I once made a pledge which went like,
- Will never have a display picture with me wearing shades.
- Will never wear brown Woodland shoes with black belt
- And will never crack jokes on relationships, especially on sanctity of marriage.
I am going to break one of those pledges now.
When you are 24 it is only natural that you “become that one guy” who some aunty knows when she is drinking free tea at a party. Lately, most of my female friends have been married and it kind of makes me feel secure. I don’t find the need to sound politically correct anymore. It is not like I had anything for these lovely ladies, but the mere fact that “Nobody is around” is quite liberating in itself.
I feel that the story about the bride has been done to death. And it is about time we get to hear the story from the other side.
For guys who were groomed in an insular Indian culture, success often culminates in finding a good wife. Happiness ends happy endings as they call it. At least south Indian families, who are perennially paranoid about good grades, groom their boys by saying “Only if you get good grades will you get good girls”. Silly me, I even once worried when I got 16/20 in a unit test, fearing that no girl will like me for that.
It so happens that when things start to happen to place and success beckons the guy, naturally he expects his reward i.e. good girl. It is because he feels that he has earned it and society and culture has a huge role to play in this. This naïve sense of expectation clouds his introspection, failing to tell him that he is turning into a full blown asshole.
In matters of bride hunt, it is very important for a guy to be politically correct. Such as every word he pronounces would be closely scrutinized. The parents of the bride work busier than Bappi lahiri’s goldsmith investigating the guy’s character. Now if I say I want a fair bride, I mean fair as a verb and not as a noun. How would they distinguish?
Following are a few must have qualities that the Bride’s family expects
Must be Money wise:
Grooms must be conservative while spending for oneself but generous while spending for the family and bride. As soon as money flows easy, the guy is expected to responsibly invest. And there is a societal pressure on him to earn more. What is wrong with the money I have, you ask? The answer is simple. It is not enough to support a family.
To which my inadvertent answer almost always is: Where is the family? Suddenly there is a huge onus on us to accelerate our interest in our careers forcing many to take dire steps like deciding to “do” MBA from IIPM.
Must be Ambitious:
If you think being judged by looks and weight is outrageous and unfair. Then you must sympathize with men are being judged by the money one makes. Such social pressure drives men to over compensate by doing things like learning how to cook, differentiate between various shades of peach and gain judgment on which tile looks good under CFL lighting.
Must have Decent character: The funniest expectation that a girl’s family expects is “He should be a decent guy”. Allow me to debunk this expectation. Their very definition of “decent” is very amusing.
- Nonsmoker/drinker/ should not listen to techno or trance naturally if they do they would be into drugs.
- Should not look at other girls with bad intentions (Dear, elders please define Good intentions) even offering a candy is seen as a sign of solicitation.
- Should give respect to elders: Now the clause doesn’t apply to the “elders”, they are given a free ride to behave like imbeciles. To which, they will justify themselves by reciting some lame cliché such as To test a firestone you have to burn it first.
Surmising the expectations, as long as the groom to be behaves like a gay salesman they are adjourned to be marriage worthy. (No offence to gay men and I am not homophobic either, read this for proof).
Must be mature enough: Apart from responsibility, looks and all the above factors. I personally think, this could be my Achilles heel. Personally the biggest threat that I might face is to behave like an adult and act in a mature way.
I remember signing a clause on internet often which asks me to be adult as the content of the media was mature. But I doubt I can put that in my bride-hunt resume.
To give an example, I once shared a dining table with a few very distinguished dignitaries from our conference. One of the guy had difficulty pronouncing R, his R sounded like D. And by the rarest of coincidences, there happened to be a Laura at the table. So when he asked her to pass the sauce, I had this expression on pasted on my face.
While these are my apprehensions before the act of marriage, there is a huge monster lying dormant, the description of which is beyond the scope of this post.
Imagine Indian (Hindu) wedding, imagine pyres, priests with huge racks, huge display of wealth, annoying music, hundreds of plastic chairs and swarms of people ambling around oiling this giant of a machine called marriage with a clockwork efficiency.