Way back in 2009 (Feb to be precise) I wrote this post on the Great Indian Tamasha aka The Arranged Marriage. At that time, it was merely a rant brought on by reading some random blog I had come across. I was just getting acquainted with the theory of marriage – as concerning me – while my parents were about to embark on the Search. Almost exactly two years later, my parents are still looking while I’m getting a crash course on Marriage 101.
These then are the first 5 Laws of Getting Married – applicable to most Indian Girls -
- I have to tone myself down – far as I can tell, it means I talk too much. Once upon a time, my mom used to bemoan the fact that I don’t talk, now she wants me to shut up. Go figure! Of course what she really means is that I’m way too outspoken and frank which do not bode well for my future as a wife.
- I am expected to demonstrate my ability to talk in Telugu while conversing with prospective grooms; never mind that the groom is an NRI and talking to me in English. Apparently, in my culture, if a boy talks in English it implies he’s educated, smart and modern (note:modern is not a dirty word here) whereas if I speak English it implies I’m incapable of speaking Telugu, disdain tradition and am modern (note:it is a dirty word now!) I wonder why it is that a man who has spent 5 years in the US is forgiven for using English & can openly admit he takes a while to talk in Telugu again while I, who have spent 25 years of my life in places where my native tongue is not spoken, am expected to be word perfect in it?
- I have to profess a keen belief in God and undying devotion to Puja. So when I’m talking to the guy, I have two choices – I can either drop hints as to the extent of my ‘belief’ (depending of course on how much he believes) or I can lie and stick to it the rest of my life. The last time I met one, he told me quite frankly that he’s not much into daily prayers and such. Seizing my chance, I told him the same goes for me. But what I didn’t count on was his mother! She immediately remarked to my mom ‘Your daughter doesn’t seem to believe in God?’ (which in case you don’t know is a criminal offense when you’re trying to get married)
- I am to respect the right of the other party to make snap judgements of me while I am not supposed to return the favor. How do I know that? In my last encounter, his mother did not like my white jewellery (never mind it was the only one my mom had with her or that it matched the silver embroidery of my dress). So she made a snap judgement that I despised tradition, which while true, I never realized was so morally wrong. I simply thought it was a matter of personal taste. Stupid me! She has every right not to like me based on even this one observation while I can only imagine the horror of my parents if I told them I rejected the guy coz he wears yellow jewellery!
- I’m expected to show off any appropriate talents that I might have at the meeting. Seriously. How else am I to interpret my own mother asking me to sing at the table of a high end restaurant where all the tables are crowded? Now don’t ask me why only my skills are called into question here. If the guy claims to be a cricketer, may I ask him to bowl for me? I’ll even say please… Note the word appropriate above. If I’m an award winning debater or computer geek, never mind…
These are just a few laws I’ve learned thus far. I’ll make sure to note more of them down as I stumble upon them. Somebody has to, maybe I can spare some girl the necessity of learning this all over again! I am after all, one of the first in a brand new breed of girls, into whom the above Laws haven’t been built on manufacture (sort of like Caliban!)
P.S: The ‘n’ in the title is coz unlike The Three Laws of Robotics, these are innumerable!