The Art of Arranged Marriage

Two things are very important for Indian parents: Deciding what you should study and deciding whom you should marry. Even if the first one goes haywire it’s alright but if the second one is tampered with all hell breaks loose. It is like you are taking away their birth right.You can take any girl home and show it to your parents they just have two things to say: either they are totally against it or they are against it. Well you are lucky if it is the latter because you can slowly change them from there to “I am with OK with whatever” state but if they are totally against it then it is a typical Tamil movie. (any Tamil movie since the 80’s since the stories remain same to a large extent)

The only good thing for guys who did their engineering or guys who are from the southern region of India is very few get lucky to get a girl and even fewer get to take her home to their parents. Rest of us believe in bharatmatrimony. For many people it may sound very ridiculous or they may not be even able to comprehend how arranged marriage is possible. But folks let me tell you it all follows a simple algorithm. If your age is more than 26 or if your FB news feed is full of wedding updates then its time to create a profile on any matrimony sites. So guys go around with their friends who have a DSLR and click for a perfect matrimony pic. Some even take professional help for getting this pic since this very picture will be a deciding factor on who you will live with for the rest of your life. You upload this pic, write how much you are earning, note down a few requirements (some get very specific and funny) from your future husband/wife and you are done.

This is when you will actually realize the generation gap and the difference in what you call as good-looking and what your parents call as good-looking.  All the profiles you like will not pass the filter criteria of your parents and all the profiles your parents like you won’t even want to look. Incase there is an intersection between both, the girl will not respond. You try to talk, you try to shout, you try to fight your parents out of their filters,but then you remember it is “Arranged Marriage”. So you sit down and continue to wait for the perfect profile to Show Interest.

After extended subscriptions of the matrimony account and frustration your filters slowly give away. You agree to 1 profile in 10 profiles that your parents send and decide that you should have a chat with the girl. Two awkward things happen here: one you should ask permission from your parents and the girl’s parents before even saying Hi and the next awkward thing is After you say Hi to the girl you don’t know what to speak. Imagine:

Potential Groom   :  Hey Hi

Potential Bride      :  Hello

Potential Groom   :  hmmm….looks around…pause…hmmm

Potential Bride      :  …not even looking at you…

Potential Groom   :  Guess we may get married so Whatsup!

Potential Bride      :  You never know!

The most awkward conversation ever. Some strong-willed and patient people cut through all filters and finally come out of the funnel to have their marriage fixed. Now is the stage where arranged marriage scores over love marriage hands down. The groom and the bride need not worry about any preparations or any convincing or any guest lists. Everything will be taken care. Your only responsibility is to say Yes and tie the knot. Maybe that’s the calm before the storm!

Then all the hoopla and merry-making happens. Almost everyone in town comes to eat briyani, give old cup and saucers as gifts and take a photo with the couple. Though all the guests know that they will never get the photo nor the newly weds will include their picture in the wedding album still taking photo is mandatory. Amidst all this two poor strange souls have to keep smiling at strangers standing next to each other and pose for photos. Now the arranged marriage algorithm is successful and everyone is happy.

The best thing in arranged marriage is the belief of the couple that they were long-lost lovers brought together by destiny. Somehow mysteriously during the entire funneling and decision process this belief develops. So the couple take the entire onus on them to paint the town red. The newly weds follow the bellow set of protocols so religiously that some guys who went against the society and got married to their lovers start feeling jealous/confused.

  1. Update FB relationship status.
  2. Do FB check in of every place you go to.
  3. Click selfies together
  4. Change FB and Whatsapp DP to couple only or even better your wife pic.
  5. Attending Birthday parties and wedding functions together.
  6. Post Thank you messages on FB for the Maggi or curd rice made by their spouse.(along with photos)
  7. Wish birthday to your spouse on FB when he/she is just lying next to you on the same bed.
  8. Posting love messages like the best birthday, best new year, best surprise as if so long you never had a life
  9. Start countdowns,war of gifts and international holidays for every anniversary (hourly, monthly gone are the days of yearly)
  10. Find a new group of married friends to hang out as couples and asking all other single friends when they are planning to tie the knot. (hidden intentions beware)

After all the art of arranged marriage lies in doing the above set of activities in proper combination and timing to get most likes. Many of us get so busy in making the world believe that we are having the perfect life to an extent that we forget the arranged reality.

Growing up is not optional..it is induced!

I read this one liner some where…”Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional!” but little did I realize then it is so untrue. I would say growing up is not optional but it is induced.

The work has not changed drastically, the place has not changed drastically, the group you have around has not changed drastically but still everything seems so different now compared to the pre-PG work days. Then you realize that the only thing changed is your age. You have no option left other than to grow up and act matured. The reason why I say this is induced is majorly because of these various reasons.

Facebook:

Your FB activity will involve writing messages like “congrats wish u happy married life” or “congrats…both of you look good together” more often than birthday wishes. All these photos and status updates like “welcome to the world” “committed for life” just make you realize that people around you are moving to the next phase in life but you are still stuck there. So sub consciously you start feeling that you shouldn’t be left out.

Phone calls from friends:

Slowly reality strikes that your friends never call at the same frequency they used to. Even if they call it is just to announce that they are getting married or they are going abroad or they just got a new house. There are no more calls just to shout after you get drunk or no more calls just to laugh when you know your friend had a break up. Anyways you can’t help it and eventually you will be sitting and planning your leaves just to attend your long list of friends’ wedding.

Boozing:

Well gone are the days when you have a really crazy night after drinking. Gone are the days when you dance after drinking. Gone are the days when you listen to song after drinking. Now thanks to your body, your drinking capacity has reduced. You start getting high in a single beer or two. All the booze talk is now just about people who got married, people who got new jobs, your ex’s who got kids or about your boring work and how badly you are looking for a change. After all this talk you just crave to hit the bed so that you can forget all this and just SLEEP.

Physique:

I still remember when I used to wonder why people get down from bike and comb their hair even before parking their bike. Now I finally got the wisdom to understand why it’s done. At this age you start worrying about your hair fall, grey hair or tummy about which you never bothered earlier. You go somewhere now you have to make sure your shirt is not too tightly tucked in so that your tummy is seen. You curse the wind which has played a spoil sport and you cover your hair to hide your scalp. Whatever you try to be all the DUDE your body gives away and people start calling you UNCLE.

Settling Down bull shit:

Suddenly people talk about investing, buying house or saving. You feel guilty if you hadn’t thought about all this. You can see people posting photos with their new cars, new house, new wife or anything just with a tag line “My first…”. You see that all freaked thinking why there are no more photos of gulping down a mug of beer, or posing near someone else’s car. Whatever you just press the like button on the photo with the thought when will I get all these and start seeing for options to get settled financially.

Society:

The entire universe seems to be worried about you growing up. Suddenly everyone wants to know everything right from why you have not shaved to what you are doing to when you are getting married. Just to give them answers you feel you should probably get something done. Ridiculous pressure just to avoid the blank face when these questions are thrown.

Arranged Marriage:

Most of the times the advice you hear from friends are like “OK I understand, let’s go drink!” but suddenly you can hear these friends cribbing about arranged marriage and how difficult it is to find the perfect girl. Your parents,till now, were worried about you coming home thin or about not eating properly suddenly ask you about requirements for marriage. You sit there not knowing how to handle the awkward conversation while slowly the thought of getting late to the party will reduce the probability of getting a good girl is put in your mind. You slowly give way and get ready to lose your bachelorhood!

Dating:

You can’t find single girls to date. All you can see is people already dating someone or in a relationship or in a committed relationship or engaged to someone or already married or even worse with kids. If you see someone who just had a break up then its like a vacant seat in a crowded bus, people just rush towards it. You get tired of this drill and turn to the arranged marriage episode.

All of this that I have mentioned above and many more reasons which I have not listed push you to the next stage of life. People want you to take the next step irrespective of whether you are ready or not. The thought that you shouldn’t be left out in the rat race drives you. But who cares I don’t want to be in the race. I just want to stand and stare!

Alcohol Allies

Drunk Star
Drunk Star (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All of us, I mean fellow drunkards, have a certain group with which we are comfortable drinking. It’s not that we can’t drink with random strangers we just prefer to drink with certain people unless the alcohol is free. I was trying to think and dissect why it is that few  people make it to the drinking partner zone and others don’t. Actually there are few characteristics of people who when combined with alcohol causes certain reactions. So basically it is how tolerant we are to these reactions or how amusing these reactions are decides the social drinking circle!Here are a dozen amusing reactions that I have come across, few present in my social drinking circle or the so-called Beer Buddies!

The DEV-D:

Some guys keep talking about their sad love life, their past, their future, their plans of becoming a sage and so on. They keep telling everyone in the table how the entire thing of going behind a girl is “Maya” and how The Monk who had sold his Ferrari related with this idea…sighh..What I wonder is why none ever tells to change the topic or to shut up which wouldn’t have been the case without alcohol.

The Wall:

These guys can keep drinking quietly with just a smile on their face. They just need some alcohol and a glass. They don’t care who is puking nearby, who is crying, who is dancing, who is shouting, who is getting angry. They can just finish the drinks, the dinner and pay the bill. But thanks to these guys they help in making sure the entire group reaches home after drinks and then they go home and sleep as if nothing happened.

The Actor:

There are two types of drunkards: one who get drunk others who act drunk. Atleast one guy will be there in the group who will act as if he is super drunk and there is very little blood in alcohol inside his body. He will do something stupid just to make the Blender’s Proud. But sometimes actors can get really drunk and can end up in blood shed or doing something that must not be mentioned!

The ABCD guy:

AnyBody Can Dance movie title will be true with these people. They start dancing showing off their weird moves, bringing on their Salsa, folk dance, shoulder dance, tap dance or some even just lie on the floor and dance!

The Romeo:

These people want to talk about their prospective girl friends and get advice on how to make her real girlfriend though they know that half of the table is filled with single guys who can’t get a girl friend for themselves. The single guys also can go on and on giving their valuable tips right from every little thing to how the entire universe is waiting for them to get together.

The Loudmouth:

They keep talking non stop in high volume making the entire bar know that we are drunk! They can even stand up on the table and shout so that the entire bar knows exactly how much money he needs to pay his bill!

The Oxford Return:

Some guys start talking in English Only after Mr. Monk goes in. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between desert and dessert but now they can even translate Tirukkural in English.

The Singer:

Incase while drinking by any chance if a song that comes on TV is known, alcohol can give the impression that you have the same voice as that comes on TV. These people will start singing along with the same lyrics, with awesome face expressions but only with unbearable (or sometimes feel like killing yourself) voice!

The Angry Young Man:

Everyone gets angry and takes revenge if the person is weaker, forgets the incident if you can’t do anything and acts like you have forgiven things. But alcohol does this peculiar thing of bringing back bad memories and making people more angrier. The problem is that they forget they didn’t do anything earlier because of the fact that they can’t do anything. But now with Knock out going in they start thinking that they can knock out anyone and take their revenge. That’s the beginning of a funny story that would be told over and over post drinks!

The Mr. I can’t hold my drink:

Every group will have this one person who will want to get sloshed with drinks. They keep drinking round after round just to realize their body has lost count and now their dinner wants to take a walk outside. Then the rest of the night becomes history in washroom with all the pukings and showers!

The Confessionist:

Everyone has some secrets. But alcohol as this awesome capacity to bring all the secrets to table. Some people just start feeling that there shall be no secrets and think they can bring world peace by confessing their secrets. They start telling all stories that they wish they hadn’t told the next day morning!

The Ladkibaaz:

All guys drinking session is never complete without this guy. He starts talking about the girls, how he wants to take his colleague out for drinks, how he likes the girl who came in the elevator with him and then he officially starts the guys favorite countdown 😉

Well, with girls the guys don’t drink much they just act drunk most of the times to blame it on the alcohol if something bad happens else they can say they are not drunk to drive the girls home. So excuse me for not mentioning the reactions of girls or guy’s reactions with girls in the group 😉

Why Harry met…

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I'm saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
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Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail 'em too.

This blog is inspired from the above lines. Not like I am an anti-valentine day enthusiast nor like I just saw the movie yesterday nor like I never had any friends who are girls nor like I hate girls nor like I am saying Guys are sex maniacs but all I am doing is just trying to put my views across for why guys and girls can never be friends.

Reason 1: SEX

Friendship starts when you meet someone, go talk and find out you have common interests. A guy when he goes and talks to a girl (stranger) he had either found the girl attractive or he thought that the girl found him attractive. This is what is commonly called “Hitting on a girl”. So the first step of friendship in itself is by sexual attraction. The guy secretly is waiting for a chance to take the friendship with the girl to the next level and one can be more sure of the same when he out-rightly negates and says we are just “friends”. With no further explanation required we have proved “Guys and Girls can never be friends”.

Reason 2: MARRIAGE:

You may seem to be the best of friends with a girl, no attraction etc. etc. but once the girl gets her wedding invitation and few weeks later she gets married and BOOM. Friendship is gone. No more catching up, no more meeting, no more eating out, no more phone calls and no more Friendship.

Reason 3: THE BREAK UP:

All is well till “THE BREAK UP” happens. It can be a break up for the guy or the girl who were friends till now but the result is the same. If it is a girl the guy friend seems to be the most noble man on earth for the girl and faster than you know the friendship blooms into something more. Also the guy will do exactly the only thing which the girl’s ex boyfriend refused to do for her. BAZINGA! If it is the guy who is out from the break up it will take little more time because guys go to booze first and then look for their next girl friend. 😉

Reason 4: THE PEER GROUP

One can argue that, if there is a group of guys and girls they can be just friends. In every group there will be people who are more close to some in the group, than the rest. So eventually this closeness will cause at least one guy and one girl to be more than just “friends”. So once this happens we come back to our rule but wait other guys in the group can argue that we are still friends with the girl. Here comes the harsh truth, I strongly feel only 1% of the relationships reach marriage. So the couples in the group are bound to break up after brief relationship and the group breaks leaving the friendship in the group broken. So leaving us with the fact no guys and girls are friends.

There is the other interesting case of mutual friend as well, where in you can just say she is my best friend’s friend so I am just her friend and nothing more. This is the most common and sure case of the mutual friendship going to the next level for all reasons mentioned in the post. So we are back to “Guys and Girls can never be friends”.

Reason 5: ALCOHOL.

Alcohol is the bond between a group of guys and it is the launch pad for the next level from friendship between a guy and a girl. A guy and a girl arguing to be best friends, meet over eat, drink (social drinking ;)) chat and then ….. the friendship is gone. No wonder Alcohol is highly inflammable and between the cotton (guy) and fire (girl) all that was needed was alcohol. Hence we are back to square one “Guys and Girls can never be friends”.

Reason 6: THE SHOULDER TO CRY ON.

Group of Guys: Dude, accept she is your girl friend!!!
Guy: Guys, no she is already committed and her BF is in ..... and he is doing ...... so she does not see me that way nor do I.

This is the most lame argument for this topic of “She is just my friend”. A girl will always need an ear to hear and a shoulder to cry on. No offence meant for anyone but that’s the nature. The girl will want to tell something as small as a mosquito biting her to her boyfriend but will not be able to so  because her boyfriend is busy (who can be really busy or can be flirting with some other girl in the name of healthy flirting). Here comes our guy friend to hear the story. She will be angry about her boyfriend not picking the call to hear this and our guy “friend” is there offering his ear/shoulder. Rest is all HIS-story. Now we know why long distance relationships never work.  Hence coming back to our original rule “Guy and Girl can never be friends”.

Reason 7: THE GIRL:

Even if a guy is, lets say, is just looking for friendship which will happen only when he is busy with another girl; so busy that he is not trying to hit on his friend (who is a girl). Things doesn’t end there. The girl confuses the relationship so much and the guy(her friend) starts to read it as signals from her (thanks to the Booze talk the guy has with the his friends around who assures that the girl is sending him signals). To quote one of my friend who often says “A guy is good only until he gets a chance”. He then goes back to Reason 1 and everything comes back to “Guy and Girl can never be friends”.

But who gives a damn, All is fair……if its worth it!! 🙂

Travel or Blah blah blah…

All bags packed. Final sanity done to make sure nothing is left back. All To Do items checked! And there comes my train, I go and check the passenger chart just to make sure my name is there, hell no, checking it to try my luck and see whether there is any 22 F sitting in my bay next to my berth! Shouting Yay inside my heart, I see a 21 F on the chart and I walk fast towards my berth just to see a cute girl sitting next to the window and giving a smile seeing me with the huge bags which I am carrying with a lot of difficulty. And I get settled down and practicing my pick up lines inside, look up and she says Hi!

****************************************************************************************

 

******************************BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP*****************************

**************************************SNOOZE******************************************

Arghhh, it was another dream which never comes true! Yes, I have traveled many times in almost all modes of transport from Bus, trains to flights but it never happens. You know, it never happens. I know many of my friends are so happy that it never happened with me. I am equally happy that it never happened with you bastards!! 😀

Never a girl of your age or a little younger never travels right next to your berth. You hear stories of friends of friends hooking up with girls or girls hooking up with guys whom they had met on some travel but damn that guy or that friend is never you! Call it Murphy’s law or Just Your Luck but you THE TRAVEL never happens.

Call it frustration or call it being jobless (Being Vetti ;)) I was just sitting on the couch sipping a bear trying to classify the co-travelers whom I usually meet on my travel.

Group: 1: The I don’t give a Fuck type!

These people are more common on Bus travel or train travel. They are the people who usually don’t give a fuck what you think or what you feel. They will be the über cool travelers, who the moment they enter the train, change to their dhoti’s or lungis and will be roaming around in their vests (baniyans!). They yawn right on your face (gets worse when they have not brushed or the travel is for more than 24 hours). They eat like they have never seen food before. They talk loud on phone. They keep playing music on their Carbon mobile so that none else sleeps. They keep their slippers over the fan and they never switch off the lights! Good air travel is faster, depriving people time to change and be comfortable,  else you will get to meet these cool people there too!

Group:2: National Snoring competition winners!

Yes, I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one. Any mode of transport, you can see for sure some person who snores. Who snores to bring the entire roof down. Who snores in DTS effect and you feel like there is some kind of surround sound so that you keep hearing it. They follow a pattern as well in snoring, after all, you feel they must be some national award winners in snoring. Sometimes, it reduces and you try to doze off they increase their decibel. There you lie down without sleep, wondering why there is no Olympic event for snoring!

Group:3: Senior Citizens!

Now don’t bring a frown on your faces. I know it’s the age but still accept it guys, it’s hard to travel to with old people. The only F, if there is any F near your berth in the passenger chart, will be 50 or 60 years old! They either keep coughing or they keep wanna switch off the lights even if they are off or they keep doing the sshhh or they have a bad cold! Yes you help them and all that stuff but seriously its hard every time to travel with Senior citizens who want to exchange their seats or who wanna help them with their luggage.

Group:4: Crying Babies!!

And this is one common thing which everyone will hate. I mean everyone except the parent of the baby. Sometimes it feels like as if the baby is just there staring at you, waiting for you to fall asleep and just when you are about to get into deep sleep the line between being awake and sleeping then the baby cries. It cries so hard that it desperately wants you to get out of the pleasure of sleeping. And it turns out every time the baby wins. Next time, I am going to walk up to the baby and say I give up, you kids win. I am not sleeping in my travel anymore. The worse part, the cry war begins if there are more than one kid, each trying to out beat the other in decibel levels!

Group:5: The Rest!

Apart from the above prominent one’s the other miscellaneous ones are like the Window starers, the Washroom users (I mean frequent use, really frequent), the nonstop nonsense makers, the XXL’ers, the girl whom you wished didn’t sit next to you and the girl that you wish will wake up from her sleep.

There maybe many more types but I feel these are the most annoying and standing out types!

To all those lucky bastards out there I give a fuck!