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.
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.
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).
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!!
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
He bends forward.
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.
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.