Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bride in her new home

-By Swetha Amit

An Indian bride is a theme that has popularized several television soap operas. The conflict in the minds of these coy beauties and its causes has been portrayed to a large audience,who lap it all up with fervour.

Most women have undergone this phase or yet to experience this novel feeling of being a newly married. An insight into the emotions that flow like currents in the mind of the "girl turned woman”, provides a useful tool for us individuals to empathize with the feminine gender. Fear, apprehension, nervousness and pressure of living up to people's expectations, understanding her husband and others exhibit the normalcy of such feelings. Also the fact that one is no longer the carefree lass as she was in her own home; sudden shouldering of responsibilities, adjusting to a new place and people are the common thoughts, running through the newly wed. At the same time, wanting to spend time with her spouse alone, during the initial years of marriage is something which isn't unusual for such women. These formative years of the marital union are essential in building a strong foundation to strengthen this sacred bond.

Apart from these internal tensions, external pressures exist in the form of relatives on either side. Uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers and the whole paraphernalia of family members, tend to scrutinize every action and reaction of the newly wed. Commenting on her appearance and the lack of knowledge of certain practices, pressurizing her to comply with the age- old traditions and customs, do not make things any easier for the new member.

The tendency among the Indian society to be critical of the wedding proceedings seems to be indispensable and an integral part of the system. Almost everything from the food, arrangements, wedding venue, guest list, clothes, jewellery, and photography are not spared. Unfortunately, the minds of such people do not rejoice the celebration in the union of two souls. It is indeed a joyful occasion for the two families getting together by the institution of marriage. And not a critic's association to pinpoint faults at every given opportunity, by making scathing remarks at a concerned person/family.

It is indeed a daunting task for a bride to adjust to an entirely different environment, in a short span of time. It takes a while for such a woman to deal with new people who are different from the family she is used to, in her formative years. It is a challenge that she’s expected to deal with people of myriad types, as Psychology says, each individual is different from the other. It has emphasized the reality of human relationships to be complex and diverse. Despite this well known fact of diversity, it is common to see comparisons made knowingly or unknowingly between the new entry and other existing individuals. This is usually with regard to their accomplishments as to who is a better singer, dancer, cook, educated,exposed, or posesses better knowledge. The "better” list just goes on, endlessly.

It is most often not realized that the woman undergoing turbulence in her mind, while entering a new territory, should be made to feel comfortable in more than one way.Efforts in taking that little extra care with their words, statements, gestures, would go a long way to create a positive impact on the new entrant. It is a pity that existing members do not for a minute think; to try and make things easy instead of difficult for the pretty, yet confused bride.

It is a sad plight present even in the modern day scenario;which has remain unchanged since time immemorial.. This is no longer an era of the dark ages. The above cognitive process has been traced back to our great grandmothers. Their eventful stories and experiences of being “Bahus” have been a great source of learning for us contemporary women. This has in turn should motivate us, being the present generation to bring about a change in the marriage and family system. Scope for awareness is abundant with education supposedly broadening the thinking planes of people. Unfortunately,we fail to realize that marriage isn't about the cut throat competition taking place in a corporate world. It isn't about comparing individuals or viewing the new addition as a threat. It’s all about welcoming the new member into their fold and initiating them into their family ,being generous with the allowance of time;to settle down.

In fact many psychologists specialized in the field of marital counseling, emphasize that marriage from a family’s point of view is all about loving the new bride,accepting her the way she is and appreciating her for her qualities, would provide a soothing balm on her nerve wrecking emotions. Putting her at ease,as a first step will earn her unconditional reverence and respect.

Let us begin now, and open out a new perspective for people to understand and empathize with brides and make them feel welcome in their unfamiliar surroundings. After all she’s a bride in her new home,and is there to stay for life, isn’t she?
Written for
Appeared as Editors choice



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