Friday 29 August 2014

When Angelina Jolie (finally) married Brad Pitt

The Occident always amazes and amuses me. When I read the news of the celebrity couple getting married, the first question that arose in my mind was - "Why did they have to wait for so long and come on they already have six children to boot?" In fact, I was speaking out aloud in my mind the existing cultural differences between the Occident and the Orient. In terms of love, marriage and legalities, the Western world always confounds me. Take for example my friend Christine. She has been seeing her boyfriend Bill for over ten years and naturally I had assumed that the question of getting married is an obvious. But no. When I asked Christine about their wedding, she injected aloud before exclaiming, "Well, he hasn't even asked me yet!" Now it was my turn to let out an interjection. Whaat on earth? Well, in India (atleast the one I know), if someone was going around for quite some time, it was a given that they would be married. After all those years of courtship, the question of a formal asking is out of the question. The only question is, "When can we possibly marry?" But Christine's answer stressed that inspite of love and marriage being the common denominator the way it happens is quite different in both these cultures. I therefore assume that people can be together for quite some time and choose not to get married or they would prefer to wait until the time is right (which is after getting a brood of six!) But then, this is not the case with every Western couple. Christians mostly are in a committed relationship and marry once the guy in question has asked the girl. Now, whether the asking is just a formality or something that is done to confirm the relationship is unknown to me.

When I was discussing this with R, he opined that in the Western world, the legalities come first than issues of trust and comfort. If not, why did Pitt and Jolie take so long to formalise their bond. Didn't they trust each other or did they second guess that something might go wrong and hence it is not wise to enter a formal and legal bond? Now, after being together with a person for an extended period of time and sharing almost everything - emotions, days and nights, children, bed, bodies and so on, how can one just go on thinking that if something goes wrong, one can leave. Is it trust versus legalities or something else?

In India at least, the moment one falls in love, it is not amusing or naive to think that one will get married to that person. In fact, most of us were like that. We thought that naturally love would lead to wedding; Of course, life taught us that it is not always so. Even then the idea of going out and waiting for the guy to ask for the hand is a bit ridiculous. What if the guy never asks? What if the guy thinks that his position is not quite sound and takes his own sweet time? Will the girl in question wait endlessly inspite of living together with the guy. These and many more questions amuse me when I think of the Western world and their systems. But sadly, the urban population in India is tilting towards these systems and I fear the day when the whole world resembles America.

Dear reader, what are your thoughts on this?


  1. As a Westerner, the example set by Brad and Angelina is an extremely poor one and does not reflect how most relationships turn out. All those children puts the cart before the horse, does it not? Their bad judgment, in my opinion, sets a negative tone for others who are dating/courting.
    I did like how you contrasted Western permissiveness with the more traditional values in the East, Susan. You made some great observations! Blessings!

  2. There is another phenomenon that I have observed (related to this)
    The moment they get married does the equation change? Kamal Hassan and Sarika stayed together for so long, had children .. .. . . . .and then they got married. What happened after that . . . . . everyone knows. This is just one example.

  3. I think that in the Western world, even living together gives legal rights to property. Hence they don't really feel the need to get married like it is in our country. Here, having children out of the wedlock is still a huge no no. And living together unless you belong to the highest strata of society is still looked down upon. So marriage is of a great importance both from the legal and society viewpoint. The Western world with its high divorce rates is still wary of marriages. Why Brad and Angelina needed to get married fails me because I am sure they must have had a pre-Nup in place to safeguard their individual interests.

  4. I believe Pitt and Jolie had decided not to get married until gay marriages were made legal. When DOMA (Defence against Marriage Act fell) and the federal govt started recognizing gay marriages, they decided it was high time to tie the knot.
    Not that they didn't trust each other as you seem to conjecture! :D If they didn't trust each other, it would be extremely foolish to bring in 6 kids into the equation, no?!!

  5. And why not do a Sushmita Sen and have kids but never get married? :)



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