Young alliances

Today, my young friend in the gym confessed that his friendship with a girl who has been chummy with him for the past 6 years has broken off. Her family did not approve of him because of his caste, his being ‘only’ a graduate while she was earning more in the IT industry.

I asked him how old he was and he said ‘24’.

“So where is the hurry for you to think of a relationship” I asked. “Should you not think of getting more qualifications”.

He has to work as his father has a job in public transport and his younger brother is still a student. He says there was no question of it being a failure at love—he felt sad that a friendship of so many years had come to an end.

Another friend of mine asked me to suggest girls for him from our Brahmin community. I rattled off a few alliances—a common custom in our part of the world where family connections and arranged marriages are still common. Then I asked him about his qualifications. He too was ‘only’ a graduate. Then I had to bring the guy up to date and tell him that girls today want a post graduate as a partner. They themselves have multiple qualifications and expect partners to have equal degrees. Many girls are really earning a lot and they tend to look for the same earning capacity in men.

My advice to both these guys was get a second qualification by studying in the weekends, put away some money to pay the basic sum required to buy an apartment—8% of the total cost and then think about marriage.

Meanwhile another artisan friend of mine had a rude shock when his daughter, aged 22, with a post grad qualification in Commerce and computer skills said that she wanted to marry a man not only from another community, but also from another religious background altogether. He is a simple man with no learning. His craft is his only wealth. The boy strangely enough has moved away to another city and wants a couple of years’ time before he will commit himself. The girl is adamant about marrying the boy. The parents are going through a harrowing time as the girld has stepped beyond their own social and economic background because of her education and earning potential.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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6 Responses to Young alliances

  1. gaelikaa says:

    It’s out of their control. They should at least be happy if she has earning potential. They’ll have to quit being sentimental and count their blessings.

    I wish them well.


  2. padmum says:

    Thanks Gaelikka!

    However, does a parent ever stop hurting when a child makes a decision that they perceive to be a trap, a sure path to unhappiness?

    Society is in a manthan–a churning. Many barriers are breaking down but so fast it seems more as if the walls of Jericho are falling down. It will take time to build…maybe in my kids and grandkids time.


  3. blackwatertown says:

    I’d lean a bit towards what Gaelikaa says – good job, good qualifications – if they’re temperamentally suited and love each other – then go for it.
    It sounds as though the first couple weren’t right. The second couple may or may not be.
    I’d say listen to the views of parents and treat them respectfully, but they’re not everything.


  4. rummuser says:

    Typical clash of civilisations! At least in Tamil Nadu, you will not have honour killings like in the North.


  5. Grannymar says:

    Having made up my own mind and not asked anyone’s permission to marry, I find the Indian system a little stifling. To me ’24’ is way to early to make a major commitment for life. It is the time to travel and discover the world and all it has to offer.


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