Saturday, July 28, 2007

An Honourable Man

'..for they are all honourable men'.

A much celebrated concept- the honourable man. A compulsive, obsessive requirement alongside chivalry and what not- being honourable. But what's the utility and efficacy, and general popularity of 'being honourable' today. Often enough, it seems to be shrugged off as being pseudo, ridiculed for being archaic, ignored for being useless. But scratch the surface, and is that really so? Does dishonourable behaviour not raise eyebrows even now?

I suppose we should begin with trying to figure out what honourable actually means. And we'll inevitably have to end our efforts at the beginning itself, for I don't think the concept of 'honour' carries the same meaning for all of us. But at the core, it does seem to imply the existence of a code of ethics, doing the right thing (right, of course, being the tougher path, the thing you don't want to do and blah). For me, the honourable thing I suppose would constitute being loyal, being honest (as far as possible at least), stepping aside for greater good..things, in short, which would test the moral fibre within you (whose universal existence, of course, is suspect and subject to much debate..poof!)

In any case, although I don't know if it's the case for everyone, I do know what the honourable thing to do is in x situation. It sort of occurs to me naturally. Moving on to the next point- does there exist a requirement for an honourable code of conduct, when the concept of being honourable is itself endangered. I believe that despite much effort to ridicule and neglect the concept, at a basic level, we do expect fellow-human beings to behave in an honourable fashion. This entails doing the right thing (once again). Imporantly, departure from the expected code may not invite open hostility (you won't be challenged to a duel or anything), but will not go unnoticed. It'll cause eye-brow raising and sufficient murmurs to make your code of ethics suspect enough. Now, I know for a fact that there is a certain section of people which genuinely doesn't care if they're looked upon as being not particularly honourable, but in my limited experience, I have learnt that this section forms an exception to the standard norm of being concerned with the honourable tag.

What really happens if you don't do the honourable thing? Hmm..nothing. Except..well..leaves a queasy sort of feeling in your stomach, doesn't it?

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Arranged Marriage

I am one of those people who gives marriage a lot of thought. Actually, I am not sure there
exists and entire class of people that does that, but it's comforting to think that I'm not
the only gamomaniac, or thinking-about-gamo-maniac in a population of 6 billion (by the way,
is it still there? Anyway, convenient number). Now before you get me wrong, it's not like
I'm dying to get married or something. Nor do I wish to have some form of legalized sex.
Nope; I genuinely believe in the institution of marriage. And I like to think about its
nuances. Till some time ago, it never really seemed like a great achievement when marriages
lasted, or couples compromised to live their lives together. Nor did arranged marriages seem
like an impossible or even difficult form of finding a life-partner. I was quite okay with
the idea of my parents finding me a suitable boy. And my living my life with him. I cannot
put my finger on when the idea actually started to irk me.

I think it started somewhere around six months ago. Lost in idle thoughts one day, I thought
of this chap, X, who I am acquainted with..actually friends with. Well, so X is pretty good
marriage material for an arranged marriage. He's from a well-educated, good family. His
siblings are qualified from very good institutions. X too, is obtaining a degree from one of
the best universities in the country, and is bound to land a pretty good job. He looks okay,
is very well-mannered and blah. Importantly, he's the right ethnicity. All in all, quite a
match, in the eyes of any sensible parent. But having known him for a while, I'd be horrified
if I were to get married to him. It'd drive me up the wall for the simple reason that we're
not in the least compatible. Our interests and intellects differ. If we did have to spend a
life time together, we'd give each other hell. All the compromising nonsense is fine, but
somewhere deep down, I simply don't want to compromise.

Which brings me to the point that the thought of an arranged marriage has been giving me
nightmares. I mean, at best you figure out that the guy's from a good family, well-educated
and well-placed, but how do you know about the finer things in life, like his habits, how
clean he keeps the place, whether he's aggressive or not, whether he's all work or all fun
or (luckily) both? How do you know whether or not you'll get along with him at a base level?
And what do you do when you're stuck with someone you cannot get along with? Once again,
scary thoughts. To be continued when my brain springs to life once again...