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Hitched : The Modern Women and Arranged Marriage by Nandini Krishnan
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- Nandini Krishnan.
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- Book Review: ‘Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage’ by Nandini Krishnan.
- Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage | Nandini Krishnan | Book Review!
As traditional matchmaking methods and internet chat rooms come together to build matrimonial websites, our parameters have changed, but the time-honoured practice of arranged marriage sticks. Hitched explores in depth the considerations matrimony should involve, and the issues that can crop up at different stages of an arranged marriage.
Book Review: ‘Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage’ by Nandini Krishnan
Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 0 0 star ratings 0 reviews. Overall rating No ratings yet 0. This is what happens when a journalist does record an interview. The Hindu once again acknowledged my existence , and most of Madras woke up to the fact that I've written a book. Lots of aunties asked me why I didn't wear a pottu. Other aunties said I look just like Ma did at my age.
I wanted to tell them, "Yeah, it's almost like we're mum and daughter. The Asian Age carried the following erroneous article about me, and the full text of the interview can be found here. In the interview, of course, I don't call my non-fiction book a 'novel'. A longer version may be found here , for those who love me as much as I do. Either download the image here, or go here for the text of the interview. Also, do read the full interview here. Read it here. For the record, I said "chai-tray" not "chai-trade".
Read an extract in Open Magazine. And it seems to be more in the nature of a series of personal narratives, from a lot of different and varied individuals. The question I want to kick off with is, how has writing this book altered your own perception of marriage? So, when I spoke to friends of mine, and friends of theirs , who have had arranged marriages, these were the issues that came up constantly. Especially with things like maiden names, because many of them are journalists or dancers or singers or writers or sportspeople, and they have a certain identity.
So, would you change your name? Or, when it comes to the issue of living with in-laws, when you have two people who are working, how do you deal with it? On the one hand, having a home that is taken care of is a good thing, but what about your privacy and stuff? So, issues like that would constantly come up. AS laughs : No, the question that I want to slightly pin you down to is that every author starts with a certain set of preconceived notions about the topic that they are covering.
And the question really was, did some of those preconceived notions change during the process of writing this book? Was there some reformation, was there some catharsis, was there some transformation in yourself, as a result of having heard and written these stories. So I was wondering whether you could address that. NK: Oh, okay, yeah. There certainly was a transformation, in the sense that I had always thought of arranged marriages as an unpleasant thing, or as a last resort, or as something that I would not prefer.
AS laughs : Yeah? Would you agree or disagree with that? NK: Well, I think it really depends on the individual, you know. So, the people who go in with that conscious decision, that they want to get married and they want to settle down, I think they are happy anyway. But then people who are maybe emotionally blackmailed into marriage, I think they are unhappy in any marriage.
So, I think it depends on the person, and how well these individuals know themselves. AS: I would seem to second that view. That comes across quite clearly from the wide-ranging personal narratives which form almost mini-chapters within your book. Let me then ask you that question which is almost timeless — love marriage or arranged marriage, which one is better?
Or do all marriages lie somewhere in between? Is there no thing any longer like a purely love marriage, or purely arranged marriage? Are all marriages a hybrid that lie somewhere in the continuum between these two extremes? And in that case, can you say "love is blind", because you're obviously aware that you're getting along with this person for some reason? So many of your friends may have that same sync with you.
Where does that come from? And again, with arranged marriages, people say they felt something click, or they are just comfortable with each other. Or they tick off factors in a list, and they approach the whole thing pragmatically, but then they find that they really care about each other, that they are attracted to each other, that they eventually love each other. What induces that change in their dynamic?
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So, I think, as you put it so beautifully, both lie somewhere in that continuum between extremes, where neither is purely love and neither is purely arranged. In fact, that idea comes through very clearly in your book — the way I see it, all marriages nowadays seem to be hybrids, and are a mixture of those two elements to a greater or lesser degree. And that comes across quite beautifully as a result of the personal narratives of so many individuals, who have had very, very different and very, very unique experiences.
One thing that did come to my mind — I noticed that except for one particular chapter which talked about the other side, which was the male perspective, all the other chapters in the book revolved mainly around the female perspective. Was that a deliberate choice on your part, or was it something unintentional, that you basically happened to have more female friends from whom you could gather narratives?
Or was it something that you simply wanted to tell the female side of the story, and use the male perspective as almost an aside? NK: Yes, it was a deliberate decision to use the male perspective as an aside. Sometimes, what is more interesting than what was in the book is what is not part of the book.
So, were there stories about which you felt either that they were too depressing, or that for some reason you had to leave them out of your narrative? I was just wondering what remained outside the book. NK: Ah, ok. I think the most entertaining stories, I did put in there.
And a lot of these people are happily married now, you know, so the stories they told me were fun — or they may have been depressing when they happened then, but when they look back at them now, from their happily-married-homes where they live with the right man, they do seem funny in retrospect. AS: I understand. Do you think that the Eastern and Western concepts are comparable?
NK: Absolutely. I just did an interview, in fact, where someone asked me whether I think arranged marriages are regressive, and whether we should not be going more towards the West, and I said, I think just like with spirituality, the West seems to be moving more towards the East when it comes to arranged marriages. But I think eventually everyone hopes to find the right person and settle down. Like I know someone who spoke to a man for eight months before they decided to get married. AS: Interesting, very interesting. I found that extremely fascinating. That was one of my favourite chapters in the book, in fact.
And these people could have made a good couple. And they both are still unmarried, and they liked each other from what they saw of their Facebook profiles.