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Archive for the ‘Gene pool’ Category

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At 24, I must now hear the matrimonial clock ticking away grimly or so according to my mother. She rues the day she decided to give me reprieve for two more years, 22 would’ve looked far more appealing on the summarized Bio-Data- Your life on a cold, white sheet of paper, no less, no more.

Networking, by far is the only life-line once you’re on the block. You have ‘marriage brokers, a dime, a dozen, all with registers-full of male and female faces softened by the special ‘matrimonial photo effects’- I kid you not- you just stop at a studio and calmly announce, ‘One matrimonial photo shoot, please’, and promptly they shall enquire nary a blink, ‘2 or more dresses maydum? With or without make-up?’

From thence, it’s been a circus, all in the name of filial love, what it makes one do- I don’t care to relive or wish it on anybody.

Next you must thumb through these endless registers after you’ve become an entry in the columns yourself. If something hopeful is sighted amongst the one-page renditions of life, as it is, of the attached post-card- sized smiling 0980128 or 5752387 or 7269329, then the phone is put to use a great deal to settle meetings of the families. When the agreed-upon day dawns, it shall always be one way only, the boy’s family must first have the honor of visiting the girl’s, if, otherwise is suggested, it’d be laughed right out, or tut-tutted as forward thinking like a train that is headed for inevitable collision.

 Note: This is not a universal example, things might be done differently but this is what I’ve been witness to for eons now and it hasn’t changed much. 

The girl must make her appearance in all her shining meekness, a coyness that shall not allow her to look up even once, she must curb her tongue, speak only when spoken to and the responses must be minimal, preferably monosyllabic.

I find interacting with the older members of the family more genuine, respecting elders comes naturally, having been ingrained right from our first wail to keep that tongue in check and all manners perfectly in place but interacting with this new species, ‘The Prospective’ is very close to coming to spontaneous detonation. Having harbored every conceivable evil towards the other sex- stupidity ruling the list, you come onto the scene with a healthy dose of suspicion and a great deal of seething resentment at having to do what is as desirable as having slugs for breakfast. One’s own family turns a deaf ear to any protests, all the while laying down instructions and giving unwelcome ‘advice’.

          you’re a girl, you have to get married

         you can’t expect to remain single and happy forever

         no you cannot appear in your full hijab, it’s not done, draping a dupatta is as good as hijab

         these are the ways of the world dearest

         don’t you want our happiness

         no, you can’t just spread the word around the circles and people won’t appear out of thin air, think of it, you’ll make a brilliant match, even if you’ve to suffer the so-called ‘indignity’ of being a register number- with- a- face

          *chuckle, chuckle@-@

         now, I know you need to be yourself, but just this once, hold your tongue, will you? We don’t want to scare them off now, do we?

This is but the beginning, more rounds of high-teas and endless discussions will culminate the great- meeting-of-the families. It’s not marriage per se that I object to, but the approach to the matter that I dislike.

My friends seem to have taken it all well and most of them are now married. But why am I finding all this terrible? I can settle for the ‘ways-of-the-world’ most of the time but these days I just want to kick someone/something hard-  this nebulous world, perhaps, that dictates my happiness and that of my family’s.

In addition to all this, there’s more. Now that everybody knows that you’re in the game, you must watch your steps, v-e-r-y carefully. I’ve been corrected a million times, now, it hasn’t helped any and it won’t! It’s just plain absurd!

-When in a gathering, do not help the hostess, it draws the attention of all the ‘aunties’ who want you for their sons, nephews, neighbors.

– address every older woman as ‘aunty’, even if you’d love to call the warm woman as everybody else is calling her, ‘maasi’, ‘phupi’, ‘ammijan’, all this had hardly mattered before, but now it’s just signals approval of your interest in any tom-cats they might have in the bag or even more vile, one’s snaring prowess by garnering affection with endearments just so you can wheedle out a match.

It gets darned treacherous with increasing degree. Even, being human might not be allowed for fear of sending all sorts of muddled signals.

Patience, I tell you, is a trying virtue.

  

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Cake Frost

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After many pleas, much whining and emotional blackmail from the younger siblings, I had to give in and bake a chocolate cake for them. But I’m the eternal rebel when it comes to certain things, I don’t listen to my siblings without taking personal delight in the end results. Hence, mule headed moi must come up with a snazzy- quick- fix -all -around plan. I could douse that insatiable desire to do something ‘different’ with all things edible and this desire had reared its ugly head one too many times during the course of this month. I turned a cold shoulder of disdain to my old ‘tried and tested’ chocolate cake recipe and dived in head first to try another method. The results were a fudge, so to speak. It came out to resemble a brownie in all its heart-failing splendor. I say heart-failing for more reasons than one- Other being that it has enough butter to wipe out an entire cardiac unit and send fresh candidates for fill up. It lies on the wire-rack now abandoned by my faux health-freak siblings and partially devoured by other visiting, interested parties. So much for making an effort! Meanwhile, my siblings are back to whining- claiming that this was below the belt and petitioning for another chocolate cake from the ol’ school.

The rebel lives but with a lost voice-temporarily.

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