Thursday, January 23, 2014
More than 5 years ago, I wrote about my perception of weddings in Pakistani society:
"The ceremony has become more about appeasing the society than about celebrating the union of two people. [The wedding] has lost its purpose in this manner, and hence it is not surprising that the feeling which I have most markedly noticed while attending any [wedding] is that of absurdity.
Weddings have never been enjoyable for me, even as a child. Perhaps because the wedding ceremony appears to me to be the perfect example of the superficialities and hypocrisies of our culture; it has become a symbol for me of whatever I hate about our society."
It is only fair that I should approach my own wedding now with the same marked sense of absurdity. Aside from that, there is also in my own case, a distinct taste of alienation. In a concrete sense, my wedding is about me, but in a larger, abstract and more important way, my wedding is not my own. My presence is a nominal formality, an excuse for the society to do what it does. (I am speaking here specifically of the wedding ceremony, the function, the social customs and traditions, and not about my marriage, regarding which my sentiments are of a more positive and pleasant nature.) How did I end up in a position where I have to allow the society to do what it does, especially when it is steeped in practices I find ethically reprehensible? I know that I brought it on myself, playing a game of give-and-take with this society, only to realize that any victory may well turn out to be pyrrhic. I am not here to whine or complain. This is a record of my last of human freedoms, a small sign that though I may have been subdued, I have not yet been silenced.
Perhaps I despair too much; perhaps I will be able to derive some joy out of this occasion after all.