India Diaries: Indian Love Vs. American Love

by Pia Chakrabarti – Her Blog written for Brown Girl Magazine

I Found this post and the amazing blogger through Facebook. The Title of this post intrigued me to read it. Indeed i have to agree to the fact of arrange marriages that are majority in India and the beauty behind it. Arrange marriages are indeed beautiful. Here, have a peep in to what Pia has to say on it –

“I have been in India for over a month now. It’s interesting to observe the way Indians view the world, in contrast to what I have grown up accustomed to in the US. I am particularly intrigued by the Indian view of love and marriage. Growing up, many of us ABCDs (American Born Confused Desis) have thought of arranged marriage as a sort of death sentence. Stuck to a stranger, who your parents chose for you, for the rest of your life. Nothing about that sounds the least bit romantic. When my mother would try to give me advice on my love life, I would think to myself, “what does she know about love or dating?” It never occurred to me that before marriage, she too most likely experienced the delight of childhood crushes and the pain of unrequited love. It definitely never occurred to me that she may have considered my father to be a love interest, because, like 90 percent of marriages in India, it was arranged. But I think I was wrong.

It seems that most people are set up based on thorough background checks and reviewing of the biodata, which is like a life resume, detailing out family history, talents, interests, etc. with a picture attached. Sort of like a dating profile on Match.com, I would assume. However, societies in which the bride and groom are allowed to meet, I don’t think it’s all business. After my parents met and their union was finalized, they would write each other letters. My mother lived in Kolkata and my father lived in another state, but phone calls were expensive back then. My aunt told me that through his cousin who lived in Kolkata, my father once sent my mother a record of Sachin Dev Burman, a popular Indian composer, so they could discuss it in their letters afterwards. As my aunt went on about my parent’s story and how although it had been decided that they would wed several months after the engagement, they had decided to have the wedding much sooner. Now it all started to sound a lot more romantic than I had imagined.

Recently, my friend’s landlords, a couple in their 40′s with two adorable little girls, invited us over for dinner. The wife mentioned that they will be celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this month so I asked them how they met. The husband told me their entire love story in under a minute – they had common family friends, their parents introduced them to each other and within thirty minutes of meeting, they knew they were meant to be together. If we Americans believe in “love at first sight,” what’s so unromantic about an “arranged” marriage where both parties decide that they instantly like each other?

What I find unromantic is that in American dating culture, we are always extra cautious not to show our hand, regardless of how we really feel about the other person. We are often focused on “playing hard to get” and trying not to appear too desperate because we think that admitting our true feelings or saying that we want to move to the next step will scare off the other person. We play so many unnecessary games, over the span of many years, to get to the same point aka marriage. I’m not saying that arranged marriage is the right way to go about things. I’m not saying that I would be able to make up my mind about someone in thirty minutes, or thirty days. I’m just saying, maybe we’ve taken love, a feeling or concept intended to be natural, and over complicated it a bit”

I vs A

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