Archive | November, 2013

On the Marriage Mart- II

23 Nov

So, my previous post got too long, I had to split it into two parts.

Read part one- here

Educational Qualifications-

Don’t even get me started. Okay, you are pursuing your Ph.D and a potential suitor sees your profile and contacts you. You see his/her qualification and they have only completed their schooling and are working. Then find someone with the same qualification. Aaaarrgh!!

If the potential suitor is staying abroad, so many people view them as a ticket to go see the U.S. Get your own passport and Visa, you rat.

There are a couple of people who have finished their Under-Graduation? And want to continue with their Post-Graduation after marriage and expect the spouse to fund for their education.

A few parents will announce that they want a daughter-in-law who is well-educated, but they won’t be allow her to work. They have to stay at home with their qualifications and see imaginary patterns on the wall and learn to cook with all the finesse of a Cordon-Bleu chef.

About cooking, a lot of people will tell you at the outset that they don’t know how to and that they shouldn’t be asked to cook after marriage. But that is okay. After all, it is not like us Neanderthals can’t eat the raw meat that the man just got.

They want women who can cook extremely well. What are women? Born Master Chefs? It is a practiced art. Also, it is kind of the 21st century, people.

After all, only men can microwave. Those little on/off buttons. How much more intimidating can they get?

Horoscope matching-

Woah! This is a long story. Logically, the principle of horoscope matching should be the same everywhere & all astrologers should tell the same things, right? Wrong. No, not wrong, it is WRONG!!

So, if you’re sensible (which you aren‘t) you’ll consult just one astrologer. But, no. You will consult two astrologers. Why you ask? Well, my child, it’s for second opinions and filtering. Second opinions? Filtering? There is nobody left to filter, between the two of them, you would think! When one says, yes, rather excitedly, the other says no, rather emphatically. You’re caught in the middle watching the parents run from here to there. Watch it, you dropped a horoscope. It’s fun, in a non amusing way, if the search wasn’t on for someone you know & love.

So, I’m left wondering between the two of them will they spare any suitors? Nope, not a chance. Sometimes, you think God is in a particularly nice mood & they both say yes. But, you don’t like what is on offer. These are the times when I feel like God just loves watching us flounder.

So, you awkwardly try to explain why it won’t be a good match. For future reference, you could always state that the horoscopes don’t match. It’s a very good reason and always works, because in most cases the prospective groom/bride’s family don’t consult the same astrologer as you. It is like the standardized and mildest form of rejection.

You send photo requests, horoscope requests and so many messages and you get notified when they see your requests, so when you don’t get a reply you really want to say, “Hi. I don‘t know if you recognize my profile name, but we sent you a horoscope request 2 days back. We also don‘t know if you‘re aware that once a message has been read the sender is automatically notified. So, why in God‘s name haven‘t you replied, yet?”

No, I don’t want them to send the horoscope. I want them to acknowledge that message and tell us if they are interested or not. If they aren’t, then they should say so. It’s not going to take more than a minute to type it out and send it.

Sometimes people approach you saying their daughter/son’s horoscope matches with your son/daughter’s, but when you go check, it doesn’t match.

You want to get all the astrologers under one roof and make them read Linda Goodman and Cheiro. I love Linda Goodman. At least she is consistent and not just because she is dead.

So you decide on just one astrologer in the end (Finally! Hallelujah! I can see the light at the end of this long, winding tunnel) and go about your search.

Religion-

There will be atheists and fanatics and agnostics. There will be people who will claim to be extremely broad-minded and say that sub caste doesn’t matter. You will want to laugh at them and wonder if they are for real.

Some people will be very specific in this regard and will put up what they expect. At least they are honest about it.

Some people will tell you that they are atheists and blame God for everything.

There will be people who’ll want you to have your own apartment, vehicle and stuff and all of this before even the two people who are supposed to marry have even met!

The trend for a prenuptial agreement is starting to emerge in India as well. No matter how modern you think you are, Indians are still pretty traditional at heart and the whole idea of divorce doesn’t sit too well, with them. Here, people believe marriage is a thing for seven lives.

Mostly it is just a question of how honest you are willing to be. It will make you cynical and you will wonder if you even want to marry.

It will feel like an auction at times. The person with the most money, the best possible looks, the car gets the best deal or rather gets every deal. It’ll get as unromantic as possible for every bit will be reality.

So, you learn to get past all this and you browse through hundreds of profiles till you get to a point where you want to run when you hear the words- Bharat Matrimony.

You’re forging new relationships, so wouldn’t you want to at least try to be on your best behaviour? Some people are downright rude that you want to say, “Excuse me?” And then you swear and say, “Go to hell!! You don‘t deserve him/her.” You then decide that some people have forgotten what being polite means or what common courtesy dictates and make a silent promise to yourself that YOU will never sink to their level.

There will be a lot of temper tantrums, ego clashes, tears, angst, stress, laughter, fear, moments when you’ll feel so exposed & vulnerable. There will be moments when you’ll think you’re not good enough or you don’t earn enough, but trust me when I say, that is total bullshit. You will find your life partner. All you have to do is look, hard. Everywhere and anywhere. And you’ll find them. Don’t ever let your confidence or self-esteem waver because there are people out there who don’t have an ounce of common sense, dress like a co-ed nursery and go about strutting like they have everything & know everything when they DON’T & when they can find life partners, why won’t you when you are who you are? (And for what you have, of course! :P)

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2013; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

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On the Marriage Mart- I

23 Nov

Having witnessed the entire procedure of more than one someone tying the knot in an arranged marriage, I have to say it’s a long ride and the roads aren’t as comfortable as one might think. If you thought it was an easy task, you have no idea how wrong you were.

First for the car to move forward we need the yes to start looking for a partner from the boy/girl. Now that a nod has been given, there is a lot of joy because there is going to be a wedding and then babies with your eyes and her cute button nose and thick long hair.

Conversation with self- Babies? Already? Huh.

Button nose? Hers??

Wait. What? We haven’t found a partner yet, right?

Right.

P.S. This is going to happen a lot. So, bear with it.

So, what happens first is the parents call up their brothers and sisters and announce, with joy, that their child is ready for marriage. Yay! Another bout of celebration and congratulations. Although there will be the customary tears that their baby has grown up as well.

So, now we have people scouting the world for the best partner possible.

The car starts with a roar and I smile before I find my face pressed against the window. Everybody in the family has joined the car. It’s stifling, annoying and yet, comforting and warm. And no, I don’t mean that in hot, sticky, sweaty sense. (Although, it is that, sometimes!)

The car begins to inch forward. Slowly. Frequent stops for fuelling and lots of near perfect misses.

So, there are some things you should know about what goes on in the arranged marriages, before it comes to a marriage. Doesn’t make sense? Oh, don’t worry, it didn’t make sense to me either.

Creating Profiles-

The more modern parents create profiles for their children on matrimonial sites such as Bharat Matrimony, Jeevansaathi.com, SS Matrimony etc. Take your pick or just pick all three.

So, you fill in the likes, dislikes..

A scene from Batman comes to mind.

Alfred is trying to get Bruce to try online dating and is creating a profile for him.

Alfred- Likes?

Bruce- Helping Gotham get rid of criminals.

A- How about loves athletic pursuits such as grappling, spelunking..

I love Alfred. Just saying.

Yes, that is what happens here as well. You fill in all the necessary areas and mentally prepare yourself for the flooding of your inbox (Because promoting the site among the members is the best way to get in more people. Incidentally, all of those mails were deleted without a second glance).

You write about your favourite cuisine, clothes, hobbies, music you like and other random things that nobody who is going to be looking through your profile will care about.

Honestly speaking, falling in love seems like a cake walk in comparison. It would be so much easier if they discussed all this when the two people who are supposed to get married, meet or at least talk.

And the best part- About yourself, your family and your expectations from a life partner. How can you put in words what you want from your life partner out there for all the world to see? It takes a lot of courage to put up EXACTLY what you want.

But more than that, how do you write what you want? How do you put it all in words?

So, some people take honesty to a whole new level. They talk about their fetish, their addictions and then some. Seriously, these pages should come with a PG-13 rating.

You gloss over your bad points, put your best for everyone to see, literally, and pray that you find the one.

Physical Attributes

Everybody wants a partner for their child who resembles Aishwarya Rai or Hrithik Roshan. Well, sorry to disappoint, but there are only one of each of those individuals. (Unless of course, you have their respective DNA cryogenically preserved. No? Somehow I didn‘t think so.)

Physical attributes are NOT everything. Yeah? Try telling that to her parents.

What is hilarious is their child looks passably decent (pretty on her best days), but they want somebody who looks like Hugh Jackman, everyday? Lady, that man is the stuff dreams are made of. Get real.

You marry a girl because she has the perfect figure. So if she puts on a few pounds, are you going to leave her?

Some people are downright crass and rude in this aspect. Why don’t you realize we are all in the same boat? We all want to see them married, maybe not to each other, but that is no reason to make a person feel horrible.

What happens is that everybody wants the absolute best for their children. That’s normal. Who wouldn’t?

Too short. Too tall. Too skinny. Too fat. Too something. Her nose is off centre. His head looks weird in sepia. She looks creepy when she smiles. He/she looks off.

You get to see first hand the real side of people- it’s ALL about subtlety or as others such as myself would like to call it, hypocrisy (or diplomacy) whichever suits you!

By the end of it, you will want to clone somebody appropriate and make them grow up to the right age in under 1 week, get the two of them to meet and marry them off (even if they don’t like each other).

Skin colour. If I hear fair-skinned, one more time, I am going to shoot someone.

Match for Smart, Fair, Slim Brahmin Girl 24/5’4″ Contact- 136578.

You are smart? Isn’t that for us to say? And anybody can get a certificate printed out.

You are fair? Really? Great! Melanin production too less? Attach an unedited photo, please. (Yes, Photoshop does count as editing. So, does Instagram)

Slim? Aweso.. Wait. You are 3 kg over your ideal weight? OMG. This just won’t do. I’m so sorry.

Fair and Lovely, you are neither fair nor lovely.

Haven’t any of them heard of tall, dark and handsome? Who asks for fair men? Are they looking for grooms for their son?

Most of the people upload photos of them in profile or with their hair flying all over the face. The whole point of a photograph is so that we can see your face in all it’s glory (or not!). *Insert deep wise voice* Aah, you have found your calling. Kingfisher just lost a lot of prospective models right there.

And please don’t put up photos with someone of the same gender who looks so much better than you and “forget” to mention who you are out of the three or five people in the picture.

Annual income-

In some cases it’s hilarious. Others it’s just plain greedy. No other word.

So, about that annual income. Where do I start? Let’s say, you earn say, 4 lakhs p.a., but you want a groom who earns 24 lakhs? Tad unrealistic, don’t you think? Yup, just a tad. When I saw these profiles, I wanted to tell them to their face what I thought of them, but I didn’t. It’s very difficult for me to not be blunt and so I ranted about it to my parents, and they said it’s very normal but I couldn’t digest it.

Some people are honest (one of the milder adjectives) when they say that what they earn is only for them and they won’t share/give it to their in-laws or spouse. It is just for them.

What kind of family values have you been brought up with? No, seriously?

If money is all important, why don’t you marry money itself. Yeah, not enough limbs to hold you up? That is what I thought as well.

Read part II here.

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2013; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

My brand of Ecstasy

4 Nov

Happy Birthday, Prashanthi. 

Hope you have an awesome year ahead.

Because you are quite easily, one of the best things about my college days. Because you are the little sister I have always wanted. And because you make me run out of words. 

***

An imagination that only grows stronger with time. An addiction that refuses to relinquish its hold on you. It holds you captive and you don’t want to be released because somewhere, you have started to build your world around it.

A story behind every smile. The gratitude for a second chance behind a simple “Thank you!”, A story of star-crossed lovers in every couple you see.  A story of belief, of giving people the benefit of doubt.

 It takes over when you least expect it and doesn’t let go until it has drained you of all your energy, yet, leaving you more invigorated than before. It makes you see beyond the surface, looking for deeper meanings, willing you to understand how things work and why they happened.

They are an innately curious bunch. And they make you insanely curious, as well. To the point where it is extremely frustrating when you know you can’t do anything unless you find out.

Initially, it was hard. Needed a certain something for it to happen, an aura in the air around you. Something that had to be switched on. Something to act as the trigger. You had to close your eyes and wait for the magic to happen. You pray it comes and that a masterpiece takes shape. When it strikes you, the rush is unparalleled.

It takes you higher than you have ever known, making you see a new world, every time. It infiltrates your whole being, till you don’t know anything, but the hands taking you to the skies. It is all that surrounds you. It is all you live and breathe. The world seems hazy and distant.

The world starts getting sharper and reality intrudes in spurts till you start falling from the clouds, gaining momentum with each passing second, till you spiral out of control and land on Earth. You try to keep the high going for as long as you can by looking around for inspiration and seeing if it strikes you again, while you are still flying. But luck is rarely on your side.

As time went on, it became more natural to go with the flow. Sometimes, without your knowledge you ended up creating something so raw, you didn’t know you were capable of feeling so much. Other times it is no masterpiece, but passably decent, You couldn’t help, but give in to the high, even if it was gonna be just for a little while.

What is it about it that makes you a slave? How do they manage to get across so… easily? How do they know our soft spots, our defenses, our likes, our dislikes?

They give you this power to get across barriers, to be the reason for somebody’s smile, to be the reason for two people holding hands, to be the reason for somebody’s eyes lighting up. It could very easily be the cause for gut-wrenching pain, for paralyzing fear, for red-hot anger, for overpowering guilt eating away at your insides.

Despite all of it, you can’t help but love them.

I often wonder, is it just me? Am I the only one swayed by them?

When you understand what lies behind it, what is unsaid and yet longing to be told, is when you allow yourself to be lifted high. With their own brand of hope and faith, they come, whisk you away and make you part of their world.

A world where all that is there is freedom. Freedom to express yourself, to grieve openly, to console, to let go of guilt, to wash away old wounds, to say what you can’t tell out loud, to apologize, to dream.

In their world, there is honesty, respect, privacy, and understanding. All of this sans any expectation save the one, to make you feel lighter.

You are but a puppet in their hands. Dancing to the song only you can hear.

Every time you allow them to seep into you, you allow a part of yourself to be taken away and that lives on, outside of you, leaving a void within you.

You develop a one on one relationship with them where you can rely on them to be there when you need them the most, but if you are looking to float on the clouds, you might have to wait, for they have a mind of their own.

As you are nearing to the close, you feel the need to run your fingers over them, trace their shape and form, memorize it, to see them in all their raw beauty, cherish them before you give it away and hope that whoever it goes to, understands what lies beyond.

Words are both an elixir and a poison. 

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2013; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

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