It is true that with time, things change. After all, constant change is what created us; our bodies evolving themselves over millions of years to transform from monkey to man. But, are we really evolved? We, who live more by rules rooted in religion and tradition than rationale and common sense? If you ask me, I’d say we are coming around. I mean, we are embracing Modernistic values, but aren’t completely there yet.
Let’s just take the case of couples, not bound by a betrothal, staying together! Up till as recently as 15-20 years ago, the mere utterance of such a thing would have caused old people’s eyeballs to pop out of their sockets in utter disdain and as if it were some abomination.
But, thankfully…thankfully, Indians are realising that all this Puritanism is futile, and that everyone deserves to live their life their own way.
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela
And, letting individuals do what they want as long as it is not harmful to others is perhaps the most basic of all human rights!
Call it the influence of the Western culture or our school syllabus becoming more inclusive, but people are slowly, but steadily warming up to the idea of unmarried people staying together. Just search for “hotels for unmarried couples” on the internet, and several hundred options will spring up. In this case, I believe Japan to be the most advanced…there are dedicated couple-friendly hotels in Tokyo with no staff, but an ATM-like machine to pay the hotel tariff.
While such modern approach is not yet seen in India, it is a lot better now than 15-20 years ago. More and more hotels for unmarried couples are coming up in India as people are becoming more liberated, and also may be because it has become a good way to garner business. The latter aspect can be attributed to the boom in the Indian tourism industry. As a lot of college students and young professionals are frequently travelling either due to work or for holidaying, the number of hotels has naturally increased. These groups look to spend some good time together without any disturbances or humiliation. In fact, not just for travellers, hotel for local couples are also coming up in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai, where the values are more of 21st century than in other places in India.
Some hotel owners are so accommodating that they offer rooms for unmarried couples on an hourly basis for crying out loud, if an entire night or day seems too long. You can even find a couple room booking app nowadays if you are often on the go. This truly is a sign of changing times. And, just so you know, these hotels aren’t shady as is the misconception. These are just regular hotels that allow unmarried couples. One more thing, even if a couple happens to arrive at a hotel which doesn’t let them check-in, saying it’s prohibited by law, it is not. There is no law in the country, which says that unmarried couples cannot stay together at a hotel or not have a physical relationship. In case, someone is adamant, just quote Taj Hassan, the Delhi Police Chief Spokesperson, who aptly answered the question of “Can an unmarried couple stay in hotel” in 2016 by saying,
“Unmarried couples can be in a live-in relationship, check-in to hotel rooms and do whatever they want. There are no laws and restrictions on it.”
So, you see, it’s not the law which is restrictive, but a certain mindset, which is unwilling to change, transform, evolve with time.
Let’s get back to hotels where you can book rooms for couples…these make sure that your privacy is not violated and no self-righteous person barges into your room, harassing you and your partner in the name of ‘traditions’. You will have an especially easy time getting hotels and resorts for unmarried couples in places like Jaipur and Goa, where the tourist inflow is exceptionally high. Even in other cities where the ideologies are more orthodox in general, couple-friendly hotels are growing in number. Remember what Darwin said,
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.
People in India seem to be realising this and also the fact that if we don’t change our mind set, we might just be extinct as far as our humanity goes. So, what I am saying is, live your life the way you want, without thinking about what society would say. Life is for living because in the end, everybody dies, so it only makes sense to do what you want; it’s your life.