What was usual before, before the 1990 India, was that girls spent this beautiful peaceful life with their parents, until they were old enough to be married. Their parents would then search for a better family than their own, where their daughter would have a better life than they could give her. She would be compiling and would accept whatever her parents thought was right for her.
A very huge Indian population, be it poor or rich, watches Bollywood movies. The main theme of most movies in the Indian cinema has been this romantic idea of two people falling in love, spending time together and finally getting married. And there are so many affected by these Indian movies, they want to live a life like that. It might be unconscious, but it is still there. So girls see their friends getting in relationships before marriage. And its…natural for all they know, because that is the trend, that is what their favorite actors have done. They go through sweet times of being in love, there are break ups, they fall in love again, and it all goes on. But then comes the age. That age when parents, usually unaware of all that has been going on in their children’s life, start searching for prospects. They look for handsome boys, boys who have a good income source etc. And their children don’t stop them from doing that. After all, there is so much pressure. She cannot break up with her boyfriend, because she loves him, and she can’t refuse to marry, because she loves her parents too much. If her parents do find out about it, they act like it is a taboo (which in the initial years i.e. coming up of this trend of a relationship before marriage, it was). They try to stop their daughter from going ahead with it. Who wants to be deemed as an outcast in the society? Who likes being looked down at? So what happens in the end is, that the girl goes through turmoil, which is no less than a cyclone in her mind, she sheds so many tears. Still talking to the man she loves until the last-minute, but in the end marrying the man her parents have chosen for her. She compiles with the situation, accepts it as her fate, and although she had initially spent buckets of tears on some random guy, she is now happy. If that is not the case and the girl decides to remain with her decision of not leaving her boyfriend, she is either cast away, or the family of the girl or the boy, try to kill the couple (honor killing). It might come out as surprising, but it still exists in some rural parts of India, where people are too rigid to change. It is, in a way, a relief that parents understand that falling in love before marriage has become common now. There exists this mother-daughter, and sometimes a father-daughter talk, where parents try to understand what has been happening in their children’s life. They try to guide them through. There are so many cases where parents know the person their child likes and they are okay with it. They support their children in every way they can.
And that is what happens when there is a fusion of two extremely opposite cultures. The influence is so intense on the native culture, that it is deemed fashionable to live like the others do. The effect is so prominent in the Indian movies that most stories develop on the western culture. It is almost like we have adopted the same culture as everyone else. I suppose that is what happens when two cultures meet there is so much infusion of characteristics of each culture, that there comes a stage where there is uniformity. And that is what is happening right now. I spy one factor (the Indian cinema) responsible for changing one aspect (marriage), but I am pretty sure that there are so many factors changing about every aspect of our culture. I can confidently and a bit disappointingly say that we are also reaching that stage where there would be not much difference in the Indian and the western culture.