Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this post are real. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.
The season of match finding has started and so has my mental agony of changing my role to that of a psychiatrist, analyzing prospective brides with umpteen questions. However, these sessions do come with their own gags, laughter and agony. Agony, yes, because you come across weird people who’d surprise you with their behavior or the questions they ask. Maybe, these days people have weird priorities.
Before I proceed further, I feel it’s much needed to give a brief about my background, something I am already tired giving, although I haven’t even met many people. I am a simple, middle-class boy, a service class professional. I earn good enough to keep me going, I am responsible, mature, good looking (well, who isn’t), and I’ve ambitions and dreams. Am I well-settled? Well, that’s a stupid question in a generation where a majority of people work in private sector and are career conscious. Moreover, I’ve not seen well-settled professionals in the industry even with 15 years of serving the same organization.
People often say, “Why Arrange Marriage?” Well, it’s a matter of choice. Anyway, I’d made up my mind that it’s time that I should at least start looking. First things first, these matrimonial websites will suck the life out of you. Gone are the days when your search was limited to a select few. People these days, and I lay emphasis, educated people, have found a lot of criteria not limited to the usual ones, “Manglik”, Horoscope match, gothra, caste, creed, race but some are rather weird:
“Looking for a well settled boy with a CTC of 10 lacs with at least 8.5 lacs as annual take home“
umm…ya right! All the best with that.
Anyway, after days of pruning, screening, rejecting others, getting rejected online with “Expressions of Interest,” I found a girl I deemed should be good to meet. Or so I thought.
Let’s call this girl, “S” for the sake of not offending anyone. (
And if you do, well, happy-feeling offended)
So we met in this restaurant along with our parents. Unfortunately, we made them to wait for 15 minutes for which I felt really bad. Did I say Delhi’s traffic sucks!
Anyway, the parents were involved with their usual chitter chatter of probing each other’s background, as if searching for a criminal background – well, I never expected parent’s can be such interrogators.
Since this was my first time meeting a girl in an arranged setup, I was uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I mustered courage not to show this discomfort on my face. S and I were made to sit next to each other on an empty table. Honestly, I did my Google search for “Questions to be asked for arrange marriage” and found some rather canned, boring questions. Anyway, I thought I’d continue with the boring trend.
Me: Hey, How’s life.
S: Life’s good. All well, how about yours.
Me: Well, ditto.
Me: So, you are working in XXX, as a YYY, right? What does a YYY do?
S: YYY is a ……….!!
Me: What are your hobbies?
S: I am learning to drive a car. Besides this, I like “JAAAAZ” dance. (The sound of Jazz was similar to what Sridevi’s English Vinglish but I ignored it. I was not there to grammar troll someone.) Besides this, I like reading fiction-related books.
Me: Interesting. Who’s your favorite author?
S: Dan Brown.
Me: Hey, I like reading his books too. But I feel his last book was boring. What’s his latest book that you read?
S: Deception Point.
Me: Ok. Do you like watching movies?
S: Yes, but I don’t like those nonsensical “Dabaang-type” movies. Last I saw Madras Cafe’. (Well, I was clearly interested in keeping this conversation going.)
Me: Me too. I believe Madras Cafe is amazing. It has matter and soul unlike most of the bollywood movies.
Me: What are your career aspirations?
S: I want to continue my role. I like to learn and stay in the same organization for the next few years. Rest, we’ll see.
Me: What do you expect from your life partner?
S: Well, he should be really well-educated (whatever ‘really well’ means), good looking and most importantly a good human being.
This was just a part of the conversation. Our discussion went on till at least 30-40 minutes.
Well, I was clearly interested in trying to understand S better. Of course, it was too early to say NO or YES.
So as a next ‘formal’ step, I told my parents that it’s not a YES or NO but I’d like to know S before taking any decision. So my father called up S’s mother. She mentioned, “It’s up to the kids. First let them decide. This is S’s number.” And boy we were glad hearing that. After all, marriage is not a child’s play. You cannot make a decision in one go.
And that’s when the series of unfortunate events started.
I tried calling her the next day but she didn’t pickup. I thought it was obvious since my number was unknown so I left a SMS. After a few minutes I got a response and I told her that it’s too late and that she can call the next day.
The next day, I was expecting a call and what I got in return was a whatsapp message. Now, I am really uncomfortable with Whatsapp. If you are my friend, it’s ok. But I don’t know you and ditto for you. Neither am I hearing your voice nor I am talking to you…I abhor the idea of Whatsapp unless we really
are comfortable know each other.
Anyway, those “conversations” lasted less than a minute or so and mostly were plain boring. And suddenly, I get a message from her a few days later. This is how the conversation went:
S: If you don’t mind, can I ask you something
Me: Sure. Go ahead.
S: What are your career goals?
S: I mean, are you happy with your job?
Me: Umm…Well, I want to be a consultant down the line. I am happy with my work. But if I get anything better that is more aligned with my professional goals, better salary and better designation, I’ll make a move.
S: So you’re not happy with your current job?
S: As in, I think you should stay in your current organization, get a promotion i.e. get what you deserve first. (RED FLAG #1)
I was amazed due to the following reasons:
1. Who the hell are you to give me suggestions of what you want and what you don’t? You are not a friend. You are no one to me. Not yet so keep your opinions to yourself.
2. Don’t question my intelligence because I know what the hell I want in life.
3. At least, I know what is my “Career Plan.” It’s not stupid as, “I want to stay in my current organization.”
Anywho, I told her that I know what I want in life. And I thought it’s over and my instinct told me, “Stay back!”
I didn’t message her back but when I received her message again, I thought it’ll be rude to ignore her. (Oh, I am a gentleman!)
So I told her that I’d suggest that we should meet again before making any decision. What was appalling was the fact that I saw no attempt from S to understand a person better. 1 minute Whatsapp message, seriously? No calls, no SMS…well I am not comfortable with that idea and I hate lack of communication. I strongly feel constant and healthy communication is the key to any relationship.
So after a week of “No-communication” (RED FLAG #2) I get a sms from her saying, “What are your plans? Are we meeting?”
I still thought to go ahead and give her a second chance. So we decided to meet in a mall and we’d set a time. In the morning I got a call from her stating that can we delay it by 30 minutes since she was not sure if anything will be open in the mall. While I knew everything opens by 11, I still said, “Ok fine!”
I reached the venue and I met her. Within a couple of minutes, she started getting calls from her relatives. “RAM RAM Bhaiya,” she said. I was impressed, “Wow, she respects people.” That impression was short-lived. Once her call was over, I got to know that her relatives were coming to the same mall for a movie. Coincidence my foot.
Anyway, I told her that’s ok expecting that her relatives will not disturb us for a long time. Well, we met, talked and then her relatives asked her if she’d like to join for the movie. To my surprise she said yes. They asked me thrice but each time I said No. Well, there was a reason – I’ve not said yes, not yet. I am not related to you and hell I was expecting to understand S better first. What irked me was the fact that S didn’t had the basic courtesy or the maturity to understand why she was there. My immediate reaction was to get the hell out of there. Still, out of respect, I stayed for a few minutes and said goodbye.
In the evening, I still tried to give a third chance (Fool me once, shame on you…Fool me twice, shame on me!). I SMS’d her asking how the movie was. After 6-7 hours, she responded back saying her battery died..the movie was ok, blah blah! I sms’d back saying that we couldn’t spend much time today. Can we meet again?
No response! I didn’t talk to her ever sense neither did I feel like to.
Lesson Learnt: Some people are really stupid. They don’t know where to set there priorities on. If you are not ready/sure/are mature enough, why the hell are you looking for a guy? Most importantly, there is a thing called “Communication.” Well, good riddance and god save the guy who is dragged in her life.
Well that same day, I met another girl. Let’s call her V.
Well, she looked cute. First of all, she had poor command on English so it was “NO” from the beginning. For formality sake, I had to talk to her for a few minutes. While I’ll not get into the details, I’ll highlight a few funny answers from her end.
Me: What are your career plans?
V: IBM Lotus note
Me: What are your hobbies?
V: Listening to music, reading.
Me: What do you like to read?
V: Chetan Bhagat.
Me: What’s your favorite song?
Me: Do you like travelling? Where have you last traveled to?
V: Rajouri Garden Mall (It’s a local mall in our place)
Me: What are your expectations from your life partner?
V: Well-settled….baaki jo papa mummy ko theek lage (Rest, whosoever my mom and dad likes)
This conversation didn’t last for 10 minutes. I found it really difficult to control my laughter but I did. (Did I say, I am a Gentleman). I am still smiling, remembering her answers as I write this. I’ve not seen such an innocent person. Not really. Of course, it was a NO from my end yet I felt guilty since they’d have expectations. Anyway, doesn’t matter.
The bottomline is that education these days is good yet it has its cons too. People are forgetting their values. They no longer understand what should be prioritized and what marriage is all about.
Alas! Met a cute girl today. Let’s see how things turn out. God bless me 😦