At Odds…

My elder sis said yes to this guy who had proposed to her at least 3 times. She said no, but continued dating him. He was as always hopeful.
Finally he gave her an ultimatum. ‘Either you give me a definite yes or a no or simply stop giving me any hope’. Guess the guy had lost his patience.

Okay so the thing is she has said YES. You may ask so what is the problem? Well the problem is that the guy is from a different cast. Worst is that he is from a lower caste.
Caste system is India is so firmly rooted even today, maybe not among the present generation, but with the previous ones, that it becomes a big issue if you marry someone outside caste.
Though it is quite prevalent now.
If you are a Hindu and you marry a Muslim, it is considered suicide. I agree with this somewhat. Not because of the Hindu Muslim issue, but because the traditions, customs, everyday life being so different. If you are ready for the sacrifices and the adjustments it requires, fine. Otherwise it is like you are fighting a war.

And yet again I have managed to steer from the topic.
My sis now has this daunting task of letting my parents know that she wants to marry this guy.  I quite like him. The best part is he accepts my sis as she is, knowing all her quirks and qualities, good, bad, whatever. Also he is well settled and financially stable.
I know my parents will agree, eventually. But until then it is going to be a war.

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40 thoughts on “At Odds…

  1. Whoa! Heavy! Good for him though to keep trying I say…! To keep asking after three knock-backs makes him sound like quite a good guy…

    Although yeah, the caste thing must be complicated (although I don’t know much about it…) and cultural differences can make things tricky… Not insurmountable though.

    I guess your parents knew this might be coming, if she’s been dating him for a while…?

    Anyway, hope the war isn’t too bad for you all! 🙂

  2. Sound like fun.

    I fancied this girl who went to the same university as I did and tried repeatedly to get her to go out with me to no avail. I had concluded that she just wasn’t interested in a big hairy anglo saxon with too many muscles and a fondness for frogs. I was quite wrong though as she carefully explained the caste system and her societal rule to me. I confess to being completely flummoxed by the whole idea but she maintained that it was a big enough stretch for her parents even to allow her to go to university (and be out of their protection) and dating a white man would be too much for them. I couldn’t get my head around the idea that a parent’s opinion was of any importance at all to who a woman went out with. She was really gorgeous too.

    Secretly I still think that she wasn’t interested and was just being kind.

  3. Hmm..ya well, CM, the guy is really nice. He helped me out when I had to pick up a photo frame for my parents anniversary. He takes my younger sis out sometimes. I know that is just to impress us, but still, not many guys would go to such lengths.
    My parents think he is just a friend. They don’t know she is actually dating him.

  4. HF: May be she was speaking the truth. Some families are too particular about such things. White men to our previous generations are people who don’t believe much in the marriage system, who simply flirt around and stuff, though WE know that is not the truth. But things have changed so much now.
    If you had met her today, then maybe things would have been a little different. At least she would have given you a chance.A Frog could turn into a Prince after all 🙂

  5. Oh…. that makes a bit different! Still, all my brothers’ girlfriends used to be really nice to me (the youngest of the family) when they came to visit. That’s a bother’s/sister’s privilege I think! So they SHOULD try to impress us!

    So what they going to say? Will there be lots of shouting involved? Do you stay out of the way or do you get stuck in?! 🙂

  6. I try to get involved as much as possible. I’ll try my best to convince them. It could be an investment in my future too 🙂

    And anyway sisters should stand up for each other even if they don’t get along.

  7. Hard one. If she loves him then she should go for it. The only thing is i know that families like to have a lot of input into a marriage. She needs to set down some family rules before she marrys him otherwise they will be moved in before she says i do.

  8. Hehe! That’s true Violet – very wise! 🙂

    Good luck with it! I always get my head down (& out of the way!) when there’s those kind of wars going on!

  9. Well not believing in a marriage system, flirting around and stuff sounds just about right for me. More so when I was at uni. Maybe they were right to raise her to stay away from people like me. It’s hard to believe but I wasn’t always the deep and well rounded character that I am today. I could even have been accused of being shallow in my teenage years. 😉

    Having said that I’d hate to raise my children to keep their girlfriends and boyfriends a secret from me. I may not approve of their choices (in fact I can guarantee that no-one will ever be good enough for my little girls) but I’d approve a lot less if I felt that I had been deceived. Parents (OK mums) also know a lot more than they let on so I wouldn’t be surprised if they really did know that your sister was dating this chap. Isn’t it your sisterly duty to subtly drop hints to your parents to make sure that it doesn’t come as a shock to them?

  10. Fab: No one will try to interfere in what my sister does, they know better than that, so that ‘moving in’ problem won’t arise in this case.

    CM: I put my head down when it is not related to family or close friends. Otherwise I just cannot keep quite 🙂

    Well Mr. Frog, she didn’t tell them coz she wasn’t sure herself, but now that she is, she’ll do just that.
    My sister dating won’t be a shock to my parents, but the caste of the guy would.

  11. Tell me about it.. in my case (well in my erstwhile case), I as a guy took a lot of flack because being a Gujarati I wanted to marry a Marathi girl (there goes caste out of the window.. we are talking totally different cultures.. and if you want cast, I’m a Baniya and she was a Brahmin which means she was ahead of me like in this case).

    It finally didn’t work out because the parents were simply not ready to talk sense, even though us kids went as far to get engagement rings (I still look at the one I had got for her and cry). They tried to look like they supported us, but were each looking for that one thing that would put it all to an end.

    In the end I guess I messed it up, but then I guess life is what happens when we are making other plans. 😦

    Sorry for the comment.. I seriously need to get friends I can talk to 🙂

  12. That is so sad, I don’t understand why people can’t see the fact that the couple is actually in love. If they oppose because of other reasons its fine, but I guess cast or religion should not be one of them.
    I am so sorry for what happened with you Hemanshu.

  13. Yes, very sad story Hemanshu. Sorry to hear that.

    It’s hard to comment when I am out of that culture and pretty ignorant of what it means and stands for… Westerners can (usually do!) shout off their views without really knowing what they’re talking about. And it’s not as though the stats for the West is a good advert for their way of doing marriage either…!

    But anyway, I hope you’re OK. 🙂

  14. Hi Violet, that is a tough one, but I’m sure she’ll figure it out, so congrats to her. I understand to some extent about the caste thing, as I’d not marry a non-Christian for a variety of reasons, I think it’s difficult if the two people actively follow there faith. I think he sounds like a nice guy and I’m sure your parents will see that in time, well done him for sticking around to keep asking!

  15. Pete, is religion that important to you that you would forsake a chance at remaining with someone you were otherwise compatable with (a romantic may call it true love)? What if someone were less devout than you or were Catholic rather than Protestant or even a Jehovah’s Witness. These religions have the same deity and the same moral code to differing degrees. Your belief structure is close enough to be compatible, surely?

    The Hildy isn’t as atheist as I am (she thinks religion is just funny while I think it is a dangerous shared delusion) but I don’t allow it to come between us and she just laughs at me when I get too serious about it. 😉

  16. My Indian Princess 🙂

    Working her way through the Monsoon season..

    Tell me Sketches my Princess, do you lice close to Gangu? the river Godess??

    The Ganji being her chosen Western Name these days 🙂

    The story of Ganju is the one that captures my Heart the most 🙂

    Giver of Life, Taker of death, Nurturer of Souls 🙂

    MIGHTY was the Deity who jumped under Ganju and captured her “WHOLE” witin it’s hair, and through srands of MIGHTY HAIR seeded THE LIFE BLOOD OF iNDIA 🙂

    The Godess/River Ganji is a deity to be in AWE OFF! 🙂

    For through her Journey onto Mortal Soil, all to save Mens souls,, SUCH did she bring forth LIFE TO INDIA in so many ways 🙂

    What total “love of life” India holds :)..

    Makes me feel so very small as a Common Westerner 🙂

    I am so very “chuffed” TO CALL YOU FRIEND my SKETCHES 🙂

    Sleep Well this Monsoon 🙂

    Always thinking of you!!

    Hyperion xxxxxxx

    🙂

  17. Yes Hoverfrog, I would. Not neccesarily in the case of someone who was from a different denomination as I’m non-denominational anyway. My beliefs are important to me, and effect too much of who I am and the things I do, I know many people from a whole variety of faiths who feel the same way, if your faith is a big part of who you are and why you are how you are, it creates too many issues to marry someone outside of that. To say that I believed absolutely in God (which I do, as you’ve probably picked up from our debates) and that He is so good, and that salvation is so important, then to go marry someone who doesn’t even believe He’s real would be insincere not only to those beliefs and to God, but to that person, because I’d basically be saying “Oh, I love you honey, more than anything, but yeah, I believe in eternity, yes, I don’t believe I’m spending it with you, and no, I don’t give a damn” and I don’t think that’s anyway to be with someone you love. And likewise, God is part of me, if they Love me, but deny God, then that’s a huge part of me to reject.

  18. I see it’s that “Oh, I love you honey, more than anything….” except for this God thing. Obviously I don’t place any value on god or religion and view it with (probably not very well) veiled contempt so to deny yourself happiness on that basis is difficult for me to understand. If I were to go out with a Christian, a Scientologist, a Muslim or a believer in the Eternal Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster then I’d expect my views to be challenged and for them to adapt as I gained a a greater understanding of their viewpoint. I’d also expect this to be reciprocated. I know that has happened in my current Hardline Atheist to Disinterested Atheist relationship and we don’t even have radically opposing views.

    Where we do have radically opposing viewpoints we tend to discuss them and meet in the middle somewhere or, if it isn’t effecting our daily lives, we put it aside for later.

    I’m glad that Violet’s sis is taken a stand against her cultural expectations, we should all do the same if we find ourselves at odds with them. That is how we can bring about change after all.

  19. Yes, on most things I’d tend to agree with you, I wouldn’t let Political views or Football teams get in the way, I don’t expect my life partner to have all the same likes and dislikes as me, however it’s not sacrificing my chance at happiness in any way. Put yourself in my place, I’d be waking up every day next to someone who I didn’t believe was saved, I’d be looking her in the eyes and thinking that unless something changed, we were going radically different ways when we die. How is that happiness? Sounds more like heartbreak to me. I know you don’t believe in eternity, but if you did, then think how sad that situation would be? And that’s before we’ve even got into simple matters of logistics, she’d have to not mind that every morning I get up and spent time praying, reading the bible, worshipping, she’d have to not mind that every Sunday and sometimes week nights I’d be off to church meetings, she’d have to accept that my life isn’t in that sense going to centre around her, it can’t because I wouldn’t share the biggest chunk of my life with her. And I’d have to accept that the lady lying next to me thought I’d dedicated my life to something that wasn’t real, and that she’d not be knowing and enjoying the greatest thing there is. On the contrary, this is the one thing that is a dealbreaker for me, it’s the one thing that I just have to share with her, I’d not be happy anyway otherwise, so I’m not sacrificing personal happiness. I don’t feel this way because I’m told too, or because of some rule, but because it’s how I feel and how I think. I’m not going to adapt my views to the views of someone who doesn’t believe in God because I refuse to dilute what is that important to me just to please the flesh, it’s not worth the trade off.

    There are plenty of things people have as dealbreakers, and most of them are far more shallow than mine, which is in fairness a well thought out and reasoned one. I disagree with society dictating that you can’t do something, ie, if I was told I could not do something, like in Germany in the 30’s when I would not have been allowed to marry anyone who wasn’t Jewish, I disagree with that because that is society dictating what everyone does based on unfair prejudice. However if out of freedom of choice I choose not to do something that doesn’t hurt anyone, then that’s all well and good.

  20. You’ve just stated another reason why I dislike religion. The concept of heaven for followers and hell for non-followers. It’s utterly unfair and traumatic for believers who think that some of their friends are going to be toasting on pitch forks for all eternity. How horrifying is that for a child brought up in a religion?

    If my lady love wanted to go to church on a Sunday morning then I’d enjoy the lie in even though I can think of much better things to be doing… 😉

    Don’t get me wrong, you’ve placed restrictions on yourself that you believe in and you’ve every right to do so. I may not agree with them just in the same way that you may view my own restriction against eating meat as foolish. However I do think that the restriction you have comes from elsewhere and that is the religion that you have embraced. To me this is akin to joining a rambling club and being told that you aren’t allowed to associate with redheads anymore. I know that you put more stock in it than that but it’s the closest analogy I can come up with.

    As an aside I can’t actually think of a single deal breaker that would stop me seeing someone. I’d need several really.

  21. Oh..oh. This is getting complicated every minute. Can I say something?

    I think it is difficult to adjust with a person who has completely different basic beliefs; it is not about segregating people. If I were an atheist I would not mind my guy being religious, but after a certain point I would be irritated if would go to the church every Sunday and weekdays. I would adjust but I would not understand and I would feel bad that I am not able to share such an important part of his life. I would feel left out which would eventually irk me.

  22. But frog, it is a lifestyle choice by me, and it’s not about not associating, I associate with people every day, I’ll be talking to all kinds of people, I went to uni and made friends with all kinds of people, it’s not about associating that we’re talking, it’s about a permanent partner that effects your whole life, I hold that to be special and when it happens it will be not just a physical relationship but one where we’re spiritually compatible too. I know Christians who are married to non Christians, if it was a rule, how come they’re still married? It’s not a rule so much as a decision I make about what is best for my life.

    I’m sorry, Frog, but the concept of heaven being in that sense exclusive for believers is entirely fair, it’s like saying it’s unfair to have a bonus for workers at John Lewis, that everyone should get the bonus. Same thing, they spend their lives doing something and they get a bonus as a reward, why should there not be a bonus for me who spends my life this way? It’s a life choice anyone can make, you have made your choice not to believe, therefore if you die and face Judgment by God what right do you have to request entrance? I’m sorry to be blunt, but we make our choices and we live by them. God is not a secret, and it’s not an exclusive club as entrance is open to literally anyone.

    Anyway, this is violets blog, so thats not a tangent I wish to cover when we’ve covered it many times before anyway!

  23. Violet, I think it’s really seet how you ask permission to comment on your own blog rather than just throwing stones at your blogjackers. On your comment though would you feel left out if your partner went running for an hour each morning while you stayed at home?

    Pete, I understand but I’m not saying that it’s cruel that I don’t get to go to heaven. I mean I don’t even believe in it or the judgement or even the judge so what do I care if I’m for toasting. I think it’s cruel that people are taught that this is the case. An example that I’m going to steal from Richard Dawkins is of a child who’s friend died. According to the child’s understanding the friend (who was not Catholic like her) was not only dead but would be eternally punished simply because she had been brought up outside of her own religion. That is what I think is cruel and horrifying about heaven and hell and about being brought up in a religion. Death is hard enough to cope with without the additional pain of pitchforks and demons.

    Now you have, I think, stated that you chose religion later in life rather than being brought up in it but for most people this is not the case and they get lumbered with the religion of their parents or of the region that they are raised in. Fine, have fun with that. Most people don’t get to make the choice. Like Violet’s sister it can be difficult to break away from the lessons of your own upbringing.

  24. Who told the child that this was the case? The Christian parents I know bring up young children with a knowledge of love, mercy and compassion, not a fear of hell fire. There seems to be some idea amongst atheists, perpetrated by people like Dawkins, that a child in a Christian home is brought up to be told all about hell and how everyone else is going there and don’t misbehave or you will too, etc. Have you ever been to a Sunday School? They teach kids that they should love everyone, they teach kids that God loves them, they teach kids that they should be forgiving, that they should respect people. You’re correct that I made my own decision to take this route in life, but I was brought up in a Christian home, and I can’t recall even once in Sunday School (or whatever we had instead) being told that people were going to hell. A nuclear bomb, if dropped near one, would melt a persons skin into a heap on the floor after a brief moment of the most intense burning agony known to man, but I ain’t gonna go around telling kids that either. The message of the Cross is not a negative one, the message of Jesus is one about eternal life, one about love and hope and that is what children are taught about in Christian homes. As for older people being told that this is the case, why shouldn’t they be? It’s up to them to make their own choices, but as it’s a sincerely held belief why shouldn’t it be spoken of, in fact if I believe it to be dangerous to step on train tracks and I see someone I know about to, is it not my duty to tell them, and then let them decide?

    Frankly what bugs me about Atheists of your more intense persuasion, Frog, is not that you’re an Atheist, it’s not that you don’t believe in God, ‘cos frankly, you’re a big boy, you can make those choices for themselves. The think that I find annoying is that while everyone I know who is Christian is fine with accepting other peoples beliefs, and accepting that people have a right to believe what they want, and one day we’ll find out anyway, is that you can’t accept that people have that right, you can’t accept the validity of beliefs other than your own, you can’t accept that society is full of beliefs, you want to see them all gone and everyone share your lack of belief. See, the vast majority of people with a set of beliefs don’t mind people having different beliefs, yet here you are with a huge problem over the fact anyone thinks differently to you. It’s view points like yours that cause conflict, not like mine.

    (my last comment on the matter for now, Violet, my apologies for hijacking your blog)

  25. Her parents, her priest, her whole community. The idea of heaven and hell is bound up in Christianity. My own children are familiar with the stories but thankfully view them as just that.

    The message of the Cross is a negative one. It says that we’re all worthless sinners and can only be saved by giving over our whole lives to our saviour and failure to do so will result in eternal suffering.

    You say that you feel a duty to tell people about Christianity so that they can decide to join up or not but then complain when I do the same for Atheism. Worse than that your religion actually tells you to go out and spread the word. Far from accepting other’s beliefs, your religion (and most other religions) tell you to let people know that they are wrong and to tell them the Truth. It should hardly surprise you then that others have the same opinion.

  26. The message of the cross says that everyone and anyone can have freedom, everyone and anyone can be loved, it throws open to everyone love and hope, and eternal life. And what does the Saviour ask in return? Very little, He asks you believe in Him, and that you try your best to be a good person.

    And further to that, in all our debates I have only ever been defending the right of people to hold our beliefs against your aggressive nature against all belief. I’ve even seen you write on this very blog that you can’t agree to disagree, that means that you can’t accept that others can have a different view. I can and I do, after a conversation about faith I can walk away agreeing to disagree on the matter, because while I may feel I should talk about it, you can’t because you’re obsessed with some vague idea of destroying faith in itself so everyone can share your disbelief. Well, I have news, Nero and the whole Roman Empire couldn’t wipe out Christianity, so Dawkins and his Disciples who are filled with hate for people based on a belief system will similarly fail.

  27. So why did Jesus have to die on the cross? To ensure that all of humanities sins, since that nasty incident involving the tree of knowledge and some wicked eating of fruit, were forgiven. Sorry but nice story as it is couldn’t an omnipotent god just (how do I put this) forgive us without having his son crucified? Of course not, it wouldn’t make for nearly as good a story.

    Clearly you can’t walk away Pete because you’re still going on about it. It isn’t some conspiracy led by the Church of Richard Dawkins to destroy religion. Do you have any idea how paranoid that sounds? It’s just me trying to understand how people (the vast majority of people on this planet) can accept something as fact without the slightest scrap of evidence. Some trait of the human species perhaps? I don’t know but I am interested in finding out. If I challenge people to think a little along the way then so much the better.

  28. No, because I can, I can walk away right now, watch me.

    But next time I say “why bother, we’ve had this debate a million times?” you’ll be back on the not being able to agree to disagree thing.

    You’re trying to challenge other people to think while you’re now willing to acknowledge or empathise with the validity of their thinking, you refuse to acknowledge that they can have evidence because you refuse to accept that there can be evidence that is not in the form of science, you refuse to accept that there can be spirit and that God can work with people through that, because you don’t believe in him, you can’t accept the word of other people that they know and feel him, you’re not challenging yourself at all, you’re just venting.

    Atheism as practiced by Dawkins is phobic and hateful to other beliefs. Even some secular reviews I read at the time said that his arguments were sometimes let down by the fact he obviously hates Christians. And you yourself have expressed numerous times the view that there should no longer be religion of any sort, and views about forcing religion out of society. This brand of atheism is like the anti-semitism of the new century.

    Anyway, this honestly is my last word on it here. Again, Violet, my apologies, I do hope some of it has been interesting at least, should I do it again any time on your blog, feel free to demand I stop xx

  29. I suppose we’ll just have to disagree then. For what it’s worth I think your dead wrong about Dawkins being phobic and hateful of religions. Personally I’ve looked for spiritual evidence and either I’m missing something or it’s just not there. I’ve repeatedly asked for explanations but not one person has ever been able to provide one that stands up to even the most simple questions. Equating honest enquiry and refutation of superstition with anti-semitism is a leap too far especially when you consider how such a tiny minority of people (2% of the planet claim to be Atheist) can vilify and harass so large a proportion of society.

    Violet, sorry that we’ve taken up so much of your blog with our debate. I for one hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. If not, please feel free so slap me with a kipper next time I hijack any of your comments…although not literally.

  30. That’s very sweet of you to say. You are probably right though., without a radical conversion to or against God we will certainly not agree. This particular topic has altered by own viewpoint slightly though. Prior to this I was radically opposed to religion in all its forms and had the opinion that eradication of religion would see an improvement in humanity. Thanks to Pete’s proselytising and, I think my own in the past, I can see how destructive radical opinions can be. I still believe that religion does not help humanity but logically I can see that it can also not hurt either.

    I may never agree with Peter about his opinions concerning religion (and I certainly won’t for as long as the basis of it is withheld) but I can appreciate that it is valid even when I think it is false. That may not be much of a concession but at least it is one.

    Just don’t pray for me. 😉

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