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The Poetry of Arranged Marriages & Falling in Love

3 min read

Is Love Poetry or Is Poetry Love? is an ode to love from a hopeless romantic. I never considered myself a poet, so this pamphlet was my first real dive into poetry writing. Throughout the pamphlet, I address the theme of Asian weddings and marriages or rather, the trouble with them.

“Arrangements” was inspired by my mother and her arranged marriage. My first and truest picture of love was my parent’s relationship. But the fact that my parent’s love was arranged has always been interesting to me. I sometimes considered how I’d feel if I was in their situation. I explored my mother’s experiences with love and marriage by writing in her voice. When I first read “Arrangements” to my mother, I was so happy to get her approval and a few giggles.

“The Wedding Party” is a written and visual representation of the theatrical nature of Indian weddings. Structured as a script, this poem is one of my favourites, as it satirizes the drama of weddings. This layout allows readers, even those who may not be as familiar with Indian events, to feel like they are watching a show unfold.

These poems are just two snippets of my pamphlet, Is Love Poetry Or Is Poetry Love? This body of work is a piece of my heart and explores every form of universal emotion—romance, relationships and heartbreak.

[Read Related: Processing Relationships After Sexual Assault]

Arrangements

He was supposed to marry my sister.
But that’s ok
because things don’t always go to plan.
Religion, culture…strangers to my thought
dictated whose breath vaporised my skin in the morning. But that’s ok
because I learnt how to accept it.

Somehow.

My husband–the irritant.
A child repellent,
they flee at him keying the lock.
I can fly my babies away,
(Barcelona, Reykjavik, Hanoi)
But he’ll still be there on my return
because that’s our arrangement.

Where’s my coffee?
Where’s my peace?
His shirted arm snakes around the back of my laptop,
tapping keys like water droplets.
A smile warms its presence before making its grand appearance.
But that’s ok
because he needs the attention.

My first and last relationship.
The only one I’ll ever know.
Wife at 20; mother at 21.
No rule book handed down,
we learnt each others curves and edges.
Grinding through life as man and wife
because that’s the story I was given.

[Read Related: Sarah Yusuf Uses Poetry to Express her Pansexuality]

The Wedding Party

ACT ONE

Wedding party on stage, men have flowers on their chests. There are two thick columns of exulted guests. Bride and groom enter and head for stage downstage centre.

BRIDE [to audience] My God, I’m scared.
CHEF [offstage] Are the canapés prepared?
GROOM [taking the bride’s hand] Remember your dad still owes mine a grand.
CHORUS [Cheering as one jealous cousin looks domineering.]

Freshly wedded couple leave as the chorus follows. The bitchy-looking cousin slumps far behind as she wallows. She was supposed to be a bride, until her ex lover cast her aside.

Curtain

ACT TWO

Wedding party are at the reception. The bride’s plastic smile is of great deception. During the post-wedding cocktail hour, she caught her cousin’s fist with masses of power.

CHORUS [murmuring] Did you hear what happened? Did you see it?
GROOM [to the bride] I told you not to invite her. I told you she was a miserable git.
BRIDE Oh, will you just shut up? I can’t think. Make yourself useful and get me a drink.
COUSIN [Smiling as her plan had worked. The urge to tell the bride of her relationship
with the groom piling.]

The tension lasted all night long. Heat steamed through the air – especially when the happy couple danced their first song. Two girls, same surname. How long could the groom keep up his game?

Curtain

[Read Related: The Nostalgia of Love and the Sorrow of Breaking Up]

Is Love Poetry or Is Poetry Love? will be available for purchase through Nikita Murva’s Instagram. New vendors will be available to directly purchase the pamphlet online. Nikita is also the author of The Measurement of Souls, a poetry book on creative development and self-healing, which you can purchase here.


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