I think we all agree that there are few things more respectable and legitimate than that great pillar of Indian society — the arranged marriage. While the acceptance of love marriages (known as lou marriages in some parts of the country) is certainly more widespread today than it was even a couple of decades ago, it is far from universal. The arranged marriage still holds pride of place as the preferred method of getting our sons and daughters hitched with the finest specimens from amongst the youth of our great nation. Such is the greatness of this institution, even Apache Indian, the musical legend, sang about it in the early nineties.
In fact, young people today are far more accepting, and even desirous, of arranged marriages than those of the eighties and nineties. This cultural shift could be due to any one of numerous reasons. Perhaps they are too sensible, or simply too lazy, to bother with rebellion. Perhaps they believe, quite correctly, that their parents are more likely to find them a smoking hot life partner than their own bumbling attempts at dating and romance. But never mind the reasons, it is reassuring to know that arranged marriages still form the core of our splendid society.
However, despite the evident good health of Indian culture and social traditions, there is a threat. Promiscuity. The increase in the occurrence of what is being termed as 'casual sex'. The fact that our youth seem to be cheerfully and recklessly engaging in the ole whoop-de-do, without even the slightest thought of marriage. Dreadful. Shocking. Sneeze-inducing. If we allow this to continue, the very foundations of our society would be irreparably damaged. If youngsters are permitted to have sex without the consent of their parents (and sundry other elders if available and convenient), where would it all end? No doubt they will soon be indulging in all sorts of undesirable activities without getting prior permission from their elders — such as drug addiction, petty crime and amateur photography.
The only way to control this disease is by applying the time-tested principles of arranged marriages to casual sex. The answer? Arranged sex.
Since casual sex is quite similar to love marriages, in that both generally tend to be unacceptable to the parents of the participants and cause much emotional upheaval, outrage and varying degrees of gastro-enteritis. So the best possible solution is to get the parents involved so that they can arrange the entire things, just as they do with marriages.
With the idea of arranged sex, parents of suitable boys and girls can scout around for potential casual sex partners for their sons and daughters, and give their consent only after they are fully satisfied (pun not intended) that the candidate meets all their stringent requirements. For example, parents looking to organize arranged sex for their son could lay (pun not intended) down conditions that the girl should be insanely hot, not overly intelligent, and have a talent for shutting up unless instructed otherwise. Parents of girls looking for a suitable boy to have arranged sex with their daughters could insist that the fellow be strong and well-built, polite and extremely wealthy. Come to think of it, it's really not that different from how arranged marriages work — the only major difference is the time period of the contract.
This way, parents would be reassured that nothing is happening without their blessings, and the youngsters could have casual sex without feeling guilty about offending their parents. Like arranged marriages, arranged sex could grow into another pillar of society, ensuring that our traditions such as respect for elders and due process for everything are preserved. The menace of promiscuous pre-marital sex would be destroyed once and for all.
Those of you who think that the very idea is scandalous, I ask you this — how is it any different from that strange beast 'arranged love'? I've lost count of how many times I've asked someone "Was yours a love marriage or an arranged marriage?" and received the smug and annoying reply "Arranged Love. Hahahahaha." However, annoying or not, it is inescapable that "Arranged Love" is no different from "Arranged Sex". In fact, modern youth seem to believe that "Love" and "Sex" are freely interchangeable as words and ideas. Just ask modern day philosophers such as Enrique Iglesias and Akon. So if the former is acceptable in polite society, there is no reason why the latter should not be.
The only drawback with arranged sex is that it may be perceived as a little less exciting than, for lack of a better word, love sex. However, this is clearly balderdash — there is no evidence to show that couples who had a love marriage end up being any happier than those who had an arranged marriage. Once again, arranged marriages have proven to be the magic mantra, the secret sauce. So there really isn't any reason why we shouldn't embrace the idea wholeheartedly, as a people united by our desire to build a great nation.
In fact, since our society rightly believes that something is only legitimate and respectable if it is 'arranged' with the blessings of elders, it might be wise to go about attacking many of society's other problems using the same approach. We could instantly rid ourselves of many evils. Think about it — arranged alcoholism, arranged reckless driving, arranged investment banking — all of these would immediately become activities that are accepted, and even encouraged by society. The potential is virtually limitless.
By involving respectable elders, astrologers, priests and overpriced caterers, we could finally build a vibrant, healthy society without any ills whatsoever.
Disclaimer: This is a humour column and the author has always espoused the cause of making statements tongue-firmly-in-cheek. He requests that you take his column with a generous pinch of salt, if not a bucketful. Water after it, however, is completely optional.