casting of roles

All relationships start out equal and then somewhere, suddenly someone is stronger.

A friend and I found our perspective over broken hearts by laughing over how needy we used to become in our earlier relationships, despite having started out in them as smart, independent, thinking, liberated women. Somehow, towards what we could later tell was the end, we had evolved into the whiny, pathetic clingy, oh-please-talk-to-me-2-more-minutes kind- the kind we (under normal circumstances) want to slap. We amaze ourselves by how much we can want something, even when it’s damaging. We astound ourselves by becoming weak when inside we know we are not. And most surprising of it all is the role we cast for our life, conveniently limiting our own abilities forever.

Having survived shaadi season recently, I found myself in observer mode a lot more than usual. Maybe change is more in the air or maybe I am more conscious of who I am in the process of becoming but things seemed heightened, decisions more key. Choices more stark. I could see so many patterns being set at the wedding itself between the man and the woman- things he would do and she would accept; comments she would make and he would ignore. I could see the same followed in dinners afterwards where both would adopt a demeanor. A demeanour which I think becomes the base for practically everything that follows. She would settle into a role- a placid wife, a subservient daughter-in-law, a defiant partner, a cynical acceptor and he would would settle into his- the king of the family, the good son, the aloof son-in-law and accordingly, slowly, life would start setting up house around them, affirming their own beliefs that this is who they choose to be.At the beginning of every relationship, I think there’s a moment. Let me call it a defining moment. It’s that unseen unheard of unfelt time period when you form the personality of who you will be taken as for the rest of your relationship-life. Of course there are changes, and improvements and then some more changes, but somehow, in some way, we all end up coming back that role, that character, that we cast ourselves in right at the beginning.


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8 thoughts on “casting of roles”

  1. This is an interesting perspective, but I’m not sure I totally agree. True, there is a certain dynamic in every relationship but in my opinion, the reason for that is, different people bring out different sides in you. You’re not the same person or the same role with everyone. Ultimately, the person that makes you feel good about your ‘role’ in your relationship, whether its submissive and docile or wilful and dominating or any other combination out of the spectrum of possibilities, is THE relationship for you.

    Whoever makes you feel at peace with yourself and your role at the end of the day πŸ™‚

  2. its funny how techgoddess and you are saying the almost-similar thing and yet making a point and a half each.

    and so you’re saying- or as i interpret- that one needs to be in several relationships, or atleast one major relationship before tying the knot- and that it’s that or those relationship that make you that strong, dominant, weak, or any of those woman?

    nonetheless- i have learnt a lot from this blog o’ yours like i always do. it’s just that i needed to hear this from a third person. makes tons of sense!

  3. techgoddess- actually im only talking about the relationship between the guy and girl andf all other realtionships as they stand in context to that- hence role casting- i do feel and ive noticed in my own self that i choose who to become and that sets the tone of who im expected to be also-

    but yes what you said is true- one needs to remember that every new realtionship is diff and therefore you should be diff in each of them too πŸ™‚

    sabizak- thanks πŸ™‚

  4. i agree with both of u. i think my post on blogword this week is a mesh fo what both of u have said. my mental space has me, while my physical proximity has what othrs want me to be, until i step out into my own physical space… which is entirely my own, where i’m me. I’m in the process of making it a one big whole mesh of me. but that’s something, like u said, that comes with age. so when i grow up (;)) ill look back and thank u for it!

    btw, thnx for blogging, i was gettign tired fo refreshing ur page to chk if u blogged. i cant tell enough abt how much ur blog helps me understand myself – and others!

  5. how do you manage to maintain your true identity when everything/one in Pakistan demands a certain “persona” of the wife/dil/etc…? I only visit karachi and even then, i struggle constantly to not lose myself amid everyones expectations of me…Great observation of how easily married couples fall into their deemed roles but do you not struggle to redefine these roles? is it harder for me b/c i’m not a resident or do girls residing there struggle with this as well?

  6. Jammie, I was talking in terms of a romantic relationship too..let me try and explain a bit.
    I might have more of a decision making role in one romantic relationship than in another because the guy is laid back and doesn’t like to make decisions, or I might be more in the back seat in another cuz the man is more of a Type A personality. This is just one issue, there are countless facets to the interaction between a man and a woman. I agree with you that sometimes, especially in Pakistan, people expect girls to behave a certain way after getting married but even without that pressure, the girl-guy dynamic, isolated from external influences is still not the same in every instance. The girl might be more or less creative, more or less talkative, more or less confident depending on what her man gives her. The same goes for the guy.

    I guess I’m making a somewhat more parallel, complementary point to your post. Your blog definitely got my brain cells going πŸ™‚

  7. hehe- ok let me give you a basic example- if i started out in the relationship as a person who was, lets say, the support factor or the positive thinker- somehow tha role was then defined for me- as in the other person would somhow in his head not be able to deal with me ever being someone who NEEDED support or was feeling negatively- its not a conscious choice but a way i am ijn that point of life wihtout necessarily realizing-
    similarly when it comes to marriage- where you are in life- (connected to where all you have been so far in life) the role you subconsciously fall into- whether its the ill-stay-home-and-look-after-your-mother or i-have-to-go-out-and-pursue-my-career sets some kind of role personality in which you willl be cast for a long time-

    you are saying much the same in a broader sense but this post was a more specific interpretation of role casting πŸ™‚ hehe/

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