I was just thinking of arranged marriage, which is a cultural event in a girl’s life belonging to my part of the ever developing world. Of course, one day people of family and outside would plan my wedding, my marriage, an arranged marriage, which I daringly, yet secretly, call ARRANGED RAPE. So, I too will be raped one day with the consent of my family. In fact, the suspected life partner might also share the similar rape with me. I still wait for my arranged rape.
Let me elaborate the whole process....SHALL I? It begins with a general knowledge regarding the available match in the families of the same caste who have no record of love marriages, who have sufficient money, who can afford me, and last but not least, who can bring honour, pride and reputation to the family. Next, my photograph would be sent in a saree and in salwar- kamiz probably clicked in a photo studio. These days they are really conscious of the photos. Yes, in many places they ask for a photograph taken at home so that DARK doesn’t become fair, short doesn’t become long, fat doesn’t become thin. And that photograph will be a part of the archive of the wedding aspirants in the families of those available boys.
If, (un)fortunately, any one of them select me or nominate me among other equally “deserving” candidates, they would want me to meet them. “Them” means the family, or, to be more precise, parents, because a well-cultured-supposed-to-be-groom doesn’t speak in the matters of marriage, they only marry and produce kids after a decent interval. So, if, (un)fortunately, I get nominated they would invite me for a closer perusal in a place away from our homes so that our reputation remains safe in the sight of only a few people surrounding our respective families. That safe place would be a temple probably. It is a public place, but away from a few known people. The aura and atmosphere of the holy temple could bring home some fortune if they or any one of them selects me among the other nominated members. Many unknown strange sights along with the parents of the supposed- to-be-groom would examine me. “The girl is beautiful,” or “her saree is too glossy,” or “she has pimples on her face,” many voices would examine me that day.
But I still wait for my arranged rape.
Let me share some more of my thoughts regarding my “dream,” “cultured,” “consented,” arranged, marriage. So far it was about how that marriage can take place. How (un)fortunately, I too can become a legal part of the social system. Now, let me share with(out) decency how I feel as a girl/woman aspiring to be married/raped. One day, I heard of a man my family wanted me to marry. I heard he was fat. I had also heard long ago that everyone starts thinking of a baby in the house just after the wedding. So as a kid I had guessed that kids and marriage have some strange but eternal connections. My biology book in Standard VIII told me about the process of reproduction (of course marriage was not mentioned in the chapter).
So, when I heard that the boy/man was fat, I started thinking of the whole process of reproduction: i.e. sexual intercourse with an imaginary fat man. I have been very imaginative since my childhood. I had just started visualising that fat man in my day dreams, and then I came to know about another man who is “better” according to my family. After all he had a government job. But he was not fat. I heard he was fair but of a comparatively short height. He would probably prove to be a better (sex) partner. I just changed the man of my dreams, the fat man of my dreams, to a fair, but a little short heighted man. I told you, I have been very imaginative since my childhood.
Then one day, I came to know about another person who was even “better,” according to my well-wishing family. They said, “he has a better government job.” Moreover, our horoscopes match better. And yes he is slightly dark complexioned. My skill of imagination re-functioned and the man in the dreams altered. Of course I was the same. So like this many people (fair, dark, wheatish, long, short, medium, government job, private job, no job) became my dream man one by one. Prostitutes change partners very often. But it was just my imagination. I did not even pay for it.
So, I was thinking of arranged marriage. I will be selected/elected/chosen one day, and we will marry with the consent of the Pandit , our families, and the neighbours. There will be a grand party of our arranged rape. Since childhood, I knew of shame, honour, reputation, decent clothes/vulgar clothes, which part of the body causes shame and creates shamelessness. If any day, someone found my undergarment hanging outside, I was asked to bring it back to my room with a chastising note: “What will people say?! Don’t you have any shame or what?!” But now, I’ll open up, pull off everything before a stranger who might not be like me, who might not like me. And the honour, pride, reputation of both the families will be saved. It will enhance if we produce a boy within a year. How adventurous things can be! I still wait for my arranged rape.