A suitable boy – now we know what defines a boy, but what defines suitable exactly? A boy who loves you passionately but is from another religion by birth is unsuitable? A boy who believes in pursuing his passion for writing over his profession of law is unsuitable? Or a boy with whom none of the girl’s choices, views, and even interests match while also being torn over another female whom he couldn’t marry is suitable? And why?
Well, for starters, no, I am not getting married or being appraised by future mother-in-laws. This is the result of reading the book which shares the same title as my post.
I don’t know about the world in general, because no one can claim to know or speak on behalf of the world, considering we are a big, fat group of 7 billion people and counting steadily every second. But I can speak for what I have seen. Why try and define suitable? Why put people in boxes and categorize them away like they are files to be indexed and filed away? Why can’t we invest time in building relationships and understanding people rather than checking off their ‘suitable’-ness off a checklist? Why do parents feel the need to thrust their opinions on us all the while expecting us to listen and abide by it because we were borne into this world by them? Now, now. Don’t get me wrong. The opinion and blessings of parents are an absolute must – because they have seen your faults and frailties and still accept you lovingly.
To quote John Green, ” Whenever you’re furious with your parents or you think they’re terrible, just remember, you vomited on them and they kept you”.
John’s right. But I am concerned when parents who are generally free-spirited, open minded and modern turn into society-fearing, tradition-abiding and decision-thrusting parents – and that generally happens when it comes to marrying off their offspring. Of course, you want the best and the most suitable boy for us, but what scales are you using to weigh ‘best’ and ‘suitable’?
I doubt anyone’s getting answers to these questions any time soon. But if someone does, please let me in!
P.S. : Without any disrespect to Mr. Vikram Seth, I am quite disappointed with how his story turned out to be. Or maybe he meant to write it as a satire. Then it would make more sense, yes. Because when he’s casting a web of love, passion, lies, deception, extra-marital affairs, incest, prostitutes, (along with politics, religion, cricket, shoe-making and poetry) and then telling me that an arranged marriage of a bold, talented, intelligent and strongly opinionated young lady with a man who’s heart lies with someone else but a steady job and good management skills make him a suitable boy, then I’m mighty disappointed. Because your web has a lot of loose ends that need tying up.
Oh and let’s not discuss the length. A mere one thousand four hundred and something pages. With possibly as many characters and plot points. Beautiful but a tad unnecessary. Enriching but not satisfying.
P.P.S. : The P.S. seems to be half as long as the post! Vikram Seth after effects! 😉