Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adventures on the arranged marriage journey...( concluded)

  • Then there was this guy who had his own apartment in Kandivli and I went in to meet him. Of the mundane things he droned about was about his his apartment has a lovely view. And huge windows. He worked at some never heard of company and wanted to join another never heard of company.

Seemed highly opinionated. Then as the conversation(monologue, more like it) progressed, he mentioned about Chennai. And how the women in Chennai shop in the huge Saree Mahals… The poor husbands waiting outside. Its pitiable.

While I didn’t have any firm opinion on it.

I just heard him, until he said, “if my wife was to do the same, I would just throw her out of these huge windows”

Enough heard. I made a quick exit faking a phone call. I think he had all the makings of someone with a murder motive if need be!

  • Then there was this guy(who is known via our family), who wanted to know for how much was my grandmas apartment sold. Am a little concerned when people want to know such intimate finance details about our family. Whew !
  • Or this guy whose folks obviously made the first move and called us to Hyderabad. Said he worked in a top IT firm. I saw him with his Sister, Sisters husband and his dad. We met at a restaurant. Was unable to get a word across to him. He just sat there talking to his baby nephew. The whole meeting was so weird. His dad wanted to know if my folks will make Diamond earrings for me in marriage(just one of the many criteria that some traditional families look for)

His folks wanted us to revert with an answer. My folks were also confused at this very very traditional meeting, but the guy was nothing to write home about, since he barely talked, but apparently was keen to marry. I was like soonest ? Well here is the answer, its “NO”.

  • Then there was this doctor family from the UK. They were very well placed. The guy was a doctor, very handsome, although he had a massive squint( which I was ready to overlook in case he was a nice guy) We went out in Hyderabad. Shopped. Had dinner. The works. The Doc then leaves for the UK and we barely stay in touch. Since this just fizzled off, we called it off. Certainly difficult to be in touch after two meetings, esp if it seems like an effort.
  • Then there was this guy whom I met from Pune. It was quite an effort to keep up the conversation. He was the exact opposite of me. I of course can have a monologue if need be. But then a few tings about the guy was a put off. Dandruff flakes on the shoulder, and poor dental hygiene. Yes I am very particular about a few things. Every bloke would usually buy a head and shoulders or a clinic plus, one doesn't know why, its just a very bloke thing. So this one obviously didn’t believe in it. We then went to visit his family in Pune, maybe I was just very superficial, lets give this a chance. The house was musty smelling. The coffee was cold. The idlis they served were rock hard. I of course went into the kitchen to “help out”: and chat with his mother The kitchen was dark, dingy and not very clean. It certainly put me off. We left, and I said to guy the next day, it was a no go.

    There are those who have been the quite good, but don’t know why it didn’t work out category :

  • The foreign service(or was it ambassador)’s son. Very nice family, nice guy. He was working in the USA and we met once. Our parents got talking while he and I talked. The meeting went well. I knew he liked me. But again, I was wondering what if, and whether this is it. Again 9 years ago and I was just starting off in my career. He even mentioned who am I to stop you from becoming what you want to. It was very nice to hear. But I was undecided after just one meeting. His father called to know our reaction, and I was undecided. His father hung up the phone saying, if she cannot decide then it’s a NO. Well tough luck.
  • The wing commanders son. Doing his PhD in the USA. Very sweet guy. Looked like Bruce Willis. Had nice eyes. Very good family. We bonded and chatted away. We sat on Besant Nagar beach and he asked me the question. I don’t know whether it was cold feet or what. I was just not able to go ahead and decide that this was it. The fear of packing up and quitting my job to go to a foreign land, with someone whom I know recently was surely nerve wrecking. I felt like it was a jump without a parachute and this was 8 years ago. He went on to get married to someone else. And of the proposals, this one was surely one which often leaves me thinking what if….
  • Then there was this guy in Ahmedabad. Very nice family. Everyone was so sweet. He introduced me to his friends and family and it just seemed all rite. We went to visit them in Ahmedabad. He had a beautiful house and a lovely family. I have never seen such lovely hospitality or closeness that his family was. He was an aggressive guy. A go getter. He didn’t want to leave Ahmedabad. He had all the makings of a CEO to be. Very non-compromising, and very very spirited. The tough thing was I felt, there might not be a place in the house for two CEOs.*cough* This is another one, that my folks still wonder, why this one didn’t work out.

Some of the good things that have happened from these experiences :

  • A few lessons that there are all kinds of people out there.
  • It also helped me to learn a lot about myself. I realized that I can be very patient if need be, or what actually is important for me.
  • Atleast the emotional involvement is less, So when something is called off it doesn’t bother as much.
  • Some of the families were so nice that I am still in touch and its no hard feelings, so what if the proposal didn’t work out. Which is very cool.

    Someone asked me why these posts on arranged marriages and in case I wasn’t all for it.

    I am.

    It saves time to sort. It takes care of the basics in terms of a background.

    There is a high HIT rate. And so many couples are “happily married” from the arranged marriage method as opposed to those “falling in love”

    The reason for posting was only for me to keep these memories afresh on people one meets in this lovely journey. It just helps to appreciate that Special one even more.


vaidya said...

Made for great reading...!
Usually get to see parodies about the marriage market written by wiseguys.... this was more first hand...
and a great job at adding the right dose of humor to it without making it seem like a joke or a tear-jerker :)

stan said...

Hey Dee,

Personally, having never been part of any eligible persons' database, I never knew the trials and travails one goes through during these close encounters with the self labelled eligible princes. Reading through your five part misadventures through various cities, houses and restaurants gave me a deep insight and a never before first hand account of what women go through in order to make sure the life partner falls within your desired framework. From my point of view it was hilarious and also thought provoking when you think of the millions of women who go through this 'trial by fire' even as I write. I cannot comment on the advantages of a 'love' marriage versus an 'arranged' marriage but i imagine both have their own unique set of tribulations to go through unless you get very lucky. I wonder if a person starts off with looking for an ideal package but somewhere along the line there comes a time when you need to make a 'compromise' and make do with the not so ideal package while making a resolution to mould that not so ideal man to what you want him to be. Wish you all the very best in that search for the perfect being and hope you bump into one sometime soon.

Deepa Subbaraman said...

Thanks Vaidya, while some of the experiences were certainly sweet-sour, i thot i used to enjoy narrating some of the funny ones or the ones which bothered me a bit(like the one with the guy having a "fairness fetish")to my close friends. And thats when i got the idea of documenting it. Its my close ones who really helped to get thro some of the experiences, or even make rationale decisions to "not go ahead" with something.. Cheers, D

Deepa Subbaraman said...

Hey Stan, thanks for your comment. While (biased as i am about you) i think you would make any eligible data base had you been running :) Yes this is certainly at times a long journey, while some couples just click and make up their mind after one meeting. This is surely a point of envy and surpise for me .How do they do it? what do they know that i dont? and a whole lot of doubts.

That being said, i think its true, one kisses a few frogs before one finds the prince..Seems true :)

Balu said...

Deepa akka, it was a nice read!
:-) To add my two bit, having gone through few profiles in the tamilmatrimony website, off late, girls sound very demanding when they write they would marry only post-graduate degree holders. ;-). And when proud parents give a write up about their son/daughter, the "first line" reads - "He/she is a first rank holder in so and so university, it prompts one to think, hey, hang on, is this a matri profile or a job resume? ;-)

Deepa Subbaraman said...

Thanks for your comments Balu.

As for asking for post grad mapillai, i think it stems from our roots, about the importance of eduction and our belief the more the education, the better the salary/position.

Have also known guys who have had a major complex that he is just a graduate and the girl is post grad. Why him, even his entire family had a complex about it. So maybe the concept of "unnecessary competition" at home gets addressed by stating a requirement of a guy being "better educated" than the girl.

I know of families where even daughters are educated for the purpose of marriage(meaning, Mba, Master degree engineering, MCAetc. to get a good mapillai who wants a "graduate/post graduate girl who will be a "home maker"..and there are girls who are very happy to do just that. Similarly we see girls sending proposals for my brother, saying things like GNIIT, C++ Jaava, and one wonders if its a job resume too :)

Not being judgemental, just surprised as this may not be a choice for me. :)

chocoliciousgal said...

Deeps, I'm the kid here and very inexperienced :D .But I admire the no holds barred honesty in the writing :)