East vs West = Marriage vs Divorce?

“Mom i’m sick”
Mom i’m Divorced”
“WTF Your life is OVER”

I know two types of people in my life (real experience, not fictional).

The first, our my maternal grandparents. I’ve always heard my Nani giving me advice about how i should live my life, not stop my career for any boy and do whatever the fuck i want to do. She always talks about her teenage days, her arranged marriage to my Nanu (FYI, I’m quite fond of him). There is always one peculiar thing she mentions: she wishes she had done things maybe slightly differently.
She wishes she hadn’t married early, maybe gone for a more stable family life and maybe lived in a society where divorce was more acceptable (especially during her youth).

The second, is my Nanu’s elder brother. Lets call him MMK. He passed away few months ago due to cancer. He got diagnosed with it 2 years ago but, the life in him never ended. His stories were not of regret or sorrow. His stories were full of fond memories, a glitter in his eyes every time he spoke about whatever he did in life.
It would be important to mention here that MMK was a bachelor. Never married and no kids.

Now why am i making these two comparisons?
Because this experience of two contrasting people (and many others) made me realise one thing which many people in our society don’t.

A little background first.

I grew up in a household where sex was a hushed up topic. My mother once said “i would always suggest that sex is something that you should avoid before marriage”.
It felt kind of strange coming from her until one day she gave the most logical explanation (overflow of sarcasm): Our culture is like this. Look at the western people, so many divorces and single mothers.”
BOOM. There it is. MARRIAGE.

Now a slight analysis please.

So there is an apple and this one guy has the apple and its really sweet, exactly how he likes it. The other guy hates the sweetness. Now logic would tell you that the apple isn’t wrong. Its just that the other guy doesn’t like sweet things and therfore he doesn’t like the apple while the first guy loves it for the same sweetness which is OKAY. Right?

Now keeping in mind the example above: why is sex and being a single mom or divorced SO BAD?
Every year these surveys keep coming up where they proudly show that India has less divorce rates than America and UK, Like boohoo you westerners.
But have you ever considered how many of those marriages in india are healthy? Ever heard of child marriage? Domestic abuse? A society(family per say) that doesn’t approve of divorce? Villages that look down upon a divorced woman? People like my grandmother who never had a job and couldn’t afford a divorce and handle 4 kids on her own and the society’s taboo with it? Do a survey on that.

And this national pride over “oh look we have the lowest divorce rate”. Really? Is divorce such a bad thing? You got the lowest polio rate or malaria/dengue rate then yeah go fucking celebrate. But divorce? Something which should be an option for people to openly choose from has become a criteria for negative judgement not only in India, but around the globe.
Who said marriage has to be an ultimate agreement? Why do we human beings have this mindset related to marriage per say where once its done, it cannot be broken. If you’re not happy with the person then why would you continue in it?
And why does it have to be taken as a western influence?

Get me straight here: I’m not saying all divorcees are always happy and single mom’s are happier than married mom’s. What i’m saying is your happiness starts with your own comfort zone. And your comfort zone can be anything. Being divorced might make you happy; being married might make you happy; being a single mom might make you happy cause you don’t want to be married but you want to be a mom; and being married might make you happy cause you always wanted a complete family.
But why bound and restrict yourself to it? Change is constant. Even in your life.
And, who said every sexual activity has to lead to marriage.
I’m not even contesting the notion of arranged marriage. Because like i said, some people prefer starting a family and some prefer it this way. What i disagree is with FORCED marriages. And marriages that are forced to be upheld even when the two people its made for aren’t happy with it.
Marriage is between:
Wife/Husband; Husband/Husband; Wife/Wife or like it goes on.
Its not my marriage to my society, my friends and my family. I do it for myself. Because i want to. But the day you stop being in a marriage for that ‘I’ and stay in it for the ‘they’ in terms of societal norms, its no longer a marriage. Its a partnership/agreement that you live with to keep the peace and harmony around you. but not within you.

This rant came up when i saw this amazing post by Abhay Deol on his Facebook page related to the recent mumbai sex raid where he supports the idea of a liberal society and then unfortunately, this lovely comment popped up that went kind of like this:
“…..In the name of liberalization and western thinking stop acting like idiots and support every crap. There are so many single moms in western world due to this behaviour.”

My outrage is towards the fact that being a single mom is automatically portrayed as a negative thing. And my rant was to put forward my point as to why i believe it is NOT.

You can make all the laws you want and put all the punishment you want in a book. That book will be sitting in some attorney’s office on his desk when someone will walk in to put forward a case regarding sexual assault, forced marriage or dowry or anything related to the current social issues faced by females.
But thats just the treatment.
You know what precaution you can take? Start changing your tolerance and your thinking. Even at home.

A girl doesn’t report a rape case because the family doesn’t want any shame or stigma: this same fear is the reason she has been married in a household where her husband’s brother rapes her. Beta, shaadi thori na todh sakte hai, log kya kahege. 

Ending a marriage isn’t terrible, but being in a bad one is.
Being raped doesn’t define or break your morals and character. But keeping quite about it breaks YOU.
Having sex with someone you love or just want to isn’t wrong. But doing it just to please the society is.
Being a single mom isn’t terrible, but feeling like a single mom in a marriage is.

Get rid of this shame, taboo and judgement. Trust me society, you’ve attached them to the wrong things.

2 thoughts on “East vs West = Marriage vs Divorce?

  1. Kudos on penning down your frustrations! You make excellent points. I like the last few lines the best. They send out a very strong message. Sex has always been such a taboo topic in this country that even in school, when we decided to have a discussion on why it’s a taboo, the teachers couldn’t formulate their points properly (they would have to say ‘sex’ out loud). We have change this archaic mindset of ours. There is no other way.


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