I see articles by intelligent ladies on how difficult they are finding it to catch an eligible, smart, intelligent husband.
I don't see so many similar perspectives from males. Why so?
Anyway, I will try to remedy that here.
So the ladies say that the men that they are sought to paired with or matched with tend to be typically dumb, or money-minded, or career-focused, or culturally conservative (plain English --> the usual chauvinistic Indian male who will ONLY marry a virgin female and will have a heart attack at the idea of stuff such open marriage or letting his wife have extramarital affairs and be chill about that) or mama's boys.
The flip-side to being who I am -- intelligent (decode --> one who BELIEVES in evolution and not some bullshit religious creation myths of any flavors), not a Modi-lover, not M&A or VC-obsessed, not your avg. IT professional or MBA with a high-flying career in the interconnected world economy -- is that I don't have much money.
It seems to me that girls mostly are materialistic who look for the fine things in fine -- AC cars or houses or fine furniture or holidays in foreign locations. That's of course the expectation of someone with a certain background.
I dread using the phrase 'middle class' as that's so, SO amorphous and in the labyrinthine diversity of India, probably makes no sense at all.
But really let's give it a try and see how and why this ritual, this tradition called marriage persists in the 21st century in India.
Should not it be obvious to any intelligent person in this day that you can't find anyone who is sort of like a mirror image of yours -- only belonging to the opposite sex. Oh, BTW, I'm only talking about heterosexual relationships here as I am heterosexual myself.
As a man, the best I should hope for is to find a girl/woman with some of the same interests as me and sharing some of my viewpoints. One of the qualities of such a woman has to be that she should be of an atheistic persuasion. I have grown more militant about my own atheism over the years. I can't imagine being in bed -- literally and figuratively -- with a female who makes a fuss over nonsense rituals (to give an example).
Need I say that I won't be too attached to a woman who was attached to expensive cars or expensive jewelry or other expensive stuff. I also look for a woman who has bigger horizons than her 'family.'
These, it turns, is quite a lot to hope for in India. Perhaps 95% or 99% women rule themselves out based on these criteria. Those who are part of that tiny minority may have refined tastes and I may not meet their rarefied criteria. Which creates an odd situation for a male like me.
And, oh, need I repeat, if the 'criteria' are more or less fulfilled, then I would be happy to have a physical and other sorts of relationship with such a woman -- by no means would I be interested in going ALL THE WAY. Marriage is an archaic institution. And who wants to ...
What's the harm -- some might ask -- in going for marriage if two individuals discover that they are in perfect alignment like planets lining up in the sky on those rare occasions.
My point is that that alignment is likely to get disturbed sooner or later -- just as planetary alignments are rare events that occur only once in a while. Similarly, two people who happen to discover that 'they are in love' or some such thing might go for overhyped stuff such as marriage and then lo and behold, slowly but surely, the inevitable drudgery of living together too much of the time will pull them apart and they will start pretending to be in love and will pretend to be nice even when they start feeling occasionally like strangling their partner or at the very least rolling their eyes.
It's only the movie fans to whom the movie stars appear starry. To their spouses, the stars are truly fallible and human as quite strongly evidenced by the frequent divorces.
Marriage also often comes with the unnatural expectation of marital fidelity and the drudgery of monogamy leading to monotony. From a male perspective, it seems unnatural that I should be expected to lose interest in other females just because I happen to be married. I would like to keep my options open frankly. Life is short. You only live a couple of decades of active sexual life. Before that you are too young; afterwards, mostly too old.
Of all the billions of years that have passed since the Big Bang, this is the ONLY time you will ever get to enjoy sex. And after a couple of decades, this too shall pass. You will be old and dying and dead. The universe will go on for billions of years.
How short is our lifetime in this cosmic perspective. How powerless (and insignificant) we are -- think of the Pale Blue Dot image taken by the Voyager spacecraft. Can that cosmic perspective at all influence our inane feelings of jealous-ness and possessiveness?
Some might wonder what does our attitude to marriage have to do with the cosmic perspectives we have acquired in the last hundred years? Well, how can it not? How can we NOT be affected by all the realizations gathered by the wonders of science & technology and astronomy and physics and astrophysics?
Just as our religions used to define every aspect of who we were as individuals in the old days, we must learn to assimilate the lessons of science into who we are as individuals and how we live our lives.
You won't pray to the gods after you or your wife are pregnant to bless you with a male or female child, would you? We understand the science behind conception and birth. We must similarly acknowledge our evolutionary drive to have sex and just do it because it's so much fun.
Realize that as any anthropologist would explain, marriage was probably sanctified in so many of the diverse human cultures as that helps clarify who the 'father' of a kid is. And most traditional societies have been patriarchal thus ensuring that either one man tended to be married to one woman or to many women.
So let's just give a quiet burial to this archaic institution and move on.