So, for me, I was open that if somebody right comes along that I am attracted to and that I like for a long-term relationship, then I would go ahead with it. But it just didn't happen until Sandhya. So how long did you guys talk before you met in person? Sandhya: I think a couple of hours.
He liked me and he told his parents that he was interested, so his parents called my parents. Then my parents went to his place and met his parents, and they liked everything, so he flew from the U. It's a whole family thing. We sat for, like, 15 minutes face-to-face. It's kind of embarrassing because it is so… Ankur: Because our entire families are there, so you are not really talking too much. Sandhya: He was, like, all shy and I was talking, and then he just went home, and the next day, his parents called and said that he wants to get married to me and my parents were like, "Is it OK with you?
Now it's like falling in love each day with him. It is like you're still dating. We still don't feel like we've gotten married.
It's like he's my boyfriend. Ankur: It's a gamble. Both ways, it's a gamble. That's like life in general. And I always think that more than 50 percent of marriages end up nowhere, even though most of them are after long-term dating.
So it's a gamble either way. How long was your engagement? Sandhya: We got married after a month and a half. Once you were engaged you could hang out more right? You guys spent some time together? Ankur: We could not. We did not because I was back in the U. I coordinated my vacation such that I went to India like a week before my marriage and stayed there for, like, 5 to 10 days after. Sandhya: Indian weddings are, like, 10 days, and it's not about the bride and the groom. They are just supposed to be ganged up and get to some place where everyone can see them.
Ankur: I enjoyed it. How many people are at the largest event of the wedding? Sandhya: A thousand. Ankur: Yeah I would say between to 1, We knew maybe 50 or of them, our close friends and immediate relatives. Everyone wants to take a picture with you and then you have to keep smiling for, like, several hours.
Big smiles. Sandhya: Your face starts shaking because you have to keep smiling. Which day of the day party did you really get to spend the night together?
Sandhya: Oh, this happens after the wedding. After the reception. Ankur: Yeah. When the party is over. Sandhya: That was the most weird. Because I don't even really know him, but obviously it's, like, a bit uncomfortable and embarrassing because you are with them all by yourself in the room. Ankur: I was pretty relaxed because after a long feasting and party, then you enjoy the process, but then you want it to be over with after a certain time and that's really the first time. It's like, Oh, finally! Sandhya: The girl goes with the guy to his place. So now his house is my house. Ankur: I think it went fine.
It's also about exploring the other person's excitement of it.
Who she is, what she is like. Talking about each other, talking about your stories from the past. So it is also kind of the excitement of knowing the other person. Sandhya: It is all butterflies in your stomach. It's like, " Oh my god! What am I doing?! Does it feel like it's too fast because you guys hadn't spent that much time together? Sandhya: I don't know.
If you think about it, then there are all these crazy thoughts that come, and you have to stop thinking and go with the way you feel. Then it's not that complicated anymore. I think we make it complicated when we overthink things. So I just stopped using my brain and started using my heart. Ankur: Yeah, it wasn't complicated to me at all.
Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by individuals other than the couple themselves, particularly by family. Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without their consent or against their will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged.
How has your sex life changed since you've been married? Sandhya: I think it just keeps getting better. Ankur: That's the fun of being in an arranged marriage because you are getting to know the person as if you dated for the first two years.
Sandhya: And then the best part is that you can make your mistakes as well and you know that the other person is not going anywhere. Ankur: Yeah, that's the best part of arranged marriages. There's no fear. It's not like dating. You're not constantly judging the other person: Is he the right one?
Is he not the right one? Is he faithful, not faithful? Will he go away if I say this, if I say that? Here, that part is gone.
Sandhya: It's about making this relationship perfect. Obviously we both are imperfect and we have our own flaws, but as a partner, how can I bring out the best in him and how can he do the same and how can we support each other? What's been your biggest fight since you got married? Sandhya: We fight over the silliest things possible and then after we've screamed, we think that it was so silly.
Ankur: And then we laugh about it. Has anything surprised you about marriage? Sandhya: I guess I thought it would be more difficult, but it's not. My mother had, at that point, not dated at all, despite being in graduate school; it is normal for young people in India to feel marriage is not something they have to worry too much about because they trust their families will find someone good for them.
The fact that my dad's cousin met my mother and immediately thought of my father points at another way arranged marriages affect the culture: people are always on the lookout for a good match. When you ask someone who has had an arranged marriage about love, the first thing they say is that the love will come naturally once the couple is married. As a child, I always found this thought strange.
As I grew older, though, I noticed the truth of this in the stories my mother told me about her relationship early on with my father. When they married, he was living in the US, and she was finishing her master's in India; for the year it took to finish her degree, they wrote letters. The way they did this nourished their love for each other, and fostered growth in their relationship. Western romance is described as something that happens on accident, but arranged romance happens on purpose.
Even relationships that start with falling in love can benefit from growing and deepening that bond in the same way. This happens because you water love like a plant, and give it the right kinds of nutrients so it can grow.
A young unmarried girl should have the right to say "No" to the option of marriage, and if she wants marriage, she should have the right to say "No" to any prospective bridegroom she finds unattractive, and a married woman should have the right to say "No more; I want a divorce" and expect to receive a fair portion of child support and shared custody of any children she has. When they married, he was living in the US, and she was finishing her master's in India; for the year it took to finish her degree, they wrote letters. Lexington, Mass: LexingtonBooks. It's all a facade. They later tell their parents if they agree to the marriage or not. Over the years, I have come to see the wisdom of her words.