Monday, November 7, 2011

4 The uncalled match-makers

I recently attended a wedding because someone had to accompany my mom. I usually avoid social gatherings especially marriage scenarios where I feel that I have been put on the showcase. Most people I met dint know me but were anxious to know about my marital status. And my toes are the most prized possessions during this quest - people expect you to wear the metti (toe ring) if you are married.

After my toe is scrutinized, I can see that they are facing some difficulty examining my neck. This is a huge task - after all the same group expects me to be wrapped in cloth head to toe. Second, the neck is covered by ornaments. The result is that the black beads or Golden mangalsutru is camouflaged. Finally, they see none of the wedlock indications. Still, this has to be verified thoroughly.

Person: Hello. How are you doing?
Me: I am doing good Uncle. How are you? (Not even in my dreams do I know this person. Nor am I interested! Excited "I am related to you" tone. Not good.)
Person: Good Good. So you are the bride's paternal Grand-mom's cousin's grand-daughter? You look so much like your mom.
Me: (Tired trying to understand the relation.. nevertheless trying to make my brain connect the dots. And this was really the relationship at this wedding!) Hmmmm
Person: So, what are you doing? Still studying?
Me: (Little happy - Do I look like I am still studying.Great I am looking younger. Yippee! Brakes... you know what this question is leading to) No Uncle. I work in an MNC doing "you cannot understand the work" job.
Person: Oh.. thats nice. My niece works in the same company. Do you know her? She works in Area5 in Chennai.
Me: (My company has a strength of 1 lakh +.. and how does it even matter? The conversation is entering the danger zone) No. I dont know her.
Person: Are you married?
Me: (So blatant.. who the f*** does he think he is, acting as a mediator or saviour to help poor me from singledom) No
Person: Are your parents looking for someone?
Me: (Can I say No? what does he expect? I am going to marry someone - you have a problem?) Yes
Person: We are looking for one of my nephews - He is blah blah. What is you birth year?
Me: 83. (Loved this part)
Person: (Trying hard to calculate my age.. after done his expression becomes a little tense.Oh! 83?
Me: We are leaving. Take care. (Abruptly I leave my seat and find one somewhere else)

The entire attitude of the couple changed. His wife joined in giving me a stare and in wondering why has the girl not yet been married? How can he ask a personal question in a crowd. Is this being decent? Who gave him the authority to question about my age? Society makes you feel inadequate and answerable for your intensely personal decisions.

I dint escape with one such conversation that day - there were 2 more which I deftly avoided. Most women get married because of this pressure and to avoid situations such as these. Most Indians cannot draw the line between a personal and a public issue. A marriage is a joint public decision - a long as it remains that way we can see a lot more volunteers plundering the system and its relationships.


  1. This has happened to me too. Once in a marriage a stranger aunty came and asked me my age what I do and my bio data . She was not even kind. It was like she has come to some jewellery shop and looking at the items.

  2. @summerscript
    Welcome Summerscript:)
    You would have been reminded of some interviews. Exactly like they are going to be your new owners!

  3. It is the most disgusting thing. I have taken to be rude on these occasions, which are rare in itself, as I generally avoid the extended "family". But it is most humiliating if you are one of those who are unable to humiliate back.

  4. @Nomadic Queen
    Welcome here. It is difficult when you have parents who are on "what will others say" mode. Esp in marriage situation, they get all tense that I will never get married if I am rude;-). I have learned to avoid it but my situation handling has definitely improved!


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