(Im)Perfect marriages of the Present day
So, a couple of weeks ago I was watching a Indian Telugu film titled “Ninnu Kori”, the film starts with newly-weds Pallavi (Nivetha) and Arun (Aadi) planning their first anniversary celebrations in the US. It then shifts back to Vizag where the love story of Pallavi and Uma (Nani) unfolds. But, due to circumstances, Pallavi marries Arun. It then shows Uma in LA, who is bereft of Pallavi’s love, plunges into depression, becomes an alcoholic and is on the verge of getting fired.
Feeling responsible, Pallavi travels to meet Uma and tries to convince him that he should move on with his life. Uma, however, refuses to listen to her. She then brings him over to their place for a period of 10 days, so that he could see how happy she was with her husband and give up on her. What happened then is the story post-intermission.
Some people loved this movie. Others didn’t. Some people were particularly critical of the fact that Pallavi left Uma, married Arun and then had the audacity to invite him to stay over with them. That Arun would accept something so preposterous was even more incredulous to them.
At this juncture,
I was left thinking hard about the transformation of Indian society which used to promote the utopian idea of “ideal/transcendental marriage” to the one which started exploring the realistic angle of the present day (Im)perfect marriages.
Marriage is an institution of relationship, trust, companionship, belonging and love. It’s an important chapter in the life of an individual, if not the most important. Be it for societal, ritual or traditional reasons, we Indians have “larger than life” opinions about marriage. There is so much ballyhoo around the subject, that we have, indeed, forgotten the real essence behind marriage.
To be more realistic and pragmatic,
achieving happiness should not be the sole reason for getting married. Instead, happiness is the result of a healthy marriage. There is a reason why spouses are called ‘better halves’. They see the best in you, and help you identify the worst in you as well.
That’s why Arun’s decision to stand by Pallavi who was trying to comfort Uma portrays the matured love and mutual respect between the couple and does not come across as absurdity.
We will have to change the definition of successful marriages. It should not remain a sacrosanct deal which forcibly binds two individuals, who are ready to apply the ‘getting used to’ each other philosophy for the rest of their lives. It should be about a relationship that blossoms through mutual respect and understanding.
The real charm and the essence behind the fusion of two souls should be about falling in love everyday and growing old together, not because they have to, but because they want to. If we remove that archaic clause of ‘idealism’, we can see more such realistic depiction of human relations in Indian films, here after.