Saturday, January 23, 2010

Arranged Marriage

Strange things happen in a yoga studio while one is in camel pose. For example, it came to me that perhaps finding love and fulfillment in the path of one's life is kind of like finding love in an arranged marriage.

Where did that come from? Too much Bollywood and a very honest conversation with my best friend. (And I suppose the supercharged blood rushing to my head while I was in a deep backward bend. Silly camel pose.)

The last time I was able to truly talk and catch up with my best friend (it doesn't happen as often as it should), we talked about how it struck us recently that we were grown-ups. Somewhere along the way we ended up in a rhythm of work and life and bills and everything else "normal" in life. The time had passed from when we were wide eyed, ambitious high schoolers who had no idea how exactly we would do it, but we would be great worldchangers. That's not to say that we aren't world changers in our own ways. But at some point we stopped dreaming about what we might be "when we grew up." It sunk in that we were grown up. And our lives didn't look anything like what we imagined. The funny thing is, the more we talked through it, the more we realized that was ok. Sure, there are dreams we mourn and "what if" questions we ask. But as we sat there and analyzed and affirmed and laughed and cried with each other, we saw that we *are* worldchangers. Divine nobodies quietly doing what we can to live out this glorious hope we have inside.

One of my favorite Bollywood movies is "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi." It's a way over-the-top song and dance movie with a strong case of mistaken identity. (Mix a dose of 'Step up' with a dash of 'She's the Man' a pinch of 'Office Space' or 'The Drew Carey Show' and a smidgen of 'Lois and Clark' and you get the basic idea. It's fantastic. Don't judge me.)

There's an arranged marriage between near strangers (the husband is the favorite student of the wife's father). Through the course of the movie, the wife falls in love with her husband while he's pretending to be everything that she's looking for. But the ruse poses a dilemma for both of them. She wants to escape what she believes is a loveless marriage, but feels compelled to stay due to the promise that she made to her father. He faces the paradox of her sheer misery as his wife in contrast to her delight with his fabricated alter ego. He tries to win her love as himself, but that only alienates her further. She nearly runs away with 'the other man' before deciding to stay with her husband. Of course, in a dramatic scene she finally realizes they are the same person. There may potentially be a dance competition involved in that scene. And a delightfully corny montage. If you can stand reading sub-titles, you really should watch this movie. I'm just saying...

How in the world does that relate? Just this: Maybe if I look past the wrapping paper, I'll realize that the path I fell in love with is the path I've been walking all along.

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