I was talking to my young friend the other day. It was after a long time. He seemed exceptionally cheerful. I couldn't help myself but ask, "Looks like you are adjusting well with your wife, happy eh." He said, "Hell, No I already got a divorce, she is in India." Some three years ago, my friend's parents thought he was of age and that he should get married. Like all other Indian parents, they went to India to bring a wife.
The kid is high school equivalent and the wife was a college graduate from Bombay. What kind of compatibility? If she is thinking of them growing in life achieving higher goals, he is busy with some beers, action flicks, cursing and the gambling at Atlantic City. The end was inevitable. Now my friend is happy but the girl who is now in India is doomed for life, God forbid.
This kid migrated to the US when he was only ten. He grew up with total Americanized culture. I figure the reason being his parents came from a village in Gujarat. They had very basic education and were barely able to communicate in English. Unfortunately, in a situation like this it gets difficult to prevent their kids from outside stronger influences when the kids think that their parents are naive. Even with parents who are well educated and are aware, it takes a lot of effort and hard work to keep our values and culture in a different country where outside influence is stronger and quite contrary to the one at home.
It is so ironic that we Indian parents living abroad leave a lot in the name of out-side influence but put our foot down when it comes to settling kids life-time partnership. Most often not realizing what their kids want, what their likings, their expectations and their personality are. All they think is the person they bring from India has a nice family background and is doing well professionally. Is it all to adjust in life? Most young people have dreams as to what kind of person he or she is going to spend the life with. How can anyone else possibly know what his or her dreams are? Parents need to be more sensitive to the feelings and desires of the kids. Young kids at a marriageable age are very matured and they know lot about life. Unlike the common belief of the parents that we know best what is good for the kids.
Parents should realize that once we move here, over a period the culture here influences our children. They obviously feel more comfortable adjusting with someone who has same values and life style. Anyone who comes from India takes a long time to blend into this life style. Some times, since they grow up in a different and taut society, they do not blend fully. Even if they do, it is too late.
It is then easier for the parents here to let the kids have divorce without having much compassion for what the condition is of their counterparts in India especially so if they are parents of a girl. The parents here have unfortunately made it a business. Just by virtue of being in the US, they are able to get professionals lined up for their green card holder or citizen kids. There is no match necessary. An ordinary Associate Degree holder could marry a Doctor easily.
Parents do not realize that the mental make up of a doctor cannot possibly be the same as that of an Associate degree holder, I mean not necessarily. So either they have to work towards coming up to each other's level or if one would think East the other would be somewhere in West. After all couples need to communicate and get along and be able to enjoy common topics of conversation, intelligence, tastes and ideas to enjoy life. Could be that a doctor is going to play golf while the other is rather enjoying an action movie. Where is the togetherness then? A little disparity here and there is okay being too much different is not conducive to couples' happiness. Isn't it what the intent of the parents is?
Marriage is not a combination of just two good families. There is lot more that two people look in a partner. We parents should be more sensitive, before being instrumental in ruining the lives of not just the two people involved but the parents involved too. Parents cannot and should not derive happiness at the misery of their kids.