Shazia Yusufali (Orlando, Florida)
“Marriage is like transplanting an organ from one body into another. Certain parts of the body may reject the organ or have difficulty getting used to it. On the other hand, certain bodily sections may accept it willingly and will change according to the need.”
As experience re-calls back memories after years of marriage. These words sound wise and worth giving an ear to when heard on wedding occasions.
The bodies are a metaphor of families and the organ is often referred to the bride. Especially within our Asian culture, it is the bride that is more or less transplanted into an unknown family and is expected to adapt the culture of the new family. As hard as it may be for the bride and the transplanted bodies, but as history has proved, a little understanding and compromise can take one a long way.
Surgical miracles may not give us the ultimate answer to all problems, but it can often be a path to a better future. Let us compare an individual surgery like the heart transplant to marriage. Let us start by saying “Within a heart transplant…
The donor heart is connected to the major blood vessels and hooked up to wires that temporarily control the heartbeat, before the surgery takes place. Similar to the temporarily connection, a marriage needs the essential time of engagement to test it’s bond. The famous Hindi words “chat mangni, pat bihan” has numerous advantages, but it is often misinterpreted as the lack of importance to the engagement period. We should remove this misconception, the organs and bodies should use these few months of engagement wisely as a preparation of the transplant and not focus on simply completing that period.
Powerful drugs are used immediately after surgery and must be continued to prevent the body from rejecting the donor heart. At the time of and after marriage, the bride and groom should be given numerous lectures and should attend marriage seminars as a drug to find a common ground. Similar to the heart transplant the whole body is affected by the drug. Therefore, both the families should attend these seminars as they are a vital part of the relationship. As a community we should not throw the duty of listening to these lectures only on the bride and the groom but involve the families.
Following a heart transplant, you must adhere to a strict lifestyle involving daily medications and regular medical care, including regular sampling of the transplanted heart tissue to check for rejection. Following a marriage, many lives change drastically, but it is often unexpected and may cause many to feel like they are having a failing marriage. We should understand, that like a heart transplant, marriage results to a different lifestyle. Therefore, adapt and bring a positive change to your relationship.
If rejection occurs, additional drugs are given to suppress the recipient’s immune system so that it does not reject the donor heart. If rejection occurs within the relationship, then it is the community’s duty to be part of a resolution between the bride, the groom and most importantly, the families. A community cannot sit back and see marriages fall apart, the results can be shocking. About “40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue” is the estimated statistics from “The Americans for Divorce Reform”. However, independent religious groups who regularly attend religious centers, such as mosques, churches or hold a sense of community, have a divorce rate of only 33%. These are simply statistics from an American based culture; the Asian and Middle Eastern cultures have a comparatively lower rate. Proving the participation of communities is a crucial requirement to our social needs.
It may be just a surgery, but this man-made process has much to learn from. As a community let us learn and unite to make this beautiful reunion of souls, families and different opinions, an ever lasting one.