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One fine day, at an ice-cream corner you come across one Miss. Mishra. As excited as you are to see her after years, you call her name and then comes the reply. “Hey, I am not Miss Mishra anymore, I am Mrs. Rao. I got married”..!! Isn't this a common occurrence around us..?? Once a girl ties the knot, the next natural step seems to be the replacement of the second name. She takes a second name to show her alignment with husband and his family in some way or the other. This is a gesture which doesn't need an explanation or does not call for any second thoughts because it seems to be in perfect sync with society’s expectations or even individual aspirations, At least at surface level..!! Have we ever thought about the intent behind this ritual, its possible meanings & the consequences of this small action on one’s identity & the marriage?
Men & women are biologically different. The hormonal difference makes an average man predisposed towards aggression where as a woman towards nurturing. That explains the primary role they were inclined to play in the beginning of the civilization, in the hunter gatherer society. Men took into hunting to survive & woman into caring for the today & tomorrows of existence. Mating as well went exactly like hunting for food. Men fought with each other for the mating rights so that they got the best woman to care for them & also bring in & nurture their next generation. A man did everything possible to ensure that the woman he chose belonged to him. He ensured that she stayed with him in the house he built & also carried different symbolic signs to show that she is already taken. Then, it was a world where the physical strength was the most valued asset anyone could possess. In that time, woman was no more than a valued possession. Physical needs & strong offspring was the main purpose of man & protection from other men & nurturing space for the children was that of woman.
Times have changed now. We have come a long way in evolution. Humans have become what they are now, not because of their physical strength but because of something which goes beyond. What distinguished humans from other animals is their capacity to think & the capacity to express their thoughts through complex symbols called words. Thoughts & emotions have taken front seat now. We have a realization of being something more than just the body & also needing something beyond bodily pleasures. Men & women still have the same biological differences they once had however they aren't much different in this capacity to think & express. At this point men & women have almost similar needs. On top of all other needs they have is the need for individuation or the self-expression. It is the need to become all that he or she possibly can..!!
In current times, where both men & women have found their common grounds for evolution, concept of marriage goes much beyond the physical needs, providing for & caring for the family. We rarely marry just because of physical attraction. Marriage now stands for the concept of being each other’s primary source of motivation in multiple dimensions. In marriage a man & a woman understand & care for each other physically, psychologically & emotionally besides creating a secure & nurturing environment in which the future generation can thrive. Marriage is the commitment to walk with each other as equals in the advancement of oneself, family, society & human kind.
A woman might find pleasure in going with a change in second name considering it to be her expression of love & commitment & a man might be pleased with the idea of feeling valued. What exactly does this gesture communicate in today’s times..?? It is saying on girl’s part that I am ready to alter my identity to be part of your life and on man’s part it’s putting in a burden to provide for her in all possible ways along with the expectation that she will be the one who would alter herself to accommodate him. When a girl takes her husband’s second name it is half of her & one & a half of her husband which goes into the relationship. Love between the couple is when two hearts can beat in sync & two minds understand each other. Commitment between two people is when they walk together with complete realization of where they are going and being respected & valued is in the deeds & not in the words. For a relationship to thrive & naturally lead to love, commitment & respect, it needs one & one to become two & not one and a half & a half. It is self & other understanding & self-expansion from both the parties & not adjustment which creates a fulfilling marriage.
Your parents, as beautiful people as they are individually, might have half + one and a half sort of marriage between them. Just reflect if you like what you saw & see in their marriage. If the answer's no, go ahead and experiment with something different.
Though many of us might agree with the concept of marriage as 1+1, we do not put in efforts to question the idea of marriage, which is shaped in our head through society we were brought up in, when we were growing up. We forget that society is the representation of the yesterdays and we are the architects of today, the creators of the future society.
If society has to advance, we will have to stop behaving as mere spectators and take charge of our own life…to find out what is best for us & act..!! Now, can we really think deep & hard, without prejudice…..Does she need to change her second name..??
Photo Credit : http://www.lawrencewilson.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/bigstock-Couple-Holding-Hands-And-Walki-8284004.jpg