On Child Marriage

The Indian government trying to pass laws to improve women’s rights over the past few months was a lot like watching Phoebe in tap-dancing class, doing strange wavy motions and saying “I’m totally getting this!” This happened when the UPA was poked awake from its deep slumber by people protesting for women’s rights since December 2012.

One of the things they did was raise the age of consent to 18. And in the very same year, India refused to sign the UN resolution against child marriage, in spite of having the highest number of child marriages (24 million). 
In the dreamland of our leaders—where there are flowers and bunnies (rainbows aren’t acknowledged here)—children get married and wait till they are 18 so they can finally consummate the marriage. In this happy world, moral crusaders who slap boys and girls who come within arm distance of each other are allowed to roam around freely and kill youngsters for falling in love.
Not that one should have much faith in an organisation that lightly poked Sri Lanka once, condemns Israel from time to time, and is planning to hold auditions for Syria and Sudan. But for a nation who thought forming a Non-Alignment club was the cool thing to do, an acknowledgement of the grave child marriage problem doesn’t seem like a bad idea. 



The Great Indian Wedding Planners

There comes a time in every Indian kid’s life when the entire universe’s psychological balance depends on you getting married. And by the entire universe, I mean every person you know who is older or more married than you.The majority of these people happen to be components of a marriage that can only be termed as a civil agreement of minimum interaction and a mutual approval to dis each other humorously. They come from the misguided benevolence school of thought: after you get married, they will try to convince you that having children on purpose is actually a good idea. They are worried that all the ‘good’ ones will be gone soon. They are also highly critical of any stray unmarried trash and live-in relationships and homosexuality fall way outside their bubble.
Another category are those who have such a high level of confidence that it makes you wonder why. They have got life all figured out, and will approach you with pro-marriage arguments like how it is about companionship, families getting together (as if your own family isn’t overwhelming enough) and how you won’t be able to adjust to having a partner around later in life. They will also find potential partners for you to mate with and believe that they are doing god’s work by finding you a person of the same religion, caste, economic class who reminds you a lot of several of your cousins.
Some of them are people your age who are ‘madly in love’, and thrust their relationship in the face of everyone in real and virtual life. They believe that, like them, the purpose of your life is to get a certificate from the state that assures a lifetime of sulk and sex from one single person. They come from the ‘we want social approval’ club, and are often too blinded by the idea of a wedding to realize it comes with a marriage.

As for simpletons like me, our understanding of a marriage is limited to ‘spending your life with someone because YOU want to’, we clearly missed the turning point in life where others said goodbye to rationality and embraced what people have been doing for years without knowing why. Your youth is when you can really get to know yourself prior to making a lifelong commitment. Or realising whether you want to do that. That is, before it gets banned for  provoking individuality and other social evils.