SOCIETY
 

Marrying late is the trend
Vimla Patil
"Legal is often lethal," say young people who are wary of marriage and its responsibilities. They give several
reasons for putting off the final commitment.
It’s just work, work, work," says the new blockbuster star Vidya Balan, "I don’t have any time for romance, let alone marriage." Vidya is still enjoying the first flush of her super success which came with Parineeta and then with Lage Raho Munnabhai. Later this year, she awaits the release of more films like Eklavya, Salaam-E-Ishq and Guru. Vidya has no time even to breathe because exciting film offers are coming her way.

People with kids eat more junk food
When it comes to healthy eating, it seems that adults not only influence the way their children eat, but are also influenced in return, with a new study finding that those adults who live with kids eat more saturated fat that those who don't.

Style
Wear the Indian look
Chandrakant Sarin
Indian look is the flavour of the season. Says fashion designer Narender Kumar, "People abroad want to wear Indian clothes. So flaunt the Indian look when you are in foreign shores."





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Marrying late is the trend
Vimla Patil
"Legal is often lethal," say young people who are wary of marriage and its responsibilities. They give several reasons for putting off the final commitment.

It’s just work, work, work," says the new blockbuster star Vidya Balan, "I don’t have any time for romance, let alone marriage." Vidya is still enjoying the first flush of her super success which came with Parineeta and then with Lage Raho Munnabhai. Later this year, she awaits the release of more films like Eklavya, Salaam-E-Ishq and Guru. Vidya has no time even to breathe because exciting film offers are coming her way.

At a senior level, Shilpa Shetty does not have a problem of work pressures, but she is not willing to marry unless she finds a man who wants no ‘space’ in the relationship. "Everybody these days wants ‘space’, she says, but I believe in an intimate relationship, there is no place for ‘space’. I will be possessive of the man I marry. My mother is an astrology expert and she has predicted that I will marry late. That’s okay by me."

Top superstars like Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee have charted a similar course — and remain unmarried even as they are passing the milestone of 30 in their lives. These stars constantly hedge questions about their desire to marry for obvious reasons. They are enjoying their success and raking in the moolah before they commit to a demanding relationship. Following in their footsteps, supermodels, wannabe models and even career or businesspersons — who are determined to climb the ladder of success, money and fame — are delaying their marriages indefinitely for several reasons.

Sonali Dewan is a super successful mediaperson who works for a TV news channel. She has to travel for days to cover news stories. "My life is bizarre," she says, "I run around the country at a short notice and cannot guarantee when I will be home. Which husband will tolerate this? My work is uncertain and sometimes dangerous. I can’t involve anyone else in this even if I am in love. Until I am brave enough to give this up, I will not marry and this means waiting till I am ready. Like me, women all over India have now discovered that a ‘career’ is not just a path to money. It is a personal quest to find the reason for one’s being in this world. When you discover your real identity, you have lasting happiness.

"I don’t want to sacrifice this contentment for anything. Women delay marriage for several reasons but among these, the most important is that they have at last got encouragement from families and the Constitution to reach the acme of their achievement in every endeavour. They are hungry for success and self-reliance in wealth. They are working like zombies to get their fill of these. Perhaps, to go with this phenomenon, men too are delaying marriages. Additionally, for a woman, marriage is followed by motherhood, which is a huge responsibility. Once you have a baby, you have to ‘give’ it all your life. Children become your first priority and that is frightening when you love your work."

Thirtyfive-year-old Ajay Valicha supports this view. "I could have married long ago. I dated many women — and I liked some of them enough to marry. But I was always in doubt about the ‘right time’. I felt that I should have a good house, all the comforts needed for living and ‘mad money’ to enjoy travel and luxury before I got into a serious relationship. Many of my friends have landed in serious marital problems because of money problems. These days, career women or daughters of well-to-do families are used to a rich standard of life. They expect all conveniences instantly after marriage. The concept of ‘building a home together’ is now extinct. So a man has to think whether he will be a good enough provider to his family. If the wife is working, there are more problems of adjustment. Children mean a huge responsibility. Like me, others are frightened of heartbreak and broken marriages and their repercussions on children. Due care, family’s concurrence and the ‘right time’ syndrome causes long delays in marriages."

Sadaat Khan, an IIM graduate who has just turned 30, says he ‘can’t even consider marriage’ till he is qualified to earn a dream salary or income. "I am getting a rare opportunity to go to the US for higher education. My middle class parents have worked hard to save for my future and I will not disappoint them. The theory here is, the higher your specialisation, the better are your chances of earning more at a senior position. I graduated and worked for a foreign bank for some years but could save nothing. Now I am going to study international capital markets in the US and will get a super job. Then I will first support my parents. Marriage is the last priority at the moment. Today, the edge of competition in very high jobs is so sharp that a fraction of a point can make you lose your advantage. I can’t take wild romantic decisions when so much is at stake!"

Women have different reasons for delaying marriage. "I am a fashion model," says upfront Dipti Grewal, "I have enough men fawning on me. I can get as much sex as I want without marriage. In today’s liberal urban society, there is no dearth of suitors who will give you everything you want. I work hard; so I have no need for companionship. I earn good money; so I don’t need support from a man. If you ask me, I would only get married to see myself in a Ritu Kumar wedding outfit because I love her work. Otherwise marriage is a no-no at the moment. I will think about it when I am at least 32. Women in India have shown that they can make a success of marriage and motherhood after 30. Madhuri Dixit found a fabulous man in Sriram Nene and had two sons when she had done everything she wanted to do in her career. Raveena Tandon married late and has a wonderful life today. Marriage is dicey at the best of times and the more mature the women, perhaps it is better!"

In everyday life, depending upon the social strata and the income levels of families, young men and women delay their marriages for various reasons. Some sons and daughters have to repay the loans taken by their parents or themselves for higher education. Some have to help their families in completing their responsibilities of educating siblings or marrying elder sisters. Sons in Indian culture are seen as heirs responsible for the welfare of the family and they often have to pay medical bills, support households and be there whenever needed. They have to prioritise their decisions and marriage sometimes takes a backseat. Parents, too, don’t mind delaying the marriage of a son because they want to complete their ‘responsibilities’ before his wife comes in to exercise her authority over him and his money. These are traditional responsibilities like old-age provisions, daughters’ marriages and sons’ education.

Broadly, the reasons for the present trend of late marriages are five: First, most urban young people can get into relationships and have sex without too much guilt at a younger age. Living-in – even among students – is common. There is less urgency or pressure to legalise a relationship. Second, most young people are stressed out with the rat race and competition in education and employment to worry about making a commitment, which they think is serious and permanent. Third, marriage frightens many because of the scenario of divorces and break-ups which they see around. They are familiar with the misery and devastation that follows. They feel everyone cannot go through heartbreak with a smile. Fourth, career and income or wealth building comes first, even for women. And fifth, young people want the perquisites of luxury before they marry. They are busy buying property, gizmos, all kinds of possessions and taking expensive vacations long before they hitch up with a legal partner. "Legal is often lethal," they say, "So informal relationships and friendships are far better bets for the young right now."

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People with kids eat more junk food

When it comes to healthy eating, it seems that adults not only influence the way their children eat, but are also influenced in return, with a new study finding that those adults who live with kids eat more saturated fat that those who don't.

The study, by researchers at the University of Iowa and University of Michigan Health System, was based on data from the federal government's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III.

Helena Laroche, an associate in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, said that while most family diet studies have examined how adults influence children's eating habits, few have considered how children or their habits may be associated with adults' food intake.

"The analysis shows that adults' fat intake, particularly saturated fat, is higher for those who live with children compared to adults who don't live with children," Laroche said.

She insisted that though the study does not prove that the presence of kids causes adults to eat more fat, it showed that when it comes to healthy eating, the focus needs to shift from the individual to the entire family in total.

"The study doesn't prove that the presence of children causes adults to eat more fat; people living with children may have different eating habits for many reasons. However, an important implication of the study is that healthy changes in eating need to focus on the entire household, not just individuals. Health care professionals must also help families find ways to fit healthy foods into their busy lifestyles," she said.

As a part of the study, the researchers analysed questionnaires given to 6,600 adults between the ages of 17 to 65 living with and without children under age 17.

The researchers found that when compared to adults living without children, adults living with children ate an additional 4.9 grams of fat daily, including 1.7 grams of saturated fat.

Saturated fat is linked to heart disease. Adults with children in the home were also more likely to eat foods such as cheese, ice cream, beef, pizza and salty snacks.

"Adults with children in the home ate more of those snacks and other foods that we considered convenience foods. These dietary choices may be due to time pressures, advertising aimed at children that also includes adults, or adults' perception that children will eat only hot dogs or macaroni and cheese. Once these foods are in the house, even if bought for the children, adults appear more likely to eat them," Laroche said.

— ANI


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Style
Wear the Indian look
Chandrakant Sarin

Indian look is the flavour of the season. Says fashion designer Narender Kumar, "People abroad want to wear Indian clothes. So flaunt the Indian look when you are in foreign shores."

It is here that the familiar bandhgala comes into its own as today it is made from new-age fabrics that give a contemporary look to it. Traditional yet modern, this formal eveningwear is perfect for a wedding or a special occasion that borders on formality. This outfit is available in two styles — regular bandhgalas and bandhgalas with a touch of glitter with crystal buttons.

Fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore is more forthcoming. "The bandhgala has become a fashion statement ever since Armani showed it on the ramp abroad. So how should the business executive drape himself in cold climes? He should avoid wearing a bulky coat. The silhouette should be slim," he advocates. Rathore adds the bandhgala is ideal for winter as it has a guard around the neck.

If you are a groom then bandhgala is the attire. After all, it is a dress the sartorially inclined young men are sporting these days. With the advent of the wedding as an indulgence, most grooms are going all out to look as resplendent as a prince on their wedding day. Many fashion malls have a selection of bandgalas with subdued embroidery down the neck and front for the discretely elegant groom to sport. Designers this year are predicting the return of subtlety after the splurge towards unbridled ornamentation. Consequently, most designs for the groom use classic cuts and fits, accentuated with traditional motifs like the paisley and buti. Most accessories to this ‘look’ include a traditional jamevar shawl, a decorated turban, a bandhni stole or a scarf draped on one shoulder. Do team this look with embroidered mojris and a bright tilak on the forehead. After all, when else could you get all traditional and be the star of a gathering?

For formal winter functions, the traditional business suit remains an all-time classic. "A business suit is pretty standardised and can never go out of fashion," asserts the designer Ravi Bajaj. "It’s always not necessary to give a formal look in a three-piece suit. Executives could sport cardigans for informal meetings," says Rathore.

Women corporates could wear a long coat or a light-weight mackintosh draped over a jacket or a business suit. "Do wear stockings at all times and carry a leather jacket," recommends Narender Kumar, another sartorial expert.

Ravi Bajaj advocates a more western look. "You should wear a top coat made of wool and fox leather," he says, adding, "Layered clothing is also very much in fashion."

"Thermals worn underneath are perfectly acceptable. Having said that, I must admit that from the fashion and style point of view, layering looks absolutely wonderful if handled with `E9lan," says the eminent fashion designer J.J. Valaya.

With clothes done, it’s time to look into accessories. Try to carry one accessory, namely shoes or a belt, which can be coordinated with different shirts and trousers," is the advise of Bajaj. — MF

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