September 2, 2002

“They” say that you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. This is a saying that I particularly dislike. Well, not because I don’t like breaking eggs – though here in Sri Lanka they have (or used to have – not sure now with the mass producing farms and such …) what was called “Buddhist eggs”; they were basically unfertilized eggs since the Buddhists do not like the taking of life of any creature and since there was no life involved in an unfertilized egg, they were OK with eating it. But I digress. What I don’t like about the whole breaking egg theory is the fact that while it might not be a big deal to break eggs – it becomes a big deal when you transfer the metaphor to human beings. You can’t hurt people to achieve your ends and then say, “oh well … you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs!”. That’s inconsiderate and unfeeling!

Why am I going on about this? Well, we went on another one of our now-becoming-routine trips this weekend to look at another prospective bride. My parents liked her, my brother says he liked her (not sure since he has a habit of not being contradictory unless necessary :p) but I didn’t because I’ve told my parents that if I’m to spend the rest of my life with somebody, it will have to be somebody that I feel an affinity to. I don’t know how I can express it better (and that’s probably what’s frustrating my parents as well since they don’t have anything concrete to go on …) but that’s not the problem. The problem is the other side – the bride’s side. I feel bad about going somewhere, meeting somebody and then saying “no, won’t do” when they probably have a lot of expectations and hopes. It’s all fine to say that it’s about the rest of our lives for the both of us and that we have to make the correct decision but what about the people who feel rejected or whose hopes had been dashed?

It’s very different for parents here in Sri Lanka – their responsibility does not end with their children growing up and getting out of school. They have to find them good partners, get them married and usually it doesn’t even end there since they are involved in their children’s lives even after that as well. So, they go to a lot of trouble to ensure that their children are married to a good family – they check on the family, they check on the groom and basically they try to make sure that their son (or daughter – actually, particularly more so in the case of a daughter) is going to a good family and that they would be well cared for and happy. Unfortunately, the part that they miss out on is making sure that the two people involved do match each other since there is no fool-proof method to ensure that. Now they at least let the people talk to each other but things were so strict in earlier days that all you could do was look at the prospective bride (or the prospective groom) and declare your acceptance or not – in fact, my Dad says that his parents had fixed his marriage without his consultation at all :p Maybe that’s the best thing after all since my Dad and Mom are one of the happiest couples I know but can I (or any of us for that matter …) afford to take that chance with our own lives? :p

Posted by Fahim at 6:05 am  |  3 Comments