Conditions Apply

Conditions Apply

 Disclaimer: A long, long personal rant on a few things which have been bothering me of late. If you are single- do read on. If you are married- well, this will be purely academic for you. Terms_and_Conditions_May_Apply_2

There has been a spate of articles in recent months making fun of arranged marriages. But the one which struck a false note with me was the one in Tehelka magazine written by a newbie author promoting her upcoming book which ridicules all the various misadventures of bumbling men during personal interviews in the girl seeing ceremony of arranged weddings. I hate making sweeping generalizations and prefer letting each talk for themselves but in this instance I would like to add a few nuggets of information from the other side of the fence- the male point of view.

The prime reason most Indian men trip over their own feet in such personal interviews is that as a rule Indian men are not used to talking to girls casually, especially to strange girls they are meeting for the first time ever and with the added pressure of doing it under the hawk like supervision of both sets of parents. Can you ever imagine dating under parental supervision? Especially a first date with its own set of chances for misunderstandings? And to extend it further – a situation where you are under the clock on that brief first date itself to decide whether you like the person enough to spend the rest of your life with them? And to watch out for nuances in meaning and insinuations in the most casual of sentences and to still be a charming conversationalist is a gift beyond the average Indian male.

Most men spend years picking up courage to talk causally even to their classmates and colleagues at work and to be challenged suddenly to do it in a arranged wedding setup simply freezes their vocal cords. Besides at girl seeing ceremonies the average Indian male prefers to ogle at his would-be-brides external charms and rarely worry about trying to impress them with his wit and charms. After all if he has been allowed in so far as to qualify for a personal interview then it goes without saying he has successfully jumped through the preliminary hoops and bounds placed by the girl’s family. And most of the really serious issues are negotiated by the two sets of parents beforehand without involving the groom and bride- the very raison d’être of an arranged wedding.

But sometimes despite all the best efforts of the parents the groom or the bride can end up damaging the most promising of arranged weddings and this happens usually during those brief girl-boy chats we are discussing here. Speaking personally whenever I go to see a girl I hope there is no opportunity to speak at all. For one, it minimizes the chances of any misunderstandings being blamed on me later on. But mainly it’s because I find that whenever I get to speak with a girl as part of an arranged marriage – the entire time our parents allow us to talk personally is monopolized by the girl bargaining hard as if we are at a fish market.

Although it’s easy to pass off my experiences as isolated instances still i have made an effort to find out if they are indeed one-off experiences or the general norm nowadays and so from my extensive talks with various other unmarried, sailing in the same boat, guys in my friends/acquaintances list (confessions wrangled out from unsuspecting persons) I find that girls nowadays spend all their times making up to-do lists and conditions to put to the groom during the personal interviews. These range from the most basic (and laughable rules) to absolutely idiotic conditions which no sane person would ever agree to. Casual every day stuff on life together which can be discussed informally later on after marriage (and preferably in bed) are elevated to make or break conditions which are negotiated with all the zeal of a multi-billion dollar contract. Much ado is made about little things. All the talk is about rights and nary a whisper about its other side- duties.

terms-and-conditionsWhen one person keeps demanding and demanding – the other person is bound to start seeing things in a different light too, right? What should be a romantic discussion about a rosy future together is suddenly turned into an item by item checklist to be negotiated no-holds bared. It takes all the romance out of a wedding and just paves the way for continuous fights post-marriage. The very spirit of give and take in a marriage is given a go by when it is firmly established right in the beginning that you have to fight for everything. With such an auspicious start to marital life do you wonder at the skyrocketing divorce rates? If all that a girl is looking for is to just start a fight with a man, then she should join the World Wrestling Federation and give a bye to marriage. People marry to lead a normal peaceful life, not to indulge in competitive one-upmanship

Now, I can hear some women saying hold on, this is too one-sided and how will we ever get anything we want out of men if we don’t negotiate for it pre-wedding. Well, ladies have you heard of the magic word, please? It moves mountains especially when asked by the correct person and in the correct tone and time. Half the art of negotiation lies in knowing when to ask and not in bludgeoning men with take it or leave it conditions. Power, if you didn’t know it is not given but taken. Take it by yourself and your own that man. Ask for it, fight for it or negotiate for it and you have already lost the initiative.

Which brings me to my pet peeve- feminists – who have so inverted the male/female dynamics as to change it from a complementary relationship to an antagonistic relationship. Some of the position of neo-feminist is absolutely bizarre. Like ridiculing men for being shallow over the looks of the would-be wife. Remember, beauty is highly subjective and what’s good for the goose may not be etc. for example, when I was at college i used to go all drooling on short, cute girls wearing spectacles and looking bookish and nerdy so much so that when one of my friends saw any such one they would all start making fun of what they called “your type”. But as I grew older my tastes changed and now I don’t exclusively like short girls only. And if any woman takes umbrage at me for this preference based on looks only let me ask straight out whether the rule about not being shallow applies to men only?

truthFor example I have seen so many instances of women outraging over matrimonial advertisements when a guy demands a fair/beautiful bride but how many women actually agree to marry a normal looking guy who just looks his age? Don’t all marriageable age women ask their parents for a rich, well settled and handsome guy? Someone with a six digit salary and six pack abs? Has any girl ever, ever told her parents that all she looks for in a guy is a good and loving heart? Have you ever seen any matrimonial ad from a girl which says dusky or short or geeky or bespectacled or bald boys preferred? Or even accepted? First time itself? Now don’t be hypocritical ladies and start lying that you did- you know in your hearts that you didn’t. Should there be different standards for different people? As human beings we all have our fantasies (politically correct or not) -and wishing for them to be fulfilled is not wrong as such. Preaching to others will not make a change till you show by example.

So my conclusion is -it takes two to fight. If you decide to ambush an unsuspecting guy with conditions and rules expect to face in turn some hard bargaining. If on the other hand you trust to love and affection to make everything right (somehow) in the end, providence (karma) will play its role and reward you with a happy marital life. What you give is what you get- cynicism breeds cynicism and trust breeds trust. So stop blaming men alone – we share only half of it. And before you start making fun of men for bumbling into arranged marriages reflect that you too are in the same boat because you are sitting on the other end of it. I rest my case.


Fools Advice…Wise Do

People who are married automatically assume that they are qualified to give singles advice on marital affairs..inspite of the fact that the singles maybe so much more cleverer and successful in life than the married idiots. Merely getting married does not qualify you as an expert in marital affairs- thats what paid counsellors are for. The reason I am delaying getting married is I am still searching for someone to choose who fits my requirements and I will do so – the minute that person turns up.

After getting a lot of unsolicited advice on what “kind” of girl to choose to marry….I am frankly fed up of all the people who tell me to marry ugly girls…Just because they have had the bad luck to end up with women who turn their stomachs, should I do too? Tell me the truth, would anyone marry an ugly person, if they had a better choice or option? willingly choose to commit suicide or what?

Am I not old enough to know what I want? to choose a life partner for myself? The only thing I want my wife to be is


That is my mantra for searching a bride….unfortunately no one (including my parents) understand this- they look for stuff like status, family background etc without taking into consideration that the secret of success in a marriage is sexual compatibility. If you cannot get a raise on seeing your wife- your marriage is doomed. All other things like education, job, horoscope match are absolutely of no interest to me.

Besides, I have everything else- money, status etc. All I want is a beautiful girl to spice up my life and make my blood heat-up….and I will give her everything she where can I find such a girl?

My Small. Small, wishes…..(Chinna, chinna asai…Chotti si asha)

Lots of people have lots of expectations when it comes to their marital lives and I am no exception to it. But, heres the caveat, my expectations are all quite small and remarkably silly- hope my future wife doesnt fall down with laughter on hearing about them…..

1) Bed Coffee/Good Morning- to be woken up early (not too early) on a sunday morning with a steaming cup of filter Coffee by my wife who has freshly showered and has her hair tied up and draped in a wet towel and smiling at me….(instead of screaming- are you still asleep when there is so much work to do?)

2) Sitting and watching an-ever running TV serial with my wife – on the rare day I am early at home- and discussing the story twists taking place in the serial over the past one year or so……just sitting and talking about useless stuff.

3) Morning when I am leaving for office- and I tell my wife to lock the door and I go out- she closes the door but still keeps a small crack open and leans there waiting and watching me till my car finally leaves- not banging the door in my face and saying good riddance/just go to office.

4) When she makes some special dish for me and serves me- she takes it up in her fingers and feeds it to me in my mouth (like for a child) despite my protestations of “thats enough, thats enough” – instead of saying come on get up- you have had enough and your tummy’s growing.

5) When I am worried and depressed and come over to the house in a despondent mood- she just takes my hand in hers and says – “whatever the problem, I am here with you, dont worry” – actually she doesnt have to say those words out loud, just a meaningful look would be enough.

I dont know how many of these i am actually gonna see happen in my life- but if i get an understanding wife – I might give her the link to this blog post and see if (after her initial hilarity) she might try and grant me one or two atleast of my small, small wishes. They might all seem silly to her- but if she loves me then she woudt mind doing a few sily things to please me – if thats what I want. Hope I get an understanding wife…

P.S. I do have some more ultimate fantasies (of marital life) -things involoving sleevless nighties and other X-rated stuff- but they are too personal to share on the Internet….they are only for my wife’s ears.