Friday, July 17, 2015

Married At First Sight

Thanks to K, I have found new love in watching TV.. Yes, gone are my 'I don't own a TV days'.. Actually I tell a lie.. I still down 'own' a TV, however, I do have one - borrowed one from my aunt.. But thats beside the point.

Solely because of Big Bang Theory on E4 and Come Dine With Me (yeah.. we all have our guilty indulgences), I am quite thankful to K for bringing TV to my life .. Actually I am quite thankful that he is in my life.. :-) ..

Today I was spending a regular evening at home doing regular nothings -- reading articles on the world wide wed .. oops.. web, with the TV saying empty words in the background. And then Brunos Mars caught my attention.

Married At First Sight (MAFS), is a documentary film produced by Channel 4.. To be fair, UK TV does some great.. sorry, some awesome documentaries from time to time...

MAFS in fewest words is a modern day arranged marriage real life experiment. In this experiment, it seems 1500 singles applied to let science find the 'perfect' match for them. As far as I can recollect, there was a panel of behavioural anthropologist, a psychiatrist and a couple of other 'ists' go over the applicants and their emotional history and then after a whole lot of analysis 'inform' the applicant of their perfect match .. err.. Well they get told the name of their best match. Thats a hell lot of information, isn't it! They then sign up to get married and meet their spouse the first time in the aisle. OMG! Like Really?

Thats probably worse off than how my gran got married .. She at least got to see my gran-dad once before actually tying the knot .. Having said that, I might add that my grandparents spent a happy and committed life with each other and though my gran-dad was quite different from my gran-mum and also quite unromantic, as opposed to her, he did leave behind a single secret love letter for her -- which she discovered after he passed away. Needless to say she cherishes the letter very dearly -- I suspect she has learnt it by heart.. Aww.. I so love them.. <3 p="">
Coming back to this documentary, these 2 sets of couples meet the first time at the aisle and get married. They are supposedly now given 5 weeks to chill out together -- go on honeymoon and live regular life .. And at the end of the 5 weeks, they will take a call and decide to either stay together or get divorced.

I think THIS is the prime distinguishing feature between the 21st century scientific modern day arranged marriage and the rightly frowned upon, traditional arranged marriages. In MAFS you get in it with a reasonable assurance that you have a return ticket with you should you have to use it, where as with the traditional arranged marriages, you get in with the knowledge that this is it -- the way out does not exist and if at all you try looking for it, you might never find it. And I think that makes a hell lot of difference.

TV shows like these confuses the hell out of me -- it makes me question that if science thinks people can be matched and marriages can be made with algorithms, then are the traditionally practiced arranged marriages not all that idiotic and crazy? So were my parents right when they argued with me for years that they can find the best match for me? Well, I missed the boat on that one -- and thankfully so actually .. But I think the answer is that its still idiotic .. specially the current day Indian arranged marriages .. For starts, we don't have a panel of all the 'ists' analysing prospective partners, instead its more like a tick box exercise of all practical aspects like religion, socio-economic status, education and appearance are matched .. And guess what, the elders have made new provisions in the 'great modern arranged marriages' to keep up with the modern day practice of love marriages and advent of live-ins etc, its called 'Courtship'.  Courtship is a collection of spaced out dates and telephone conversations two parties can have before committing to marry!! Well, thats progressive, isn't it! Duh! These dates in my view are futile -- they are practiced exchange of politically correct answers and mostly bears no reflection of the real person under the shiny outside. You might as well not go for them and rather do it the 'proper' traditional way like my grans did.. At least you don't have to deal with the agony and shame of faking yourself.

Statistics say that couples in arranged marriages are more likely to stay together -- but my justification for that statistics is that there are just so many of Asians -- we just win all statistics by sheer strength of our numbers.. [Needly to mention that for most Asians -- Indians / Pakistanis, arranged marriage is the most common way to get married and divorce is still massively frowned upon, hence couples stick it up even if they are unhappy..]

Well, I don't know if arranged marriages actually work better than love marriages or not -- but it surely does not seem like something I would ever be comfortable with .. It just seems wrong and unromantic. For me, I think the promise of a lifelong companionship should come out of drive and enthusiasm laced with sweet spontaneity and a tiny bit of suspense .. It should come from a desire of wanting to experience life with the annoyingly lovely person you just can't live without. It should come from the assurance that when things will go wrong, as it sometimes will, you know they will never be grossly wrong and that you know you both will do your best to work around it and at the least, treat each other with respect and fairness. If that twinkle in the eye is missing or the comforting familiarity is absent, then that suspense and fear of unknown is just too much for me to handle..

I will be keen to see what the two couples on MAFS land up doing eventually .. I kind of suspect that Kate and her husband seem to have great chemistry going and might stay together ... I am not so sure about Emma and her husband (was it James?) .. Thats probably in the next episode ..

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