26-Jul-2010

Finding Mr Right

The first time I had to meet someone as a serious prospect to get married, I was totally stumped. Er…me…getting married? At a purely academic level, I knew this is what happened to girls when they reached the ripe old age of 23. However, sitting in my room off the hall where my parents and the eligible boy’s relatives sat, staring greedily at all the goodies spread out in front me but demurely desisting from eating them was as close to an out –of-the-body experience as I was going to get. In a short while, I quickly lost the demureness battle and begin munching the snacks in steady succession. Especially when the eligible young man opposite me launched into a long tirade about the Congress government’s appalling behaviour in the Shah Bhano case.

Crunch.. mind quickly thinking ‘bloody hell, who is Shah Bhano and what did they do to her..is it too early to help myself to the next thatai or should I make some sort of a remark at this stage to show I am not really that dumb?

And boy was I smart. Here I was, a freshly minted MBA from a Top B-School in India. The young man opposite me was from the same school as well, give and take a few years. He was also from my community and fit my and my parent’s requirements of a groom to the T.

In which case, why was I not feeling anything but a slight wish to escape the increasingly stifling confines of my room?

When I was told that it was time to bite the dust like all Indian girls my age, I handled it the only way I knew – making a list of all desirable characteristics in a guy and then throwing numerous tantrums pointing at every shortfall in every potential groom paraded in front of me.

If I thought that my parents where picking out the worst specimens on earth, was I in for a rude shock when I signed up online.

Looking for fair, luvely girl who will be my best friend for life

I come from an educated and broad minded family. I am open to both Iyer and Iyengar girls.

I would like who will help me soar into the sky to reach my ambitions.

Our son is fair, IIT-IIM,,cooks well, is an investment banker who lives abroad and any girl marrying him will the luckiest person on earth

Option A - Archies cards inspired freak
Option B - self-deluded bigot.
Option C – What about me, you MCP?
Option D – ‘No girl is good enough for my son’
Option E - die alone eaten by Alsatian dogs a la Bridget Jones diary
What would I choose from the above?
Option E,E,E

Yet more and more friends were leaving the singleton brigade and walking into the gloaming, glowing.

Another list zeroed in on the various reasons that the right guy was eluding me

1. I belonged to the wrong community. Everyone in my community is an MCP. (Ha, like any other community in India is any different)

2. I was too good for everyone (MBA Pay – check, decent looks – check, intelligent and well read person - check)
3. I was not at all good for anyone (dusky complexion and taller than the average Indian male – check, independent and outspoken – check, on the wrong side of 27 - check)

Sigh. Getting into B-School had proved easier. Being shuttled around like a football in between all these reasons was my ego which had rapidly began shrinking to the size of a tennis ball.

Finally I gave up the search in futility. Various relatives had stopped asking my parents about my wedding and had concluded that I would burn in singleton purgatory. Instead of feeling like the family pariah, I felt nothing but plain relief wash over me.

Why was I so happy instead of anguished?

Time for more lists

I was thinking of getting married

1. because it was the right thing to do when you reached the correct age

2. so my parents would not stand out like social misfits in a culture governed by the progression towards spouse, house and progeny

3. so my ego would be satisfied knowing I was not so repellant that not a single guy liked me

Conclusion – I am not getting married since the above reasons seemed completely inane.

So began a happy existence getting to know the long ignored me. It turned out I loved travelling, hanging out with friends, trying my hand at new stuff and basking in the pride of being an independent woman. And finally when I got to know me better, I realized after all that I would like to give marriage a shot someday because it seemed like fun if you were with the right person.

Of course, that meant getting back into the game. But no more looking for The One like a desperate Dan Brown character looking for the Freemason’s secrets.

It would be more like reading or travelling – something I would enjoy doing but which would not consume my life. The really fun part of my thus-far distressed love life finally began.

Dating, it transpired was not the shrewd psychological game designed to assess a person’s suitability as a life partner over the course of an iced tea at Barista. It could be just plain fun and anyone who seemed intelligent and interesting was fair game for a movie or coffee.

So it was when D came along a long while later. He was definitely intelligent and interesting and probably at an earlier period would have had me stressed about not meeting every single criteria in the Mr. Right list. D also turned out to be smart, kind, fun and we had a vibe that no list could have predicted or I could have missed entirely by being focused on the end result rather than the person.

So it was that we got married.

Of course it turns out that ‘happily ever after’ is a state not caused by marriage but rather by two people working on it. But then, that is a whole new story in itself…

7 comments:

hAAthi said...

i wish more people thought like you do :)

ps: im not "following" your blog..

Rohini said...

Sweet post :)

Loved the lists

anjali said...

very cute post.. i can see you feeling all happy and senti about the other half.. :) don't forget my invaluable contribution.. :)

Anita said...

hAAthi and Rohini - Thanks!

Anjali - totally recognised my friend. Maybe I should do another one on how to rely on your gal pals.

Saumya said...

hey....first time here. You write well and I wish you all happiness with D

Dimplicious said...

Ah!!!You ought to write a book on tis!!!:)

Anita said...

Saumya - Welcome aboard!

Dimplicious - yes, I think I really can get enough material :)