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Purpose of Marriage, for dummies

The caption for 2d-life's Facebook page reads "reflections on the silver screen". A reflection need not always show just the beautiful side in you. It will often show the ugly. This post is going to be like that. I will be venting out some pent-up frustration, anger and irritation. So, take everything I am going to say with a judicious amount of salt. These words certainly reflect my beliefs and thoughts, but my mind might be clouded on this issue.

One of the many reasons why I like anime is the fact that they are more willing to accept certain things. I am going to talk about one such "truth" never expressed in such poetic words elsewhere. This truth is the purpose of marriage.

At one point in my life, I was sincerely confused about whether to marry or not. To find an answer, I sought the purpose of marriage to my elders. After talking to many people, I had collected an extensive list of lofty reasons to get married. I want to stress that not one person listed sex. I was surprised and I expressed this surprise. The emphatic reply to this was sex has a very minor role, in fact, it is not important at all. I was sceptical, but I trusted them.

Soon a long span of troubled days followed. For some reason, a reason that completely eluded me, marriage scared me. So, I started searching for this reason. Finally, after a lot of effort, I found my answer. I posted this journey in detail in my Malayalam blog, Manorajyam. Long story short, I realised I am asexual. Soon after I published my blog, people started telling me things utterly inconsistent with what they had told me till then. They said things like "people marry only for sex. Marriage is a lot of trouble. If you do not have sexual desires you are so lucky. You do not have to go through any of those troubles". Some people even went as far as telling that they envy me. In a day the status of marriage had a great fall.

Again, I was troubled. One of the two things they told me has to be a lie. I was angry at everyone for deceiving me. Are they lying to me now or were they lying to me till now. I had no idea what to believe. I tried the one thing I know, I questioned them. I asked, "if this was the truth, why did you tell the opposite earlier?". Their answer surprised me even further. Apparently, they assumed the primality of sex to be universal knowledge. Some things are not to be said, it seems. Turns out I was a complete dummy. And the people who wanted me to get married never broached the topic since then, even though I showed interest. This too puzzled me.

It was then that I remembered a metaphor from the famous anime/manga Rurouni Kenshin. There is a scene in which a well-wisher of Kenshin asks a lady if she can be Kenshin's sheath. In the anime, this sentence has a multitude of meanings. And the beauty of this metaphor can only be understood if you see the series. (It is one of the best mangas out there, please give it a shot). But, a particular interpretation, the Freudian one, started overshadowing all other meanings in my mind. Of course, I was aware of this meaning, but I had not taken it that seriously before. The sword and the sheath obviously share features with the male and female genitalia. And, this gave me a new perspective on the importance of marriage. To protect the society from man, the sexual predator. With this interpretation, the actions of people made complete sense. People wanted to get me married because I am dangerous left alone. But, if the sword is blunt, why waste a sheath? So, all the concern people were showering on me about my marriage was most probably not love. But, fear. Again, I was angry and frustrated. This anger has not disappeared fully, but, I have recovered enough to write about it. So, things are getting better.
It might be clear, but let me stress one thing. Of course, this purpose is societal and I was talking about the Indian society. It might be different in a society very different from ours. Further, individuals might or might not be marrying for this reason. I do believe that sex is one of the strongest motivations even for individuals. Because my eligibility as a bachelor also took a great fall along with the status of marriage. When I am in better moods, I am kinder and give the analogy that sex in marriage is like salt in curry. Salt is not enough to make curry tasty, but without salt, the curry will not taste good.

Apart from venting out my emotions, I also had this feeling that perhaps there are other dummies like me out there, who might not know about the primality of sex. Hopefully, this would help someone.


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