Saturday, 4 February 2017

Age, no factor in a relationship

Does a big age gap between a couple really create problems in the long run? Well, there's no hard and fast rule about it. Emotional and psychological compatibility between a man and a woman doesn't depend upon age factor. When two individuals feel absolutely comfortable in each other's company, age has no role to play. The emphasis on age in a relationship, especially in a man-woman relationship, has an element of male chauvinism and a condescending patriarchal supremacy to it. The age-old Hindu system, now erroneously followed by many communities across the world, of man being older than woman by 3-5 years has no scientific basis. The unfounded belief that women mature relatively late and need husbands, who're more of guardians, has also been categorically repudiated by the new findings in genetics science. This came into practice to perpetuate the male dominance. Garud Puran, one of the eighteen Puranas, states that the moment age-gap exceeds 8 years, there's a likelihood of 'pralay' (doomsday) in a marriage because a man more than 8 years older than a woman is like her father! Of all the books, especially scriptures, that I've read so far in life, this is the weirdest advice, nay 'revelation', I've come across. This particular Puran as well as highly lopsided and rabidly prejudiced Manu Samhita (the code of Manu) state that if a woman's senior to man even by a few days, the marriage cannot take place.
The very alliance is flawed and religiously wrong. Tell me, so many marriages in Bengal and South are distinct because of the palpable age-gap where men used to be older than women by even 12-13 years. Didn't such marriages survive? Wasn't there any compatibility between the two individuals with a relatively huge age-gap? And didn't Hindu males in the past marry older women despite religious sanctions? Wasn't Ahilya, the wife of Gautam Rishi, older than Gautam by seven years? Wasn't the erudite woman of the Vedic period, Lopamudra in love with a seventeen year younger man? Rahul Sankrityayan, the scholar who later accepted Buddhism, wrote in his essay 'Ashok' that he (Ashok) had much older women in his harem before the battle of Kalinga. His three queens were 8-12 years senior to him. Queen Pranidha, who Ashok loved the most, was twelve years his senior. Age of a couple, whether younger or older, has nothing to do with compatibility. So many marriages in this age have couples with the same age. How many of them survive? My own relationship with a woman twenty seven years older, lasted till she breathed her last. Age's always on mind. And it's a sheer misnotion that a big age gap spells disaster. If it's true, so many marriages in Hollywood and even in Bollywood would never have survived. From the pure perspective of age, Dilip Kumar's old enough to be Saira Banu's father. They have an age difference of more than twenty years. Aren't they still together? Playboy's Hugh Heifner recently tied the knot with a 40 years younger former playmate. Amitabh and Rekha had an age difference of 12 years. Didn't they fall in love? Some people are mature, irrespective of their age and some forever stay juvenile. There's no assurance that a twenty year old girl cannot get along with a 35-year-old man and vice versa. When two persons come close and love each other, it's because they have certain similarities and levels of compatibility, which have nothing to do with each other's age.

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