Thursday, May 24, 2012 18 comments

BABUL PYARE


He turns seventy four tomorrow…!!!

But in my mind my father is always a youthful figure. Why, he used to often refer to himself as the  “boyish looking Bostonian” (a take on JFK ) during his forties. As a teen I used to find it quite funny.

My father is a unique man from his generation who was absolutely comfortable being the minority male in a family of three women.  He never felt the need to assert his authority on us . “That is only for fellows who have no identity outside of being a man” he often used to say. 

I remember my mother  telling me about how he used to help her look after me when I was a baby- giving me a bath and feeding me while she completed her work- all this before he left for office so that she did not have to deal with  this alone. When my sister came along he spent a lot of time with me so that I would not feel neglected because my mother could not pay much attention to me.  I remember, when my mother had gone for her delivery to Trichy, I had to miss almost two months of school. My parents were worried that I would fall back in academics because of that. So Appa used to diligently write out work sheets for me to solve and send them by post during a time when correspondence courses were un heard of . He also used to write very descriptive letters to me about what was going on with him while we were away – now tell me whoever said that it was just Nehru who wrote letters to his daughter? I would say that Nehru probably had all the time when he was in prison to write those letters but my father was doing it with his regular stress filled existence as a bureaucrat.  

My father’s teaching skills were excellent- nobody can explain a concept like him with clarity and patience. I guess the only thing that he gave up trying to explain to me was “Archimedes Principle” because I could never understand or solve those sums correctly. He had the ability to turn lessons into something simple and would discuss them at meal times in a fun sort of way. My math skills are strong thanks to the game that I used to play with him. It went like this- we had  to quickly add up the registration number of any vehicle that passed us while we were on the road and say whether it was odd or even. There was a sort of competition that we had as to who would say it first. This has become such a habit now that I do it almost unconsciously without even being aware of it …

When children fall ill it is their mother that they want. But in my case, strangely it was always my father that I wanted near me . When I was about five years old an insect had bitten me while I was at  school. My entire face had turned red and swollen. Our head mistress called home and within minutes my father was there to take me to a doctor. When I had a severe stomach infection in my childhood which used to result in painful cramps it was my father that I wanted near me always. And immediately after I became a mother as I was wheeled into a  room from the labour ward it was my father  who was there to feed me breakfast with his hands as I was very hungry and too tiered to feed myself. It is probably the most special moment that I have had with him in my adult life!

A man with a great sense of humour he always tried to understand us and relate to us when we were teens. He used to ring the bell in the evenings when he returned from work and when we opened the door after putting on the safety chain he used to thrust his hand through the crack pretending it was a gun he was holding! Ofcourse, he  used to get into trouble if it  was my mother who happened to  answer the door ..

His attempts at Hindi always had us in splits!  Many of my neighbor and friends from childhood still remember many of his antics. Completely uncomfortable with technology his impatience is a sight to watch! He still has not forgiven me for taking away his old Nokia phone from the ice age times!!

Over the years as he has grown into a grand father, he did not really change. My daughter while she was a baby used to constantly yell for “Thatha” and he was her willing slave. They used to play this odd game when she was two – she used to call out “Ganesha” and he had to say “Yes Aunty”! I have never understood what it was all about.

As a teen my daughter finds her grand father most amusing! She spent about ten days with my parents and was full of stories about her “crazy” grand dad. She respects her grand mom as an elder but “Thatha” to her still someone who is a child .

With the passing years, I am seeing the child in him appearing lesser. The elderly man comes out more these days.. A man who is trying to be “ his age” –something that simply does not suit him.

 But that child in him comes out every now and then at the most unexpected times.

Like, when he upsets his wife’s routine by getting in her way and then tries to pacify her by saying “ Collect all your tension in bottle through the day and then you can pour it on my head in the evening” ( narrated with a lot of giggles by his grand daughter who was witness to this “drama”). Or when he calls up his beloved grand daughter at 6.00 AM on a Sunday morning wanting to know why she had left her shampoo behind in the fridge. When she tells him  that what he thought was shampoo was actually cheese sauce he says “Thank god, I was going to give it your Pati to wash her hair”.. Or when he cut his birthday cake last year and fed himself the biggest chunk without offering a piece to either his wife, grand daughter or daughter ..! “Why don’t you people help yourselves?” was his answer when my mother mentioned it.

I guess it is unfair to expect parents to stay static on their age trajectory just so we can hold on to our childhood memories of them. Thinking back I realize that he taught me more than maths and physics, he taught me values, he taught me principles and most importantly he taught me what being a good parent was all about .

I am supposed to be mirror image of him in every way . I have inherited his looks, his impatience, his ailments but I don’t think I have inherited any of his brilliant parenting skills!  Skills that can help bring out a best seller were he to write a “how to” book on parenting.

I guess I am biased when I say this but I have  the best father in this world – my daughter disagrees because she says her father is the best. But when she challenges me saying that her  grand father cannot compete with mine I can only humbly agree!
Thursday, May 17, 2012 14 comments

THIS BLISS CALLED IGNORANCE!


I am writing this post from Bhubaneshwar where I am on  an official visit.

Having been to Bhubaneshwar a few times earlier, I am familiar with what the place has to offer by way of shopping options. But shopping alone is not fun. However, I realized soon enough that what was even less fun was to be stuck with a bunch of male colleagues who had absolutely no interest in any kind of shopping activities! I had to spend  about an hour encouraging them to venture out into the market place ( the  “Market Building” is the Champs Ely see of Bhubaneshwar) with me.  A couple of them reluctantly agreed to come along.

Orissa is a Mecca for handloom lovers- the Sambalpuri saris with the Kotki prints are available in every colour of the rainbow in the various state run and private run outlets. There are not just saris but also dress materials, dupattas etc

Now did any of this excite my friends? No!

I told them categorically that I would not let them leave the place unless they bought something for their wives.  I dragged them next inside Priyadarshini and  let the two salesgirls loose on them.. moving on to the  next shop to look at something for myself.
When I got back after a quarter of an hour I found that things were pretty much as they were when I had left. Both these gentlemen were standing uncomfortably in front of the sales girls.

So, what was the problem?

 They did not know what to buy!

Is that a big problem? What were the sales girls there for if not to help build some awareness about the different types of prints and weaves. But was lack of awareness about the fabric the problem?

I realized soon enough that these poor guys did not know anything about colours! I mean, they could identify colours but were somehow afraid to come to a decision on  which colour saris to pick. I decided that this was probably something that I should help them with.

“Okay, what is your wife’s favourite colour” I asked and waited for an answer… ! I wondered a little later if I had asked some kind of a complicated question because neither of the two gentlemen could answer it. I tried to make it easier for them “What is the colour that she does not like” – I mean one could arrive at a decision by elimination too!  Silence once again..!

I was getting irritated.. Finally one of them asked me to select. And  I did exactly that – selected two saris for wives of two colleagues –ladies who I had never met!

Gentlemen, does this sound familiar to you? How many of you have gone to a shop to buy something for your wives ( willingly or dragged by someone like me ) and ended up buying something through a series of guesses or through the advice of a good Samaritan like me?

I know that it must have happened a number of times with my father as also with my husband!! The few times that these men in my life have bought me gifts their choices  have in no way been close to what may have been my favourite in terms of colour or design. But I cherish them because they have been bought with love ( or so I imagine! I would not like to think that it was a result of inability to cope with the pester power of  women colleagues like me) However,  I must say that both these men have been consistent in their choice of colours. Both of them have bought me stuff always in pale shades of white or grey!!! My mother has also received saris in the same colours ( the few times she has received a gift  from my father)

I guess what men do when they are faced with dilemmas like this is to go for colours that are their favourites…!

Men often say that they find it difficult to understand women- much less what women’s  preferences are around clothes or jewellery ( besides the fact that women are reputed to like diamonds) . Men’s powers of observation (about their wife) deplete with every passing year of marriage. Whether I wear a silk sari with heavy brocade or my usual “uniform” of track pants and a T shirt, the reaction from my husband is often the same.., sure the silk sari may make him ask “Aren’t you feeling hot in that thing in summer” but that’s about it.. He may not notice that  the “thing” may have been the  sari  I wore when we got married…

I don’t know if this is a cultural thing?  As Indian women, we make least demands in terms of gifts. Sometimes we also scold our husbands when they buy us a gift on an “impulse”- telling them they spent a lot on something we did not need… We rarely tell them what we like and more importantly what we do not like, expecting that they will perceive it.

But take it from me friends- men are least perceptive about such things. Yes, they can sometimes sense our moods but they prefer to keep that fact away from us pretending that nothing is wrong. This entire attitude about ignorance around the home front with most men is rather surprising. For example, both my father and my husband do not know where certain vessels or cutlery belong in the kitchen – I wonder if it is ignorance?

Whatever, it is , I find that men thrive on this kind of ignorance. It keeps them away from taking responsibility for their actions.. ! So what cannot be cured must be endured . Great going guys . As a strategy ignorance certainly works !




Thursday, May 10, 2012 25 comments

LONELINESS ,THE SOCIAL ANIMAL AND FACE BOOK EXPERIENCES


I wrote a post with a similar title in December 2010 which received zero comments. So I am a bit hesitant to use the same title a second time.  I wonder why is it so important to  me – this need for a response?  I don’t know but all I can say is that soliloquy is alright for an actor on stage – when we do it  in reality people may assume something entirely different about us.

Anyway, coming back to the topic in question about loneliness. I read recently a very scary article about LONELINESS AND FACEBOOK USERS Scary- because I am one of those who is very much into facebook.

 It raises an interesting question Is Facebook part of the separating or part of the congregating; is it a huddling-together for warmth or a shuffling-away in pain? Put simply, the author suggests that Facebook is a coping strategy for lonely people. The article also explores loneliness as a psychological state superimposing it  against an American Social reality.

The social reality that the author mentions however, is not peculiar to the US . It is very much a part of our reality in India too. We are constantly surrounded by a crowd – yet are so lonely.. ! When was the last time we spoke to the  person sitting next to us on a bus or a train ? There was a time when I would have – but these days I prefer to spend that time thinking about what I plan to do when I get to wherever I want to. I see people around me talking all the time- but not to each other! They are on mobiles..

The conclusion that I can draw is that we relate very little to our immediate surroundings or our immediate realities preferring to divorce ourselves using communication devices-Facebook being one of them!

I will now try to reflect a bit on my experiences with facebook use. I got on it sometime in 2010- at that time it was just something I used to glance at –sometimes browsing through photo albums of friends. Then, in the middle of 2010-a school friend sent me a friend request. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement! I accepted her friend request and through her connected with almost everyone in my class. It was a very emotional experience for me because I had done my schooling in Kolkata and when we left the city in 1985, there were few links ( other than the memories) that bound me to the place. I don’t have family there so there was no question of going back either . There were a few close friends  with whom I kept in touch but this was different! It was like I was back in school! We were all together once again-this time as adults. About a decade ago, there would have been no chance to interact together on one forum the way FB allows us to do. I may have called some of the friends who had reached out to me once in a while but the casual conversation reminiscent of childhood and youth would not have been possible as FB allows. ( for example if  I post a message “ eating pakoras now” I would be sure to get atleast 2-3 comments from one of these girls asking me  to pass some pakoras to them too!) And that is how I became hooked on to it! Among the two hundred odd friends on my list those with whom I interact regularly on FB are mostly these  friends from school and some former colleagues

I am now trying to reflect whether I really long for these kinds of silly banter?  I think it is not the words but the spirit behind them that make them so attractive. We probably miss our childhood  youth and other good times.  This is a forum where we try to re live it. But not to say that we do not exchange more serious messages too.

I look at my FB use pattern- most of the time I do it through my phone and usually  when I am at work.  A very boring meeting, a tedious report or a long winded email require some respite! Now, you may wonder why I do not take a walk or speak to a colleague? Well,, I used to when the co workers were people I could relate to. When you work in an environment where you have little in common with the people you work with other than the work and sometimes some office politics you long for the world you can relate to! So, I guess you could certainly say that I am lonely at my work place. When I analyze the number of times I use Face book while at home, I find it is very few. I usually get on FB  late in the evenings just before bed time sometimes, usually posting songs that I find on Youtube. If you look at the FB activity over a week,  you will find that on weekends there are few people posting or commenting- which supports a theory I have that many people feel a sense of disconnect at their work place.( or as my husband would say - "people like to banter when the organization pays for the internet use")

My husband who is more a face book observer rather than a user has some interesting takes on such social networking sites. He says that people like to use them to present themselves and their lives as how they would like the world to view them. The article mentions that too. But then, I guess most people can also see through such messages and photographs. If society is being replicated through the virtual world, the social relationships are also likely to be mirrored through it. The people who experience loneliness on Facebook are lonely away from Facebook, too, she points out; on Facebook, as everywhere else, correlation is not causation. The popular kids are popular, and the lonely skulkers skulk alone- says the article.

I see this point about exclusion or avoidance even within such sites. There are some people who are in my list of “friends” with whom I do not have much interaction. While I do read all status messages on my home page, I may not respond to many of them though I may find some of them funny . I behave like this sometimes because the person is not one with whom I have much interaction outside of FB and sometimes, I do it deliberately to ignore the person. Let me explain the later reaction in detail. I will use the example of  a person from my college days. A rather quiet person  during those days, this person  appears through FB these days  as what can only be called as “a pseudo intellectual” - (so say  people who think like me but I am sure others may think differently). I deliberately ignore messages on this person's wall   Then there  is this rather tedious   person   who  had once posted a message “Listening to Mohammad Rafi”. I was inclined to type  “Poor Rafi” –bitchy you might say! But when I mentioned this  to another friend he burst out laughing saying that he had almost done that! ( Now I shudder to think how many people may be reacting to some of my own status messages in a similar way !!)However,  this is not to say that this person does not have people responding to  status updates .  What I am trying to say is that  the virtual world has its own inner circles or circle of “close” friends among a larger group of friends. But what I can never understand are husbands and wives constantly writing messages on each other's walls- I wonder if these couples stay together in the same house or are these  some kind of  long distance marriages? (I regret on such occasions that my husband is not a FB user- imagine, I could have posted the grocery list on his wall and pestered him publicly to buy them)

My husband often questions me about the depth of these relationships. He tells me that just because someone from my list of  friends   likes a message I  have posted, it does not really mean anything about the relationship. I disagree. As I mentioned before, the there are relationships and more relationships.. I know a lot of people but I am close only to a few. There are people in my office who may ask me “Hey Meera, new dress. Anything special?” Now even if there is something special if  I do not wish to reveal it   I might just nod and smile  and end the conversation there.

However it is not fair to blame facebook for loneliness. Loneliness is a deeper psycho social  problem. But I must say face book does help us address whatever social needs that we may have.  For the lonely it may be a coping strategy, for the attention seeker it is the perfect forum to seek the spot light while for the activist it is a platform to publicise issues. Why.. it is also  turning out to be a good market place where goods are on sale!

Face book interactions are not a defining factor in any relationship The width of all relationships need not have the same depth – after all even a river is only deep at certain points.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 18 comments

THE GOLDEN COUPLE


My parents complete 52 years of marriage today! As a child it always used to be  something difficult for me to relate to-  this anniversary thing. To me they have always been my parents – people I have known as a couple. So, it was rather difficult to imagine that there may have been a time when they were not together

My mother is my father’s cousin – in southern India, it is a custom for men to marry their maternal uncle’s daughter. My father says he always knew she was his intended bride though ( or maybe because of which) he never had the confidence to speak to her. “She was very haughty ” he reminisces!   I can well imagine- she would have frozen him with a glance had she felt that he had crossed boundaries that he should not have!

My father had just completed his engineering from what used to be the College of Engineering – Guindy when my maternal grandfather visited them from Trichy with the formal proposal of marriage. Appa, of  course felt that it was too soon. He wanted to do his post graduation. But then his was the last opinion taken on this matter. Both sets of parents fixed on a date and they were married.

The initial days of marriage according to my mother were ones when she practiced extreme levels of diplomacy. After a few months of working at the PWD department, my father joined his post graduation. He also had a teaching assistant ship in the same college- which left him with very little time for his wife. As the first daughter in law of the family, my mother had no one to mentor her into her new role.

I can just imagine how difficult life must have been for her. My paternal grandmother is one of the most “diplomatic” women I know of. A mother of four sons and wife of a man with a very hot temper, she always managed to get her way without ever appearing to be confrontational! I have  never seen her angry but I am told that  her moves were “lethal”

The newly weds spent their first few years of marriage negotiating social relationships. Let me explain this – if my father happened to buy a gift for my mother he had to buy a similar one for his youngest sister too. If they went for a movie, ( usually a night show) Amma was asked by my grand mother  to complete all the kitchen work before she left often having to miss the first few scenes. There were days when Appa used to try to tip toe into the house through the back yard just so he could spend some quality time alone with his wife. Not to say that it went un noticed because my paternal grand father –not known to mince his words about anything one day made a mention of how people living in the house entered it now like thieves!

Finally, Appa did the best thing he could have. He took a posting in the Indian railways and whisked his wife away to far away Bilaspur!

They obviously enjoyed life there –watching movies every weekend – movies which they did not understand much because they were in Hindi. They mastered the language and made friends with their neighbors. Mr and Mrs Arya were their next door neighbours and like them newly weds escaping from in laws. Then there were Gauri Mami and Murthy Mama – a Tamil couple with their three daughters who was the mother figure in their lives.

Bialspur was the place where they spent over five years- probably a place where they have their happiest memories  if the  photographs are anything to go by! Appa taking Amma doubles on the cycle. It is also the place where their marriage vows were put to test. Amma had an ectopic pregnancy and would have died of haemorrhage had Appa not rushed her to hospital. This is a story I never tire of hearing. The doctor at Bilaspur  railway hospital was not confident about dealing with the case and referred her to Kharagpur. A super fast express that usually does not stop at Bilaspur was made to stop  so that Amma’s stretcher could be rolled in. A bottle with the IV fluid was attached to the upper berth and the needle into her arm while Appa sat next to her holding her hand. As the train reached Khargapur at dawn, Dr. Brij Mohan , the General Surgeon from the hospital was personally waiting there with this team and the ambulance. Needless to say she survived and the doctor at the Bilaspur hospital was blasted by Dr. Brij Mohan for allowing a patient in such a critical condition to travel. My parents remember with gratitude this man and also Appa’s Chief Engineer Mr. Hazra who made all the arrangements and also ensured that Appa’s salary was paid in advance to meet the expenses.

Bialspur was followed by Kancharapara and then Kolkata. They had  became parents during those years. Appa was bang in the middle of managing the 1974 railway strike when my sister was on her journey into the world. Amma was pregnant but kept her cool despite all the news of her husband being “gheraoed” by the railway unions and not arriving home sometimes for days!

They were never a couple who were into “cootchie cooing”! I have rarely seen them even hold hands ( besides those Bilaspur snaps). But what we were never in doubt of was their love for each other. My mother is an extremely short tempered person. She often loses her cool with my father’s absent minded and erratic behavior and gives him a sound yelling.  In fact it used to be joke among his subordinates about who was their boss’s “real boss”!  Jokes notwithstanding, I must say that despite his strong leadership qualities at the work place she is the one with wisdom. Her infinite patience on certain issues is a perfect foil to his impatience on the same issues. An extremely strict parent she was the opposite of our indulgent father- a balance that kept us both grounded to the realities of life.

Between the two of them they have demonstrated to us what married life is all about. My mother could stretch a rupee to its maximum and with that thrift came our access to the best educational institutions and the great future that they have ensured.

I am touched when I see them in their twilight years. My father who used to spend almost three fourths of his days at work during his hey days today spends most of it at home  with his wife. He runs all errands and has even developed an interest in things that until now were not his forte- he watches Tamil sit coms with his wife. A very self sufficient couple they live about twelve hours away from their daughters visiting us when required. They gave us the wings which helped us fly high and the values which ensured that the nest was never really abandoned.

When I decided to get married, my only wish was that my marriage should be like  theirs. But then as they say, you cannot live another couple’s life. My married life has been similar – yet different. The man I have married embodies some of the qualities that I have observed in my father as a husband. I see similar traits in my brother- in –law too.

I cannot ever imagine a time when they may not be together.. A true partnership with absolutely no wielding of power by either of them- they were far ahead of their times as a couple.

 ( I have included here the  video of a song which I always imagine them singing during their Bilaspur years.. ...! )


Saturday, May 5, 2012 12 comments

WHEN THE SHOE DOES NOT FIT EVEN ON THE OTHER FOOT


A father of two daughters, my father had always faced a lot of contradictions between tradition and modernity when it came to the question our marriage. On one hand he had raised both his girls in such a way that we did not believe that gender could be barrier to anything. But when it was time to get us married, the Indian “marriage market” made Appa realize that as father of two daughters he was at the “weaker end” of the negotiating table. But thankfully, he did not have to get involved in any serious negotiations as both his daughters found their own life partners!

But the few occasions when he had encountered  fathers of prospective grooms had disgusted him to the point where he felt that had he had sons he would have shown the world how to behave decently while negotiating an arranged marriage!

Destiny seems to have now brought him to that point! My mother’s younger sister has three sons and  having lost her  husband  at a rather young age defers to the oldest among her brothers in law ie my father for any major decisions – marriage obviously being one of them. Appa , as the senior male  representative of the groom’s family is having some rather unique experiences  these days.

The first one came about five years ago when the middle one among my three cousins decided to marry a Telugu girl- Appa of course, had no objections to  the match since his nephew and the girl were so obviously in love with each other.  But what constantly puzzled him was the different stories that came from each of the three brothers, the bride and her parents about how the couple had met.. ! Then there was the comment from the bridegroom’s older brother – his oldest nephew told him about an hour before the wedding “ Periappa ( Uncle), please do not reveal A’s date of birth. The girls parents think he is two years older than their daughter but you know he is actually six years older! They would not have agreed if they had known that he is so many years older than her”.. Now my father is not exactly the family’s chronicler so he is not sure as to when exactly these boys were born ( though he sort of has an idea where they fit in chronologically in the family’s line up of kids). He kept quiet throughout the wedding lest he blurt out some date inadvertedly!

He has subsequently been trying to get the older of his nephews married! But I suspect that S has a girl friend who would probably be unacceptable to the Tam Brahm community and is therefore keen that his youngest brother C  gets married. C a young cost accountant, himself is rather keen on marriage because as he confided in his uncle one day , his hair is falling despite all efforts from Dr. Batra’s  clinic to keep them alive on his head! C is very keen to have a “proper traditional” marriage with horoscopes being matched et al  before he is completely bald!

Appa does not want any traditional “bride viewing” ceremony because he feels it is insulting to the girl and her family. So he has been trying to encourage C  to meet the girl alone. But C the cost accountant does not have the same  confidence he displays while totaling up numbers on his company’s cost statements when it comes to meeting any girl alone.  His uncle  is very surprised! “Arrey.. your sisters would have had no problems” he scolds him. But the nephew does not yield. He wants his uncle, aunt, his mother and his brothers, sister in law and the entire “jing bang” to accompany him so that he can eat “sojji bajji”  ( traditional snacks served at bride viewing ceremonies) and steal glances at the bride to be!

The occasion comes and he likes what he sees. He wants to say “YES” then and there. But both the ladies – his mother and his aunt signal to him to hold on. My mother scolds her husband and her nephew on reaching home “ Don’t jump and say YES. Let them make the first move. After all we are from the boy’s side”! Appa is appalled by the way she has reversed her role so easily!

They wait for a week , then two ,after which the girl’s  father calls the groom to be asking for “original copies of all his certificates and his salary slip”! The bride to be calls him a few hours later asking him to name two friends through whom they could verify his character! She also wants to know if he is keen on continuing to stay with his mother and brother once they are married.  C is very upset. He keeps quiet and finally after about a week calls up my father and tells him about what happened! My father is surprised about the way they have gone about it – “like a professional HR recruitment firm”! “See, was I not right when I told you not to go around saying YES” says my mother triumphantly!

This was about six months ago- things have not changed in any way except that C has now registered his profile on “shaadi.com” and various regional websites ( tamil matrimony etc etc). But the poor thing does not know how to write up his profile. He has waxed eloquent about how he loves cricket and good food ( to eat that is.. not to cook!) and how his mother will always be the most important person on this earth for him. He has attached a picture of himself with his owlish glasses sitting in front of the computer, making him look more of a “geek” than he actually is! Even his teenage niece disapproves. So, using her advice he goes through some old archived folders and fishes out a picture of himself leaning against his bike wearing stylish sunglasses!

Appa is completely annoyed at this new  picture he has uploaded – “ It will give a person the wrong impression! They will think there is something wrong with your eyesight”! Poor guy, there go his attempts at trying to looking rakish and appealing. Meanwhile, his niece added to his problems by using his id and continuing an online chat with a prospective bride during the half an hour when he was being scolded by his uncle. Not sure what this kid had written but the girl has “cooled off”!!

My father cannot understand what exactly his grand daughter is supposed to have done to be scolded like this by his daughter. I received a lecture on “excessive discipline and its consequences”

Anyway, now they have gone back to the traditional system of looking for a bride- through a matchmaker! Appa and his two nephews are  chasing these days a guy called “ Hi tech Shashtri”! Before you ask me what or who it is let me explain- Mr. Shashtri is a very popular match maker in the city of Hyderabad who is supposed to have finalized a lot of matches around the Hi Tech city!

“It appears to be equally difficult to get boys married these days” confesses my father! I have nothing to say. I think getting someone married is always seen as the responsibility of the older generation. It puts a lot of pressure on them to ensure that they get a “deal” that is acceptable to all concerned! The way arranged marriages are negotiated is nothing short of  a business transaction- the one who is able negotiate well gets all the brownie points.  Technology and communication have not really changed us – it has just made this process more tech savvy! And the person who wants to do it right and in a just way is never appreciated!

There are some role expectations and when we do not fit into that then the world that is looking at us through the traditional lens is puzzled! Whichever way, the shoe obviously does not fit on the feet of the “different” person.




 
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