A coincidence - or providence? Just a few days back, Suvro Bhattacharya Sir asked me to pen a few lines regarding my thoughts on marriage and divorce...and express my ideas on whether it is a journey of intimate relationships or a rocking roller-coaster ride crashing towards divorce. Today, I see a headline on the "page one plus" of the Sunday Hindustan Times (June 14, 2015) that screams out "THE OLDEST NEWLY-WEDS". The subheading says "A British couple with a combined age of 194 years and 281 days became the world's oldest to get married when they took the plunge on Saturday, after getting together 27 years ago." - Astonishing? Isn't it? Surely there must be something great and unbreakable about the concept and bond of marriage.

Well, yes and no, I would say, for there must be a reason, which somehow makes this institution of marriage remarkable and great. We all know very well, that such an institution does not exist in other species! So there is something special about us, human beings, that the Creator has designed. And this something is that which drives us with an unwritten code to seek out a life partner, who can shower upon us the gifts of love, tenderness, togetherness, companionship, affection and understanding on this awesome journey of life. Well said and well done by many, and yet the questions pops up...why does all this seemingly beautiful scenario end up in divorce? Is marriage an angel - and divorce Satan? Is marriage a bondage - and divorce freedom? Is marriage pretty - and divorce ugly? Is marriage a heaven? Then why does it apparently seem like hell to many? And if it is so, and such questions of doubt are creeping around, in the recesses of our minds, why do most of us take this "plunge"? I guess, the proof of the pudding is in eating, as the saying goes!

So, then, what is one supposed to do? How do you choose between the devil and the deep blue sea, between the frying pan and the fire? Well, there is no devil, there is no deep blue sea, and no frying pan and no fire! These lie latent in our minds, but if our hearts are filled with love, understanding and compassion (and not just only passion of the sexual kind - more on that later), if our attitudes are awash with the spirit of sacrifice, giving and caring, all the  devils, deeps blue seas, frying pans and fires vanish into thin air. The state of the heart and the fabric of our attitudes determine the joys (or lamentations) of this journey of intimate relationship.

If one talks about procreation - arguments can be put forth than man can procreate even without/  outside this institution of marriage. Well, yes, man can do so, very well and very easily. No problems with that. But one must remember that procreation is not just recreation. Sex is lovely, but it is not love. Sex is beautiful, but not all by itself when isolated from love, affection and responsibility. Sex cannot last in a selfish environment, but can bloom forever in an "Eden" garden only when nurtured with fountains of selfless love.

Thus, it needs to be well understood and remembered, that sexual gratification is not at all the pillar on which stands the magnificent structure of a wonderful marriage. This human desire is therefore essentially need based, human need for gratification. When greed and selfishness are stripped from this need, it becomes bliss that leads to a blissful marriage of togetherness. In comparison, I would say that procreation is rather more concerned with the Creator/ Creation and the so called scientific concept of "survival of species".

Although I am not so well read, common sense tells me that, there are more marriages taking place in this world than divorces (obviously they cannot be less, since one cannot get divorced without being married!). If the number of divorces taking place in this world were equal to the number of divorces, then all this merry-go-round would have been unfruitful, meaningless and senseless! But it is not so. At any point of time, more people get married than divorced. In fact, many couples have remarried each other after getting divorced not just once, but a number of times. A classic example of this topsy-turvy giant-wheel of marriage-divorce circle is that of Hollywood actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

With these thoughts in mind, I can therefore confidently believe that, yes, there is something monumental in this institution of marriage as compared to the frugal nature of divorce. It is for the readers of what I write here, and future generations to eat and taste the pudding, and turn my belief into their beliefs and reality.


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