Saturday, May 20, 2006


overdue. overlong. don't read it if you don't want to.

I was trolling blogland as usual one day when I came across this guy. (whose page i then promptly forgot because, well, just. google rocks.) Also another day this girl. Suddenly everyone my age and thereabouts is thinking of marriage. And, as is my wont, being the impressionable soul that I am, I began thinking too. Well, in the case of this particular topic, just more than usual. I thought about it for a week before I felt I had enough material to make a good post, which is not something I usually do, as my - ahem - regular readers may have noticed.
But, you see, these are not the kind of topics I'm comfortable spewing about until I know exactly what I think about them myself. Having opinions you no longer hold(what to do? it was either hold or have) held against you is not fun. And not everyone understands that opinions change.

I used to disapprove of arranged marriages on the principle of the thing. In my clueless romantic teenage years, I used to dream about the kind of love you read about - one person for everyone, forever and ever world without end. And a life interspersed with tragic separations and tearful reunions. Arranged marriages were for wimps.
And then I grew up. Suddenly I could understand what an arranged marriage was all about. Marriage, see, it's not about love. It's about companionship. Sharing.
I have five cousins who are married, two of them found their soulmates themselves, and the other three settled for arranged marriages. Now either it's luck, or my aunts know their children better than they know themselves, because no one can tell which of these is which.
When my absolute favourite cousin in the world got married three years ago, I was the only sister availabe to tie the thali (ummm. could not find a suitable link. so...explanation below) I spent the night before the wedding talking to my aunt and uncle (his mother and father) about how they found the perfect (and, by God, i mean perfect) brides for both their sons.
Finding a person to marry is hard enough without trying it all on your own, isn't it? I know I would never trust myself to choose my husband on my own. I feel I lack the perspective to find a person who would be the perfect foil to all my foibles. We all tend to gravitate towards people who are like us. At least, I do. And every time I actually think sensibly, I realise the folly (foil folly foible :) ) of having two of me anywhere, let alone the same house for the rest of our natural lives.

Back to the first topic. This is going to be a messy post. What I've found is that many guys are afraid of arranged marriage because they think the girl is only going to choose them for their credentials. IIT, IIM, Big-Shot-Guy-In-Big-Shot-Firm. Seriously, folks. Do you think any girl who dates you is going to go for anything but your credentials?? That's the whole point of impressing chicks in bars, isn't it? I'm from yada yada; working at blah blah; see my suit, see my car, see my phone. I mean, in what fantasy world do you actually know that someone isn't just pretending to love you?
hmmm. Sounding cynical, much?
That's the gist of my argument for arranged marriages, then.
George Joseph Smith and the brides in the bath.
Isn't it so much better in this day and age of greed and crime and fear and evil to choose someone who is vouched for? Family. Good family is not a joke, you know. Scientifically, it makes sense to sift throught till you have someone with good upbringing, with no history of mental illness, with good genes. In fact, it makes more sense now than ever before. Because we're not talking about love. We are talking about MARRIAGE. and possibly, KIDS. You have a responsibility to the FUTURE!

And then there is my cousin who defied custom and married a Christian because he fell in love. And they are so cute together it gives me toothache. I think my aunt is fonder of her daughter-in-law than her daughter! So there goes my theory out the window.

There are tags doing the rounds - eight points you expect from your perfect match or whatever the correct phrasing is. I really don't have any idea what I want from the future Mr. Me, except for a capacity to understand me. (which doesn't sound like much, except when you realize most people arent' close to understanding themselves, let alone others)
See, I can't say much about my qualifications as an eligible bride. Well, OK, I can. My marketability is above average, and my marketing skills a little better. But every time I think of my 'achievements' as dressing on a package that I'll be using to attract potential suitors, I end up feeling distinctly nauseous. Hypocrite, much?
I did make a list, though. One in my own head. Which I will now endeavour to share.
Here's what I have to offer: eternal optimism, a thirst for knowledge, and a heart full of hopes and faith and champagne dreams. a mind that abhors the hypocritical, the fake, the bigoted, the prejudiced, the cruel. a capacity for infinite love. A crazy unpredictable sense of humour, manic, mood swings. a tendency to overact and hyperventilate; a love for theatrics. Killer smile. Fabulous eyes.
What say? Will you have me as I am?
I can promise no more than did Barkiss, but, by God, I will offer no less.
Be that enough for ye? Catch me, then. Here I is.

And then there's the other way out - stay single forever! Which I did consider for a brief time...
The exciting life of the free singleton.

Fine. Here's my middle path ruling. Whatever works for you, bub.
At the end of the day?
One life. One bed. One toilet.
Can you handle it?

and the es'planashun:
At the climax of a marriage ceremony, in the typical South Indian ceremonies, the mangalyam or thali (the auspicious and sacred thread) is tied around the neck of the bride. This is done by the groom. The sister of the groom (the naathanaar) ties the second knot (there are three) to show that the new bride is welcomed into the family. blah blah blah. As the naathanaar for my cousin I got Rs. 500 and some material for a dress. It was pink.
the end

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