If you’re an independently living adult and have a love life, you must be aware of live-in relationships. If you aren’t, you really need to stop spending your time reading this article, take your love out for a dinner, and tell them the truth about you being a time-traveller from the 1970s.
In the last 10 years or so, Metropolitan cities in India have seen a massive rise in population, thanks to all the new job opportunities being created. With it, came a large number of couples willing to stay together without the bonds of marriage. Even though we can say that live-ins are a norm in the society now, I want to ask you: how many live-in couples are there in your locality? Or, how many people do you know who live in a live-in relationship in a rented house? When the first line of the Wikipedia article on cohabitation in India is like this: “Cohabitation or live-in relationships in India though not illegal, is considered socially and morally improper”, can we really say that the society has accepted live-in relationships?
The truth is, if you try to have a live-in relationship in India, you are still bound to face these problems:
1) This is a family society, we don’t rent out to bachelors!
Yes, bachelors are evil, bachelors are satan worshippers, bachelors are going to rot this society to the core. It is as if the entire society was born married and with kids.
It is almost as if all the society sees when they look at bachelor’s is a haze of cigarette smoke drowned in litres of alcohol.
2) What?! How will we show our face to relatives?
I am pretty sure relatives have kids too, and if not right now, then somewhere down the future they will also take the same steps. Then you can proudly show your face to the relatives and say, “my kid did it first!”.
3) You will live, day and night, with a random person? That is not our culture!
Of course, our culture is to get married to a random person for the rest of our lives and lose our virginity with them on day 1.
4) We never did these sort of things back in our days.
Yes, back in those days, those oh-so-perfect days without the internet, globalisation, the job boom and with the emergency, the Indo-Pak wars, the rioting and the common practices of child marriage, female infanticide, dowry and the common diseases of Polio and Aids.
5) Do you know that couple living in 302? I’ve heard that all they do is sex.
People fuck. Just like people eat. It is a basic human need, something which is, unfortunately, a massive taboo in Indian society. Perhaps if this was more accepted, more Indian youngsters would be focussed on how to lead a better life and develop the country instead of how to get laid, by hook or by crook. And the last time I checked, we were already the second biggest population in the world before we even knew of live-ins.
Also, we aren’t really a generation of jackrabbits. We have a day job, just like any other person needs to have. For money you know.
6) These youngsters, all they want to do is leave their houses and live away from their parents.
Sir, are you still living with your parents? How about you madam? So I guess marriage gave you a certain liberty to ignore your parents which live-in conspicuously does not provide.
Living away from parents might just stop some much needed “Tu janta nai mera baap kaun hai” and might save a lot of identities from just being “Sharmaji ka ladkas” in this country. Needless to say, it makes them a better person and perhaps more caring towards their parents.
7) How can we let them live here? What will our children learn if they see this?
They will learn that every individual has a right to actually find out what it is like to live with someone you love before they are hitched for life. Oh, also that they can have a love life.
Trust me, that is way better than condemning them to a life-long “what if” when it comes to love.
8) It is the fault of their upbringing.
Yes, my parents actually taught me to make my own choices and have the guts to deal with the consequences. They even taught me what it is like to take responsibilities and how to ‘not’ depend on them everytime I need something. You have a problem with that?
9) This is unholy!
Not that everything needs to be holy to begin with. But just to appease your religion doused senses, have you heard of Gandharva-vivaha? Considered one of the best forms of a holy union in not just any other book, but the Mahabharata ( if you think I am just confusing you with damned lies, read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandharva_marriage ).
10) It just won’t last you see.
Better than being forced to last, don’t you think?
In spite of all these adverse factors, it is true that live-in relationships are not as uncommon as they used to be. But only the person who has attempted (and hopefully succeeded) to be in one, knows what it takes to succeed. But once you do, as said in the Mahabharata, it is one of the best ways ever to spend your life with the one you love, where you know that you aren’t doing it because some Brahmin bound your souls by feviquik or some registrar got your signatures on a legally binding document. You are in it because you want to be. Is it too hard to see the sheer beauty of it?
Have you ever tried to be in a live-in-relationship yourself? What was your experience? Do let us know in the comments below.