Monday, June 7, 2010

Bombay Love Project

Here, I am, already two days late for the daily posting. But, as promised, the idea behind the #thebombayloveproject:

Bombay has changed a lot for its lovers over the past generation. Psychologist Shaifali Sandhya says marriage in India has undergone more change in the last two decades than it has in the last three thousand years.

Last generation couples lived through the country pre and post liberalization, in a time with only one TV channel and now with hundreds of dramatic serials. They lived through the austere, tighten-your-belt India and are now living the consumeristic, better-buy-your-wife-a-gold-watch one.

This generation is another animal. They’ve only seen the India who is on the world stage. They've only lived the India that is hungry for position and power and money. And they want those things themselves.

The last generation grew up in the 60s and 70s, the period of youth rebellion. If a girl wanted to love someone that she shouldn’t, of whom her parents didn't approve, she rebelled. It was fight, elope, or die.

This generation doesn't need to agitate. If a girl's parents say no, it’s beseech and appeal for your love marriage, and then beseech some more. And her parents just might say yes. Even if it’s to a man of another caste, or within the same gotra, or across continents to a man of another race.

Of course, it’s not all rosy. Hindu Muslim relationships are still do or die. Some parents don’t care if they hated chafing at the bit—they want their kids to do the same. But these are less.

There are other changes. Marriages are happening later. Joint families are becoming rapidly nuclear. There are more live-in relationships. More divorce. And more sex, sex, sex. Some of this has been mapped out, by Shaifali Sandhya in Love Will Follow, Mother Pious Lady, by Santosh Desai, Surviving Women, by Jerry Pinto. 

These tell the facts, the cold, hard trends. I want to tell the stories. 

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