Comparing Two Routes to Marriage

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Sulochana Konur, left, with her daughter-in-law, Melissa Konur.

Sulochana Konur, left, with her daughter-in-law, Melissa Konur. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps

In the 1960s, when Sulochana Konur was a teenager in her native India, her family arranged for her to marry a man who would soon leave for studies in America. That marriage has stood the test of time — Konur and her husband, now residents of Tucson, Ariz., marked their 37th anniversary last year.

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But the Konurs' oldest son, Sanjay, chose a different path to the altar. While in business school at New York University, he met Melissa Smith, then a graduate student. The pair married in April 2005.

Recently, Melissa Konur interviewed her mother-in-law, Solochana Konur, at a StoryCorps booth in New York. They discussed their different paths to marriage — Solochana Konur's took place two months after she was betrothed at 15 — and the customs of America and India.

Asked for her advice, Melissa Konur's mother-in-law made a prediction. "As you stay married longer, you will find out things that are different about each other, not what is common about each other," she said. "And you have to grow together rather than looking for something in common."

StoryCorps is traveling the country to give people the chance to talk to one another about their lives and preserve their stories for future generations. Each interview is archived at the Library of Congress. To date, StoryCorps has recorded more than 5,000 interviews.

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