Sunday, April 1, 2012

M for My-Rage

When I wrote this two years back, my folks weren’t considering packing me off. I was still in my final year of college and my only focus was on completing the MBA degree and joining a God-Awesome Company. My folks had always followed Buddha’s Middle Path. In a matter of 9 months; – “What’s the plan?” became as popular as “What is Beti-B’s name? “

Matrimony is one hell of a rollercoaster. I haven’t seen the end of the ride yet, but the reverse rolls, turns and jumps are quite an experience. Just when the ride slows down a little and you are made to believe this is probably the end of the process it does another somersault with a headlong plunge leaving you in No-man’s land. And you have to start all over again.

People don’t really need a rhyme or a reason to enquire, all they need is a moment. Take for example this *Paati* who was lighting lamps beside me at the temple. This lady had Tam-Brahm written all over her; typical red saree with a thick gold border, a huge pottu and a heavy dose of kumgumam. Enough said I guess. And this was the tete a tete that followed;

P: Unnodu peru enna?
S: --- Blah blah
P: Enna padichirke (this is how they calculate your approximate age, Tam Brahms are bloody smart)
S: MBA (mind voice – if I told you my qualifications, would you get me a job at P&G as their Brand Manager?)
P: Oh! Enga vela pakare?
S: Inga than orui kutti company le. (I have been taught not to divulge too many personal details to strangers)
P: Apdiya? Amma Appa ellam enga iruka?
(Now, I got a drift of where this conversation was heading, I wanted to sprint out that place ASAP)
S: Ellarum inga than irukom (I was playing it safe)
A few more arbitrary questions about Amma , Appa, Veedu and Naikutti later –
P: Ennaku terinja oru nalla paiyan irukan; inga than madras la china company la irukan..
(She pauses for a second, gauging my reactions)
S: Oh apdiya! Seri Maami, naan kalambaren. Aparama pakalam!
And then yours truly literally scurried out of the temple and stopped only when I reached my floor.
I’m not against the institution of marriage. Like everybody else I plan to settle down when the proverbial near perfect one or that momentarily perfect one arrives. I know that this entails a lot of sacrifices, adjustments and giving up on a lot of things. The process is surely long drawn and you cannot jump into the wagon because everybody else is.
The old ladies in the family want to see you married because according to them ultimate happiness is an equivalent of marriage. Dear Paati, Please stop saying you holding on to the last shreds of your life to see me married. You are alive because your biological clock hasn’t given up on you yet. Sorry if am rude, but that’s the plain truth.

Random Maamas and Maamis: The conversations start like this – Oh! What is your daughter doing? Very good, is she married? There is some 3rd cousin’s distant relative’s son – he is all of 30yrs; will you be interested? I know all of you are well meaning folks, but give me a break! I still haven’t gotten to the stage where I have to make do with 30+ men with balding heads.  
According to the Tam-Brahm theory of Good Girls – if you are nearing or over 25 – there must be something **terribly** wrong with you. Your answers like; am still contemplating, I haven’t found the right one yet, none of the guys are good enough – will be highly misconstructed and they will come up with their own theories.

If you reject boys on your own accord – you will get branded as an incorrigible overly educated brat.  If that’s not convincing enough – say yes to a boy under pressure and then back-out on grounds on non-compatibility when you’ve not even finalized on anything; people will go to the extent of blaming your upbringing.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, you know what? It’s my personal life and it’s not meant for public display. If you are interested in gossip, I’d recommend reading the Times of India or Deccan Chronicle. I see no reason why my single status bothers you as much. There are a gazillion issues plaguing your lives and I’m not an eye sore.  When my folks don’t consider me a societal liability, you guys are third parties with no rights on my personal life.

So next time around before any of you decide to ask Amma; “Any progress, any news?” Please remember, I’m not in the ICU Ward of Malar Hospitals counting my days.
I rest my case.

For the record, am in no dying hurry to get married, I still haven’t hit my late twenties but the Ladies in the Tam-Brahm Circle have taken it upon themselves to make me feel miserable. I have also come to understand that when it has to happen it will happen effortlessly.  Sounds very philosophical, but that’s how I’ve trained myself to brave the idiosyncrasies.

The day I get married, I will use my marketing skills to their fullest and make sure, each one of your jaws hit ground zero. I would rather wait for a couple of years and settle for a  guy who’d like to go on a vacation to *Machu Picchu* and do a Thalaivar Jig; than settle down for a guy who says his favourite dish is “Paneer Butter Masala”

Peace Out!

PS: I walked back home listening to this


Prashanth Rajan said...

Wow that was really an intense read ! I seriously don't get it. I mean don't the older generation have anything else to crib out ? Their domain of questions always lie in a-job, b-marriage. Sadly, that is the standard train of thinking. After a while you interact with such people and it is best you appeetify from the area.

Aditya Arun said...

perfect way to voice ur opinion .. Yes sis , u r right .. NEVER ask a student his mark , worker his salary and a Tambram girl ,when r u going to get married :) really impressive ..

Zee Bee said...

I just landed on your blog... but what you have described in your post is pretty much has been my case. Believe me its just not 'tam- Bram' india the scenario is pretty much same for all communities ! I am in my early 30's and i am sure everyone thinks all is wrong with me only but the fact is i have been looking for past 12 yrs and haven't found anyone suitable. Being tall- 5ft 9" doesn't help either !So hang in there, you are not alone !:-)

Recipes from Rama said...

Totally on board with you... been there and had that done to me. And I am sorry my friend it does not end here....oh no! Once you are married they move on to children, buying of house and jewellery etc. I am 42 years old and still shiver when I see a well-meaning "maami" heading my way with that determined look! My sympathies and good wishes to you!

Ram said...

That is real rage..
But that does not happen just with Tam-Bram, but with almost every caste.

I still remember my friend's mom bugging my friend to get married at the age of 23... The friend is a he.. A he finally got married at the age of 26.. :)