My professional role in Kalyanamalai SUN TV show as well as my managing the activities of Athithi a wedding planning company has given me more opportunities to mingle with a number of elderly people. Most of them being parents used to share their worries related to the marriage of their son or daughter with me, to seek my advice and to find solace.
One such discussion I had with a parent recently has put me off ground and made me sad. I thought that sharing of such an experience here, will caution the parents to clearly understand their role as parents. Further, it will help them to know how they unknowingly harm their children thinking that they are doing the best for them.
I know Ajay and Anuradha for a number of years. Ajay is elder to me by a few years. We met during one of the marriages conducted by Athithi. He and Anuradha have become close to my family too. Both of them are well qualified and jointly running an export business and a software company. The efficiently run companies are keeping them engaged and bringing them good profits.
Their only son Bharath is an exceptionally brilliant boy. After joining IIT Bombay by scoring a top rank, he finished his B.Tech and M.Tech at Mumbai. He latter joined Stanford University at Stanford California, USA and completed his Ph.D. A top ranking Fortune 500 MNC in the USA took him for a higher position without hesitation.
Ajay and Anu have initiated the marriage proposal to Bharath at the age of 28 when he just completed his Ph.D. and asked for his opinion. He firmly told them to wait for at least five more years to enable him to reach a top-level position in the company. Thinking about their son’s future, they readily agreed for his suggestion.
Ajay and Anu ventured into software exports by starting a new company and became further busy. The right type business and the good clients allowed them to taste the success too soon and made them frequent fliers between continents. They visited Bharath a number of times and went other places in the USA together.
The success in the new business and their old export firm has made them very busy. They conveniently forgot about the marriage of Bharath. They failed to ask his consent at the end of five years, and Bharath also has forgotten it. He was 36 when they asked him again. By the time, he had left the earlier company and joined a new company with almost double the compensation and further perks. He asked his parents to wait for a year to which they reluctantly agreed. Bharath’s engagement in the new company kept him away at Australia for over a year. Finally he agreed to the marriage when he was 39 years old.
Bharath and his parents failed to notice the changes brought in by the nature on him due to his incessant travels, stress, parties and age. They failed to understand that he is no more attractive and youthful to have demand in the matrimonial circles. He has become chubby, puffy with rounds of black spots under his eyes. It shocked them when they faced the stark reality and understood that their money will never get Bharath a pleasing and beautiful girl as wife. In fact, they received very few matches of girls that too above the age of 35 having a similar old look due to stress and age. Bharath was disappointed, lost his cool and showed his anger on them.
Ajay and Anu came to my office along with Bharath and met me seeking my suggestion. When I asked Bharath how you are? He did not hesitate to share his pain. He said ‘uncle my parents have failed in their role to get me married’. He added that in their pursuit for a new business, they failed to push me and compel me to marry. In fact, they took my refusals as convenient excuses to promote their business substantially. Being married at the right age had my parents warned me correctly about the problems that I may face if I opt to marry at a relatively old age, I would have readily agreed to them earlier. However, they were more concerned about their business and personal growth. Ajay and Anu remained speechless all through the conversation and did not utter a word.
I find that the numbers of such instances are steadily growing and it pains me. Similarly, a number of girls who have studied Ph.D. are continuing further by postponing their marriage. They also suffer similar problems in finding a suitable match when they become ready for marriage.
I conclude that the present-day parents have increased level of responsibilities. They must not only help their son or daughter in their marriage but also help them to get married at the right age by explaining the problems of a late marriage.