(Names changed to protect identities)
Contrary to what you would like to believe about love, marriage and happiness – I’m sorry to break it to you but marriages are not made in heaven. If they were, they’d all be perfect and divorce would not even exist. Sadly, the cosmos or the stars or even God himself, has no part to play in your married life. It is a conscious decision that you actively take for your own self, and the sooner you accept that, the better it is.
Once you realize that marriage is in your hands, that your partner isn’t ‘meant’ to be in your life but is in your life because you want them to be, you will probably start making better choices about who you love and who you will one day marry. So remember, don’t take your partner for granted because you think marriages are decided in heaven. Love and cherish them deeply because you chose to stand by them forever.
Not All Marriages Are Made In Heaven
My friend is a liberal and very adept at spouting garden-variety philosophy and telling the world how it should live. The sort of guy who says we should all love one another and how he hates people who don’t. Some idealist, right?
Anyway, his son moved to Houston, to start a better life like most young Indian boys do. The young man did just that and fell in love quickly with this beautiful Texan girl who just blew him away.
After three months of high-octane thinking, he finally broke the news to his uncle to break the news to his dad who could then break the news to his wife (the mother) and generally let them know that the family tree was going to have a spot of bother. He simultaneously co-opted his sister so that she and Uncle could conspire to break the news to his parents that the apple of their eye was not going to marry that girl they had in mind for his visit next month. Actually, wipe that out – the string of girls they had in mind would be accurate.
Anyway, they gently crushed the egg and after reeling about in shock, his mum predictably hopped into bed and went into her, ‘Woe is me, what have we done to deserve this?’ routine and ‘what will we tell Rukmini’s parents?’ The father said, “Told you we should never have sent him to Gomorrah, now see, we have an American daughter-in-law.”
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The two had tied the knot already
The minor detail left out at this juncture was that their son had omitted to tell them he had already plighted the troth, tied the knot, signed the register, done the deed, traipsed along to the tune of the Wedding March and he could now legally kiss the bride.
The two were so in love, they were convinced that their bond was unbreakable and that they would never leave each other’s side. This is why Arun even had the gall to go ahead and marry who he thought was the one, without even telling his parents. Indian boys normally don’t tread such a path.
After his mum sort of recovered from this news, virtue was dredged and discovered in the fact that at least the babies would be fair and might even have blue eyes and as the colonial legacy and Indian prejudice against darker skin kicked in, these factors could make the neighbors envious and things were not all that bad as originally imagined.
Brave faces were bought in bulk and passed around the family. With Indians – they say marriages are made in heaven and that arranged marriages are the right way to spend your life with someone. But Arun had different plans.
Three days before their arrival, he let them know inadvertently that his wife was a non-vegetarian and having said ‘wife’ he could not retract his commitment. His mum let out a wail, and as the truth sank in, went back to the same bed, where she wallowed in imagined chest pain.
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The parents were in for a surprise
The father, with the standard level of imagination bestowed upon the male species, said, “I told you we should never have sent him. ” Ah well, time doesn’t care for such niceties and the flight was on schedule and the family, through the uncle and the sister, were ordered to assemble en masse at the airport and show solidarity to shut the neighbors up.
There he was, coming through the exit but wait, who was that black girl holding his arm? As they approached, the girl bent to touch their feet in a gesture her husband had said might go down very well. What a way to impress the mother in law!
The only one going down was this beautiful Afro-American medical research scientist with features to die for and skin like milk chocolate, only better, and a voice just short of husky that Ella Fitzgerald would kill for. Drop-dead gorgeous with a brain to boot.
Arun’s mum almost collapsed upon seeing her. The father shunned his son by pulling back. Everyone sort of yelped and the more cruel members of the family smirked as they thought of the comeuppance awaiting this section of the family in the neighborhood. Ha ha, go to America and become rich, huh, serve you right.
They came for three weeks. They stayed three days, the third day because he had to get a connecting flight back to Houston. Oh yes, they moved to a hotel the next morning, because Mum went back to bed and Dad started smoking again. And no one came to the dining table.
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Is It True That Marriages Are Made In Heaven?
To the traditional Indian family, yes. With the arranged marriage system, most Indian families are completely convinced that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is some kind of a soulmate if your family picks them out and if your horoscopes match perfectly.
Indeed, that is not the case. Marriages are not made in heaven but rather made by you. To Arun’s parents who did always believe that marriages are decided in heaven, this came as a great shocker. They thought he was straying from the path of who he was meant to be. But Arun knew what he was doing.
Not all marriages are made in heaven and he knew. So he went out and pursued what he felt was right for him.
It has been nine years. His parents have never revisited him and his wife.
Because of how strongly one feels about the ones we love, it is simpler to assume that God has a role to play in us finding the one. Thus, they say marriages are made in heaven. But your experiences, nature and belief system will help you decide the same. Marriages are not made in heaven, or are they?
That depends on you, your faith and your belief system. But for now, working on the marriage in the present at hand is what is most important for you to lead a happy married life.