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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Guest Post from author of The Accidental Wife, Simi K. Rao plus $50 Amazon GC / ebook Giveaway

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

Inconvenient Relations is FREE on AMAZON!! Grab your copy NOW!

The Accidental WifeThe Accidental Wife
Simi K. Rao
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 270 Pages
March 4th 2015

Some accidents are meant to happen…

Dr. Rihaan Mehta is a brilliant young neurosurgeon who has no inclination for love or marriage. According to him wives and girlfriends are annoying accessories that one can do without. But when his mother dangles the sword over his head in classic Bollywood style, he succumbs, and sets out in search of a bride who would fit his 'requirements'. But can Rihaan deal with what he gets instead?


The Tradition Behind Arranged Marriages

Indians in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Our culture gives us our identity. Most of us (especially those living away from the homeland,) cling to it, even though several aspects especially in these modern times, make no sense at all.

Why do we do so?

Perhaps because it brings us together as a community and provides us comfort in a foreign environment. The same I think applies to immigrants from all across the globe.
Here I will try to expand a little (very little,) on the various aspects of Indian culture, traditions, customs, beliefs, religion, art, architecture, music, dance, cuisine and so on.. Essentially all the things that defines my country to me and others in my community and which I hope would help people of non-Indian origin understand India and Indianness a little better.
I encourage everybody to pitch in, and take the opportunity to discuss possible similarities or dissimilarities which exist between our various cultures.

Let me start with a subject which continues to baffle a lot of people in the west: Arranged Marriages.
I have been asked by some of my friends to elaborate on the tradition of arranged marriages and explain why they continue to be so popular, as well as describe the various rituals which take place during a typical wedding.

As a part of Hindu culture, arranged nuptials remain resilient even today despite the invasion of modern thought into every aspect of Indian society. Times are definitely changing but many young Indians still prefer it.

Why?

Because your work is done for you. When you have reached a certain age (early twenties in women and mid to late twenties in men on an average,) the hunt for a suitable match begins. After a lot of deliberation, one is chosen for you by your parents with advice from the elders in the family, taking into consideration among various other things; caste and social class. Marrying outside one’s caste is frowned upon and in some rural communities it can even lead to dire consequences.

The horoscopes (very important for suitability,) are matched. The girl and the boy can get to know each other. They are often able to express reservations if any and sometimes also have the veto power. But if all the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed, who would want to say no?

Why do arranged marriages succeed?

I’m not sure about the answer, but as one of my colleagues suggested, perhaps they succeed because there are zero expectations on both sides, in addition to a willingness to compromise and make it work. There is also considerable social monitoring.

More on the culture of marriage.

In Hinduism, marriage is an essential stage of life. It is the sacred responsibility (Dharma) of each and every individual in the society, unless the individual has accepted a life of renunciation (Sanyasa) due to an intense yearning for liberation.

Marriage is a sacred relationship. It is not just the meeting of two individuals but of two souls. Its purpose is for the continuation of family and to practice one’s Dharma. There is no concept of divorce. Once married, a couple is wedded for life. Divorce is a modern concept introduced through the Hindu Marriage Act of India.

Wedding traditions vary according to the different regions in India (North, South, East and West.) But in essence the basis of the rituals is mostly the same.

Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. Inconvenient Relations is her first published novel.

The inspiration for this book, and her other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.

Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.

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Sharon x

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3 comments:

  1. I think this book sounds fascinating. Quite intellectual and thought provoking. Love to read and love reading a bit about the author it is always interesting to find a little about the writer and their life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just can't imagine a culture that arranges marriage even though I know it exists. It is fascinating to read about!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I associate Bolywood films with my childhood would be great to see the film based on this book

    ReplyDelete

Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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