I am single and ready to mingle! (Part 1)

•January 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If you are not from India and reading this post, the title might suggest that I am about to enter my teenage and ready to start my dating spree. But being in India, for me it could mean only one thing, ready to get married. I decided to get married in the traditional Indian manner where your parents select the prospective bride for you after applying careful filtering techniques like family, horoscope etc. In fact, in the modern India it boiled down to two level filtering technique where I receive a list of photos of filtered brides after phase one where I can run my selection algorithm, select a subset of them, meet them and talk to them may be a couple of times and make up my mind.

My many non-Indian friends raised an eye-brow, scorned at me or in the least, opened their jaw wide open when I told them the procedure. Their most common question with their wide opened eyes and overwhelmingly flabbergasted hand gestures is “How! How man! How does it work?”. And my well practiced serene answer to that would, “Dude! Its complicated but it works. Based on the statistics I know of, it worked in the past.”. The next question after a pause would be “Why man? Why?”. Then I had to give a brief lecture about Indian customs, tradition, family structure. Any hows, thats the material for another post.

Now, coming to the main point of the post is the question asked by infinitely many uncles, aunts, grand mothers, grand fathers, friends’ parents, their parents, their neighbors, their dogs and their neighbors’ dogs, who are all really, willingly and enthusiastically interested in searching for a suitable bride for me would be, “What kind of girl do you want beta?”. Although I am tempted to give an honest answer, I normally blabber some politically correct statements to the effect of approval of the person who asked the question. This is partly because the honest answer is much more long and complex and partly because it might seem eccentric to the social/age group who usually ask this question. So I thought this might be the subject of matter of the first serious post I want to write on this newly started blog.

I already met few girls after following the two phase filtering procedure described above. Ideally, I would like to tell my honest answer to that earlier question to the girl I am meeting because thats what I am, thats how I think. But usually these meeting will not last more than a few minutes where regular bio-data oriented questions are asked and answered. I/She already knows answers to most of the questions. In fact, there is a brief period of un-comfortability before this meeting happens because the girl’s father/mother usually initiates the process by asking me, “Would you like to talk to the girl?”. I had to appear neutral not too keen on talking to the girl at the same time not refusing the offer. After a series of complex head movements and hand gestures by me, we meet. Usually, I break the ice by asking something which I am told just a few minutes before; saying something like, “So you finished degree last year! Cool. Thats cool”. Then the usual talk about college, work, whats the next plan etc etc. During the entire meeting, there is a constant breath on the neck that we are not supposed to talk “too long”. Once I spent a little more than 15 minutes in talking and I started getting missed calls from my family members.

Coming back to the point, I usually do not get enough time to really communicate lengthy arguments about my philosophy of life. As it happened till now, no such seeing of the girl became fruitful. But in future, in case both the parties decide to go ahead with the pact, I might get another chance to speak to the girl for longer, express my views and also know more about her.

Warning: From here, the post might be very serious, philosophical and boring.

Firstly, I have seen many marriages that turned out to be kind of disaster for all the people who are involved due to the differences that arose between them, most importantly between the girl and guy’s mother. Anyone who watches “Everybody loves Raymond” knows what I am talking about. In fact, in one of the movies, when asked about how the marriage life is, one of the characters says, its like Everybody loves Raymond except that its not that funny and it wont last just for 20 minutes but goes on and on. So I want my wife to embrace all my family members as her own, treat them as if they are her own family members. And I am ready to reciprocate the same from my side, if her parents need to be taken care of in the old age, her sister/brother needs to be taken care of, I will by all means do it very happily. I do not want the family to disintegrate either on my side or on her side after the marriage. It should only result in more bonding and bigger family.

I had a conversation about the same with one of my friends who is about to get married. He had some issues with the mother of the fiancee. According to him, she (the mother) is very mean, demanding and irrational. He propounded that my logic fails for him because why should he entertain her with her all illogical demands and behavior. Then I asked him what if your parents, for some reason, behave like her and your wife mistreats them. He said, “My parents would never do it, they are much more sensible than hers.”. I said, “But thats not the point. Hypothetically let us assume they will. Then what?”. After a brief argument, I could make him agree to the point that he wants his wife to accept his parents as they are, even though they are mean. Of course, there should be constant effort to convey to the parents that what they are doing is wrong but we should not abondon them.

Secondly, I want an excellent communication between us. Seemless uncensored unedited communication where one is not afraid of being judged by another. This requires enormous trust on the other person. I had and still have lot of friends but there are very very few with whom I can tell anything without being judged. Sometimes, I just go ahead and get judged. But the price I pay for that is being stamped as X or Y just based on one or two stray incidents and your related behavior before and after those incidents is not taken into consideration to re-evaluate the judgement, may be because the judgement is too strong or they are too busy. So after few such incidents, you want to avoid the complications that arise from such situations and avoid being judged. So there is lot of filtering, editing, sensoring about what to say, what not to say, etc etc. So its not free communcation, you have to think a lot and its tiresome. I do not want to do that with my wife, all along life. Both of us should try to accept the other person as they are, not afraid of being not accepted by the other person because you did something or you did not do something.

If some already experienced people read this post, they might think that I am too young to under the complications of life, I am being very idealistic which does not work in real world. Yeah, I know that part of the story too, but hey, whats wrong in writing down the ideal conditions that should prevail in my post-marriage and hope for the best. What do you say?

I better stop this already too long post.

(Hopefully to be continued).

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Daily Links

•January 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Links I found interesting today:

  1. Earthquake in Haiti, Haiti 48 hours later and Haiti six days later
  2. Unintentionally Funny, Must-Watch Bollywood Movies: Chance Pe Dance
  3. Not The End of An Era
  4. The idea of India: An extract from Aatish Taseer’s upcoming Temple Goers
  5. How can India have dialogue with a Pakistani government that lacks credibility?
  6. Indian television and women
  7. 105km cycle trip: Hyderabad suburbs
  8. On Minor offences and offences against Minors
  9. Orchha, A precious ‘Gem’ of Bundelkhand
  10. Venezuela’s economy in further slide

Dissecting loneliness

•December 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The wise man looked at me and asked “Whats wrong? You looked worried.”.

Like a guilty prisoner, I looked at him with a feeling of embarrassment as if I committed a crime. He looked at me assuringly as if he was saying, “Tell me what is on your mind. It’s okay”.

“I dont know why I am feeling so lonely and depressed these days. I feel as if the world is moving away from me and it conspires to make to alone. I always felt that craving for the company of the people is a weakness. If I am not comfortable spending time with myself, something must be wrong with me.”

“Go on. Continue”, said the wise man with a smile on his face.

“All my friends have moved on with their lives and I feel they do not need me anymore, they have more important things to attend. Why am I not able to break my dependency on them? I feel that I should talk to someone, share my thoughts, problems, discuss. But no one has time. I am feeling sorry for my self for bringing this upon to me. I am hating myself all the more because I feel that this is self-pity.”

“Most of my friends now take me for granted. They call me only when they need help from me. I cannot blame them, they are busy with their own life. How should I break this dependency? I want to be ok with my friends forgetting me, my friends me for taking granted. But it is bothering me, making me feel sad. I am afraid that I will go into depression at this rate.”

The wise man started speaking.

“I think it is more complicated than it seems. You need to slowly unravel all the complex threads that have entangled your mind. The pieces of a jigsaw make sense only if they are arranged properly.”

“The main issue behind all this is “self acceptance”. You are at the cross-roads of your life, where you are waiting to succeed. There is anxiety about failure, doubts about your capabilities and skeptic about the choices you made in life. This is where the people around you help you in boosting your morale. When you feel down because something went wrong in life, a conversation with a friend helps. When you are sad, the mind paints a very gloomy picture of life which is biased, disregarding the other possibilities. When one thing went wrong, it affects you and you feel that everything will eventually go wrong. A neutral person like your friend, family member can help you in putting things in perspective. So in that way, there is nothing wrong in wishing that you should be in company of people.”

“But the problem is when you get depressed in case no one is there to support you. And this is because there is some conflict in accepting yourself as you are at subconscious level. You want a second person to assure you that you are doing fine. And when you are expecting such a company, instead of giving you support, your friend ignores you. So that is double impact, you yourself feel that you are worthless and the act of ignoring by your friend confirms it.”

“This is a very sorry situation to be in. And the only way to come out of this is to accept yourself as you are. Firstly, you should have confidence on yourself, you do not need a second person to assure that you are doing ok.”

“Secondly, you should not be afraid of failure as if that is the end of the world. It is not a sin to lose sometimes. Once becomes clear to you, you do not get anxious about failure.”

“Thirdly, do not become so carried away thinking about your image in the eyes of others. If you fail, it does not mean that they are going to ostracize you or look down upon you. More than the failure, it is the fear of being not acceptable by your friends and family because of family that concerns you. When you see one of your friends fail in achieving something, do you make fun of him or support him. And why do you think that others behave any differently from you?”

“And you cannot control others. So how your friends treat you once they move on with their life, its their choice. Does it make sense to get affected by something which is beyond your control? Though this might sound pessimistic, expect nothing from others. When there is no expectation, there is no botheration about who did what. It does not mean that you should become misanthrope and start become completely isolated from others or always mistrust others. Accept others as they are, if they take you for granted, they will, thats their nature. And do not expect them to do things any differently than what they are doing currently. Then you do not expect anything extra-ordinary from them. Then even a small gesture from others, makes you happy.”

“Be sincere in what you are doing. Have confidence in yourself. Hardships are like shadows. If there is a shadow, it means that there is light somewhere and soon you will see it.”

The sun has set already and the darkness descended. I started groping in the dark in search of the torch light.