It’s been two years now since I’ve started hearing the dreaded M word, no not money but Marriage with a capital M. And of course being an Indian girl the only real option you have is to let your parents ‘arrange’ it, which by definition means
Arranged Marriage – Process by which family A condescends to let their son be married to the daughter of family B who is in turn thrilled that their precious daughter is able to marry someone who can provide for her (mostly through the dowry given by family B not to mention her salary at her ‘day’ job). In addition the son has approved the daughter’s looks while the daughter was just annoyed enough to say yes to what ever sample of homo erectus the family B has managed to dig up.
Now come the Rules of Engagement for both the sides. Say what you will about arranged marriages, you can’t accuse the family elders of not playing by the rules. Here then is an extract from the Rulebook for both guys and gals. Different rules for guys and gals, you didn’t really expect this whole shebang to be fair did you? For more on the subject read my earlier post here.
First up, Mr Perfect -
- Do not go to jail. (Duh! These things can be checked)
- No drugs, alcohol or cigarettes (Of course the occasional smoke or drink is ok as long as we, the parents, don’t find out, gives us plausible deniability. Plus, think what a nice surprise for your wife!?)
- Be a virgin. (Completely optional, after all who’s gonna find out anyway?)
- Do not be gay. (21st century concern for parents)
Next Ms Should Try Harder -
- No jail, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Period.
- Be a virgin. (Not negotiable)
- Be straight. (Girls can be gay?! What is this world coming to?)
- DO NOT THINK DIFFERENT. Better yet do not think at all.
- Believe in God. Not enough if you fake it, you have to really believe in God.
- Be an expert cook. Again not negotiable, you don’t want him complaining about your cooking to his mom do you? (And yes, grown Mr Perfect will still go running to his mom when something goes wrong and no, it is NOT a sign of imbecility)
- Posses excellent housekeeping skills. Your house should look like it can be featured on the cover of ‘Good Housekeeping’ even on the maid’s day off coz that’s the time his mother will pick to visit.
- Do not try to muscle in on male territory. Always be humble. Don’t you dare be better at manly stuff like thinking, driving, playing video games, gadgets, financial planning & then try to get out of doing female things like watching saas-bahu serials on TV and bitching about the next door neighbour/relative. Men > women and don’t you forget it.
- Be a master diplomat & have proven expertise in reading between the lines. You can’t possibly be naive enough to think his mom will look at you as a person & not as someone who’s out to wrench her Mr Perfect away from her. Even though she was the one who okayed you in the first place.
- Love to wear saris and jewellery. Profess undying love for this great country’s traditions even though secretly you’d like nothing more than to live in your jeans for the rest of your life.
- Always put family over friends. Never mind that family has never stood up for you and is always judging you, while friends have done the exact opposite. After all blood is thicker than water.
- Any other arbitrary rule to be made up as and when required.
There you have it folks! If anyone out there wants their marriage arranged, simply follow the above rules and unleash the hounds of Hell. Oh and also get your head examined.