Rishtas Today: Right Timing Or Rushed?

After weeks of coercion from my friends and rows of memes on my timeline, I gave in. I finally binge-watched, the highly debated and controversial show, Indian Matchmaking.  Like Sima Taparia (aka India’s top matchmaker) said, in India, marriage is not about the bride or the groom. Unfortunately, marriage often becomes more about the families. This, in my opinion, is where the problem stems from. Our elders bombard us younger family members with their outdated yet endless advice and instructions on how to live our lives.

In failing to comply with these rigid standards, people are looked down upon and sometimes even ostracised from their tightly knit communities.


One such rigid standard is the needless requirement to get married within a certain age bracket. Although this affects both men and women, women are often put under more pressure to comply with this standard. Messed up as it is, the legal marriageable age in India differs for men and women- 18 for women and 21 for men. Why is there a difference you ask? We owe our thanks to patriarchy, the not so friendly neighborhood ghoul that hovers over us at all times. For centuries now, our society has believed that the husband needs to be older than the wife. It is this same belief that has led to women being married off at earlier ages.


The pressure to get married not only affects the kids but also their parents. In India, it is common for fathers to pay for their daughters’ weddings and even pay a dowry to the groom’s family in some communities. This results in the father working harder and for a longer time to provide. A friend once told me about her relative who was forced to get married earlier so that her father could be done with the tension of paying for her wedding and then retire. This cut down on her opportunities to study further and pursue what she was interested in.

A lot of parents see getting their kids married as a milestone they need to cross and a burden off their shoulders hence pushing them to get married earlier.


Another reason why parents are so eager to get their kids married off is to avoid any type of premarital relations. In their eyes, this could tarnish their precious reputation in society and take away their children’s purity. For a lot of Indian parents, the be-all and end-all is their children’s marriage and then grandchildren. This leaves us stuck in a cycle of getting married and having kids, generation after generation as if there is no other purpose to our limited lives.


Despite this type of thinking still being prevalent in a larger portion of our society today, a lot is changing. New parents are becoming more progressive with each day. Thanks to social media and globalization, people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of getting married later and dare I say, not at all.


Written by Tvisha Prasani for MTTN

Edited by Andrea Xavier Gonsalves for MTTN

Featured image by www.ideas.ted.com

Artwork by www.gq.com 


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