The article “Why this entrance exam for us?'(Open Page, Feb. 6) was interesting. If only we learn to respect the ideas of youngsters on life and marriage, we would not see stereotype marriages which may appear to be happy but are not really so. In most marriages, the spouses bear a lot of grudge against each other. They compromise once they have children. Not that we should not compromise for the sake of our loved ones but the question is how lovable they are. Truthfulness of choice should be respected.
There are too few girls compared with boys in the marriage market. Matrimonial columns have more entries under “brides wanted.” But the fear psyche of girls' parents leads them to keep a permanent low profile which the boys' relatives exploit. I know of girls who have written the entrance exam umpteen number of times for the same course. In one instance, the girl had to undergo the torturous exercise a dozen times before the prospective groom saw her.
The article and my recent experience have prompted me to write this. I responded to a matrimonial advertisement seeking a bride. The “upper middle class” man I spoke to was patently rude. The only thing he wanted to know was whether the girl was employed and when I said ‘no,' he promptly put the phone down. The other man I spoke to was more decent; he wanted a fair and tall girl.
There is a hue and cry over dowry but nobody complains about the demeaning matrimony ads and the manner in which families of prospective grooms behave. They talk as though they are selling a product in short supply. I pity the girl who will eventually marry the first man I spoke to. Girls should decide not to marry men who make such demeaning demands. I am sure men, in due course, will fall in line.
I can relate to the agony of the young software engineer. I approve her move of rejecting the idea of meeting the parents of a man in connection with a marriage proposal. It is a bold step and indeed every marriage should be based on the equality of choice.
The time has come for us to seriously rethink the norms and loosen the “iron chain” that compels a man and a woman to tie themselves down with each other. There is no true friendship, compassion, or empathy in most marriages. Millions of couples tolerate each other. Of course, I have also seen many men and women having a contented relationship in marriage and live-in relationships.