Monday, November 05, 2007

Grooming for attention?

-By Swetha Amit
The beginning of an Indian wedding scenario starts with the much anticipated arrival of the groom’s family. The bride’s party wait with garlands in their hands, tension writ on their anxious faces and a silent prayer on their lips which otherwise should have portrayed million dollar smiles, is unmistakably noticed here. Even the sweet fragrance of the scented flowers is unable to ease the stress-filled atmosphere and the welcome committee just hopes that the start is not fraught with the customary criticism that so envelopes the groom’s so -called "superior" side with a strange sadistic streak.

No sooner than the ‘guests’ arrive, their overt ‘might is right’ expression is exhibited like some proud artwork displayed in a museum. The awe and apprehension towards the groom’s side which existed several decades ago still continues to prevail in these so called modern and liberal times. Surprisingly even the most educated and exposed individuals continue to display such old fashioned stance probably due to pressure by their seniors or as a means of continuing an irrelevant trend.

The ‘fault finding’ syndrome seems have spread among these beings like a contagious common cold. Some trigger just sets off and the sniffing and fussing over minute details starts off. Whether it is complaining about the lighting in the rooms; the water heaters; failure of being asked a million times about their quota of beverages/snacks; scrutinizing and comparing saris and jewellery by the woman folk; the supposedly lack of hospitality by the caterers; inaccurate measure of salt/spice in the meals; the criticizing catastrophe continues like some uncalled due diligence which mars this otherwise festive celebration.

Adrenalin levels naturally tend to rise with the alarming voice of hue and cries for no rhyme or reason. It almost begins to feel that the bride’s party are mere pawns in the hands of their future ‘relatives’ who seem to enjoy seeing them squirm and wriggle like helpless birds in a cage.

The absence of laughter and smiles almost robs the fun and festivities associated with the rituals of a wedding. The lack of friendliness from the groom’s side worsens the situation when their snobbish stance makes the hosts feel like slaves during the era of the slave dynasty which ironically was abolished centuries ago. A wonderful occasion which is meant for enjoyment and zest by both parties unfortunately ends up like a war zone. .A final sigh of relief is heaved when the groom’s side leaves after the ceremony!

Marriage essentially denotes a partnership. Equality in every aspect must be enhanced right from the cost sharing to shouldering responsibilities in taking care of the guests from both sides. Today is a trend where women hold equal position and stature in society. This lack of equality is what has led many to be filled with remorse and disappointment over the birth of a girl child. Sometimes the fear of incurring the costs and failure to meet the growing expectations of the future alliances has instigated many to commit the heinous crime of killing the innocent female infant, sometimes even before it is born. Why give room for such murky evils to prevail?

While sensex zooms ahead over 20000 points and development in several areas is visible, we even talk about our country becoming a super power in a few years' time but are we really? It’s appalling to note such sluggish growth in these aspects. Justified existence of it years ago can be rationalized as the ancient customs and narrow attitude which were far from being groomed due to the lack of awareness and knowledge. But such instances in today’s ‘advanced’ world makes one pause to ponder and question about the occurrence of such ‘broadening of the minds’ in reality. It is sad to realize that only very few families have progressed in this aspect.

Its unfortunate to see the double standards that people adopt…. to enjoy the benefits the modern society offers,(like allowing the woman to work and get in that extra income..)yet refuse to move away from many other age old practices. Modernity does not necessarily manifest merely in the designer saris or expensive accessories’ or an Armani suit. The real essence of it is determined by the attitude with which the whole event is approached. It certainly does not involve the indulgence in petty fault finding and seeking attention in the process!!

It also does not include the indulgence of a petty comparative study between the so called ‘credentials’ of the bride and the groom portraying who is the better one. After all this isn’t a competition is it?

It is high time that we take a quick step to march ahead and attain the compatibility between changing times and our attitude. While we ensure this factor is prevalent in the prospective couple to be wedded, isn’t it essential to groom our approach and abolish the atrocity of the ‘attention’ syndrome?

Written for www.msn.co.in

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