Why Arranged Marriages And Careers Aren’t As Crazy As You Think
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A few thoughts:
In the first 3 years post-MBA, I earned more than my dad did all his life.
I don’t understand why people consider it crazy that their parents would want them to pick a professional course. There simply aren’t enough career options out there that guarantee a reasonable earnings flow. Actually, barring certain professions (engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants), the job market for other roles (economics, arts, sports, history etc.) is still nascent in India. If you want to start up your own company, I am sure a college degree is a bare minimum requirement for employees or investors to take you seriously (unless you are an IIT dropout). If you are blaming your parents for your inability to start a company, you really have no business starting a business anyway.
While success in tournament style fields like sports, entertainment, or startups (winner takes all) is highly recognized and rewarded, the probability of success is negligible. In all probability, your startup will fail, you will not play for India, and Shah Rukh Khan won’t know your name. Unless you are from a privileged background, putting all your chips into the probability of your success in a tournament is a bad idea. It would take a bad or a delusional parent to allow you to put your future livelihood at stake on your teenage whims, unless you are spectacularly talented.
While forced marriages are a curse of our society, it is unfortunate that it is being mixed up with the good old arranged marriage. Today’s urban marriage process has evolved into a system of arranged dates, from what was earlier a ‘meet once and marry in a month’ to a long drawn 6-12 month process, wherein the guys and the girls get enough time and also have a clear veto on the process. The system has worked well for all supremely urban/well travelled/modern couples I know, and I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from the ‘love marriage’ couples. And unless you are a rural Indian, arranged marriage is a very good backup option, and a responsible parent would encourage you to keep it alive.
Unless you are a rural Indian, arranged marriage is a very good backup option, and a responsible parent would encourage you to keep it alive.
Vivek Mohan is a father and part of an investment team as an associate at TA Associates in South Asia.