Divorce! appears to be the new buzz word or in fad, in India, since desis seem to be getting one left and right. All the mallus and perhaps even the non-mallus may have heard of popular actress Kavya Madhavan's impending divorce! Atleast the grapevine has it.. Apparently so is the lovely actress Meena! Married barely a week ago, she is headed for divorce as well. Again, all rumor for now.
Celebrity divorces are nothing new although mostly associated with Bollywood, who seemed to belong to another planet anyways. They are so far removed from ordinary citizens that there is a certain level of acceptance to the fact that marriage could happen to anybody but divorce happened only to celebrities and rarely if not never to the rest of the population.
But alas! that is no more the case these days. The "divorce virus" is spreading and spreading quickly. It is not exclusive anymore and it happens at a blink. It has spread to the local, regional film industry, to someone like Kavya Madhavan (who comes across as a nice and simple girl and is loved by many for her looks, sweet personality and acting abilities. To think that she is possibly headed for a divorce feels almost like your favorite cousin is headed for divorce). It has even crept into our lives- you hear of a friend's friend getting a divorce, a distant cousin getting a divorce, you yourself contemplating divorce...(oho!)
Recently a mallu friend of mine gave “the notice" to her "husband" (had to put him in quotes since it is more a technicality than anything else. She has been married 5 years but lived with him only 3 months). Most of the time I forget she is married, infact most of the time she forgets she is married! :D.
Anyways..when divorces seem to be happening so frequently I found myself pondering on how it all began- with a marriage ofcourse! Come to think of it, marriage lead/led to the invention of a new word in the english language -divorce ( unless somebody has a different explanation).
Whoever came up with the idea of marriage (in the conventional sense) must have been one heck of an optimist and a person devoid of desires. I was always convinced it was more or less an arrangement where everyone gives you their blessing (read consent) to have sex with one person for the rest of your lives. Everything else that you have read, heard or experienced –such as friendship, peace, joy (extended through the arrival of offsprings), and love are all simply possibilities. It may happen or may not happen. This is more from the perspective of an “arranged marriage”. There is also “love marriages” which is sort of a reversed situation. You get into it, optimistic of ever-lasting friendship, peace, joy, “good sex”, and wonderful off-springs. Blessings and approval from everyone is the only optional part.
These being merely reflections of my demented mind, I decided to look up marriage and see what some of the “learned scholars” had to say. As always Prof Wikipedia did not disappoint much :D. I found that to some extent I am right…marriage as an ancient tradition, was always seen as an “arrangement” than anything else.
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship and specific sexual access rights. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships usually intimate and sexual are acknowledged by a variety of ways, depending on the culture or demographic ( Src: Wikipedia). Look here for detailed definitions and historical perspectives.
But over the years this simple clarity got muddled with a bunch of tags - divine union (a.k.a holy matrimony), morality and eternal. Clearly none of these tags can realistically apply to humans. They might say there is a Buddha in everyone but I don’t see any humans walking with a halo behind their head. What I am trying to say is there is nothing holy or divine about the people getting into the arrangement so how is the divines of the union or the holiness of the matrimony decided and/or who decides it?. Also to err is human and morality is a relative concept and eternal is impossible unless you consider yourself immortal. Hmmm…
Anyways, this post is not a minor thesis on divorce or marriage with new groundbreaking insights of any kind. It is merely a reaction to many things-
-A lovely movie I saw by Shyamprasad ( an excellent movie maker who makes “realistic cinema”) called Ore-Kadal ( “The Sea Within”). It is the movie of an affair (illegitimate ofcourse ;)) between a brilliant economic professor and a simple housewife and its repercussions on their lives and others associated with them. The music (by Ouseppachan) sounded pretty awesome to my ears and I have been listening to them until my ears stopped hearing them (Check out the youtube clip. It is a love song not a song on marriage -by Bombay Jaysree. Also the song Oru Kadalyi by Naveen Nair- outstanding me thinks!)
-All the divorce news I have been hearing…with increasing frequency and proximity.
-News from home regarding the “hunt” for a perfect husband for my not-so-perfect cousin :)
-And just general pursuits of a mind with some time in hand…
Nevertheless, in spite of my ramblings I wish all the married folks out there a Happy Blissful Married Life!