Marriage is no more “life’s one big celebration”. In fact, it is as ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ puts it, a function of showcasing jewelry where ugly truths of the society comes to the fore.
I’m not against the institution of marriage. If two people love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together, it’s more than welcome. But, when every aunty you meet reminds you that your marriageable age has arrived and you should settle down as early as possible!! Then the problem arises. And then, for you neither the attacks in Syria matters, nor the Chinese threat to India, but how to avoid and ignore all these people. Be it your relatives, aunts or even that uncle who is your father’s friend’s nephew, they all share the same ‘concern’ for you.
Young India has undoubtedly developed a disdain for arranged marriages. Marriage is not our ultimate destination. Our economic independence has given us the choice to push away marriage. After all, your late twenties is a period when you are on a single-track mission to make a mark career-wise. By the time one is settled professionally, chances are that, they have already hit their thirties. And who want to carry the baggage of the marriage along with the carrier? Very few. Here comes live-in. It serves the craving for their emotional, physical and the intellectual companionship.
Relationships now come uncluttered. Live-in relationship is coming face to face with a changing India. You can blame it on a shrinking world, or even on the invasion of those American sitcoms with their liberal morals. Infact, it’s far more easier to blame it on the pressures of urban life. Times are changing fast, but prudery and traditional mores are finding it exceedingly hard to survive in this age of practicality.
The rise in live-in relationships has much to do with urban women who are earning equal and many times more than their male counterparts. There is economic security in contemporary women. A security that gives them a sense of identity, confidence and the freedom for being what they are.
Sociologists observe that live-in relationships as a lifestyle emerged in last few decades of the 20th Century, when the old moral codes became redundant, the short time relationships held great attraction.
There is no family to protect you and no society to answer to. But, this freedom comes at the hefty price of not knowing how long it’s going to last and we have to realise that there’s nothing that really binds the live-in relationships.
After taking the brief flight of live-in many settle down with the marriage. In our society, marriage is considered such a sacred institution that even after the Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of living together that seemed to be in sync with popular sentiment, could not give it an acceptable status.
There is a constant oscillation between the traditional and the modern. After having taken its flight, should the bird return to its nest, or should it fly higher, exploring the unknown, going beyond the borders and boundaries to make its own world. Not many are bold enough to take this step as live-in is still considered a taboo in our society.
But, the fault lies within. When a relationship is true and you have no security issues, no law is needed. Laws are made for the irresponsible people. Its love that binds a relation and when two people who love each other, want to live together why should the society be offended ? Living together is a right to life.
“We never said `I love you’ to each other. It wasn’t needed. What is love? Love is taking care of small-small things for each other. When we decided to live with each other in the early 1950s, we didn’t let anyone interfere with our decision. I told her, `You are my society. I am your society’. And why do you call it live-in? Aren’t others live-in relations?”, said the famous painter Imroz once, who lived together for 50 years with the author late Amrita Pritam without marrying her.