The day has finally arrived. The rebel in me has waved a white flag and is now on display. The mother has finally won.
So here it is. All that fighting, all those posts amount to Zilch, Nada, Zero. So if I never blog about this ever again let this be my final statement. I am not against marriage. I am however completely against the system of arranged marriage in its current shape and form. This blog is going to start off what is going to be the search of a lifetime (for me ) for that partner for life. I am simply going to write who I am and then hear out your comments.
History first, born as the eldest into an Orthodox Christian Keralite family, you would think I was a goner from day one. Luckily for me, I was born in Libya, to parents who were educated and in a scenario where my mother used to earn more than my father. That changes the way one sees the roles of the male in the family. He need not be the breadwinner, and all life decisions are made by both the husband and the wife. There are fights but they don’t mean the end. So born outside India, in a community that was predominantly Indian, the state wise break up was too small for any group to be independent, which made me fluent in Hindi.( I speak it without the mallu accent.) The school I went to didn’t differentiate between the genders because they couldn’t afford to, I grew up considering all women my equal. Moving back to India was the shocker. Schools seated boys and girls separately. A girl cried because I touched her shoulder. I almost was weeded out because I talked English than Malayalam. I adapted fast. Girl became the enemy, then the object of boyhood crushes and it wasnt until 11th and 12th that the walls started breaking down. Some of my best friends are from that era, the wonder years, when as a unit the class gelled. I have seen friends falling in love, falling out of love and some staying in love still (married and with a beautiful daughter).
Then came the engineering years, 4 Years in a village in Tamil Nadu where Keralite boys are at the top of the pecking order, where the women dont talk to you because the college doesnt allow it, where women 2 years older than you come to teach you and you have the biggest ever crush on them, where we bent the rules, broke them and some times just sometimes got them abolished.
Then came Bangalore, the city that stole my heart. 3 Years that went by in a warm fuzz. I love that city and its people, for Bangalore belongs to everyone that is in it, it doesnt differentiate between the states, it recognizes talent and it gives you opportunity. I plan to settle down in Bangalore and spend the rest of my life in whats left of its gardens. Plus most of my friends live there and I would like to be in Bangalore closer to them than in Kerala closer to relatives that are always trying to find out whats wrong with you.
Then came Hyderabad, a job with a software major that went kaput due to millions stolen by its owner and chairman. The city failed to impress me but again the friends were many. This city taught me what love really is, how it doesnt see caste , creed, color or any other division you name. It also showed me how friendships are often wasted, how someone you trust can have priorities one doesnt understand. This was the city also where I was supposed to be when I had that fateful accident on Valentines day in Cochin. The accident almost took my life. I was in a coma for 3 days, then at home with broken bones for 3 months.
Now fully recovered physically, the only thing that remains is a voice that is straight out of a bad movie. I have only one of 2 vocal chords left in my throat and it cant be fixed. Apparently there is some experimental surgery going on in the US but by the time it can be replicated, I might be dead.
Oh before we forget the important stuff, I smoke but I am cutting down, I drink but I am not an alcoholic and I love to party. I dont dance (2 left feet is an understatement) and I am not a person who loses his temper (used to but now I just go silent). My cousins are close to me and we speak more in Hindi than in Malayalam. I have had previous relationships (Yes , more than one. I am a sucker for love). I have had my heart broken and I have broken a few hearts. I am looking for a woman who will be a friend, a lover and a confidante. A person who will be with me in the good times and the bad. A person who wants to travel the world like I do, who wants to see the arctic lights and also see the jungles of africa. A woman who doesnt have any qualms in staking her claim on me but gives me the freedom to be who I am. Someone who is protective but not possessive. Someone who will love my family and hopefully try to be the daughter they never had, the sister my brother would have loved. Oh and love animals of all sorts because if I could, I would adopt all the strays in the world (am planning to settle for a dog for now)
There you go. That is it. The matrimonial ad that is never written, the truth as it is never stated.
The Big Fat Indian Wedding doesnt work for me
I am not marriage material and hope never will be
For a truly haappy couple I am yet to see
And singlehood is my sanity, my will always freee
Its not that marriage is a terrible fumble
I just dont see the point to the whole gamble
Why have a bachelor bash before a wedding night
When every day can be a party in its own right
Kids I love and want my own some day
But marriage isnt necessary, I truth I say
Adoption is an option too that I like
Give a home to a crazy little tyke
The best alternative is still a dog, my own
A friend for life, who lick my worries till they are gone
Luckily the Dad seems to not care
The mother for now is fighting fair
But when the tears come and come they will
I might just swallow that bitter little pill
God save the Lady that fate throws my way
Every single second, every minute of the day.
Now dont get excited you all, nothing is happening. But the mother has started making more noises than usual, as she always does before a trip back to India. My trump cards are running out, and there was nothing else I felt like writing about so typeed this 😛
Marriage is a funny affair
A promise to have and to hold
An unsaid vow to care
A simple lie so beautifully told.
I would rather stay alone
Fight the forces that always nag
Get a dog like Luci, one my own
In solitude, in peace, I will lag
I dont need company when I am old
I dont want marriage to make the bloodline flow
I am not greedy for pots of gold
I like this life, a vision in my own kind of glow
My parents wont have to fight the daughter in law
My brothers wife wont have to compete for her share
I will bear this curse, this life of flaw
And the Dog will give me all the love and care
My old age wont be a pain of lonely nights
I wont miss someone I never had
I will travel the world on last minute flights
Be free, be funny, be stark raving mad.
Of the dreams and hopes that I strongly hold
The twists of time seem not to care
As each hand in submission I slowly fold
This game, this life, is definitely not fair
Are you married they ask in mock
I am happily unmarried I tell them all
And as they gape in plain old shock
I walk away, happy until life’s next fall
Ok Enough ! I have read, heard and seen enough laments about how women loose everything after a marriage. The men are often portrayed as evil, conniving sons of b*****s who have nothing better to do but make a woman’s life hell. This here is our side of the story, the average Indian guy.
Lets see, the average Indian boy, is born into a middle class family by some wicked twist of fate and biology. Our parents are all evil and dont abort as often as is propagated (abortions are usually due to medical issues not after screening the gender).
We are usually sent to school where we get our asses kicked by girls in terms of everything academic, and by bigger, meaner boys in terms of everything sporty. We are often nicknamed here, and that carries on well thru adulthood until the grave (Note: The name need not be one we like, but we get used to it). Our parents usually get really pissed when we get beaten by anyone, but more often than not its a girl, hence the phrase ” You got beaten by a girl.” This usually is the only phase where we hate girls. And we make it pretty evident by pulling your hair, fighting with you, throwing things at you etc. But by the time we grow out of those ugly shorts, we have learned to restrain ourselves.
Then we go to college, that most magical of lands. We often get our first heartbreak here. Women who rule our hearts and turn our minds into mulch, don’t seem to be aware of our existence. We learn to drink and smoke here. Mostly from conniving friends and seniors who just want some fun (it is kind of a tradition, one we learn to appreciate). Here some of us get lucky and find a girl who seems to think being with someone like us is not such a bad deal. Most of these end after college, as the women chase bigger dreams. Before you say that is because we dont compromise: We are willing to compromise, if we have any clue where we were headed. Our futures are pretty hazy at this juncture and that hard found job cant be thrown away. All the women here are well remembered, most wistfully, some lovingly and we sometimes name our girls with one of the names from this past.
We are raised, trained, to be the bread earners. We are ashamed when a woman has to pay, because we learn its not the chivalrous thing to do, not because we think woman shouldnt. Most of us know how to cook. We have lived away from family and have had to enter the kitchen more than once. Our menu is not limited to toast, eggs and maggi. We just dont like admitting it. We save it for a surprise for a woman we woo. A home cooked candle light dinner is something we consider the best of all dates. Most of us dont ever have one.
Then comes career. We have no issues with a female boss or a colleague. We often appreciate the fact that a woman adds a different side to our arguments. We also love it that we get to see a person of the other sex around. Yes, we like both the intellect and the presence of a body that smells like sunshine. We are awkward in our interactions, because mainly we just dont know where to draw a line. We dont know what is ok and what is not. And we dont want to lose our jobs on some insane charges of sexual harrasment. We just go along, trodding the well worn boring path, saving money for a car, a flat, and many other invisible somethings in the future. Women who we come across are completely appreciated for that added dash of color they bring to our lives.
Then comes marriage. Ok Lets be honest. We are not the best of the lot. The only criteria we are judged on is usually some invisible reputation that our forefathers left behind and the package we earn. We also face the unrelenting aunts and nosy uncles who make us feel impotent because we arent married. We are constantly questioned about our choices, our dressing sense, our next salary hike/job change, our plans for the future, our drinking habits, our account balances. Any woman who through some stroke of fortune considered us good enough to be friends with disappear here. After a lot of third degree questioning, they find someone they think is a perfect match. By now, most men have no clue what they want. So much psychological wear and tear plus emotional blackmail happens that we leave everything in the hands of our makers. Our parents cant be wrong can they?
Finally a girl, luckily or unluckily gets approved. Please note, we understand the rejections. We also have been rejected. Then comes the whole band, baaja, baaraat. The girl gets to dress up as an angel while we get a new suit. We dont complain. We consider ourselves lucky that a woman gets decked out with so much effort for us. That probably is the only thing we notice. All other times we are just smiling our jaws off and trying to figure out how much the wedding has cost us. We hold big bachelor bashes coz married life is supposed to make us responsible. Because that might be the only night we can black out and sleep on a friends couch with no worries about whos at home.
Yes, we worry. We arent experienced in dealing with women. The ones we have dealt with seemed pretty capable of taking care of themselves. We would love it if you also had a job. We dont mind doing the dishes. We will happily do grocery shopping. The only problem is we have no clue how to. Our dishes were done by a maid that often went absent for days. We shopped only on the nights we cooked and often forgot something and invented new combinations in the kitchen. We do clean our houses, we just dont do it as often as women do. If you also dont mind a mess, let it be. If you need a patient listener when you come home from work, let us know. We dont sense that something is wrong as well as women do, mostly because we dont knw the body language. When you cry, it breaks our hearts but we often dont know what to do.
We arent color blind but we dont know what color matches you. You always look beautiful to us. We hate shopping for exactly this reason. We dont know curtains, we never needed them (we often covered our windows with bedsheets). We seriously dont notice when you put on a kilo here and there. We are often busy trying to hide the fact that our pants dont fit anymore. We dont mind you having friends who are men. We are often a lil jealous coz we arent that cool. We hope against hope that you wont mind us drinking. That male bonding to us is like shopping to women. Stress release. We would love it if you can share a drink. We just havent seen many women drink. So dont be surprised if we gape when you say yes to a shot.
In finality. Men dont take you for granted. We do seek your approval but we dont know how to express it. We love you in a million ways but just dont know how to show it. We often dont notice new earrings or jewellery coz we were never taught to look. We are also just learning, bear with us. We really do appreciate that you put up with the crap that our parents sometimes dish out. We get angry often for no fault of yours. Its ourselves we are cursing internally.
PS: If i missed anything thats coz I am a total idiot. Also, please note that i have wonderful female friends who drink with me, dance with me and are just the same to me as men are. But the above situation is the more common Indian man, before I saw Bangalore. If the above doesnt meet your stereotype that is because, we are not noticed. If you differ to something, leave a comment. If you think I need to explain myself somewhere, I wont.
Update: I just realize this is going to get a lot more attention than earlier expected. But please think about it before reacting. Its true if you are willing to open your eyes to it. ” According to your faith, let it be to You” ( I am an atheist but cant help quoting something so apt here)
Midhun is getting married , soon… For the uninitiated midhun aka mathai is my best friend from school, St.Peter’s kadayiruppu.. This news is of cosmic consequences to me and quite a few people around me.. It was a very rude wake up call to me (and quite a few of the old gang) that soon, very soon i would have to walk an aisle too.. Indians are still a very conservatively arranged marriage supproting community.. There are a thousands whys and why nots that have been traded on this front and so i am not even starting on it.. I am just going to present my view on marriage..
Somewhere around the 25 – 30 age group guys/gals in India are suddenly of marriagable age.. How and when they get there is still a mystery.. The fact that the guy/gal is not ready, prepared or just not in a state of mind does not change it.. Add to this the fact that most guys/gals bend under pressure from parents, nosy neighbours and nosier relatives because they have simply given up on love.. Love doesnt happen in India , or rather it is often left unexpressed.. Given the odds that we have a 120 billion population our chances should be greater, but sadly they aint.. Most guys are just not ready to accpet rejection, some feel that being burnt once is good enough.. But mostly it is just that our upbringing has left us uncapable of doing anything that we feel might remotely cause worry to our parents, a very commendable trait i agree but out of context..
Once the pressure starts building up on the guy/gal, he/she ends upp giving “The Nod”.. Please notice that the Nod is almost a heaven sent to parents, an agreement they were waiting for and a green signal for them to embark in search of the perfect bride/groom for their very eligible child.. Luckily the grand family trees are always around to throw up a thousand proposals of suitable mates who are just perfect for “our” child.. Its almost like a competition, each branch pushing for its contender.. The poor mother (mothers somehow end up incharge of bride/groom selection, dads very cleverly taking themselves away from any chance of being blamedd for anything later.) then starts the process of elimination, working almost like sherlock holmes to find the smallest negatives to rule out candidates.. The ones that pass this scrutiny then have to face sisters/ brothers who use their networks to then silently “enquire” about the person.. By the time a guy/gal finally reaches the final level of approval , almost the whole family is rooting for him/her.. And when it is shot down for something as immaterial as “we just arent on the same wavelength” or “we just couldnt get along” the child is in for it.. After all given the pedigree, family lineage and status of the guy/gal it is almost stupid to say no.. And all hell breaks loose..
Midhun has his sister and his mother throwing each others choices out the window.. but sooner rather than later , his bachelorhood is history..
As for me, i am happily standing by the sidelines and watching the show, and secretly hoping by the time my turn comes i can find enough layers of filtering that will ensure that noone gets through.. 😀
To all those who share similar fates, all the best.. and to those who think themselves lucky to have found the perfect mate, i just wish u never wake up..