Saturday, July 18, 2009

Incompatible alliances (contd.)

A lot has been said about the role of the man and woman in a partnership, married or otherwise. The success of the alliance depends on how much effort is put in to make it work. True, in fact very true. Another question that comes to one's mind is who gets to decide the upper limit of such an effort? Parents with their experience can give useful tips but their role ends there. If a mother feels that her daughter should be happy to have a responsible husband who cares and provides for her and the family, so what if he is is a home bird and refuses to socialize, she is perhaps not wrong. But neither is she right. Cooped up in the house, dealing with a sick mother in law and troublesome children it is natural of the daughter to want to go out and meet others of her age. A compromise formula has to be worked out by the couple in question. Others cannot decide for them.

Then the question arises as to whether a socially sanctioned license in the form of a marriage is necessary at all? I, for one feel that when human beings grouped themselves into clans and society, the arrangement of getting married evolved. Polygamy was not frowned upon in the beginning mainly because menfolk were hunter-gatherers and their lives were at risk. So it was customary for married men who stayed behind to marry the young widow and take care of her children. Later this arrangement became a right and was extended to men whose wives did not bear children and later to those who did not bear sons. Kings and monarchs married for political reasons and some religions allowed men to take on several partners through marriage claiming that it was God's will. Hindu mythology has every kind of alliance as example starting from Gandharva vivah and swayamvar to a monogamous Ram to Murugan with two wives and our charming Krishna whose relationship with Gopika is claimed to be platonic and Radha was his childhood friend. Meera's devotion was again on an entirely different level. One has to just go through the Mahabharat to understand how flexible a society existed at the time. Trial and error perhaps resulted in the present arrangement where a monogamous marriage is linked to accountabilty and is therefore a widely accepted practise.

However, with the tolerance level going down and the pain and trauma of a divorce becoming more common, the feasibility of the arrangement is being questioned. Women empowerment has blurred the division of labour that existed 50 years back where women looked after the house and men went out to work. Men are no longer the sole providers and women no longer wish to be tied down to the kitchen. I don't see anything wrong there and I am all praise for the current generation of young parents where both partners take equal responsibilty in running a family. Evolution, whether societal or biological, always comes with a price tag. The survival of the fittest. Whether genes or unicellular organisms like bacteria, plants or animals, nature eliminates anything that is known to have a deletorious effect on the community and the environment. They are never allowed to flourish. In my opinion the trauma of the present times will soon give rise to the best possible arrangement and that in my opinion would be acceptable to all. Anything that is unacceptable will automatically be rejected and eliminated. People like me worry in vain.

15 comments:

Deepa said...

I loved your last few lines !
I sometimes feel that way for the increasing westernization of my generation :-)

preetischronicle said...

Interesting post. This sunday's sunday suppliment of TOI carried a front page article regarding marriage. It said, women and men stay in marriage as long as they have something to gain. Some people stay on and do not let one night stands or infidelity ruin many years of wedded life. Thats a view point too. I suggest a read.

McGraw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joy said...

I can't agree more HHG. I don't think there is ever a best possible solution since one solution is not the same for everyone... But yes, we'll survive. We have done for centuries. No worries...

Renu said...

I just hpe that it happens as you think. Otherwise west has gone downward in family values over the years, they were not so self oriented always. sometimes a few generations are ruined before everybody realises the truth.

Anamika said...

Loved your last line. You seem to be such a sweet and wonderful person :)

Hip Grandma said...

deepa:thanks.I don't think the west is to be blamed for what is happening in our society. There is more to it than just western influences.As such with fewer children to depend on parents dare not alienate them.So they keep their opinion to themselves and dare not point out when they feel that their children are wrong. When a parent/children interaction becomes formal children tend to be self centered.

preetischronicle:There are very few buying TOI in Jamshedpur.I'll try to get hold of the Sunday magazine.Should be interesting to read.

Joy:As you say positive changes will remain and society will still survive.

Renu:I hope so too.And I also hope the damage done is not too bad.

Anamika:So sweet of you to compliment me.Thanks.

Shachi said...

Very well said - the last few lines are a great summary. As society evolve, relationships should evolve too - for example marriage here. My husband has reformed a lot since we got married - he now helps me a lot with the household chores and he is sensitive to the fact that I get equally tired as him after a long day. I am hoping to see the same change in society as general, and also hoping that we continue this evolution in the right direction

Hip Grandma said...

shachi:i am so glad that your husband has decided to pitch in and help. In the current scenario where nuclear familes are the rule rather than the exception, even if the wife does not go out to work every little help from the husband is a relief. And if she is a working woman and mother it is all the more necessary. it saves a lot of frustration for the over worked woman.

BluePixo said...

When children see that the family is working together toward a goal, or working together to make life better for one or more members, they are much better able to understand that doing the work of the household is a form of power. They see that their work contributes to the good of all, that they are appreciated, and that they make life better when they pitch in.


*BluePixo Entertainment - A place for mom and dad to share topics about parenthood*

Hip Grandma said...

BluePixo:what you say is very true.The way parents respect each other also matters.

AMIT said...

Really a worth reading post from you.

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Hip Grandma said...

amit:thank you and welcome here.

shoba said...

I have been on vacation and got to see your blog just today. IMHO, I think GenX people had lot of dependencies, same with the cavemen etc...With the current generation and as technology evolves, the dependence on each other for monetary,physical needs is coming down , so unless we are compatible and of same wavelength, it becomes tougher to be together. I am happily married for the past 10 years, to a man that I chose and I think we are still very contented just because we think similarly in so many ways.

Hip Grandma said...

shoba:You are right but only to a certain evtent. It is all in one's attitude and how much one is willing to compromise. Sometimes being of the same wavelength helps at other times it acts as an impediment. Say for instance both are career minded and the wife has to sacrifice her career for the sake of her children or her husband's transferable job. Would she not have to make a difficult choice? So even while having the same view point one has to strike a balance according to the situation and be prepared to do it without a grudge in the larger interest of the family.