**** This post is written for Indiblogger and Sony entertainment television Contest on Indiblogger for the upcoming show LoveYaArrange
Before I start my post a Quick dekho of this concept.
Coming back to today's post, in some parts its hilarious and in some plain pathetic. Y so, read on. I guarantee I will not bore you or make you bang your head on the nearest wall. But most if not all will definitely relate to it if you have ever been subjected to this sort of match making. If I begin telling my kids teachers that I did not fall in love and then get married, I get a look. Yes the look which says where the hell do you come from where you get married in a blind date set up. That is my dear readers, happens only in India. Girls and boys are not allowed to date openly. The list of don't exceeded the list of do's. The alarms were raised if someone reported talking or being extra friends with any male before the girl even reached home. Girls are allowed many boys as friends, but strictly no boyfriend. That is a clear NO No at home.
The story is about a young girl, for story telling and disclaimer purposes just call her Uma, a very Typical Indian name. Uma was a very independent girl focused on her law degree to find any guy interesting or soul mate type. Some boys her age thought of her as a book worm some thought of her as good old girl with whom you can share your girlfriend woes, borrow money to buy them gifts and then never return that and some simply stayed away. The whole idea of being married for life without knowing the boy and his family sounded like a blind game of poker for her. Ms. Uma had huge arguments with her mom who simply refused to let off the guard and allow Uma a free life out of holy matrimony. The Mom searched high and low, registered her name in various Marriage Bureau's and Shadi.com portals with Glossy Profile of tall, slim Wheatish skin Brahmin Girl, who can cook and willing to learn more kind of language. Some truth some plain lies, the profile was created. Then proposals started pouring in with similar family backgrounds, horoscopes started to match few places and the whole tamasha of dekho and dikaho began. What still wonders Ms. Uma is how did she ever consent to all this in her strong Rebellion Glory? Yes she was and still is a rebel.
Being the Nari/Women/girl of today, she does not consent until fully convinced of the concept and most prob its only on her terms does she ever say yes. She did meet a few prospective grooms on her mothers insistence. She was not sure if she was destined to meet those prospective grooms (PG) or just plain DUMB is written on her face. She met half a dozen well educated brahmin boys as out of community was a strict NO-NO at home. In her words we will list a few of her experiences and let you decide for that.
Enter Mr PG1
A Software Engineer with a reputed MNC based in Pune, MS and traveling often to England the land of the Queen. This was enough for Mr. J1 to think of himself as no less than any Prince. His list of wants exceeded his list of needs. He was fair and handsome and his mother kind of made a comment on Ms. Uma's skin color and profession. But they were willing to give poor Uma a chance of pleasing MR. Charming and a second meeting was fixed. Uma's mom had high hopes only to be later told that Her pretty Daughter was placed on 3rd rank by Mr. J1 akka Mr. Charming.
The rebel that Uma was found this reason enough to place him on her NEVER see NEVER talk list again. Hush, Uma was very happy that day, that She had found a solid ground to reject this groom, Not that IT made her any difference as all she ever wanted; was to wiggle out of this whole Matchmaking drama every weekend.
Enter Mr. PG2
A Chartered Accountant by profession working with a State Govt entity. All he wanted was to get married and start having family with the lovey dovey wifey. After the first episode of the arranged marriage interview, Mom asked Uma to get a facial/face polish done just in case they objected to her skin color. So the meeting was arranged and the family left the two to discuss the matters out while they chit chatted over a cup of coffee. The excerpt of the interview was something like this;
Mr. PG2; so how do you like my house?
Uma; Its OK
Mr. PG2; So How do you like OUR bedroom?
Uma; (Bhag Uma Bhag!!!!) Speechless, next Q please
Mr. PG2; So how many kids you want, I want 2?
Uma; We will see
Mr. PG2; My sister is in Dubai, she wants to talk to you now?
Mr. PG2; I like yummy food everyday, so no stale food for me or morning meals for dinner
Mr. PG2; I dont like Girls wearing western clothes, so just Saree and Salwars
Mr. PG2; And I don't Like short hair, it's ok you have it now, But I like wifey have long black hair, yours is little brown, so no henna now on just godrej Black dye............
Uma was just listening to the ranting as her idea of a life partner was much beyond the looks and likes and Me, Myself and Mine.
Uma found another valid reason to run away from this joker as the whole idea of being desperate in the first meeting did not go down with her. If only he would have asked about her likes, interests and dreams in life,w would she have considered him.
Enter Mr. PG3;
A PhD student in environmental Studies in India. Looks Promising. So the meeting was set up, since the Mom had some professional arrangements, Uma's Newly married SIL was designated to go along with her for the meet. Being a newly married bride, the SIL was decked with the mang mein sindoor and the nine yard mangalsutra and green bangles. Ek dumm traditional bahu she was. When the family met, J3's mom started talking to the SIL and asking her all questions meant for the bride to answer, beta, do you know cooking, my son is very absent minded, his wife has to be alert and manage all finances and bills, can you do that? Beta did you like the snacks I made, If you say yes, I will always make them for you?? Uma was finding this hilarious and the poor SIL was trying her best to divert the questions to Uma. Then finally the SIL turned the subjects and suggested that the Girl and the boy should Talk and see for them, if they would like to meet again.. Hushhhhhhhhhhh for SIL, the mom agreed.
I am an avid environmentalist and I do go for protests and dharna's... Weeks or months I do NOT COME HOME, just so you know, you are free to do what you like in that time. Also being an environmentalist, I do not allow, Silks, Makeup or leather in my home.
(Uma recollected the precious leather mojdi's she was wearing, the batik leather bag she cherished and fought for with SIL, and the en-number of lipsticks and liners in her pouch...)
I also believe in sustainable life, so my plan is to built a shack and do gardening all my life. Probably get a cow or goat and find solace. IF you want to have kids, get them education or luxuries you have to find a way for that YOURSELF. I am getting late for my meditation and have to leave for the protest preparation. So let me know what you think.
Uma was happy and sad at the same time. Happy coz she was again free and would not have to justify her denial but sad because such people existed, who taught that home, kids and future of them, is still in one persons hand. IF she wanted to raise any kid by HERSELF, why would she even marry??? she might as well adopt a baby and give him/her a better future without the baggage of marriage.
Enter Mr. PG4;
A Chartered accountant and only son of his aging parents. A true Shravan baal in many ways except he did not want just a wife, he wanted a WORKING wife. He wanted a secured life, so he need not have to work hard to achieve simple joys. He wanted a 3 BHK in the prime location in the city, wanted a ideal daughter in law for his mom, who would not enter the kitchen once he is married. He wanted a wife who will be quiet and and not ever complain, ask or crib about the work around the house, give her MIL all her salary to decide how much she would get for her expenses, and if she would ever get some days to visit her parents and also the girl will have to manage everything Alone. Uma was not mentally prepared for all the work laid out for her even before she committed to it. Being a daughter to a working mom, Uma was used to doing housework, studies and even working while studying, but having it spelt out made it look like a BIG job. Having brother and him being married, Uma knew about the saas- bhau(MIL_DIL) drama and clashes that usually would arise, but her SIL and Mom being so extra sweet to each other, she had never experienced any clashes first hand. Of course the opinion differed between them, but it was resolve din a very friendly neutral way. NO hair pulling or biting words hurled at each other.
Uma rejected this proposal also, sole reason being she valued her financial independence more than anything. NO way would she throw her in laws out at that age, she would not tolerate her parents subjected to this agony, so she would never dream of doing that to anyone's. What pained Uma was the thought of giving up the financial freedom, begging for her own money and working like a dog with no benefits of simple happiness and peace of mind, all this for a total stranger. Seemed like too much of a bargain. Being a lawyer plus having worked in family court, alerted all the red flags such marriages invoked. Uma successfully wiggled out of the situation.
Days passed turning into weeks, Stories of Uma' groom search started making the vines of gossip. Uma often was labelled as the Hunterwali, meaning a strong feminist. Relatives posing as well wishers started questioning about Uma choice, saying why do you want an educated understanding groom, just see if he has a job and settle down, Free your Mom from this trouble. Uma was hurt with the ways were going and frustrated equally that she was not finding anyone tor relive her mom from this burden.Result was, Uma started staying alone, stopped attending family events and in general stopped going for any get together where any closely related groom search talk was involved. She concentrated on building her legal practice and clients. She was doing extremely well and rounds of a new promising lawyer took Uma to a happy place in life. She regained the confidence that was butchered by some proposals who denied her because she was not fair and beautiful like Aishwarya Rai, some rejected Uma as she was a lawyer poking fun as in you like to fight so you are a lawyer, how lame can you be, do you ask a surgeon, oh you like to cut people so you are a surgeon!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Uma had enough of this whole drama that was arranged every weekend in hopes that this Sunday might be the lucky day!!!
Uma requested her Mom to kind of give her a time out for a few weeks and resume the whole thing if Uma is not successful in finding her a husband in the next few weeks. Mom understood her pain so she agreed and search for Uma husband was put on hold. Uma decided to take a break and planned a small vacation to be with her brother and SIL. Off she went happy to be out of the weekly episodes. In the time she was gone, Mom got a call that sort of changed things for Uma.
Mr. One's mom called Uma's mom asking to meet the girl as her son would be visiting from London for 2 weeks only for business and she would like him to be hitched in that time. Mom told her that it would not be possible as Uma was not in the country and was unlikely to be back in the 2 weeks. Both moms decided that if both are not able to find respective partners they would call again in December when Mr. One comes for his annual vacation.
Uma came back refreshed from her vacation and was not able to find any husband, so the search was back on. This time around she was lucky enough to escape the meetings as Uma was rejected in the bio itself. Grooms from USA/outside India thought what will she do in USA as she will not be able to work and help them financially, some in India taught she has short hair, wears western clothes and is a lawyer, maybe she would not be an wife material. December came too soon and as not expected, Mom got a call. This time again Mr. One's mom asked for the meeting saying that some or the other reason being, the search for the bride was still on for Mr. One. So the meeting was decided. We were invited to their home. The reason given was, Mr. One insisted that its Uma who has to live here, she better see the kind of home we have.
Uma was feeling restless for no apparent reason the whole of that Saturday, the day she was supposed to meet Mr. One. She had met many prospective grooms before, so today should be no different. Her Mom kept saying that she was getting positive vibes from the first call she had in June. Uma tried to ignore all the butterflies in her stomach and her moms words in her ears and concentrated at work. After finishing all her work, she decided to go home and get ready for the big meet. As planned she was going to meet her parents at some common junction point and then go together from there. Uma was wearing her favorite mojdi's, yes the leather ones. She smiled looking at them and suddenly something snapped. The sole came off and the mojdi was in need of help. Having no cobbler in sight and no time on hand, Uma decided to pack the torn mojdi's and buy new sandals. She carefully packed the torn mojdi's and hid them in her bag and went to meet Mr. One.
After the casual formalities and hellos were exchanged, The girl and the boy were left alone to talk. Silence was what followed the initial Hi. Then more silence. Uma being the chirpy girl could not take the silence with the stranger so she asked the formal regular questions about his hobbies, work and in general chit chat. She was out of all her questions and what followed after that was more SILENCE.
The meeting was over. ON the way home, Mom was curious to know what she felt. TO play it safe and avoid 100 questions after that, Uma said she will need time to think about what she felt(of all that SILENCE.)
Sunday night., Mom got a call again. From Mr. One's mom saying he wants a second meet and ask few questions. FINALLY!!! he is talking. Now Uma was nervous. She had to take some decision and all eyes were on her now. SIL and Uma had a long talk and she decided to meet him again. This time in a public place or a cafe. Uma reached the spot early and had to wait for him for whole 10 minutes. He came bang on time. Uma liked punctuality and was happy to start the note positively. The questions that followed after that were very new for Uma. he seemed practical reasonable, never asked how much she made every month. He was more interested in knowing more about the person Uma was. What made her happy, what disturbed her, what issues she faced everyday while working. He asked Uma to learn a new hobby as He was posted in London for 2-3 years, so that time she would need a hobby to pass her time. He agreed to help in cooking, housework and said if the house is theirs then work is also theirs. He disliked the idea of one person working all the time and the other idling his time over TV.
Uma was sold on the idea of helping in housework and liked his approach to life. He wanted a life partner who would be his best friend and his best critic, a girl who has her own identity, speaks her mind and calls spade a spade. The whole idea of matches made in heaven started making sense to Uma. She finally found a life partner and a friend who understood her without any words and had no major expectation from Uma apart from being a reasonable wife and making reasonable adjustments.
This is the just one story of one Uma and her search of Mr. Right. This story is partly fictional partly true, maybe self experienced maybe imagined, who knows, IT might be your story or mine.Shadi ka ladoo( Fruit of marriage) however you have it, be it love or arranged, needs equal amounts of sweetness, trust, stability, and most time saying I love you when in fact you want to scream get the hell out of here. Marriage is a bond that gets stronger as you get older, give it time, nourishment and efforts for it to start bearing any fruits. Love can happen or it can be arranged to happen, how and what you do with it makes all the difference.
This entry won a runner up prize in the contest