South Asian countries.
Coming to the kind of character Priya will be...I dont think they will dwell on Priya's single life though I would have prefferred that. 

Edited by kshreya2002 - 27 May 2011 at 2:16am

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 6:30am | IP Logged
1stly ... Wonderful Post , well written i say

And getting back to your Topic - To stay single is not possible. 98% of times its not. You always do have ppl around you pestering you to get married. A girl attains an age of 22 & the guy turns 26-28, and people start enquiring rather haunting with questions abt marriage. Even if parents dont, the relatives deffinitely do it.Ouch Marriage is certainly not the end to life but then think about it from your parents point of View. For a parent, getting thier kids married and seeing them settling in life is the last thing they wish to see. They feel after that thier responsibility gets over.

I personally believe marriages happen by destiny. You cant force ppl in this and if you do you are ruining that persons life. I feel for marriages Understanding is really important along with compromising. These 2 togethere make marriages successful. But now a days i have seen cases where though ppl get married bcoz parents ask them too but fail to develop understanding in thier relation and eventually the relationship fails.

As for Priya's character in this show. Its said she doesnt get married bcoz she had to take care of her family. Now with her getting married and that too arrange marriage we get to see how she balances the 2 lives - of being a Daughter and a Wife. Also along with that this story more so potrayes Love after marriage. So am sure Priya n Ram would have thier issues and awkwardness after marriage which usually ppl face in Real Life too and how they go abt with it would be the story this entire show would Focus on.

would add more laterEmbarrassed if possible

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AreYaar

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 6:30am | IP Logged
Lovely topic, FivrHug

I think we're all that stage in life were these questions feel pertinent in many ways.

Talking generally, I agree that marriage is not the end all and be all of a woman's life...cultural pressures are always there, true...but I'm talking aside from that...from a basic human perspective, it is in our DNA to want companionship...now that companionship doesn't necessarily have to be marriage...everyone finds it in their own way...some ppl are happy enough passing their entire life through casual relationships as long as they have SOMEONE at all points to alleviate their loneliness, some ppl lose themselves in their work, pets, hobbies...anything...everyone finds their own solution.


I don't think marriage is always necessary but everyone does in some ways crave a PERMANENCE to their relationships...one relationship you can count on for the rest of your life to stand by you through thick and thin...a relationship you can have complete faith in...marriage brings  two ppl together with that thought...but as we see today, it doesn't work out like that for many ppl...maybe ppl rush into it for the sake of it, due to society pressures or whatever and it all falls apart...however the original thought behind the institution is to give you a permanence in your life going forward...I think basic human DNA has us crave companionship...that is what bonds as together us human beings...and everyone wants stability in those bonds...


Now coming to the show, Priya's character sketch states that she has chosen to devote her entire life to taking care of her family and is passionate about working for NGOs...she feels marriage has passed her by...maybe it wasn't meant for her...so she has found happiness in devoting herself to work and family...I think humanly she must feel a pang from time to time but she doesn't dwell on it...probably feels a pang of loneliness for a second but brushes off and focuses on what she does have in life...which is probably what most of us do as well.

Everyone craves long term companionship, someone to truly love you and support you for the rest of you life... but they may not always find it...some ppl are lucky enough and some aren't...but everyone manages to get through life somehow...lol

Ok, that's it for my vague rambling on this subject :P


Edited by nureat01 - 26 May 2011 at 6:31am

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 7:23am | IP Logged
lovely post fivr very well written :)

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 9:35am | IP Logged
Wonderful discussion point, Fivr..

Single and Happy? I think it is possible. The main thing is to be *happy*, whether married or single.

It is so natural in society to attach being happy to the events in life.. marriage, kids, as if, if one person chooses not to participate in any event, they are often termed lonely or sad or *out of their mind*.

I agree what Vasu said, earlier the marriageable age was 6 or 7, now it is the 18-23, for purely medical reasons to bear children. That is just assumed. You get married, have kids and be *settled* in life.

Well, to each their own. If a person chooses to be settled in life without marriage or kids, should they be judged based on their choices? Most cases, they would be considered as an alien, I guess.

There was this ending dialogue in a Rishta.com episode, which I absolutely loved. It talks about *being single and being happy*

Check from 2.50


I hope everyone gets to live life on their own terms and hope Priya is one of them, who is just as happy being single as she might be being married ...

-- Mru

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Posted: 26 May 2011 at 9:39am | IP Logged
Mru, the die hard Chandana fanLOL

I think Avantika in R.com was a free spirit, almost nomadic type of character...not exactly the most stable of ppl...I truly don't think she herself had a clue about what she really wanted in life...flitting from one thing to the next.

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