For most Indian parents , the clock of age gains momentum the moment a girl turns 21. Immediately their eyes start hunting for a prey or lets say a suitable “Suitor” in sophisticated terms. There is something about turning 21. This is with urbane parents though. For people from rural areas , the moment a girl is born,they start finding suitors and collecting money to spend more than half of their savings for that one night to impress guests who would anyways crib and on the guy who may not be worth it.
The taboo to find the ideal match themselves just doesn’t seem to go. Their compromised life where they had to adjust with the other partner irrespective of their own choices and sacrificing their own beliefs just doesn’t seem to be a lesson good enough to let a child follow their dreams and find someone that he/she likes and feels is good enough for him/her.The biggest pitfall can only be that the person they choose might not be the right one but atleast they would live with peace that they had the right to make their own life choices.
But that doesn’t really happen.Even in the 21st Century , in the name of tradition and beliefs , a lot of things are forced upon . The caste system that should have lost its importance by now still exists in the hearts of many . Not every baniya is a miser and Not every brahmin is greedy or pious but people still tend to generalise these age old beliefs , make jokes on the same and consider even honour killing than marrying out of caste which clearly rules out out inter – religion marriages. A child grows up with the beliefs instilled in him by his parents . So the differentiation created is down here and not up there.For most people,the raging hormones of love are more difficult to understand than Mathematics!!
There are different challenges for both sexes.
For a girl , no matter how educated she is , good looks and a perfect figure are a must because “jo dikhta hai woh bikta hai ” . When you barely know a person then the only way to judge her is by her looks . Looks of course are a must but along with that comes a down to earth attitude with no self confidence and an innate desire to cook and be a good housemaker for it all it takes for a house to shape beautifully is a girl who can manage everything magically. Women are/ should be equipped with this inborn quality of handling everything well . By letting a girl do her job , a man is doing a favour on her and so she doesn’t have the right to complain that she had a bad day.
For a man , no matter how talented he is in other fields , he has got to be in a good government job or earn a handsome package . That is his ticket to any pretty girl with a good background though preferably of the same caste. No matter what a DJ earns , he will still be a “band wala” , a chef will always be a “rasioya” and a fashion designer will always be a “darzi ” .So the stakes are high to get a good girl . But once a guy gets through the above , nothing other than destiny can stop him from getting a girl he can rule on !
A guy can be 28 and still be settling and still look forward to marry a pretty and a young girl but a girl with a similar ambition usually has to settle for men over 35 or divorcees.It almost seems like a crime for her to build a career and not get married. Or just work but not get married.
These taboos will still take some time to settle but eventually they will.There will be a time when there will be many ” Ki & Ka” stories and there will be a lot of co-dependence and sharing of responsibilities and a time when 28 is not too old to get married and a time when almost every mare gets to pick their horse on their own :).