I realize that a lot of my posts have focussed on my own culture. I've had opportunity to experience a few different cultures in my life so far, and that allows me the luxury of having a third person's view point of my own culture (while also belonging to it, atleast in part). It's deep psych shit, don't question it :)

Anyway so this brings me to the Indian mythos. On the surface, we are supposed to be a land of Yogis, of deep philosophical ideas, and a land that has put spirituality at the forefront of its psyche. A society that has put family before wealth.We are the first to judge western concepts of materialism, and individualism.

But take the modern day Indian man in his twenties. There are the following financial pressures on him :

1. To earn as much money as possible so he can be eligible in the marriage market/convince his gfs dad of his credit worthiness
2. Buy a house to get on the property ladder, and mainly satisfy the mom's need to show the family in favorable standing in the society
3. Get married as soon as possible, and have kids immediately after

In a society that hails family above all else, how many marriages do we personally know where the husband, wife or both need to go and work abroad to afford the mortage ? Many couples are separated this way soon after marriage. And because of mortage pressures, it sometimes means that even couples who stay in the same country need to live and work in different cities for long periods of time to make ends meet. Now if you add babies to the picture, you can very easily see how the whole fabric of family is under peril.

Are we really any less materialistic than the western world ?

Tamil Kalacharam and Sex...(Yeah I said the word, grow up !)

I was reading up this article the other day, one of those holier-than-thou ones. Anyway, it got me thinking, and I went to our favorite Indian matchmaking sites to do some research. So on Tamilmatrimony.com, I did find upwards of 4000 divorced women out there looking for the perfect match. And this is just our Tamil ladies. Now as a statistic, that means nothing.

But, as I "perused" through a few profiles, I came accross a young woman, who in her profile, after the usual cliches such as "down to earth" "blend of eastern and western values" etc reminds her future suitors that as her profile states, she was married before. She then goes on to explain, in caps, highlighted and bold, that her marriage was "non-consumated", and that her parents can talk more about it.

Yes, it made me gag. The font was terrible too. But that aside, why the emphasis on virginity ? Did it also mean that she would marry someone else who had not-consumated (*gag*) his prior marriage either ? Why is sex such a big taboo in the Indian culture, even today ?

When I was in my teens, I had a strong opinion that ours was the most hypocritical society ever. I still hold that notion in some ways, only , I now know that every culture is acutely aware of its own hypocrises. Anyway , lets look at the Tamil culture specifically. You see it in the movies, you see it on the road, you see it everywhere. Take Hindi movies for example - and I am talking about just the last 10 years - you will see songs and dances, but you'll see people having sex. Maybe not explicitly. But pre-marital sex is a common theme of Hindi movies today. In Tamil movies, you'll always see the hero marry the "homely figure" - he'll have a tom-boy by his side, and he'll have this sexy, mini-skirt clad seductress by his side but he, like Lord Ram will win over his homely figure. You'll even see re-marriages, but only if the girl's former marriage was "non-consumated" (with the exception of Rhythm).

Why does sex have to be that big of a deal ? I agree that when you are in your teens, having a relationship could lead to physical intimacy and unwanted issues like teen pregnancies and such, and could take the focus away from academics/personal development. But the average guy/girl gets married older these days, work and live independently for a period of time, travel the world, live/study/work in different countries etc before they get married. And they meet people, date, fall in love - pretty much the normal human hormones and emotions at work, sex being an integral part of it all. What is so wrong in exploring your physical needs and intimacy consensually ?

Sex or no-sex, pre-marital relationships are not just healthy, in my opinion, it is essential for the modern day marriage. It also helps you know love from lust. The dating phase gives you the time find out who you are and most importantly what you want out of a relationship. And the results are there to see, the older you get married, the higher the chances of survival. But more importantly, it helps tailor your expectations in a partner, and appreciate all they bring to the relationship. It gives you a healthy perspective of life itself. Growing up in comfortable homes, we didn't struggle to make ends meet, we didn't have to do hard labor. I think heartbreaks and dating pitfalls can build character. It provides you a reality check on life, and prepares you to give it all when you eventually meet the right person.

The culture that gave the world Kamasutra, the country with the highest AIDS victims, I think it's time for us to finally stop hiding under the pseudo-morality crap and be adults about sex. No pun intended.