Now that I understand (at least partially) the workings of an arranged marriage, I also understand better the reasons for Riya’s conflicted feelings (Riya’s quandary). It boils down to just three words: lack of faith. Although the word “lack” is used with negative connotations conventionally, in this case, I urge you to take a neutral stand. Riya believes in all the things mentioned in The arranged marriage conundrum. She, however, believes in them to a lesser degree. How does that influence her decisions?
For example, she values her own judgment over any “guidance” provided by an astrologer. Therefore, if she strongly believes in a cause, she would go ahead with even if the stars predicted otherwise. She wields a different kind of courage that is rooted in the self rather than the unknown. She does believe in destiny. But she also believes that there is no substitute for diligent thought and balanced analysis to decision making. The outcome of the decision could be destiny. She would do everything in her power to at least try to influence life if not control its flow. She lives with a vague sense of control over her life and when that is seized, her entire world falls apart.
Is she wrong to think that she has control? Is it an illusion like the wise Oogway lead us to believe? I am nowhere near getting to answer these questions satisfactorily. Perhaps, one day I will figure it out. For now, though, I suppose Riya has two options.
1. Accept: Accept wholeheartedly a decision taken not rationally but with intuition and divine guidance. This is a rather difficult task. People strive to achieve this feeling of surrender for decades and still fail. For Riya especially, this calls for a massive shift in mindset that can only be caused by an equally massive shift in circumstances. Without the aid of disruptive events, it is highly unlikely that she would just accept.
2. Negotiate: A better option is probably to negotiate with her parents. She could take their inputs on the terms of suitability as deemed by her parents and then ask for some time within which she would find a suitor by herself. Although this is also destiny, she would probably feel more in control and hence far less conflicted. With luck, she probably would find one soon! What if she doesn’t? We will see that in another future post. For now, I hope Riya starts enjoying her bus rides again.