wife or child’s mother?

While thinking the other day about quantum mechanics, I started wondering what kind of woman I?m looking for. The basic question I asked myself was why I need a wife. I asked myself why I need to get married.

The classic reason for people to get married has been to procreate. To find someone to procreate with so as to ensure a good lineage to follow. If you see traditional matrimonial ads, the ?qualities? mentioned are those that ensure a good mother. ?tall, fair, good-looking? improve the chances of a tall, fair and good-looking kid. ?slim? improves the chances of a healthy kid. And the most important aspect ? homely ? implies that the woman will take good care of the kids.

So when my dad tells me that he wants tall and fair daughter-in-law, I know he is concerned chiefly about his grandkids. He has a certain picture of his grandkids in mind, and he believes a tall and fair daughter-in-law would combine well with me to provide those kind of kids.

The other reason I would want to marry would be for companionship. I want to marry because I want someone to come home to. Because I need someone to stand by me whenever I need help. Because I need someone who will be there for me whenever I need help. Because I need someone who?ll need me, someone who?ll feed me when I?m sixty four.

Now, the main qualities I would be looking for would include emotional connection, culture fit, niceness, and all these ?soft? stuff, things which cannot be measured very easily. This means it is necessary to spend a lot of time with each other before committing. Some people might not have the patience for that.

Actually there?s a third reason, one that I had forgotten when I started writing this piece. This is the ?trophy wife/husband?. You marry someone because he/she will look cool on your resume. This could be someone in the public space, or just someone who is generally highly regarded for whatever reason ? be it looks, or intelligence, or money or whatever.

It is fairly easy to fix this kind of a relationship, you don?t need to know her at all. You can just take a look at her resume and then make a direct recruitment. This kind of a relationship is more of a marriage between two CVs, than between two people! And it is typically this kind that breaks down, and the fame of at least one of the partners ensures its media footage (there are a few such successful marriages, but I believe in them, the fact that the CVs are impressive is just coincidental; there are actually reason two marriages).

Yet another formula which usually leads to a broken marriage. In the promise of financial security, one gets a “wife” to cook for you, maintain your house, bear kids, take care of kids, “help release frustration” when you’re tired, and maybe even get beaten up. Widely prevalent in large parts of our country. Usually accompanied by heavy dowry amounts (shouldn’t it be the other way round, i mean shouldn’t one pay for the cook-cleaner-whore than take money from her? never mind)

Call me selfish but I think the second reason would be the best to marry someone. And the choice of wife is probably the most important decision of my life, I think i’ll be able to be patient enough to go through a “type two wedding”.

I didn?t want to marry Hema Malini. I wanted to marry a woman who could mother my children – Prof. B Shekar, IIMB

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