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  • Jaspal Kahlon

Marriage – Duties and Desires



“Aaj Sunday hain. Chalo….kuch Toofani karte hai, Lets sit with our wife for 24 hours..

…….darr sab ko lagta hain, par darr ke aage jeet hain”


Jokes on married couples are a norm. Whether they are forwarded on Whats app or shared at social gatherings, husband-wife relation is presented more in humor than as a serious affair. Each person is happy taunting at any opportunity, on the misgivings of the other. While multitude factors are at play in any relationship, ‘taken for granted’ is one of them that is at the root of all issues.


‘Taken for granted’ in our patriarchal society, is role of woman groomed over the years to give priority to brother, husband, her in-laws and children over herself. ‘Taken for granted’ in the sense that husband expects his wife to be care-taker for her parents and kids, seeks his permission before any decision, ready with freshly cooked food and available for sex when demanded.


‘Taken for granted’ is the husband who is expected to be a funder for educating kids, buying jewellery, house, save enough in case he dies during his working life and protects his family. “Taken for granted’ are his efforts to survive the downturns of business or a job.


With no deliberate attempt to generalize the relationship of husband-wife, it’s a relation that has to attend to its duties, both singly and jointly as a couple, and also live their desires. Desires can be anything that an individual wants to do without worrying for comfort/discomfort of the other. A desire may be any action that the holder feels should not bother his/her partner when pursued.


Marriage is one of the 4 most important occasions in life of a human being; the other three being Birth, Choice of Profession and Death. Decision to get married, comes for some post a love relation or is arranged by parents. One of the major reasons to get married is to obtain a ‘No Objection’ tag from society. Other obvious reasons for getting married could be: parents asked me to, loneliness, someone to attend to my needs, have a family, get wealth in dowry to start own business etc. etc. I believe you do not need to get married to win your love of life.


My intention is not to question the reasons but point to the fact that ‘intent’ and ‘commitment’ demanded is something to be given due consideration while taking decisions. Most of us get married at an age where we are biologically eligible but lack the experience to commit into almost an irreversible relationship; atleast in Indian society.


Commitment to a relation cannot be forced upon, it comes when it’s felt from within. So it is like angelic beneficence that calls for selfless dedication in expectation of winning over the other. This does not come easily and those who claim to have this ‘angelic beneficence’ will at other times recall their contribution as a ‘sacrifice’.


Duties are the responsibilities we have to attend to as husband or wife. It has no connotation to love or compatibility. Since marriage is a social need, the duties that come with it are also a social requirement. They are to be attended whether one likes it or not. Building expectations of better compatibility and love from our partners since you attending to duties is wrongly placed. It infact, comes from independence that couples gives to each other and respects each other’s feelings and desires.


So while duties keep us together, desires will keep propping and should be attended to by each partner whether individually or together. It may be true that marriages are made in heaven but on earth we still have our individualities, our identities distinct from our life partners.

After all, FALLING IN LOVE is an incident in life while MARRIAGE is a decision of life.

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