There is a unique type of relationship requirement floating in the cosmopolitan society nowadays, which can be termed wholly “Indian” and at the same time essentially “western”…
In the latest flick, No Strings attached, when Natlie Portman asks Aston Kutcher if he is fine with the idea of using each other just for sex and nothing else, he agrees with a chuckle; the audience sitting here in a posh multiplex of Mumbai applauds and whistles. The concept of a no-strings attached relationship is not new anymore. There have been constant debates on live-in relationships and the rights of a live-in partner in India. So much so that even the court had to interfere. Considering the latest judgment of the Supreme Court which not only legalizes live-in –relationship but also provides legal rights to the involved partners, the bubble seems to be strangely busting! There seems to be a very thin line between marriage and live-in relationship, even this seems to be diminishing in the light of the judgments. However, there is a unique type of relationship requirement floating in the cosmopolitan society nowadays, which can be termed wholly “Indian” and at the same time essentially “western”. It is called the NO-STRINGS -ATTACHED MARRIAGE.
We live in a society where failed marriages, infidelity, break-ups, hook-ups, work pressure, social obligations, financial liabilities, kid’s education, tiring commute, traffic jams and narrowing home spaces mug us at point blank every now and then. Both men and women have equal career aspirations in the present times and the standard marriage route is mostly seen as a hindrance to it, mostly for a woman. Besides there are many people who have already had a bitter taste of life in failed marriages, spouse deaths and so on. Having listed all that, the fact still remains that the need for a partner is one of the most carnal requirements of life.
There is always some room left for love and companionship. However, considering the baggage from their past the choice seems very difficult for many people. The answer to them is probably a no-strings-attached marriage
says psychologist Neelam Saraswat.
Off late, there are a lot of established, well-to do men and women in Mumbai, who have been either divorced or bereaved and even some singles, who are opting for this option. Navi Mumbai based Dr. Meenakshi Saha (name changed) lost her husband in 2006 in a car accident. She had two teenage kids at that time. Although there was no financial trouble, she felt the emotional vacuum growing inside her. She didn’t want to disturb the harmony of her house and displease her children by getting married again. Besides, she was doing well in her medical career and she didn’t want to jeopardize it by getting in to a new relationship, which would demand too much time and attention. In due course of time, she met a fellow doctor, who happened to be a widower too and had two young sons. They developed a liking for each other decided to take their relationship to a new height by getting married. However, their marriage is not a run-off the mill marriage. They continue to stay in their own houses and deal with their finances separately. They visit each other on weekends and go out on frequent holidays. Sometimes they go out for dinner in the weekdays also. Their children are comfortable with this set-up. Once, they grow up and settle, the couple would start living with each other in their old age when companionship is the most important requirement.
Such a relationship seems convenient to many but all are not lucky to find the right partner.
“There is a strong chance of you being misunderstood in the process. Many men would view it as a ticket to freedom as they would have loads of free time for their roving eyes when not with their wives,”
says Hema Deshpande, an entrepreneur by profession.
Saraswat explains that in such relationships ‘trust’ and ‘respect for space’ play vital roles.
“Moreover, since one has already had some not so pleasant experiences in the past, the chances are that one would become more responsible and value the relationship for what it is. In such a case, the bond may become stronger and healthier,”
she adds as an afterthought.
Alok Tondon, CEO of a travel outfit, feels that it a very nice concept.
“It is great that women are becoming vocal about the need of such a relationship. The need has always been there but unfortunately, in our country, there are still many people who look at ‘no-strings attached marriage’ as a social taboo.”
The town is currently abuzz with the news of 60 -year- old TV actress Suhasini Mulay’s marriage to 65- year- old Physicist Atul Gurtu, a widower, whom she met on facebook. Apparently Gurtu was married for 36 years and his wife died of cancer six years ago. He wrote an article on his experience in a magazine which Mulay happened to read.
“He had written in the article that after learning that his wife had cancer, he decided to make her as happy as he could. So, the next five years they did everything they wanted to do. Learning this hooked me to him,”
says Mulay, who is currently enjoying her newly married life in the true sense.
There is in fact a community called “No Strings Attached Marriage” on Facebook which caters to individuals looking for such a relationship. Despite, the fact remains that people looking out for such a relationship are still under a lot of societal pressure. A lot of them were ready to talk about it but only if their names would not be published. Its time people come out of false social boundaries and decide their own limit and ultimately find happiness.