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The game of heart changing with the wheel of time

Words by Kavita Mungi    Photographs from Sanoj Kumar

A wise old woman once said, “In our days we didn’t throw away things that were broken but fixed them.” Could this be the secret ingredient for a good marriage? In the 19th century, marriages withstood the test of time as well as big joint families that lived and survived together. We take pride in being from the land of long-standing family ties. Marriage would not just bring the couple together but it was a bond between two families.

The girl adopted her husband’s family as her very own and she was the one who had to adjust. She had to learn the ways of her marital home and maintain peace and harmony and all through the trials and tribulations marriages continued to survive. India is made of multiple ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions and in the recent past, there have been many cases of inter-cultural marriages. As a result, today we have a whole new generation of 21st century couples who are living a global lifestyle.

Anita came to me saying she was happy to be engaged but was worried about losing her freedom post marriage. Ravi spoke about himself and his open marriage policy. He seemed to be addicted to using apps where he could date women from all around, chosen through algorithms. Sameera and Amar were facing relationship issues after their engagement. He wanted to ensure physical compatibility before marriage. He wants Sameera to live in with him before they make their wedding vows.

Society has become more permissive and Indian parents have become more tolerant and open-minded. People encourage liberal thinking and couples prefer getting to know each other more intimately before making the promise of marriage. Girls have become more independent and are pursuing, rather than compromising on their career for a domestic life. Women today have managed to find a balance between work and home. So much that, it is often considered This is also said to be playing a vital role in the higher divorce rates now since marriage has ceased being an economical necessity.

Lavish weddings and parties are all around us these days, and it is unfortunate to hear of a divorce too soon. Couples in the 21st century even honour breakups with celebrations sometimes, which can also be seen as an optimistic approach to something negative. Movies such as Bollywood hit ‘Queen’, where the female protagonist honeymoons by herself when jilted at the altar is one example of the possibilities of a happier life following a separation. Celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin used the phrase ‘conscious uncoupling’ to define their break up.

Sadly in such a case children are involved and very likely to be hurt. They have to adjust to living with one parent and meeting the other at different times. They may be subjected to a lot of hate, jealousy, anger and end up having numerous psychological issues. These raise concerns on whether ‘happily-ever-after’ is on the path to becoming redundant.