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A lot has changed since the power shifted from the baby boomers to generation X and now in the hands of millennials. Not only has the meaning of physical possessions like money has changed, a lot of change can also be witnessed on the personal and social front. One excellent example of such a change that the world has witnessed is in terms of love life and eventually, marriages.
If you look at the ‘trends’ in love and eventually getting married, we have grown liberal, free, thoughtful, responsible but sadly, casual as well. Let’s look at how we have grown and how far have we come from what our culture initially termed as a marriage.
I am a millennial and I do not know how my parents or their parents looked at love, sex and marriage during their young days. But, a small discussion with them unveiled a lot of information that my generation would definitely be interested in. We already know how love and sex were a taboo back then. Just mention to them how much you like a guy or a girl (whatever suits you) from your work or class and you will be told how unrealistic these things were during their days. They will come up with all sorts of stories and incidents involving astonishing arrays of decisions and choices that their generation ‘had’ to take in order to be happy. Yet, they were far from happiness. Personally, I feel, more than shocking, the incidents from the past involving love marriages are intimidating. In fact, some of these are so intimidating that they would leave you deserted in the middle of nowhere questioning yourself if liking someone is really this wrong.BUT, it does not end here.
Our grandparents really do not understand where to start the stories of their time and where to end them. Yesterday, they told you that love was not a thing for their time; and today, they will happily tell you stories about ‘laila – majnu’ and ‘heer – ranjha’ and how pure their love was. HOW COME, at the same point in time, when love was NOT in the air, did such couples thrive? I mean, to be so much in love that one’s stories would be told to generations, one has to be more than a kid. Now, I know one thing for sure – child marriage was a thing back then. Your grandparents were probably married before they were even fifteen. Now considering this fact and then combining it with how Laila and Majnu died for each other does not make any sense. For this to be true and believable, I got to be missing a lot of dots!
Probably the only thing they were, and, are proud of – Arranged Marriages. Ask them about the marriage trend of their time and they would gladly tell you how their parents put them into arrange marriage and how much thankful they are for it. BUT DUDE, you were a child when you got married. Do you really think you would have been able to find yourself a soul partner at the age of 12 or 15 when candies were the best thing happening in your life? I do not blame them but seriously, they should get over the ‘arrange marriages are better’ thing.
I could rant some more but let’s forget about discussing sex and move on to the better topics.
Honestly, I feel sad for this generation. They are fixed between the ‘sanskar’ and modernization. They were taught that love and sex are the topics that should be discussed in the closed rooms but the present-day culture forces them to come out and talk about love and sex in the public.
Although some of them have been able to create a new comfort zone around the modern society but a lot of people from the Gen X are still struggling; and then there are the clever ones who have adopted modern methods to an extent but still stick on to the cultural discipline taught to them. They keep on juggling it in their favor and creatively come up with amazing solutions to all the problems. With love, they did the same thing.
The generation of our parent’s is highly creative. They have created some of the best arts and crafts that we see around ourselves. As a result, this generation learnt to be wild and carefree. They explored several forays around them. They left their homes, went out to work and eventually hooked up with someone and fell in love. An interesting thing here is the fact that, most love stories thrived because they were hidden from the elderly of the society, who otherwise would have made sure that it ended in misery.
Gradually, this generation learnt to take a stand, and face some real pressure. They were boiled and melted and the ones who still stood firm were the ones that got into love marriages. However, for most of these couples who had a love marriage, life was not as easy it is today. They had to face a lot of resistance from the families, society and even friends. All this surely made them weak and terrible; and this is why I respect the people who got into relationships during the days when cell phone was just a vision and landed up in a marriage.
They prevailed, and still dominated. Why? Because the parental pressure was still very high. The society had become a little liberal thanks to freedom of expression in form of arts but the free opinion was still far away. Our parents, like their parents had a little opinion in their marriage matters (sanskars). As a result, although they loved the idea of a love marriage, they could not get into one because they did not want to piss off their parents. It sounds stupid to you but to them, this was the truth. Anyway, arranged marriages happened with full swing and someone’s lover became someone else’s spouse and finally here we are calling them mother and father.
For this generation, discussing sex is a little weird. They want to do it but at the same time, they do not know how to do it. Sit with any of your parent and try discussing any made up sex related thing with them and you will understand what I am talking about.
My favorite part, discussing what think and how we react. We are by far the best and the worst generation India has seen. Best, because we are the future and we are creating the world with our brains. Worst because our parents think so. We will discuss the unrealistic and highly materialistic aspirations and expectations that our parents have with us some other day, for now, let’s discuss our take on love and marriage.
We, millennials, do not look at love like our previous generations. To us, love has a wider meaning. To us, love is a feeling like no other, that can happen either once or multiple times with multiple people. Western culture has an effect on us? Yes, it does. BUT, the Indian roots are far more grounded than our parents know. No, we do not consider love as a first step towards marriage. However, we still believe in the Indian norms of finding a marriage material. Having said that, we want to be sure that we are in love with the one we are going to marry irrespective if it’s a love marriage or an arranged marriage.
I bet most of you would agree with me on this that to us, getting married is not the next step after love. For us, getting married means that no other person we come across in the rest of our lives will ever make us feel more magical. We are not afraid of commitments but we need to be sure before putting a foot down that we are going in the right place with the right person. Sadly, we do not want our parents to interfere in this matter and we wish to find the right person on our own no matter how many times we fail. We are confused and stuff but this is how we like to live and love.
Adults would be surprised to know that all of us, and I mean each and every one of us wants to be in a love marriage. Even if you are going to put us in an arranged marriage, we will ensure that the two of us who are going to get married are in love for at least 4 months before we get married (Give me a hi5 in the comments section if you agree with me).
Marriage to us, like our previous generations is a holy institution that we do not want to abuse. This is why we only get married when we are sure about it. We might not be getting married as and when you want but trust us, when we do get married, we make sure it is the best for us. I am not going to favor any kind of marriage but I am just going to shed some light on a few things that our generation feels about love, sex and marriage. Let’s begin the bumpy ride.
Look at the world around you, there is so much to worry about. The pollution is engulfing us, North Korea might start a war anytime, disturbing GST laws, mass shootings, unusual murder and rape cases and all you are worried about is if I am virgin or not? How are you able to maintain so much ignorance around you? My generation is liberal and free when it comes to sex. We are the people who practice 50 Shades of Grey and love it, need I say more? We are a generation that loves to explore and our bodies are just one destination that we go to.
But hey, again, if you are one of the few unlucky chaps who have never been able to get laid, you sure are obsessed with your partner being virgin. *Smiling sarcastically* “virginity is not dignity, it is just the lack of opportunity”, it’s okay, you can agree, nobody’s judging. But, if you are still sticking to it that you are virgin because you wanted to be, good for you, still, nobody’s judging.
I would not deny it; my generation has a lot of divorces. Sometimes, it is for stupid reasons but most of the time it is for the good of at least one person in the relationship. But please do not judge us until you know our side of the story and why we thank god for divorces.
When I say stupid reasons, I mean reasons where in one or both the partners were cheating, or wherein the guy asked the girl to cook dinner or where in the girl asked the guy to stop going out with friends so often and the partners finally ended up in a legal situation. All these reasons are idiotic and should be frowned upon for destroying a precious bond. But, what can we do? The world is made up of all sorts of people and my generation is no different.
However, there are a few reasons, I think divorces are good. Divorces save lives when one partner tortures another partner. Divorces save lives when one partner cheats. Divorces saves lives when one partner is in the marriage to commit a civil or criminal crime and stuff like that. The toxicity is the society has always been there. The difference is, the levels of toxins in the society have now increased. Education is one way to stop but education is also what teaches us when to stop taking things the way they are and stand up and fight for yourself, read divorce.
In a way,yes; but in another way, no. We have definitely learnt to be open minded and more accepting than our parents. We have accepted Indian as well as western ideologies alike and believe in individuality thus giving each other more space and freedom. As a result, our relationships are more satisfying and fulfilling, personally. However, due to the same reasons, we have grown impatient towards each other. We have started being demanding at the same time; and when our demands are not fulfilled, we do not think twice before deciding to move on. Our parents put in their everything to make their situations and marriage work, but we somehow find an easier way in escaping the burden and responsibilities which definitely make us weaker than our parents. Can we learn from them? I think we should. What do you think you can take away from your parent’s wedding and apply it in your relationship?