"Change is the only constant", what a truthful statement is that, there were times in our country where a very young bride and a groom will be made to marry, as early as 6 and 4 years of age, they will be forced into a relationship and without a choice they have to like each other and live with each other forever, and we never complained at that stage, there were no women welfare associations, there were not child rights commission, no human-welfare societies and yet we lived a very happy and a peaceful life.
Then a new generation blossomed and still there wasn't a question of choice, parents would decide the partner with whom their son or daughter should spend the rest of their life and it was famously named as "Arranged Marriage" and that institution worked like charm and it had its own pro's and con's and unfortunately the cons were never discussed in public and it was all good-happy-times. The flaw with this initial version of "Arranged Marriage" concept was, it was not fool proof, the authenticity of the bride or the groom was not verified, marriages did happen based on the wealth measurement system and all monetary benefits that tag along with it. If your marriage is a bed of roses you are lucky if it is a bed of thorns, you better live with it.
The second generation of "Arranged Marriages" kicked in and this time as well, the question of choice was not given, the parents would find a suitable bride or a groom for their children and they have to like each other irrespective of whether they like it or not, but the improvement in this second generation is, features like "fall-back" and "failover" mechanisms were provided, if for some reason there would be a difference of opinion amongst the couple, the parents would meet and sort it out on behalf of their kids and then things would go back on track, and there would not be any mis-understandings after that.
"Arranged Marriage" got a new look and feel in its third generation, amidst of wide criticism, the concept of both boy and the girl meeting each other before the knot is being tied was brought into the system, and it was a very brave move at that point in time, if they both like each other they marry, if not they depart. This process was proved to be very effective and it was taken as a onetime solution to avoid any post-marriage issues that may creep up with respect to incompatibility and difference of opinions, this concept of "Arranged Marriages" do still exist in some remote parts of south India.
"Arranged Marriage" was considered to be "Old-Fashioned", because of its raising cases of failure and less success rate. The reason sighted for its downfall is, "How can one judge his or her life partner by just talking to them for 15 minutes", and this time, most of the heads shook as if it is acknowledging this theory, so the only option at that time was to meet a probable Mr or Miss, move with them for a while, may be 6 months or so, if you find it compatible, just go ahead and marry, if not, live with a heartbreak for a while, and later if you want you get married or you be single. This was even more fool-proof than "Arranged Marriages" that's what we all thought, and yes, this concept never flies with parents and we named them as "old generation folks who are out dated"
"Love Marriages" too started to fail miserably, there could hardly be any appreciable success rates and failures are more than expected, then our society woke up and decided to go back to the third generation of "Arranged Marriages" which was the only option they had. Slowly as the society yawns and crawls to figure out a best possible way to find compatible partners, BANG!!! there came online-matrimony, all the information you have to know about your partner is at your finger print, and you can pick and choose the kind of profile you need, this concept though was initially not seeked by many people, fearing that too many fake would be in the pool, but later, time, cost and convenience factor made this a grand success, and yes our marriages were digitized.
One thing that was common in all the above said type of marriages is, the couple (majority) would be made to like each other or would like each other eventually, some rare cases they separate. But wait, what world we are in today, it is the world of communication and internet, why should I marry someone just by looking at his profile or just by talking to him for few minutes or even by wasting my time in loving him for years together, all these are crap. Today is the age of "Blind Dating" and "Digital Intimacy" (that's how I would want to call), we will not be so close to our parents or siblings are friends or relatives, but we will pour our heart to a user handle, without even knowing the authenticity of the sex of that opposite person. We develop mad love on them; we throw everything in our life for them and then live a life with them.
"Digital Intimacy" is proving to be the next major threat for this society, and before I say anything further, let me clarify this, I am not a person who is deeply affected by "culture-O-phobia", I don’t believe in the term "culture", "Culture" is nothing but a man-made style of living which is too frequently "tailor-made" by man, so whatever that suits you the best is called "Culture" these days and the rest is called "History". Extra marital affairs, Blind Dates, Date Rapes, and of course increased cases of divorce in our courts are these are increasing because of this "Digital Intimacy", psychiatrists worldwide say that, our human brain always will be in search for love, affection, money and attention, if any one of the factors is not available in plenty, our mind searches for the missing piece.
Olden days we had families to support us in case of any issues, later when "Love Marriages" demolished "Arranged Marriages" that support was fading away, today there is no back-up support, the individuals are all on their own, they are made to solve their own problems, if at all they need someone to help them, it got to be "Mark Zuckerberg" of Facebook or "Dick Costolo" of Twitter and the other CEO's of the various social networking sites which have come up like algae on a wet rock. So let’s all be geared up to face how the next phase of "Companionship" will shape up, and all marriage hall owners, marriage caterers, contractors, you better find yourself some other means for living.