Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Existential Angst

As is apparent on this blog, I have expressed my irritation at the entire arranged marriage process plenty of times. Now, I am not changing my mind and going on this quest for true love. Purely because I don’t think I’m the find-love-and-live-happily-ever-after type. Moreover, I don’t have the patience to go through the process of finding someone, finding out if said someone likes me, liking said someone and then letting it proceed further. It’s too much work and I’m too lazy to spend that kind of time on anything. I’d rather sit here and rant my ass off!

I’m bringing up this idiotic topic again because there was yet another (yeah, this phrase irritates me no end, but when it is delivered in an Indian accent, it is all the shit) argument at home. More tears. More accusations. More paranoia. Now, the fault is mine, leaving home at 10pm and waltzing back in at 4am. I am pushing it. However, it isn’t like my family didn’t know where I was. The people I was hanging out with are friends of mine. People I trust and people whose company I enjoy, apparently that just doesn’t cut it.

My mother’s comment was this – “This AP, your so-called friend. He doesn’t respect you. He will never marry a girl like you.” WHAT THE FUCK IS – “a girl like you”? What the fuck is it? Honestly! Sometimes I wonder why my mother went through the trouble of getting pregnant and giving birth to me if she was going to be this traumatized in life!

Then she goes on to say – “I regret bringing her up like this. I should have brought her up as a typical middle-class girl. None of this would even be happening”. Now, I’m sorry, but what the fuck happened? Nothing. Sunday evening, when I was getting the lecture, I honestly wish there was some drastic news to deliver. But, nothing. I’m not pregnant. I’m not secretly married. I’m fine. Safe. Healthy. Sane. Apparently none of this matters because ever since I crossed a certain age barrier, I’ve become a product.

A product that needs to be marketed and be put out there on the websites so that eligible young boys will be dazzled suitably and will flood my father’s inbox with “Express Interest” emails.

Sorry, but this new-age arranged marriage shindig has nothing to recommend it. At least in my mother’s generation there were the matchmakers, now it’s all online and it’s insulting to say the least to be on a matrimonial website looking prettified and photshopped and 22 and allowing myself to be assessed to be good enough for some complete and absolute stranger.

Of course, my father will never take the trouble to look like the villain in the picture. He’ll stew in his own juices while I tell them I’m leaving to meet a few friends and then turn around and yell at my mother for bringing me up to be this kind of person. He will then top it up with – “she’s your daughter after all, I’m not surprised that she’s like this”. Him and my mother decided to live apart for 14 years while Sid and I were growing up because of his army travelling etc. Well, good choice people, but did you really think that Sid and I would be docile little do-gooders? Really? Congratulations on your excellent evaluation of a blindingly easy situation to assess!

The funniest part is how much they brag about how cool we are to other people. Somehow, at home we’re assholes who are making them miserable. To the rest of the world, my parents are damn near perfect. Beautiful and forward-thinking. At home, I can’t even wear a sleeveless kurta without my father getting offended! It’s a strange dichotomy. You cannot say that this is a classic generation gap – this is sheer lack of basic common sense.

You were 26 in 1982 for god’s sake! It was different from when your mother was 26, right? I’m particularly annoyed because my parents are educated people. My mother has been working at a school since 1980 – for someone who deals with imparting an education and intelligence as a career, and for someone who spews a different set of values to her kids, this “I should have brought her up different” BS is a shock to say the least. You never should have bothered with the frocks and the other paraphernalia if you were going to talk like this one day.

Sometimes I want to write them both an apology letter –

Dear Amma and Acha,
Your daughter, the one you wished for, was supposed to be the patron saint of virtue, moral goodness and social propriety. I’m sorry that you got played by the universe. Please go and cry to your gods about this, I’m sure they will deem this issue relevant enough to intervene.

My mother will say, someday when you have kids, all this will come back to you. That's for me to deal with. For me to cry about. For me to worry over. More importantly, I don't think I'm having children, so I don't see the problem really.


  1. Is this what happens in all Indian families?

  2. I cannot begin to express how much I know how u feel. I grew in Palestine within a family me highly educatee well travelled people, who somehow managed to turn me into a day time prostitute because I 'knew' a boy despite spending my 14 years of my life at a very catholic all-girl school. my family then proceeded by almost disowning me! now apparently at the age of 27 I am damaged goods having done nothing of what they claim I do! and since all the girls my age are flying off the shelves,I catch myself wondering: if getting me married was then goal why was knowing a boy so bad? but of course simply being in the vicinity of the opposite sex has our reputation in the gutter! I digress, of course sleeveless is bad! it allows for part of your arm that is almost identical to the rest of arms show, we can't have that now!!! what will our neighbour's aunt's nephew's cousin's daughter-in-law's uncle twice removed think! people will talk!

  3. Oh gawd, you too? I dont even know why we dont get the memo at 16 when this switch goes on in our parents' mental recesses. Why bother bringing us up to be "independent" and then suddenly want us to turn into some saree-wearing, docile super-house-keeper goody two no-shoes chicks? And what is with dads who have a problem with sleeveless? Seriously!

  4. @runawaybride - I think it does...
    @Katerina - you're right, people will talk... and sometimes I think they should!
    @themadfatgirl - :D

  5. Shruts: I understand every word of it and what you feel..been through this!! not easy!!

  6. Hey there, I stalked couple of blogs and then ended up here.

    I think this is exactly what happens with all the Indian girls - especially the first born. Sleeveless kurta issue - check, talking to boys issue - check, expecting us to obey them till our last breath - double check. Wow... it is the same story but different actors. Hang in there. Everyone has a rescuer - I got my husband, my sis found her job, you too will get one!

    On a similar note - this is a letter I "wrote" on my blog challenge...