Mom called up day before yesterday and asked me to pack my back-pack and come home, reasons, “suitable boy”! I gasped with fury — “not again! I have a series of meetings, please do not ask me to come down”! But no respite — pestering, emotional blackmailing, sobbing, angry spat, breakdowns, and reluctant acceptance, the cycle continues. I suppose this is the story of most “marriageable” “independent-girls” caught in the “arranged marriage” system — trademark of the grand narrative called “Indian Culture” . Forget about dowry, forget about marriage preparations, the toughest job for a metro-sexual female is to get herself married in the first place. 🙂 I was reading an interesting piece in Yahoo news “Ruined by Education”, which traces the kind of education that prospective brides ought to have. The news piece states that these days most men want girls who are independent and educated enough, but not so educated that they fall into the risk of being intellectuals!! The news piece adds that girls from Sophia College, Ajmer ; Kamala Nehru College, New Delhi are highly in demand in the marriage market as good bahus, and that some classifieds categorically state that “girls from JNU, LSR or Miranda House need not apply.” I wonder where do IITs stand in this list of producing eligible bahus in the exceedingly competitive matrimonial market. Grooms’ families would consider IITian girls as a tough bargain and tough nuts to crack I suppose. No doubt these girls will earn in lakhs but they are also the biggest risk factors. Who knows how stubborn they are? Who knows how many affairs they have had?
So the classified columns have one more feather in their cap: “Criteria-1: Very fair, slim, good-looking, well-behaved bride wanted! Criteria -2: Should be from such-such college with a degree in English, Psychology, Home science, etc” 🙂 . The first criteria, I had always found sick — every classified has the same oneliner “very fair” and “slim” — as if every bride ought to be no less than a Miss World or Miss Universe. The matrimonial ads seem no less than fairness creams’ promotional campaigns.
I wonder, why are many men so insecure of having highly intellectual wives? When there are females who are no more than high school graduates can put up with intelligent males what’s wrong the other way round? The equations have been turned, but so, what’s strange about it? Things alter along with alteration in circumstances and demands of the particular time. True, a lot of responsibilities and compromises need to be made from either side, when the female is a professional, extraordinarily busy individual — but then she also makes you feel proud of her existence in your life. As females we also have to accept certain realities of life — not with rejection but with happy acceptance. Whatever the role reversal is, a certain degree of humility is always a positive aspect in any relationship. Whenever, I go to markets, malls or hospitals these days, there is a peculiar change which I notice while observing couples — it is usually men who carry the small kids either in prams or on their shoulders, while women do the shopping and complete other formalities. This was not so when we were kids, we were usually carried by our mothers only, while fathers’ looked after the shopping and such things. Personally, this seems to be a positive change, for men realize that their responsibilities go beyond being merely bread-earners of the family.
But, it’s still very sad that even intelligent men are afraid of highly intelligent women. The reasons are unknown but maybe such females are sometimes egoistic and uncompromising when it comes to career and individual achivements. Partly, the reasons are also men are afraid to admit that their wives/girl friends are better off than themselves. It might be bitter but is true to some extent. Generally, such girls are turned down with cliched statements like — “actually you will not be able to fit into my family”, or say something like “you are wonderful as a friend — I mean you give wonderful company and advise, but I cannot think of you as my wife”, or maybe after 10 months of dating you might hear “really you are very caring, intelligent and compassionate, but I have never thought of you in that direction”, or maybe even more weired statements, “no you must be joking yaar! Where do you have the time to give for a family”, or “I want you to change to some extent, or else it will be difficult for us to gel!” Phew! I can go on citing exactly such statements for pages of this blog which prove that some men evade responsibilities even in so called “love affairs”. The scenario of arranged marriages are better not to be described! In the case of arranged marriages, it is not just the “groom”, but his familiy, his family’s family, mediators, neighbours, your own family, your families’ family, your friends and the list goes never ending…you have got to change your manners, your lifestyle of say some 25-26 years for every other living creature around you.
I don’t say that change is not desirable! But changes are a natural process, which need time and patience from either side. Love as a common denomination has the power to change anything in this world. Idealistic, true, but not without basis. Selecting girls on the basis of their colleges might be a new fad, but such generalizations are dangerous and harmful for the society in the long run.
For the time being however, I am listening to Bryan Adam’s, “She’s a Little Too Good for Me”:
She knows all the right people – reads all the right books
She’s got my name – she’s got my number
But what she see’s in me I sometimes wonder
She’s a little too good for me
She’s gonna change me if I let her
She’s a little too good for me
But I’m getting better….