An Arranged “Happily Ever After”…

THE INQUISITIVE ELDERS: We are the very worried and responsible ones. All that we care about is getting our kids married. Mind you, as quickly as possible. We believe there are certain rules to follow in the entire “marrying away our daughters” process and those rules are meant to be never-broken. We trust our friends too much (although we find it annoying that our daughters trust and spend extra time with their friends). So if a friend informs us of a potential groom, we are all for it. Trust us, we are totally okay with the fact that we know only the guy’s parents well. If the guy’s  parents are “good” and we haven’t met the guy even once, we take it for granted that their son doesn’t know the spelling of p-o-r-n. We also ask our daughters to put on a saree and decent make-up and drive her to a photo studio. We stand by and watch as the photographer asks her to stand or sit with a fake smile on her face. Our daughter now looks uncomfortably at the photographer and angrily at us. We wonder, “What is the fuss all about? It’s just a photo. Why can’t she pose and be done with it.” If she doesn’t agree to co-operate with us for this, we don’t talk to her for weeks. The pressure we put on her goes to a peak when we find out that our friend’s or relative’s kid who is as old as our daughter is also getting married. We nudge our daughters harder on such days. We say, “You remember Murthy Uncle’s daughter, 2 years younger than you. She is ALSO getting married this weekend and we have been invited. What are we going to say when they ask about you?” So finally she gives in. This photo now goes with a “biodata” right into a marriage bureau. We desperately pray that some handsome guy with a white collar job picks our daughter. Now, if our daughter has a darker complexion, is fat, or is generally short, it is as good as her being handicapped for the system of marriage. So we pray harder. We are often confused. Sometimes we pray for a son-in-law who is working in the US or UK and is earning in Dollars or Pounds. It gives us joy to brag to our friends that our daughter is in the foreign land. But sometimes we just want a guy working in Bangalore, Chennai, or Hyderabad. This gives her a chance to visit us often.

One fine day we receive a phone call from a friend or the bureau. A guy finally seems interested in our girl and so we ask her to take a day or two off from work to come home (She isn’t the company’s CEO anyways). She needs to wear the saree again and serve the guests with coffee/tea and snacks. Oh! These days some of us let our girls wear a salwar/kammeez for the occasion and have grown to be liberal enough to let the young ones meet alone in a restaurant, say for dinner. So you should give us some credit for “developing”.

Well, if its rather difficult to find an ideal boy through common friends, we are being more open nowadays to looking on the matrimony websites. No, it is not embarrassing. It means we are educated enough to learn how to use the computer, internet, e-mail etc. Besides we have to find a guy from our community, right? We do not have the question of an outside community guy. That would be totally Apacharam! Anyways, this is how the whole matrimony site thing works. We create a profile for our daughter. A profile that includes mundane stuff like photo, profession, hobbies and most importantly religion and caste. We manage the account ourselves. Yes! We do. We have given our daughter the freedom to manage her Gmail and Facebook account on her own (without our intervention) and so it’s okay that we manage her Bharath Matrimony (or equivalent) account. If you ask us, “How different is this online match making different from random online dating?”, we are going to be super pissed and think you are so immature that you still talk no logic. We will wonder how you are ever going to survive in your in-laws house with this kind of attitude. We will browse through random profiles of “prospective grooms” and send them to our daughters every week. If  it finally sinks into our daughter’s head that we are not going to let her escape from this entire marriage thing, she may reluctantly log into her account (Alright, we will give her the username and password). Now she can and should only look at the profiles of guys we send. If she is casually browsing and thinks that she might actually like another guy, we will object. It obviously hurts our ego. We agree that he belongs to the same community but we did not choose him.

We want things to go fine. We want our daughter to be happy at any cost. We have worked our entire life to keep her happy, and will continue to do so. We know what we are doing. We just don’t get it when she keeps asking for more time. For heavens sake you are over 25 years now. This is the right time. Once we decide one particular guy is the best for her, and would keep her totally happy, WE say YES. We are always ready to give dowry. We have been saving up all life for this moment. If the guy is decent enough to not accept it from us, we thank god for giving us such a good son-in-law. Once the YES is said there can be NO stopping. The dates are fixed, the shopping is done, the invitations are sent out, the venues are booked. And on the wedding day, just the very minute we are giving her away to the groom, we WONDER. We wonder if we did the right thing for her. We never intended to screw up for her. We wanted to give her the very best in life. We convince ourselves that the guy she had once been in love with was the most-imperfect guy for her. He couldn’t keep her happy. We hope she will understand that the guy she chose was not from our community and that there is the society and there are relatives we are answerable to. We hope she understands that being elders is complicated. After a few years, when we visit her home and walk into her kitchen to chat with her while she is cooking, the feeling we had on the day of her wedding comes right back to us. We ask her, “Are you happy?”. She looks deeply into our eyes, smiles, and says YES.

THE MACHO MAN: We are caught up in the rat race for most of our lives. We have many ambitions or targets, rather. Marriage?? Are you kidding me? We are never ready. We do it more or less as following a timetable. Go to school, graduate, get a job, get a house and a car, get a wife, get babies, get green card, get a pension, and get a grave. We are great! Some of us might actually look like monkeys but our mirror keeps reminding us, time and again, that we are no less than Hrithik Roshan. That makes us obviously deserve nothing less than Suzanne Roshan. We are not ashamed to create matrimony profiles. And since we are guys, we handle our own accounts. While creating an account we are busy wondering why the website is so slow and cursing it all the way. We try to think of new programs and bug fixes that could actually make the website efficient. We browse matrimony profiles when we are really really bored (Or say we do it on Facebook all the time). Sometimes we also sit in a group and judge profiles. Yeah! We are such dorks. We think we are clever but we actually are not. We say “no drinking, no smoking” while filling out the profile, and we put up pictures of us at a party holding a glass of scotch. We also do not have the brains to lock our pictures on Facebook. What the hell!!! We are boys. We do not hide pictures from people who are not our friends. We do not tell our parents that we do smoke, drink alcohol, eat non-veg, and go to strip-clubs. We’ll let our wives find that out on their own. They will be thrilled indeed.

Some of us, clearly, very few of us are sensitive and think its a big deal to welcome a woman into our lives. Most of us just want to meet the girl our parents think is ideal, talk to her on the phone and exchange texts till the day of the wedding, go shopping with her, change our relationship status on Facebook, collect lump sum dowry, take a few pictures, accept the wedding gifts, and bring home a wife. These days most of us have either had or still have girlfriends. We often know that it’s not going to work out with them in the end. But we wont say a word until she starts pushing us to talk to our parents about her. “Dude! We are just in our  late twenties. We haven’t settled down yet. We are in no place to take you home.” We then advice you to go ahead and marry the guy your parents choose. “Your parents know what’s best for you”, we try to convince and console them.

Then the so called settling doesn’t seem to come to an end. Once we clear the education loan, we have a car loan. Once we clear the car loan, we have the housing loan. Once we clear the housing loan, we realize there remains X, Y, and Z to do. So we decide, “Okay, lets get married now”. Its a part of the timetable, remember? So we are now 30 years or older. Some of us have a pot belly, some of us have a receding hairline, some of us are still handsome. We have also matured from wanting a Malaika Arora type model to just any girl who is patient and doesn’t make our life irritable. Even though we are educated and preach about wanting a “Developed India” and speak at length about the current issues curbing the development of India, some of us still want dowry. We believe it’s our birth right.

When called home by our parents to see a potential bride, we throw airs. We pretend to be busy with office work even though we actually aren’t. We believe we are the company’s Superman or Batman. Anyways we give an appointment and finally we get married. Sometimes we do not understand that the girls are always girls, at any given age. And that she needs to be treated differently. We expect her to treat our family like her own. We do not understand why she would have a problem with our mothers or our sisters. We are irritated if she demands all our attention. However, as time goes on, we learn to adjust. Quite quickly. We are the adaptive breed. If something about her is very frustrating, all that we need to do is go to a bar with a friend and have a beer. We are back to normal. After a few years, we are seated on the couch in the living room as we watch our kids play scrabble while our wives are making dinner. We stare at the T.V and wonder, “Are we happy?”. At that very moment, she smiles lovingly and calls out to us to have dinner. YES, we are happy, or at least we could say so.

THE DESI GIRL: We are dreamy people. The wedding – we would have had a million day-dreams and night-dreams about it. We are the most confused species on this entire planet. You see, we like the wedding (we have dreams about it), but do we like the marriage? I wonder! We grow up reading and believing  in the magic of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. We hope to meet our knight in shining armor one day. We exist with the faith that our knight will come one day, riding a white horse and that he will sweep us off our feet, and take us to the “happy-land”.

Time flies, reality hits. One, sometimes two, bad relationships. Wrong guys. Right guys but no future with them. Parents disapprove. Okay, we have finally come to terms with reality and will marry the guy whom our parents think is ideal. But posing in a studio with a saree? Ridiculous! Serving coffee and snacks to strangers? Embarrassing. Being rejected by a moron because he thinks you are either too short or too dark or too thin or too fat or too arrogant or cant afford the dowry? Angering and absurdly insulting. It doesn’t really matter to us if the guy drinks alcohol or smokes, just let us know. We are not fans of such thrilling surprises. And for the record, we are human too and we enjoy an occasional drink (puff) or two these days. We are as educated and intelligent and smart and independent as any of you these days. Pray, why should we give dowry?

Marriage isn’t a timetable for us, like how it is for the inquisitive elders and for the macho man. We have a lot of thinking to do. We are freaks. We freak out a lot. Marriage scares us. That’s why we are never ready. We are never sure we said yes to the right guy, although we know there is no perfect guy. When we look at the picture of a guy our parents send us via e-mail, we freak out. We have a thousand thoughts running through our tiny brain, all at once. We wonder if he’s nice. Is he caring? Will he listen? Does he have bad breath and will it make it impossible to kiss him? Does he have the pathetic habit of forgetting to put the toilet seat down after he is done? Is he neat? Will he help with the household work? Will his male ego shadow him all the time? Will he understand when you say you are in no mood to have sex that night? Will he learn to respect and believe in your faith? Will he stand up for you? Does he know that you can be a torture at times but that’s the way you are built? Does he know that you enjoy your single life as much as he does his? Will it occur to him that you value your family and friends as much as he does his? WE WONDER.

We don’t generally admit it but we do care about looks too. We think for a second, deep inside, is he good looking. Can I show him off to my friends? Can I proudly put up a picture of us together on Facebook? But once we get to know you, we really don’t care. We are stupid. We run to our best girl-friends all the time. Even if it is about decisions regarding you. We are possessive, over-bearing, full of love. We have expectations, great ones. We get cuddly and cute after watching a romantic film. We take joy in being foolish and believe that guys are as sweet as Siddhu from Bommarillu. Small things hurt us real hard. We have problems and we deal with all of them, both big or small, in the same way. Sometimes having no problems is a big problem for us. So basically we are kinda impossible and we think a lot. To say YES. And once we say yes, we think every single minute, all along the way. Am I going to be happy with him? So after a few years, when we question ourselves for the billionth time, Are we happy? We either smile to ourselves and say, “Yes, I think so” or call up our girlfriends and say, “Yes, at least I pretend to be so”.

But what if we are still left wondering whether there does exist a “HAPPILY EVER AFTER”.  And if it really did, how would it feel after all?

273 thoughts on “An Arranged “Happily Ever After”…

  1. The same thoughts are lingering in my mind. ;(
    I love this article. Thank you for writing this article. 🙂 🙂

  2. Very well structured article. Perfect title. Im sharing it on my FB wall 🙂

    One comment i have is, try to balance out the sarcasm throughout. I felt it little more in the Inquisitive Elders. Also I could see lot of intensity in the Desi Girl section.

    Adding u in my ‘To Read’ list.

  3. the macho man saying ‘yes! am happy’ at the dinner call…yeahh!! so totly arranged…n the desi girl part..damn amazingg!! totly connktdd! well writtn 🙂

  4. Desi girl was the perfect.. Could completely relate to it.. Though felt a little negative after reading it, probably becoz it feels that my story is so common..

    • I think this is the lengthiest article I have ever read (I don’t read much), but never felt till I finished it. It was that good. I cud see a desi girl there. It was jus like I am reading a life, which I hav observed very very CLOSE.

  5. A very well executed article I must say… Its amazing how wonderfully you were able to put across all three different perspectives…

    Hats off! I really enjoyed it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Hey Sahaju FB post made me to landup here… good read.. like to debate with u, but not here… 🙂 … nice writeup.catch u sometime…

  7. In a society like ours, marriage is a norm. A norm followed so religiously that if you don’t fit in there, then you’re labeled an outcast.The concept of marriage is something you might either believe in or not. Some get it, some don’t. And others dangle helplessly in between trying to make head and tail of this ritual called ‘marriage’.

  8. Hey Sahaja…saw ur post on the FB wall…was curious to see if you weren’t talking abt MB.. 🙂 Nice one sahaja..Chetan Bhagath style eh??? Keep writing… 🙂

    Word of the day: Apacharam…ha ha…gud one

    by the way I am neither siddhu from sreekakulam nor siddhu from bomarillu… 🙂

    • Thanks Siddhu… You might not be Siddhu from sreekakulam nor Siddhu from bommarillu. But to me and my friends, you are always cute!! 😉
      Now you don’t tell me Apacharam… 😛

  9. mmm … a bit skewed, but a nice one over all. But I wonder how much different this post would be if you replace the word ‘girl’ with a ‘boy’ and ‘boy’ with ‘girl’ . Am sure, there is a similar men’s version of it, even though most girls (and boys ofcourse) choose not to hear it. Men are supposed not to express their feelings right ? Thats how we raise them.

  10. Nice One.. But it is certainly harsh on the THE MACHO MAN…

    All of us arent dorks, have no offense to let ppl know that we drink scotch, eat crap, smoke weed, watch porn, and visit strip clubs. Life never for us is a timetable.

    The undercover maxim is that guys who create matrimony profiles should and are ashamed. For if you cant find a girl yourself, there is most certainly something wrong.

    We donot want to meet the girl our parents feel is ideal. We instead want to find the ideal girl and introduce her to our parents.

    Times have changed and we never shun marriage by saying we are only in our twenties. We instead feel “God its already late twenties”

    We dont marry bcz its a time table that needs following, we marry when are ready to share our happiness by letting a person into our lives.

    We donot expect girls to understand our family like their own, but we need girls to remember that we are here to build a new family.

    And just like they say “Girls will always be Girls”… Remember that boys will always be boys. It does not mean we will continue to ogle at half clad girls.. But just as you would want to have your girl night outs or girl times, we too would like to hang out with friends over drinks (not to crib or nag abt our wives).

    b.t.w it was a great article and a good read… -)

    • Why should a guy be ashamed of creating a matrimonial profile?? Dear, the world is damn competitive, and the best of the best (by this I mean academically best) guys go to IITs, IIMs, IISc etc.. Do you ever know what is the sex ratio there?? A guy can meet and talk to a girl if he has such a circle… the studious, simple guys never even get chance to talk…forget about getting into any relationship.. Are they doing any crime by focussing themselves in their teens and twenties in career… ?? I agree that their social behavior might not be perfect, but it is just because they have never known how to understand a girl, how to behave with them, think like them….You are saying these geek simple guys should never ever get married because they never found a girl !!
      They are very sweet, they also dream, have emotions…they just need a Desi girl who can understand them..and qualify mutually as a romantic life… They are, I call THE DESI BOYS!! … Never mind, it is the other side of the hedge!

    • I Totally agree with you !! … Didn’t know how to put my thoughts in words … then i read your comment … ” Not all of us are Dorks” !!!

  11. All I would say, The typical Sahaja’s Style… waiting for a book from you Ms. Lady Gaga…!!!
    you didn’t discussed about the various stages of being in love. I remember you telling me about some ‘Colors’…red, pink, green…remember?starbucks?Yeah, you should put that one as well…
    Nice ma…very nice…! I don’t know whether you were asking questions to yourself or to making us ask to ourselves.. Felt like more an self-introspection type…now you are making me think of something which I always tried to delay it…”Okay, lets pause about it a bit and take a stand on it later…”
    Okay, now did I confuse you?

  12. Brilliantly written Sahaja ! 🙂 Do write more. I’m now going to go back and read your other posts too. Keep going 🙂
    Serious discussion later 😀

  13. Usha from Overdrive’s share lead me here, and my-oh-my this is lovely.. There are many cases where we men arent all that bad.. But mostly as exceptions to the case than the normal.

    The sad part is us, the exceptions, hate being clubbed together with the rest mostly on dowry. Give us atleast if nothing more a special mention. We also exist.

  14. Its awesome and very well written . keep them coming bajj 🙂

    P.S: I think you could have done more justice to ‘The Macho Man’ 😀

  15. Intense.. pretty deep thinking.. and i believe whatever u listed up there is as right as anyone else’s thinking.. It was extraordinary and something to think about..
    Also, ur aim of knocking down the door was explicit..

    Good work Lady !

  16. I think this was rather heavy handed esp the part about macho men.
    How many cities in India have strip clubs ?

    I am not sure we are ready to discard arranged marriages in India. Going to bars is slightly frowned upon in India and guys/gals don’t really talk to strangers in coffee shops. Bars and Coffee shops are where typically you meet your wife/gf in the west where there is no arranged marriages. Other place where you could meet your mate is college but we do have the habit of going by IIT, NIT etc which would be far away from our hometown which would be detrimental. Also our educational system is such that only Enggrs would marry Enggrs and doctors would marry doctors, that might not work out that well for everyone.

  17. If you don’t want your potential son-in-law to know the spelling of P-O-R-N, how come you know the spelling of P-O-R-N??

      • I agree. It was well-expressed, but stuck disappointingly to clichéd stereotypes. In spite of being a woman, I didn’t really enjoy the Macho Man piece. You have style Sahaja- but you have some way to go to achieve substance (I only say this as an amateur critic and fellow writer- no expertise claimed!)

  18. SO TRUE! At least I totally agree with “The Desi Girl” part… 😀 There is some exaggeration but still, an awesome read!

  19. STFU all and please give credits to a well written article. I are happy and satisfied after having an epic laughing session 😀 .. Well done to the author.

  20. Evidently you know yourself a million times better than you think you know the inquisitive elders or the guys 🙂 Your thoughts are a bit off in the first two parts. But the lintensity in the last two paragraphs make it absolutely worth reading!

  21. Yes i same goes in ma mind…
    the article is excellent… i don’t know whether to be happy or sad…
    a a girl and i got all the worries that had been expressed.
    thanks for the person who wrote it. mind blowing

      • We, men, don’t go out for a bear with a friend when we have problems! Thats so sitcom-ish. Reality – we just go out for a walk – come back, eat the dinner ( without speaking a single word at dinner table), go to sleep, wake up the next day and pretend last night was a dream.

        • Yes, I’m sure, nobody in the real world or the sitcom world would go out “for a bear” when they have problems.. (Not unless they think a bear is better than their wife) 😉

  22. This article is seriously too good. So many thoughts which are general and common put in one place in such an awesome way. Esp. I loved the sarcasm at some places. Kudos to u 🙂

  23. *stands up and applauds*

    ‘There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil’. This is the story of those middle-class minds.

  24. You just forgot to add one thing 😀 … that the desi girl and the macho man will be doing the same thing their parents did after 25 years all the while trying to convince themselves that they are not doing the same mistakes their parents did 😀

  25. Hi, sahaja. Awesome.,ur article is very apt, well framed, reflecting exactly the current scenario in a lighter manner,ha ha. At first I felt its long but every word is enrapturing giving the inquisitiveness to read further. Thanks to my friend for sharing it on her wall that led me here:-).

  26. From One Tam Brahm to another.. Absolutely mind blowing article.. Yes.. the Macho man part hurts the male ego and wants rush chivalrously to the Side of the male of the species.. but i have Sadly seen too many male stereotypes whom you have described with glacial accuracy.. having said that..and also that I HAVE seen the “des contrarion”.. Desi Girls with indigested or insufficiently digested liberal thinking. All said and done.. reality is definitely close to what you have described and warrants a serious overhauling… very very dextrously handled writing.. You have my ardent adminiration.

  27. Nice! 🙂
    But what about us, non-macho, men (even though we pretend to be macho and don’t admit the truth)? Who don’t have girl friends because we are “good” boys, who don’t visit strip-clubs because… in India?? where??? who don’t smoke or drink because it is a “bad” habit (though we’ve tried it a few times of course)
    And the “non-desi” girl of live-in relationships and closets full of skeletons?
    It would have been great to get a bit of a wider spectrum of characters in it, but I suppose that blog isn’t about all of them/us.
    Anyway, I’m off to share this with my friends because it really was a good read 🙂

  28. I would say it’s very well written but then it’s biased in a way too. Don’t you think, in these modern times, some points from the macho man could go into the desi girl, for eg, the guy being busy with work and asking parents to find a girl for him. Don’t you think the guy freaks out too ? When the guy has to choose from two equally good girls, what all goes through his mind and how does he come to one ? I must say, what you have written is hilarious and I appreciate and agree to most of it but then try speaking to guys before stereotyping 🙂

  29. Bumped into it on FB, Keep up with the nice work.
    Speaks loads about your personality, beliefs and perceptions.
    Looking forward for some better articles from you in future. 🙂

  30. Awesome article .. and Awesomely depicted …

    Deserves to be circulated to wider audience …. I think you can email it to Times Editors .. to put it in Saturday/Sunday post … and I am not kiddin !!

    Audience needs to face the bare reality of “THE TIMETABLE” prepared for us even before we are born ….

  31. An unknown reader but brought smile reading the way it is expressed….really a nice piece of research and deep study on so called MARRIAGE and life after it ! ! ! ! awesome

  32. It is indeed a viscous circle….a comedy of errors…..a combination of funny instances and start getting serious. With all honesty, well noted and grafted. Though I am yet to distinguish it between a satire and reality, I assume it’s smarter to let it to be placed somewhere in between.

    Who can we blame? The society? The Gossiping aunt? The jobless retired neighbours? The overly jealous married friends? I cannot point out.

    Thanks for the article….Made me think, though I know its futile.

  33. the pseudo modernism of our times.. we are stuck somewhere between being ‘traditionally indian’ and ‘modernly western’ 🙂

  34. Sad, innit..? the state of affairs in our “Secular” nation..if the guy is good (or so he thinks), has a good paying job (at least he can provide for her), why the hell should his religion matter..?people are sooooo braindead in our country..!and i wanna meet the guy who brainwashed every single person to think marrying from a different religion is a taboo…just so i could ask him his source..and possibly kill him..and go spend the rest of my life in jail with fond memories of my childhood when i didn’t know what it is to be in love and lose it..
    anyways awesome work..blew my “macho” brain away..thanks a gazillion for having written it..

  35. I dont know about any of u, but i JUST now, got off meeting a guy and his family..And I must say,everything written here just happened to me! The first paragraph is EXACTLY, word to word, what’s happened and is still happening with me.. M sitting in an internet cafe right now, after fighting with my parents and walking out, coz they did not show much enthusiasm if I liked the guy… They just pray he liked me and wish I was fairer, so they could have washed their hands off this issue!! I am a graduate from NIT, working with IBM and applying for an MS. I am tall, slim and look good, just not fair enuf!! I dint want to “bring bad name” to my family, so never even had a bf.. But it really doesnt matter in the end apparently, fair is all ppl want now a days… nobody cares if your smart, intelligent, fun…

    Its fate i think, that my friend who knows about my situation, who fwded me this article and I just read it.. It was like reliving every single step that i just went thru and it brought tears to my eyes. I simply loved this article. I dont know if the author covered every single type of guy or gal out there, but has definitely written about the ones she knows very well!

    Thanks a lot! This really cheered me up! 🙂

  36. Really good read Sahaja.. made me feel that I am not alone. I ROFL reading “We believe we are the company’s Superman or Batman”. So damn true.

    But I actually had no idea that guys create their own matrimonial profiles too… I found that very amusing.

    And 1 more point here which you might have missed – the macho man probably starts getting a bit nervous when he sees the entire world around him getting engaged/married. And that’s when he starts thinking about HIS life.

  37. good one.. 🙂 all of you can try reading a book The (In)eligible Bachelors by Ruchita Misra. Its a very good book based on this same concept.. the ending of that book is really heart touching.. 🙂

  38. Thanks for this blog 🙂 Being “The guy from another community” I always wondered how the situation would have been at her end .. But at least I know now that she will be happy 🙂 Good write 🙂 Loved it …

  39. Nice literary skills. Except for the claimed percentages, most of these are real. But just to make it little less biased you may have added little bit about the ‘Caring Elders’, ‘Desi Boys’ and ‘Desi Firang Girls’ as well. Especially the obviously contradictory parts could be given better thoughts where not-so-good-looking features of girls received sympathy and a title of ‘moron’ for guys while equivalent features of guys were ridiculed and a got title of ‘dreamy’ for girls.

  40. Good article. I am surprised how you put the views of different mindsets. Copy pasted from somewhere else :)? Not sure if these are your personal experiences.

  41. Hi Sahaja,

    A lot has already been said in the appreciation/applause of your write-up. So nothing new here as well. Just one word…TOUCHED…i literally LOLed at times while reading. Keep it going 🙂

  42. Very well written.

    Bias or no bias… its your(or your friends) point of view… But the reality is I have heard similar accounts from many of my friends.

    You could have probably added the “Horoscope (Jathakam)” angle to the article.

    Do keep writing…

      • Really an excellent article….the sarcastic way of expressing the thoughts in your mind really worked..and is true to all point(as far as I am concerned)…An Indian boy is typical example of ur Machoman and an Indian girl an example of ur Desi girl..

        Awesome….Keep writing!!!

  43. NIce article!!!.. Adding this reply was the instant way I thought of doing my bit to increase the popularity of the post

  44. I totally agree with you, I was part of a driving force of my 2nd elder sister for her marriage but I always felt we are taking away her freedom and after reading this article, I am totally with her. Its her life and its her wish.

  45. Amazing article. Although you are not completely wrong about the guy’s story, your article is still hugely biased towards the girls.

    You give the readers a peek at a girl’s heart but barely allow a passing glance at a guy.

  46. ho ho ho. man finally some
    women says it out loud. marriage process in india in just plain STUPID. ppl in other part of the world marry to be happy, here its somehow linked to family honour,and female has to carry all the burden. also, out of cusiousity, are you taken? 😛

  47. This is such a beautifully written blog 🙂

    Could relate to every single line and the part about the Macho Man had me ROFL…. so so so true!!

    Good read!

    -Monica 🙂

  48. The best blog article i have ever come across in my life..totally floored!! Your article is like a mirror where i can see the life events of mine and some of my closest friends play out in real time motion..keep writing..i am a loyal patron of yours now !! 🙂

  49. I’m an American born and raised in the US. My company has an office in Bangalore. One of my coworkers in Bangalore posted this and I read it, since arranged marriage fascinates me because the concept bewilders me.

    I have to admit that in some parts of your piece I had trouble recognizing the sarcasm! I wasn’t sure how much was pure sarcasm and how much (if any) was a diatribe about the pressures that everyone involved feels.

    It’s interesting how since I have no understanding of the processes, feelings, stigmas, and defences of arranged marriage that it was hard to clearly recognize the sarcasm that all your commenters with clearly Indian names found immediately.

    • This is pretty much the way the system works, at least since we HAVE to listen to our parents, and we live in a male dominated society… I have given a girl’s point of view, so this is not the entire story.. Sometimes there is more than what is mentioned here, but again, sometimes there is less… It varies from family to family…
      The sarcasm comes from the way I bluntly put the truth… Our elders, guys and girls would never talk like what’s written in this post (though all or most of them think on the same lines)

  50. Awesomeeeeeeeee.., It s Piece of Truth… Awesome lines…, amazing words.. Macho man and Parents part…. Its gives us way to think…, “Are we Happy together”……..

  51. Hey… You gave words to my thoughts …………. but where all this is going. Nobody will change and after sometime they will be comfortable in their own discomfort.

  52. Sahaja,

    Nice article but frankly I think it takes a day of argument with you to understand it correctly…

    On Parents: If you really think parents are so annoying why not take a stand? If they objected you for joining salsa dance course or partying on friday night or wear jeans first time you would take a stand and make sure u get what u want (atleast most of the times), so why not when it comes to a guy? If the guy doesn’t support u in doing this, then sorry sister! u chose a dumb-wit and u deserve it!

    On Guys: Do you really think guys are so casual about their marriage? Yea girls worry about looks, will he treat u nice and take care of you.. but in indian society guys have this huge “can he afford it thing” because most indian girls come with an attitude of “oh im engaged i’m gonna quit the company now or if i don’t have my own house.. i would rather not marry him”. So if a guy is acting like a batman or superman when you call, its because he is actually making money to feed u once he gets married!

    On Girls: Yes getting cuddly and sweet is cute.. but just bcoz u got married why do u expect the guys to take care of u? u lived for 25 odd years without him and doing things on ur own, why does getting married suddenly make you “oh can you book tickets for movie today” or “where are u taking me for dinner”.. why can’t it be “lets go to movies and cook dinner together”?

    Hope you get the point but…

    PS: What ever may be the reason.. no excuse justifies dowry! we are not commodities!

    • No. I don’t get the point. That’s probably because neither do I have nagging parents, nor have I been in a relationship where the guy was mature enough to take care of himself…
      I have an opinion, that’s it!

      • Oh then it’s sad u never chose the right guy.. And believe me girls are really good almost always choosing the wrong guy.. I’m tired of seeing this pattern..;)

        • Came across this article on facebook. Made an account just so I can say I agree with Surya. Try looking at the quiet guys you’re ignoring (while they open doors, etc for you). If you give us the time of day, we’ll treat you like a princess.

    • Surya, in my opinion, her observations are rather spot on. At least in my case as well. She isn’t generalizing but presenting to what she thinks are categories of men, women and older people. You don’t have to necessarily put yourself in one of these categories. There are always exceptions to the rule. You could be the delightful exception. Good for you and your wife/potential partner.

  53. Oh! An amazing article. Feels like the story of my life….Very well written. You need to publish it to a bigger audience.

  54. Sahaja, thanks for sharing the link. very gud write up. This really requires a bigger audience. You should give a try in some Magazine……

  55. Just lovely, the way you have captured the entire process. My friend pings me this link and without looking at who the author was I started reading it. Throughout the article I thought it was a girl who authored it. Man! this is so great, there were so many things I could relate to in this blog…. cheers! 🙂

  56. Hey Sahaja… Very well written… Although you could have added another segment on the considerate man. Trust me there are a few men as well for whom it is not just a part of the time table. Who has also visualised a wedding of his dreams… Give it a thought… But amazingly put and pretty honestly as well.

    Cheers,
    Nishant.

    PS: I run an English magazine and am looking forward to broaden the content base. So if you would be interested to write for us, get in touch with me on nishant@atp3.in.

  57. Nice post.

    It’s funny you mention the happily ever after, I wrote a piece on that concept from a western perspective.

    While the rigmoral of an arranged marriage seems to be a lil stiff and perhaps updating, the conclusions worked out in this piece is that in the end it provides what is required for a marriage to work.

    Read this to take a look at how modern day america views the joys of being married

    http://novembrepleut.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/i-believe-in-fairy-tales-dont-you/

  58. Loved your article.

    😀 This generation thinks too much. (I am part of this generation btw). And eventually if everybody is going through the same stuff then arranged marriages can’t be that bad as it is getting together similarly insecure people.

  59. by any chance, did u write fr a kannada newspaper, something called “sahajage sawaal” before??? anywys its a nice read .. infact i would say its generalised… n its good in dat way!! 🙂

  60. Nice Article. You are using a very subtle technique to sway the audience your way. For example, in girls section, you start out by saying ‘we are dreamy’, ‘we are freaks’ etc. The complete negative. And from there on you give your points so the user would end up thinking. “Girls are not THAT bad”. With guys you use the technique so the user would end up with ” Guys are not THAT good”.

    Just an example how the opposite can be used for girls:

    “We are the modern day girls. We believe in walking shoulder to shoulder with men. But we won’t take a guy who is shorter than us. (Oh please …. with eyes rolling over the head ) We don’t like men who think of girls as subordinate to them. But we won’t take a guy who earns less than us. ( Well that’s simpley because his male ego will never let him be happy and that will ruin our marriage life. Right ?)
    We are the independent women of today. Some of us may earn an average income which can barely support our needs pre-marriage. So what, we are earning on our own in this male dominant society. The guy we would marry would earn atleast twice of us and the total combined income would be enough for all our needs together. And if we already earn enough money, then I guess any income of the guy would be OK as long as he is sensitive to our needs ”

    Your writing is good, but its manipulative.
    Nice article on the marriage system though.

    P.S -> The above paragraph is not my personal view.. Just wrote it as an example to prove my point.

    • hahahaha…very well written and sort of is in sync with sahaja’s write up..and most of it is sort of true……u may try ur hand at writing as well…. 😉 😉 =)

        • hey i read that one too..but i still feel u ll do a good job of writing…may be do a comic strip … 😉 who wants to read serious stuff anyways =)

  61. This desi girl should take a course of ravi shankar’s “art of living”. Because there will be no happy moment, if we keep on looking for happy moments.

  62. Hey..
    Found this one randomly from somewhere..
    too cool…
    It appears that you stole words from heart of mid 20’s people :). The thing is, I made it a dare to extort all those stances.
    Well the thing is true – “ladoo jo khaye pachtaye jo na khaye who bhi pachtaye….”
    Keep writing.. you are a good raconteur..

    Well there could be differences as we know “Men are from mars and women are from venus ” 🙂

  63. although dint agree with many things….. bt definitely on Sidhhu from Bommarillu (just looooved him in dt movie 😉 ;))….m sure v all have dreamt of such a guy.. haven’t we 😉 =) 😉

  64. this was a great read Sahaja.
    came here through Madhav (above – the one who asked u if u were taken!!)
    though i never went through this arranged marriage ordeal coz i conveniently fell in love and married, every line in the post is the story of so many i know
    lovely post. glad to have come by 🙂

    and hey had to add this – Aquarians rock :DD

  65. Its an amazing article…and any desi girl in her twenties should read it…it gives a lot of consolation……..i actually keep wondering will i ever have a happily ever after….

  66. Ohh my my!! Girl, you’ve hit the nail on the head, and driven it through and through!1 Though, I’d say- far more feministically where’s the horror of the MIL and the Drama Queen SIL??? Those two are the potent destruction equipments of the “Right Guy -no future with them” OR the Husband – with a asteroid struck marriage??? Should include those two Monsters In Laws as well ;-P

  67. I really liked some parts… but I still do not get it, why do people have this notion that, when parents choose or rather force grooms for their daughters it is an orthodox or not so developed thinking…. I would say rather it is the curse of development because India, at least the hindu society initially gave this right to women to choose their grooms……. if a girl says no to a man, no one can impose the guy on her…….
    But kudos to you. really nice work

  68. Heheh! 😀 This is brilliant! You just made my day! I’m going to have to quote your post on my blog!

    The next step is to pass this on to the folks at home and lmao over their reactions!

    More importantly, you have raised a very critical issue. In modern India, how do you get around to walking the tightrope between tradition & individuality?

    P.S. As for Siddhu from Bommarillu, lets just say that quite a few of the guys I know hate him because (and I quote an old friend here) “he’s led to unreasonable expectations”. 😛

  69. Sad to hear about dowry, though! It’s a crappy, criminal and caustic custom that needs to be banished from the face of this earth!

    Great writing – keep at it! And publish a book in some 10 years from now 😛

  70. few things are true …but many are not applicable to many…i am saying this since you generalized your perspective
    -we also sit in a group and judge profiles. Yeah! We are such dorks.
    -We do not tell our parents that we do smoke, drink alcohol, eat non-veg, and go to strip-clubs.
    What do you mean? If you tell your mother or father that you drink, you lost virginity etc etc don’t you think how much they will suffer inside? ok…smoking,drinking are bad habits….but those who drink and smoke are gonna suffer one day….how could you think that people should be open in every aspect with parents? Remember! there should be personal life to everyone! There is no difference between robot and people who doesn’t have any personal life!

  71. hello Mam,

    firstly i would like to say ” apne to meri dil ki baat keh di” . every word , every sentence is so true. i can totally relate to it.

    ‘believe that guys are as sweet as Siddhu from Bommarillu’
    ‘Sometimes having no problems is a big problem for us’
    🙂 Bang! you are right on target ..this is exactly how we girls think…

    enjoyed reading this blog! keep up the good work!

    good day!

  72. Sahaja, what a wonderful article! Read it on facebook first thing this morning. Someone said that reading this article made them smile. They are probably ten years into the marriage. I, on the other hand, felt immense pain and hurt. Probably because I am at the juncture where I know things and dont know if I am taking the right call in assuming “things will change”. Some guys fit into the perfect definition of a “good boy”. Their resumes are perfect and so are their families but yet something seems to miss. Always.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! Hope you find your “happily-ever-after” sooner than later. Best.

  73. And that is the reason our parents want us to get married young, when our experience in worldly matters is minimum and we don’t have the ability to think. Once you are married and have kids, you wont have time to think. And by the time the chicks leave the nest and you have time to think, it is too late. There is a reason why people say ‘ignorance is bliss’.

  74. Wow!!! You just gave shape to the thoughts in my mind….wonderful perception and portrayal of the current Indian society….the anxiety of both the sexes and aspirations of parents is excellently captured… Love the sarcasm n the punch lines….great use of humor too……superlike….

    P.S. M at the same phase in my life…..reading this relieves some tension n gives it a humorous touch……

  75. Lovely……………..specially the part where the mother asks the girl about being happy…I did shed a tear……

  76. Excellent piece of work.
    But In macho man part, I think converse to the below statement “These days most of us have either had or still have girlfriends. We often know that it’s not going to work out with them in the end. But we wont say a word until she starts pushing us to talk to our parents about her” is also true. Both the genders get into a relationship these days knowing the consequences. and its not always guys who do not dare to tell their relation back home.
    So, i feel this part is a bit biased. otherwise perfect one…
    Way to go 🙂

  77. I first saw this when one of our common friends shared on Facebook and wanted to read it ever since. I finally finished reading it just now. A thoroughly-written piece of article! …Biased, yes, but what in the world is sans bias anyway?! I’d only say this is the picture that you wanted to paint, and that you did very efficiently. Keep it up! If you do write a book some day, like Karthik Gotrala wrote, count me as a definite buyer/reader.

    …All said, I wonder how a guy’s perspective on this whole fiasco called “arranged marriage” seem. It’s not very different in some aspects but surely different, anyway!

    Oh, BTW, I think matrimonial websites and online dating neither work the same way nor (thankfully) for the same purpose. (You’d not know it, but at one time some 10 years ago, http://www.indiandating.com and http://www.indianmarriages.com were the same website maintained by http://www.indiainfo.com, IIRC! 😛 That was a time when dating was not something Indians knew of so well. …Well, well, most people don’t still know what it is. So, let’s leave it there!)

  78. A nice piece of work and worth reading. It made me read through out on single go at this time including readers comments. As many said, a coin always has 2 faces and you described most of it but left few shades of it(may be you are not aware as you are a Woman). It is not bad to talk about Madhuresh’s article as well which covers some more shades. One final say, a great piece of work.

  79. Great article…And yes biased one..

    About settling car and home loan part i am sure no girl would like to get married to a guy who is not having his own house..

    Most of them insist their husband to go separate after marriage..

    If the article is written based on your friends experience the above lines are too.

    Agree or not agree its our society which still consider boy should have his own house and other luxury’s before handing over their daughter to them..

    Its not that he don’t want to get married before 30 its just that situations made him to go with that.

    End of the day appreciate your write-up..

  80. Powerfully written..!!! Everything penned down is an obvious thing, but we have hardly the time to think about the characters. Surely in the rat race, we are galloping like horses in a one way traffic without caring for ‘stages’ being crossed in our lives. 🙂

    I guess people would like to see more through Sahaja’s eyes (or her ‘patented’ thoughts) rather than waiting for the second childhood ‘stage’ in a ROCKER.

  81. I met a malaysian tamil guy some 30 years back, in UK. He said,”The ‘good’ girls in our society marry a play boy; and the ‘good’ boys marry the wicked girls” . May be karma theory!
    The problem is a wide spectrum one; trying to change the attitude of people is a Herculian task

  82. Great article. Kudos to you for providing such a vivid description. Well regarding the biasness…much has been written and talked about. I believe everyone in dis world is more or less biased.

  83. My son sent me link to read this post.
    Obviously, he feels I am like the “elder” you have mentioned in your post. I’ll be honest, I am almost like them. Yes, even I am looking for someone in my community. But I made it very clear to them, that if they have somebody in mind (any religion or any community) I will consider. I told them it can be anybody’s choice but all of us should give consent.
    Be honest, tell me where am I wrong?

  84. We went through each and every bit of it as parents.. and she through all of that as a desi daughter.. and just today I asked her ” are u happy?”.. she smiled and said “YES”. hats off to you for writing down our thoughts for us. couldn’t help chuckling a few times. great write up. keep writing.

  85. wonder if the sarcasm will help nyone do better? wonder if the confused soul will be in peace? No wonder the things will still happen.. nice attempt to bring out the sarcasm 2 the society..

  86. Sad but true Sahaja, that in today’s world too the looks of the desi girl are much more valued than her feelings and emotions

  87. was a nice read.. but I would disagree with the Macho man description of urs.. the stereo type doesn’t fit for all..

  88. Well, there is a clear line of difference between the larger part of desi boys and the controversial macho man.. And this story is about the Macho man..thats what makes it fun..
    That should settle the long run biasity issue..

    Good read! Enjoyed it! Forwarded it to a couple of friends rowing this boat at the moment. Got replies ” Found Gold !! ” haha.

    I am strictly against the dowry concept. A man has no right to acquire wealth so as to complete a wedding deal. It is not his right. Similarily, the look out for a secured life based on monetary value i.e. the most financially settled man ( villa + vehicle + vacations ) should not be part of the bargain.

    What difference would that make then ?

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