What relationships tell you about the places you choose to live in

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Having found limited opportunities back home for the internship, I have been less hopeful about moving back after I graduate although I am hoping against hope hopen that there will be a miracle by next year. I’d do anything to work back home but not at the cost of being unable to fulfil my financial obligations. Hence, with less than a year to graduate, my husband and I have started to discuss about where we could possibly build our next home. Knowing that both our hearts lie back home, anywhere we choose to live would be temporary. While it is going to be temporary, it better be worth giving up the opportunity to move back home. Sounds too demanding? May be not.
If I were to pass of the comfort of being in the city I love (Bangalore), it better be a city I like. According to my childhood friend, love is when you cannot justify your unconditional acceptance of something or someone and like is when you can actually justify it with valid explanations/ evidence. There are some cities that are universally considered as great cities to live in since they are foreign friendly like New York, London or Singapore since average opinion about these cities is quite unbiased given its diminishing indigenous population. These cities are likeable because of basic quality of life one could lead – English speaking, good public transport, world cuisine, connectivity to the rest of the world, diverse population filling every social economic strata making it more immigrant friendly.
Think about this like an extra marital fling. If you were to have a fling, you’d not go after something that you thought was only going to be an average experience (I don’t mean to say these things are planned necessarily). Only if you were going to get an adrenaline rush out of it, you would go after it, else it wouldn’t be worth it, right? If you did have an “average” fling, it was probably a terrible decision made when drunk (It is a terrible decision anyway, but still). Why would any rational human being pass off the comfort of a long term relationship for the pleasure of one drunken evening? Unless, you are adventurous and indifferent to where your impulsive actions take you (this is most commonly known as “living it up”), I’d say, it’s a safe bet to make a long term investment in a gene propagating partner or a place you’d like to call home.

What the modern day dating websites tell you about a society.

Credit: Huffpost
Credit: Huff post

I joined a group of women clad in hijaabs for lunch on Friday. I made some small talk just to get them to switch from Bahasa to English and also make them less awkward for a stranger having joined them. Soon, the conversation got more interesting and I started quizzing them about the history and etiquette of hijaabs. I learnt that these women are not allowed to show their head, ears, neck and chest to any man apart from their own family until they are married off to this man. The conversation grew deeper in god, religion and faith and I wondered how these women managed to still abide by these religious restrictions despite the explosion of wide spread access to varying opinions on the internet today. Later that evening, I logged on to one of these many dating/ social discovery apps (Now, why I did that needs an explanation but I shall save it for another day) only to discover 100s of Indonesian women on these sites, and that too without their hijaab.
Every second woman followed Islam and was very serious about it and every third was a single mother looking for a nice boyfriend. The pictures conveyed a genuine yet desperate undertone, which is not strange given that women typically don’t sign up on dating websites unless they really really need to. There was definitely an intense underlying desire to marry an expat, which I couldn’t help but notice because every second or third woman said she loved to cook and had clearly stated being in the process of learning to cook Western food. You could have been sure that these women who wanted to marry expats were mostly of Korean or Chinese origin since local Indonesians are more conservative in that sense. While greater education has given these women economic independence, we are yet to be liberated from our traditional views of wanting to “marry up” and unfortunately, since that’s becoming increasingly difficult in these communities, these women are seeking to compensate this through perceived racial status elevation or foreign exchange benefits.
On the other hand, the men were as sober as you’d find in Barcelona. There was a fairly even distribution of men looking for friends, relationship and flings, yet none too desperate (this is not in comparison to the women, but to men elsewhere). Most men were local and knowing that Jakarta is becoming increasingly expat populated, these websites are probably not a place these men meet women. Now, this is surely not surprising given my earlier hypothesis where the demand for expat men far exceeds the supply. I heard from a local that her friends often urge her to linger around bars in the South to increase her chances of meeting expat men and so, that’s probably where the market gets cleared. Seeing that a rather conservative city like Jakarta (with places of worship every 100 mtrs) encourages women to be on these sites, you would imagine that the situation must be far better in India, right?
In Bangalore, this particular website has 6 women out of which one is a dude and another is a bot, I suspect. Why? Within the first 30 seconds of logging in, I had messages waiting from 27 men asking if I want to make friendship with them. This would seem reasonable if I had a profile picture (Well, I’m surely at unpleasant looking since that’s really only what matters to people on these websites), but I didn’t. This was the same profile that didn’t attract more than 1 or 2 men in any of the other cities I have ever travelled to, but what is it about Indian men that makes them tear apart women like this on dating websites? This is the same desperation that has earned India its recent title of rape capital of the world and all of this says something about our society and culture rather than the over secretion of male testosterone.

Is Mindy Kaling the new age 30 something Barbie doll?


I was introduced to the show “The Mindy Project”, which is a show about 30 something (She hasn’t really revealed her exact age at least in the episodes I have watched thus far) second generation American with an Indian origin, who is an OBGYN with private practice in Manhattan. She’s a size 8 or 10 (US) and a woman of colour as she claims. She’s a very successful doctor who is witty, funny, friendly and talks a lot. She might be more dramatic than an average girl of her age but heck, what do I know about American women. If I were to go by American TV shows, she might just be as dramatic as any average american girl. There might be an element of her own personality in the character she portrays. So far, most real people can relate to her in someway or the other, but the part which is a tad bit unrealistic is her incredible ability to go on a date with a different guy in every episode giving the 30 something single women in the real a huge complex about their own single lives.
When I was a little girl with 7 Barbies (ok, 1 was a Skipper and the other was a Tiny Tot, but still same family!), I was never fascinated by them or never wanted to grow up to be like them. All I wanted to do was comb their smooth hair, give them cool hair cuts and hope that my mum never notices that I’ve destroyed the dolls. Sometimes I would also like to undress them and toss them into a bucket and make them pretend like they were swimming. Ok, I’m getting carried away now. The point is, I outgrew these dolls and learnt that there was a huge debate in the world about what kind of a psychological impact these dolls had on young growing girls. Girls are inspired by the “hour glass” figure, flawless skin, gloss lips and smooth and silky hair of Barbies and spend their adolescent and adulthood torturing themselves to somehow comply with this ideal woman image of Barbies. At this point, I think Mattel (the company that invented “Barbie”) decided to deal with the criticism constructively and started using Barbie for educational purposes by creating “Doctor Barbie” and “Engineer Barbie” (Entreprenuer Barbie being the latest) and what not to inspire young women to look up up to Barbie for the right reasons.
Not having ever looked up to Barbie for the right or wrong reasons, I guess I didn’t understand this debate until last night when I was watching the first season of the Mindy Project. Mindy manages to find a new guy to date (sometimes even bed) in every single episode just like hailing a cab in NYC. This portrayal is just so disturbing because it attempts to destroy all stereotypes of how men (especially white) are not into women of size and colour. I was ok seeing Carie Bradshaw do this in the sex and the city because I know for a fact that men are into women who are blonde, size zero and dress suggestively. Making it appear like it is super easy for women of size and colour to find single men is not fair since it is innacurate. This abberation can be scarring for 30 something single women struggling to find a partner. I’ve single friends who are beautiful, smart, successful, witty, funny and the most wonderful human beings who have to scavenge the market of single men for years before they find anyone remotely good and this, my friends is the hard truth. So, single women out there, if you’re obsessed or in awe of “The Mindy Project”, I agree it’s a great sitcom but don’t kill yourselves over it for it’s not a tiny bit real (just like the Barbie doll).

Is losing innocence such a bad thing after all?

For nearly a decade now, I watched my parents and their generation worry about ours and the subsequent. They could barely come to terms with how quickly we were  growing up – girls and guys getting together, the quick turn around of relationships and all the other things frowned upon as an effect of modernity and westernisation. In fact, I began to believe that it was a bad thing and felt the need to turn the wheel around, slow it down, etc as I watched the innocence fade off the faces of kids around me. I wanted Barbie to be curious about all my social secrets. I wanted her to never grow beyond clinging on to me like my personal little baby monkey until I learnt something life changing.
I have been listening to people tell me their stories of love, marriages and the need to find a companion for life. In the last couple of years, it pains me to come across so many people recovering from broken marriages and trying to re-enter the arranged marriage market only to realise that their only hope is people who share their experiences. I have met wonderful women who for a whole range of reasons could not be a part of their marriages anymore and had the courage to opt out and gather themselves to start afresh. Not surprisingly, women are less confident compared to men in similar situations about finding someone as they recognise that the world has labelled them as “women who could not compromise enough to sustain a relationship” because that’s what women are expected to do – act as airbags whenever there’s a crash in the marriage. What use is an airbag if it didn’t sustain a crash?
My society is quite strange because women who’ve been in and out of relationships are showered with more mercy compared to women who’ve been in and out of marriages because we close our eyes to relationships as if they never exist. As our society is becoming more “modern”, more and more women are getting in and out of relationships and in every iteration, they’ve a chance to learn and evolve while the ones in the previous generation stay stuck in their marriages for years without being able to get out of it even if they want to because if they ever did, there’s seldom a chance for them to learn or evolve. For a chance to learn and evolve as a human race, I’d rather have the world lose its innocence than lose its entire youth stuck in a bad marriage!!

Markets and incentives

I am an ardent hater of shopping in general and hence, an ardent fan of Bigbasket.com. Due to limited knowledge, patience, etc for sight seeing, Karthik and I went into the central market at Budapest which was on our walking radar. I was very happy to find vegetables that I never find in Barcelona and was contemplating smuggling a few of them back on my RyanAir flight, but eventually didn’t. But, I noticed something interesting. The shops at the entrance of the market had lousy veggies while the ones bang in the middle had way better (fresher and more variety) stock, but surprisingly, the fresher vegetables were marginally cheaper. After some thought I realised that the market was incentivising people for making the extra effort in going deeper into the market by offering them a discount.
Today, I want to talk about an entirely different market. The arranged marriage market. I came across this video – . I couldn’t make up my mind about what was worse – a job interview or an arranged marriage interview. Nevertheless, being in the market sucks, especially if you’ve always hated shopping and always secretly prayed that you’d fall in love with the first thing you laid your eyes upon in the store. But, why aren’t markets designed to get you out at the earliest? They keep wanting you to stay on while your chances of succeeding only get slimmer until the priest says “Moovath varshad mudukruge yell sigthare hudugeeru, adu Engineeru alla avanu” (How can a 30 yr old grandpa (oldie) find a bride, and that too he’s not even an engineer).
How many times have you applied for jobs on Linkedin and received a response in a week or two (actually, do you even get a response??!!). But in the hope of getting one you stay on. There are thousands if not millions of people on shaadi.com and all, who’ve been on it for years with very little success. This is not because these people are ugly or dumb, it’s simply because this market is not designed to get you out quickly. They lack efficiency, they deliver poor customer service and they secretly want you to stay on forever. Even if the market conjures negative feedback, so be it but I’d like to get it over with like most people who’re in the market today. Even if you’re a shop-oholic, you’re bound to get tired after a 100 chow-chow baths!
If you think you can escape the wrath of trying to land a job by flying solo, being an entrepreneur and if all goes well, you could have far higher returns (both satisfaction and monetary wise). However, the same rule may not apply to being single, unless you are Barney Stinson (but really, how long can you possibly pull that off?!). So, if we’re all bound to be stuck in a market because we need networking for dummies or picking up women on the fly training, I’d want to create this market that thrives on getting us out of it at the earliest but having made got the best while in it. Sounds too optimistic, but doable. You’ll see.

Universal Gender Stereotypes

For most part of my life, I believed that women were only subdued and expected to play a less significant role in society only in India. I was somehow under the impression that women enjoyed greater equality in the west based on everything I had read about the role of women in the Industrial Revolution. When I read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’, I learnt that this inequality exists across the globe expect that it’s a 100 times worse in India. I am not sure I really felt the impact of these statistics when I read the book about a year ago. I also never realised that despite having women from across the world (healthy mix of developing and developed countries) in my MBA program, we only have a 26% representation by women in the program.
My MBA teammates thought I was the German (read Hitler) of the group. I tried to justify my aggressive leadership style by explaining how I worked in a factory full of men and the only way to get through to them was by speaking with the same tone as them. I’m not sure if the justification mattered to them but in hindsight, I didn’t need to justify who I was. I would have had to justify my actions only they were completely contrary to my personality. Anyway, we all laughed it off. In another episode of when I expressed my interest to take up teaching as a career, one of my teammates said he’d pity my students since I would be really strict with them. Yet again, I thought it was a comment on my personal leadership style and wondered if I was being too aggressive with my team. Ever since whenever I have been conscious of energy building up inside of me that could be perceived as aggression, I have shot it down immediately.
In a completely different episode at home, when I suggested to my flatmate that we watch a movie during a free weekend on the laptop, he refused since he thought that my suggestion seemed more like an order than a request. I thought that was by far the strangest excuse I had ever heard in my entire life. Despite laughing it off, I wondered if I was being aggressive or imposing my ideas on others and tried to be more submissive going forward. But still, there were moments when I couldn’t help but be myself. Recently, when my flatmate was rude to me (he didn’t mean to but he was aware of his actions), I expressed a need for his apology (yes, that’s how I am going to word it). Apparently, he would have apologised at the right moment (which still hadn’t arrived after 12 days!!), but he didn’t see the need to because I was ‘demanding’ for an apology instead of just being hurt and sad.
It was at this moment I realised that there’s no place in this world where a woman is allowed to turn off her mute button. The world obsesses over gender stereotypes and anyone who doesn’t abide by that deserves no mercy. I am not saying only women are victims of such gender stereotyping but stereotyping men would mean a whole new blogpost (sometime, for sure!).

Men and Women view relationships differently

Warning: This is a two-year-old post imported from my old blog and it was based on just one data point. This is not an accurate reflection of my thoughts today. 
Like a Christmas dress is to a girl, a pair of everyday-strapped leather sandals is for a guy. A very crucial purchase. But there is a stark difference between the two. A girl is never going to wear her Christmas dress for another party, while the guy wears his sandals everyday. Then, what connects the two? By face value, both these purchases take quite a lot of time and analysis. But, I am about to dissect this subject using a rather strange analogy.
I am 27 and I have a lot of friends who are struggling to find themselves a match in the arranged marriage markets. If there are so many of them out there, why are they still struggling? I realize that most girls have a rather juvenile list of requirements that a potential groom needs to necessarily fulfill in order to appeal to them. Almost none of the points on this list are negotiable, which is perfectly all right. But, the problem really is with what goes into this list. 
The list is very dreamy and shortsighted. The guy has to look great, but not great enough to attract unwanted attention. The guy must be social but not social enough that he prefers to hang out more with his boys than the girl itself. The guy must have a really high paying job but somehow must also magically make time for the girl always. The guy must know how to treat a woman well, but not all women, mind you. Just this one. She wants a picture perfect guy who will make for a fantastic wedding photo and for much awe among the aunties at the wedding. For girls, it’s all about the wedding and not a day beyond! 
The girl has a crazy idea in her head about how her Christmas dress must be though eventually it never really turns out the way she’d wanted it in the first place. She doesn’t care about the cloth shrinking after one wash or tearing apart after one wear. She’ll love it as long as it fits and looks absolutely gorgeous on her because she’s really only thinking about the Christmas party. When the cloth shrinks or loses colour, that’s when she realizes how short-sighted she was while picking the dress, but then it’s too late with too many compromises lying ahead of her. In this case, it doesn’t matter. But, when it comes to choosing a life partner, women are missing the point. It’s not just a wedding; it’s a marriage of several years that lie ahead of them. Now, I am not sure if I have gone a little overboard trying to make it sound a little more ridiculous than it actually is, but that’s how things stand today.
On the other hand, guys are fairly simple (of course there are outliers). They care about some basic things like looks, attitude, trust and family values. That’s it. No kidding. This is what matters to them at the start and all along through the end. They realize that they have to live with this through their married lives and that’s what makes their search a tad bit more mature that the girls’. This is just like picking up a pair of sandals for everyday wear. They know they have to live with it. So they will only pick up the ones that they’re going to be comfortable with through everyday. So, don’t complain if he knows he only cares about the face because he knows he has to wake up to this face every day!
Of course, somewhere down the lane, there are compromises a girl has to make because it’s almost ridiculously impossible to find someone who ticks off everything on her list. But, as it goes with a dress, the girl will buy it (life partner) and have it altered the way it suits her. On the other hand, when was the last time you saw a guy get his sandals altered? Never! No, guys don’t do that. They just buy what they like and live it without really complaining. They know that the sandals are going to get tattered with wear and they’re really okay with it. 

So you see, there’s hardly any intersection in the ways that men and women work, yet somewhere when the outliers meet..there’s a match.

Matchmaker Papparazzi

Quoted – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/man-woman/The-regressive-rules-of-getting-married-for-an-Indian-girl/articleshow/40689746.cms

A Croatian love affair

A Croatian love affair
It was close to the end of the European summer of 2013. The cold days were slowly creeping in and the leaves were showing signs of autumn. I had just reached a small Venetian style historic port town named Trogir with my backpack. I was wearing my usual travel attire with a Bavarian hat to escape the seaside humid heat. Then, I checked in to a hostel in the main town. The owner showed me the way to the dorm. That’s when we had exchanged our first glance of each other.
She was lying on the upper bed lost in her book. The late morning rays that seeped through the window highlighted her golden curls. All I could see was her curly shoulder length hair and her generous curves. She was reading the book lying on the bed with her back facing up. I could not see her face due to a wooden safety plank obstructing my line of sight. I reached my bed and put my bag on the floor and start unpacking. I was desperate for a cold shower to escape the Croatian humidity. But someone else had occupied the bathroom. So I sat on my bed hoping to make contact with the stranger girl. 
After numerous fail attempts finally the bathroom door opened. Out came a girl with barely a towel on her body leaving a trail of water that was dripping from her body. While the sight still lingered in my thoughts, I picked up my bath towel and hurried towards the bathroom. Just before I could enter I heard a girl’s voice speaking in German. Her voice was as sweet as black forest pastries exploding into a thousand fruity flavors upon entering your mouth. In a fit of excitement, I turned around to see what the matter was. And there she was..Her eyes so blue, her skin a shade of the lightest brown due to tan, made it seem like time had just stood still to let me admire her beauty and grace. The divine creation of the Germanic race she was.
I realized that the conversation between the two girls was interrupted by my shameless stare. I had to say something. Anything. I was at stake. My country’s reputation was at stake. I spurted out the best German I could have. “Enshuldegung sie. Was ist du turn?” Excuse me. Was it your turn? Well, at least that’s what I wanted to convey. The two girls stared for a while and started giggling. We stared at each other again. I stood there like a fool realizing that was cutting in the bath queue. I immediately retracted and asked the stranger girl to proceed. She said no and requested me to carry on. I revolted and insisted that I was impolite that I did not notice that she was in line. After a few rows of ping ponging, she finally accepted my proposal and went for her bath. I retreated back to my bed with my towel while I felt like quite embarrassed for what I’d just done. Her friend was still in her towel and she went to the corner of the room and stood by a window that I was staring at. She quickly slipped into a gown and started applying a load of sunscreen on her arms and legs. Then the stranger girl came out and I rushed in to have a bath.
The girls then offered me to join them to see the town together. We had lunch, walked around and did a lot of cultural exchange talks. I mostly spoke with my stranger girl. Her name is Laila from Switzerland. We talked about life, religion, travel, and future. Next day we went on island trips. We hung around and spoke and spoke and spoke. We had a lot in common. Since her friend did not like Croatia, they decided to head to Slovakia. She didn’t want to leave but she had no choice. I told her my plan and asked her to join me in one of the places. We departed, only to meet again after 3 days in Pula.
The alarm rang at 5.30 am. I opened my eyes with the view of her innocent face sleeping in peace. It was a last of our journey together. I had promised to take her to the beach in the morning for a swim. We hardly had any sleep that night. The previous day we made it to the beach but the sun had already set on us. She longed to swim in the ocean. Instead I convinced her that we would come back here again the next day. She agreed and we headed back to the hostel. On the way we picked up some good affordable Croatian wine. We already had some left over pizza from lunch in the fridge. We had to walk a bit from the bus stop to the hostel. Just then, it started to pour. Instead of running to the nearest shelter we stared at each other while the rain drenched us slowly. I held her waist and we walked towards the hostel. We didn’t utter a single word and right at that moment I wished we just walked towards eternity. Upon reaching the hostel we dried ourselves. Heated the pizza and sat in the balcony garden with the finest white wine along with the best company in the world. We spoke about our lives and various other things until our mouths let us.
We then went into our room. We were sharing the room with two other French girls. They both were fast asleep wearing only their delicates. Suddenly, I lost all my sleep. She returned to the room after changing into her nightclothes. She used the mobile phone as a source of light to maneuver across to the bed. The light from the phone against her face shone brightly highlighting her feature. That’s when we made eye contact and could not resist any longer. I held her tightly against my body for a few moments. And then our tongues meet like two swords in a long awaiting duel. The fear of disturbing the other residents of the room made the moment even more intense. 
It was 7 am we finally reached the beach. Took our clothes off and ran towards the beach. She wore a bright red two-piece and I watched her generous voluptuous body. As the sun rose upwards she decided to retire to the bedrock hoping for some good tan. I swam for a while longer, admiring the corals and the sea life below my feet. I went back to the beach and rested besides her. The sea sand crystals sparkled on her ample crests and her hourglass figure clearly visible. I was reminded of my flight to cold bland Germany in few hours. I cursed the cruel universe. We headed back to the hostel and checked out. We walked to the bus stop. She walked in front of me with her backpack and the Air India tag still on from her trip to India. I caught up with her and held her hand and told her – “Laila, your must come to South India and I will take you out for a cup of filter coffee and Bisibelebath.” She looked at me and smiled and gave me a quick peck. Peck on my lips. She said, “Varun, I promise I will.”
We reached the bus stop. She bought her bus ticket to Bern. I confirmed my bus timings to the airport. My bus was supposed to arrive at platform 15mins. We hurried there and only looked into each other’s eyes. We had nothing to say but stare into each other eyes. I was lost in the abyss of her bright blue cornea, recollecting all the time spent with her. She said “Hey look we spent time with each other and still didn’t get our hands on each others’ throat.” I said “Maybe you have to plan a longer trip to India to know for sure.” It was time for the bus but the bus hadn’t arrived yet. I felt a huge lump down my throat.  We stared at each other even more intensely. And then the worst thing happened. 
The bus arrived. The lump grew bigger. I said goodbye and planted a kiss on her red cheeks and went into the bus. She did not move. I sat in the bus and continued staring at her. The bus was to wait for 3 more minutes. I hurried down the bus and kissed her tightly waiting for the world to explode. It did explode but in the form of the loud bus horn signaling departure. I let go and came back into the bus. I saw a tear slip her cheek. We looked at each other until our sights let us and then she disappeared. 

The New Age Social Epidemic

If you’ve ever been in a serious relationship, you’d know that break-ups with no real closure is what makes most break-ups ugly – you’re neither in them nor over them. This usually happens when one party ditches the other and the whole break-up ‘appears’ to be based on mutual consent. It sometimes reminds me of the several friendships that have withered away in my life over time for no apparent reason, leaving my friends and me with several unanswered questions, taking away all will to reconcile. We are mere mortals – we don’t know how to deal with rejection, especially when it’s subtle. When we’ve invested so heavily in a relationship, the least we expect is a chance to have all our questions answered. It’s these unanswered questions that leave most relationships in a trishanku (neither there nor here) state.

I watch people, I perceive the irrationality that entwines their decisions and I know exactly why they rejected people I set them set you up with, but as a match-maker who truly cares about spreading love and fostering happy relationships/ friendships, I wish people were more honest, at least to themselves. I’m fine if you’re an explorer and been around quite a bit, but just don’t bring back luggage because this is like being on a cheap flight (easy to find relationships) where you will be charged for additional baggage (since these relationships come with low tolerance limits). While on one hand, it’s not fair for people who haven’t been around or have taken pains to sort their baggage before entering the market, it’s just really too much for me as a matchmaker, to deal with (come on, I’m already dealing with frivolous people who fancy eye candies).

When people reject my matches for no apparent reason, I know exactly why – you’re either better off at Vanaja Quick Marriages or you’re still hung up on your ex, in which case, you’re never going to be able to give me appropriate feedback that will help me get better at what I do. This has driven the Mad Aunties in me further Mad. The single most common reason why most matches have failed in the last couple of months is that a lot of people enter the arranged marriage market with heavy baggage.

If there are so many people who are constantly convincing themselves that they’re sailing forward even before pulling up the anchor, are Relationships with no Real Closure – the New Age Social Epidemic?

How marriages dissect families

A common household pre-marriage dialogue that I am absolutely aversed to is “madhve aagi hodmele, hudgiru, yaavatthu bere manevre”. I always liked to believe this is not true. My world seems to be crumbling around me now that I see that line becoming a reality in life.
I began to analyse what it is that changes after getting married and here are the results of my crude analysis- You’d be lucky as hell to marry someone who shares your ideologies, but unfortunately opposites attract and usually end end up with someone who doesn’t even watch the same TV shows as you, let alone loving your family the way you do!
If you and your spouse have very different ideologies about very basic things like mortals, immortals and their connect, it would be hard to get them to understand what ticks for you and what doesn’t. When this fails, there is no rationale in expecting each to care for the others’ feelings. Whenever there is an issue with your spouse and your family and either of them is rude to the other, you end up taking sides. More often than not, you’d simply take your spouse’s side simply because you live with them and the last thing you want is spending your energy in stabilizing your life at home. This is irrespective of whether you think they are right or wrong.
This will obviously distance you from your family for two primary reasons; One is that you picked wrong and the other because you picked someone else over them. But, your family would never judge you or hold this against you. So are you wondering how this would distance you from them? Its because you are so guilty for having chosen someone who can’t love what you love and it’s because you dont want to put them through more pain. It’s also because, even if you moved away from your family, they’d still be with you. Unlike in case of your spouse.
Strangely, your spouse is always just your spouse and not family until you jointly co-procreate. Until then your parents and siblings (assuming they’re still unmarried) is your only family.

Louvvu Love v/s Arranged Love

These two concepts belong to 2 different planes altogether. So, it makes no sense to make any comparison between them.Head drives and heart gets driven around in arranged love, where as its the other way round in love.
In case of wheel drive like in the Fortuner, one can afford to let 2 wheels driven by head and 2 by heart.
I think i’ll try and put theory on how comparisons make life difficult. Impact is definitely equally high on both parties. Suppose one party has been there done that and the other has never been there and wants to DO that, then its a very sticky situation. It takes effort on both parties to make it work.
The experienced party tends to compare every situation making it very difficult for the fresher to cope up. The expectations are quite high and in order to live up to that to ensure sustainability, fresher keeps trying really hard. One, its quite taxing on the fresher and secondly, there are reasonable chances of messing this up big time and eventually leaving the fresher regretting about trying so hard in the first place. Then, fresher starts evaluating if it was worth it or not, etc.
Experienced is in tune to looking for an equally experienced candidate because its generally scales down the profit levels to have an inexperienced person working with you, but you can take that risk if you are running a charitable organisation or a personality development class or if you just genuinely believe that the fresher has potential and the cost and benefits even out into a no profit no loss situation that the experienced can afford at this point of time. Tremendous effort on the experienced party’s part to lower expectations so much and work from scratch, but a good learning experience nevertheless. Experienced will however have a benchmark that will remain until the fresher gears up and just demolishes the benchmark and makes one on his own.
Greatest fear : If the fresher doesn’t reach the benchmark, firing will happen and naturally when a position is vacant, recruitment ought to happen.
But, this will just tire the experienced because recruitment means considerable time and energy investment. Due to recession and lack of time etc, recruitment can be hard at this stage. So, best returns out of available man power seems like the most lucrative option. Then again, if you have the best arranged louvvu candidate, that in itself is a benchmark that will put pressure on the following recruitment. So its a series of benchmarks, one falling short of the other. Such are life. Sigh.

n=0 ; l=0 ; ml = 0 ; ms = +1/2

This is turning out to be like a relationship between the nucleus and the electron in the inner most orbit.
But, strangely the current is flowing even though this particular electron ain’t responsible for it.
I always wondered why these people in movies got cold feet just before marriage, because for me, it always seemed like the most natural thing to do. Jusht like how you get promoted from UKG to 1st standard, once you are done with UG or PG depending on your enthu or circumstances in life, you just get married. Almost everybody does. Only recently, i have discovered how significant and serious this transition is. It changes a lot of things. There are basically two possibilities, either the electron remains in the inner most shell or magically jumps to the conduction band and puts escape. The divorce rates these days are quite high considering how little patience people have nowadays.
Tharkaris are like electrons, they are on +1/2 spin before madhuve and after madhuve, become -1/2. So,just like how the state of an electron is determined by a set of quantum numbers, even a tharkari can be evaluated in terms of several parameters. Looks, intelligence, niceness, smartness, coolness, whatever (depending on what you lack and hence, are looking for those things in order to find the ‘better half’)
Yes, Better Half. You almost always look for the better half in your tharkaris. All the things you think are missing in you, you try to find in the other person. A +1/2 always tries to find a -1/2. That’s probably the origin of opposites attract. Just like how physicists tried extending Newton’s classical theories to astrophysics, we humans always try to relate everything we see around, to our lives. But unlike physicists, we succeed in the extension, but miserably fail in its interpretation.

Karabath series

If you are familiar with the traditional heN noding shastra (from kannada movies), then most common thindi that is served to the to-be-groom is Karabath and Kesaribath. Since i am not very fond of sweets, i’d prefer just the Karabath. (You get very yummy karabath in Veena Stores,Margosa Road,Malleswaram). Just like how you put your toe into water before you actually get into it, i decided to put my toe into the marriage market.Just a tiny viny dip. I might not even get into it after the dip..for a very long time. However, it all depends on the dip.
I enjoy giving random nicknames to friends and incidentally i met a friend who i call karabath(random nickname) and since we put a lot of marriage and relationship fundae usually, i decided to call this “the Karabath Series”.
I have recently discovered this concept of arranged lovvu marriage. Its not the same as louvvu arranged marriage. Note the subtle difference here. Both are louuvu wonly, but in the former you aren’t blind. Let me explain the process in brief(not the sardar joke brief).
First step is to keep your eyes open to delicious and nutritious tharkaris(potential marriage material girls/boys). Then, somehow through some network, make someone set you two up. Third, interact. with tact. Fourth, put meet. or beat. Fifth, this can go in three ways now. First, is a no. Definite no. Second, yes. Full yes. Third, Yes, but not yet. This is a lucrative possibility which gives super scope to put more meets, learn about each others funny faces, food tastes, sense of humour, patience, sense of dressing, chappliying, smells, etc. Finally, it’ll end up in louuvu..maybe not the gut churning romantic feeling for the other party like a unit function, out of nowhere. This is more sustainable like a step function built on affection, tolerance, enjoying each others company, comfort, care, etc and if it were to ever fall apart then it would be one step at a time and less painful.
If i were to explain the concept of multiple meets, then imagine a graph of pressure v/s number of meets. The pressure to be at your best goes on decreasing with increasing number of meets. So basically, when things are very comfortable, thats when the real person comes out unconsciously. So that time you can decide a yes/no. Of course, with high tolerance. Practical scenario, these curves are usually asymptotes.One can really never take the other for granted and drop the pressure completely.
By symmetry, just like how you found enough random things about the person to put a no, so did the other party. Probably, the other party is ready to make a compromise by accepting those not so nice things about you. Hence, it is important to be careful, so you aren’t ditching someone who is already making adjustments and compromises before madhuve, so they can be with you. Love is not blind, its about all the faults in them you dont mind.
Effort goes in from both parties to make this arranged louuvu marriage work. It has the same warranty period as any other type of marriage. I dont guarantee any special validity extension or pleasure max offers here. Just proposing a reasonable model for loveless rebels of arranged marriage!!

Love in the time of early summer rains

She walked. He walked along.
She’s rather have him walk and she walked along.
He in a crisp white shirt.
She in hers.
Just the sound of their footsteps,
ruffling in the rain water.
The sounds of the rain heavier.
They hold hands to jump across a puddle,
sticky hands, from humidity.
But cold as a hammer head.
They slip and fall.
Side by side.
Splashing rain water on each other.
She giggles.
He laughs.
Louder..together.
Their heads fell backwards,
the rain grew harder
their faces not fighting the rain
They look at each other
The smile grows smaller
into something unfamiliar
yet something they’d longed for
She looked at him examining carefully..
dripping in rain..yet some familiar warmth beneath.
He looked at her..
her wet hair sticking to the sides of her face.
He brushes it behind her ear.
Oh..she knew.
He bends forward.
She freezes.
She doesn’t move an inch..
neither forward nor backward.
She closes her eyes
So tight that her mental image
doesnt influence visual one.
It rained harder
He came closer
His grip on her grew firmer.
Despite his hands slipping being wet.
And it was time.
Yes, there was chaos.
For a brief moment.

Shantaram – Most loves are like that!

Some women are like that. Some loves are like that. Most loves are like that, from what i see. Your heart feels like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self respect, and your independence. After a while, you start throwing people out – your friends, everyone you used to know. And its still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, and you know its going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen a lot. I think thats why i’m sick of love.