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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taxi No. 9211

So I am in the unique position this semester, actually I have been since last semester, I am just doing something about it now, where I have to have a Netflix account and watch movies. It isn't a class assignment per se, but my things will be better if I do it this way. I am struggling in my Hindi class because I can read and write passably, but I cannot speak for beans. So basically the only way I have available to me is to rent Bollywood movies and watch them to try to pick up the language. It actually really helps a lot. I cannot watch them without subtitles, but I can feel at least my listening abilities in Hindi improving. The problem is I have no time for these shenanigans. I get a new movie in and it is a total drag because it means I have to make time to watch the dag blasted thing. Like I said, it is a unique problem.

Tonight I watched Taxi No. 9211. I do not intend to write a movie review, in fact I don't really ever plan to do that here. It isn't really relevant. The reason I mention this one is because unlike so many Bollywood movies that feature the rich and famous and their awesome rich and famous lives, one of the two main characters was a poor taxi driver. They spent a lot of time on his life and his challenges. It was fascinating to get a view of how his sort of everyday life went. It felt so familiar to be in a home like his. It made me so homesick (obviously that isn't the right word, but I don't know the correct one) for India. I miss it so freaking much! I am so excited to go back I can't stand it. I want to go now! Anyhow, pardon my emotions getting the better of me. The marriage of the main character was also very interesting to me. They never said, but I assume it was an arranged marriage. The dynamics of how they interacted was what seemed to me would be an arranged marriage. Also, the other main characters relationship was a loved based one and she turned out to be a gold digger. Coincidence? I think not. The reason this is important to me is because of how good their marriage was portrayed. They really cared for each other. I know it is a movie, so obviously the relationships of the characters are whatever they want them to be, however I find the dynamics of arranged marriages so fascinating. They are not perfect. I have personally seen many awful examples of the problems of arranged marriage, but they can also work. I am excited to learn more about them and see how they work in practice under less constrained circumstances. I think in the West we automatically assume that they are these awful, loveless, abusive relationships where people are just miserable and only love their children. That happens, but I want to see the everyday situations. I know arranged marriages that have turned out quite well. Just because they are not initially love based, doesn't mean that they cannot grow to be love based. Because we as Westerners are so stuck on the concept of whether or not we are "in love" with the person we are marrying, I think we miss how mutual commitment to a relationship can turn it into something great. I mean, how can you really know that you love someone after a few weeks like apparently a couple in my ward does? Obviously in an arranged marriage you only know them for like five minutes, but the difference is, with an arranged marriage, they don't go into it expecting perfection. They don't have the delusion that they in any way really know their spouse. I think Americans fall into that trap so easily.

Anyhow, I am not trying to necessarily argue for the arranged marriage. There are many reason why going into a relationship blind, especially with the way gender roles often work in India, is a terrible idea. However, the more I learn about it, while I may not necessarily agree with it or envy it, more and more I find myself coming to admire and respect many of the aspects of the arranged marriage and all the effort and ideology that are involved in making them work. In many ways, rather than breaking India of their bad habits with our Westernizing influence, I think Americans have a lot they could learn from the Indian arranged marriage that would improve our American "love marriages." Wow, this was such  stereotypical ideal field study blog learning journal entry. How disappointing. I have been trying my darndest to avoid doing this. The question, the exploration, drawing the conclusion, and finishing off with an open ended growth moment or epiphany. I apologize. I will work harder to not do this in the future, lol. I can't stand it.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know . . . I like this kind of post. My roommate and I were talking the other day about this--and I mentioned that I thought real love was more of a decision than something you fall in and out of. And in this way I really respect arranged marriages. Because you're right--going into something not expecting perfection changes the way you deal with the challenges, and that's a strength and love in and of itself.

    As for your issue, doesn't it become sad when these things we want to do to become better in what we love become ISSUES. I do this to myself all the time, and then have to realize that the things that I put off the good things too often for the things with deadlines. I think it's great you're watching the Bollywood movies, and I fully support all movie-watching endeavors.