Dec 8, 2011

A paediatrician for sale

My parents' hunt to find a suitable groom for me is still going on. I haven't given them an inkling of Fair Guy though. So even after we have been together, I have had my share of pennukannals and most of it were non descript and akin to my first pennukannal.

But this was a bit different.

The guy's dad had called after seeing my profile in the matrimonial site. At the end of the usual talks, my mom asks, "Any demands?". (Translated, it means any demands for dowry).  Till now everyone had answered "NO" to this question. Frankly, I really don't know why my mom asks this. If they really wanted a huge dowry, I wonder if they would have demanded anything upfront and rightaway. According to me, the demands for dowry are made very subtly and slowly. And that's where the problem lies.  The boy's parents initially say they don't need dowry and speak against dowry and talk about the evils of dowry but later they change the whole tune. They start with saying you can give whatever gifts you want to your daughter. But if the gifts are not up to their expectations, slowly they start passing snide comments at the daughter-in-law for having brought so little from  her home. This dowry is just an excuse of the boy's parents to loot the hard earned money and savings of the girls parents. No easier way to being rich than getting one's son married.  Any demand anytime is met! 

And so, this guy's dad's unabashed reply to my mom's question was, "My son is a paediatrician. We have got many offers from many girls. But he seems to have liked your daughter's photo and wants to meet her." He went on to add that a certain politician's daughter had offered 6 crores ( i.e. 60,000,000 INRwhich equals almost 1,170,000 USD) for his paediatrician son . But it seems the son didn't like her.

God!! I can't believe that someone in the supposedly highly educated state of Kerala could speak like this. 6 fucking crores!! He could better put his son for auction and sell it to the highest bidder. The word 'offer' was so tacky! I really wonder what are the sentiments of this particular paediatrician who has been put for sale like this. I pity him more than the girl who will get married to him.

Needless to say, my parents were really shocked. I guess they never imagined that dowry prices have also shot up so much. They seemed not to be interested in this guy.

But, I was mistaken. The paediatrician's dad kept calling wanting to meet me. So my parents agreed to have them in our house. My parents had gone bonkers! Or the thought of being in-laws to a paediatrician went to their head that they couldn't think logically. Otherwise how could they agree? How could they agree to invite them and be hosts to such people? I wondered if they really considered sending me off with this guy. What would happen to me if I were to go to his house without 6 crores ( My middle class parents cannot afford even one crore, leave alone six.) I refused to meet this guy born to money monger dad. 

My mom's version was that they have told the guy's dad we won't be able to give so much and still the guy wanted to see me, so maybe the guy really has a mind of his own and anyways I am not getting married to the guy's parents, only to the guy.. blah blah blah.. Its difficult to win an argument with my mother. But my dad was not very keen. Thank God!  

After all my mother's drama and everything, I finally had to agree to her wish to meet this paediatrician fellow. Anyways, I thought I'm definitely not going to marry him. So if my parents want to host him, so be it. 

The pennukannal happened in our house. He came with his dad and two of his brothers-in law. I should say they behaved decently. There were no talks of dowry also. They came and drank our tea and cola and ate our expensive pastries and snacks and left. The paediatrician didn't wish to speak with me alone (I really really wanted to speak to this guy alone to give him a piece of my mind). Maybe they came not to see  me but my house and other particulars to see how much they can squeeze out of my parents.  They said they would contact after a couple of days, but no word was heard from them. Guess, they  finally realised after seeing our house that my parents won't be able offer anywhere near to the offer of the politician.

That's the end of the story of the dowry demanding shameless paediatrician.
What surprised me more was that he had two sisters and both married. There might have been similar dowry talks like this during those girls' weddings also. After all that, the father chose to behave in such an uncivilised manner.

I wonder if the paediatrician squeezes money like this from the kids who visit him.


Nov 8, 2011


This is what Ralph waldo Emerson had to tell about Jane Austen,

“Miss Austen’s novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer . . . is marriageableness.”

Which I think to be true. Not only Jane Austen. Most other novels in the genre of romance and fiction. I think they give a very wrong picture to young girls.

I remember reading Northanger Abbey as a kid and wishing I was poor and beautiful and a super rich man would fall in love with me. Now the grown up me is out of all such dreams and illusions. I don't even want such a life where the girl's only quality is her beauty and the guy's only quality is his bank balance. Relationships are never compatible if both the spouses are depending on the such external qualities in each other which are subject to change any millisecond.

It just gets on my nerves when I see so many ads and articles and jokes which propagate that the girls' only ambition in life is to be beautiful so that she is marriageable and is a  "good catch" and what that good catch means is left to anyone's interpretation.

Nov 4, 2011

I almost stopped blogging...

Yeah.. Almost!

The reason being simple... I decided to give Fair Guy a chance. I had feelings for him which as much as I denied myself, I couldn't control. I knew the repercussions if I intended to be go forward with him. Still I decided to take the chance. Decided to give love a chance instead of the buying and selling game of the the arranged marriages. Well, I must say it has been an interesting adventure so far. He has not let me down. As the days passed we started liking each other more. And I must say, I'm in love. It has been a great adventure so far. Everyone must try it. Not that it has been complete bliss and rosy . We had our ups and downs. But we emerged from all of it, more stronger.

Thus I wondered if there is any furthur need to my blog. Then I knew. I love this blogosphere. I love writing about myself so freely and truthfully. And I value all the advices my blog friends give me. I can take help from so many people, from so many different countries and varied cultures, who has a lot to offer with their vast experiences.

There is one more reason. I'm not yet married. I don't really know how my relationship with Fair Guy is going to culminate. My parents do not know of Fair Guy. They are continuing with their groom hunt (and with it the pennukannals also and the recent pennukannal was a bit too much for me that I'm going to share here in my next post).

So, this blog is to be continued. (Maybe I have to change the title, but what the hell! There can be an arranged Indian love marriage with a Hindu boy and a Christian girl!)

Nov 3, 2011

Bang Bang Bang

Well, after a long hiatus ( very long indeed!), I'm back with a bang! Wait for the new stories I have to tell you!

I owe an apology to my followers, I know an I'm indeed very sorry. But thanks (thanks a lot) for still following me.

May 25, 2011

The Feign Game

How difficult is it to make men understand!?! I gave up! Then I realised its not because its such a herculean task, its just that they are not interested in understanding or listening to you. They don't care. They are not bothered. They don't want to understand.

This Fair Guy is giving me a lot of sleepless nights and headaches. And I'm beginning to realize how horrible the emotion Love is. It has the power to create as well as destroy. And in my case, its heading for the latter.

What is there so difficult to understand when I tell him I want him to move on from his previous unrequited love for proceeding furthur in our relationship? He assures me that he is trying to get over her. How the fuck is he going to get over her if he is constantly thinking of what to post on her facebook wall, what to message her and how to tease her. I have almost given up my pride and dignity trying to make him understand what he should do to move on from her, telling him he has to close his doors at her. ( Can you imagine? I told him that much!). But he doesn't seem to understand. At the end of the conversation, he keeps asking, " Tell me, dear. What do you want me to do? Anything for you."

I am exasperated now! Even shouting out from the loudspeaker is not going to make him get to do it. Why is there so much confusion for him when I say I want him to move on from his previous love? What does he not understand? What do people do to move on?

Well, since he has decided to feign sleep, I have made my decision. To move on from him. Its difficult to wake up someone who is feigning sleep. Let them sleep to their content.

May 19, 2011

Advice pleasssse

I know its been a while since I blogged anything about what my blog was supposed to be. My sincere apologies. Now I have a great problem at hand. And I need all your opinions and advice regarding it. 

Fair Guy and me are in a relationship for now. I guess it could be translated into - we wanted to make out with each other without having to worry about the morality behind friends with benefits gimmick. But now I have developed feelings for him also. Yes, real feelings. ( Sorry my friends, the thing most of you feared and which was even my worst fear has happened. I have developed feelings for him!)

With feelings, come problems too. Though there are a lot of issues boiling in the pot, the one which I'm most confused about is this. He was in love with a woman for over seven years. A love which was never returned.  He went as far as to propose to her but she was already in a relationship. And hence gracefully rejected his love. They remained friends though. "The best of friends".  He being madly and deeply in love with her and she being considerate to him and his feelings.( I guess any woman is bound to be sympathetic to her most devoted lover.) 

So far so good. As long as it was a friends with benefits act, I had no issues with his past or present love life. But ever since my feelings have begun, I'm not comfortable with it. The green eyed monster has crept in. This is worsened by the fact that he still harbours feelings for this woman. He adores her. (though he says he is in love with me, I don't believe him as he was in love with this girl during our initial dating period.) And there is another thing that eats my head. She announced her engagement only a couple of weeks before we starting dating. So am I his rebound affair?? 

He even called her up on our first date not expecting her to pick up the call as they had a 'small fight'. Her friend had picked up the call and given it to her after knowing he was with me. And later he says, " She agreed to speak with me because you were with me. Otherwise she would not have spoken."   What the hell is that supposed to mean? So am I his decoy?? That time I never cared but I do now. Very much.

When I used to think of love before, I wanted my lover to be head over heels in love with me. His world should spin around because of me so much that he should not be reminded of any other woman. 

Fair Guy is frank enough to tell me that he still loves this woman and would always love her. But I'm a proud spoilt brat. I do not want to play second fiddle to anyone. Isn't there something known as falling out of love? How platonic can their relationship be?

I just want to know where I stand in his life. What am I to him - a  rebound affair?? A decoy to be in touch with the engaged love of his life?? Or just a passing fancy??

I am so confused as this is my first ever relationship.
Kindly advice, those who have been in similar situations before and who are well experienced in love and relationships... 

Mar 29, 2011

A Little Gaming Experience

Fair Guy and I are seeing each other, but we are not a couple yet. According to him, we are special friends with special benefits.

That time I never knew how much the special benefits would extend to. I was a novice ( still so). I'm learning and I'm enjoying his teaching. The class has reached only upto second base. It took a long time time to graduate from first to second base.  Partly because there was no private enough place to play until we found the basement of a restaurant. And also because I value my big girls a lot and I had decided they were not to be handled by any tom, dick or harry. And mostly because, this was my first.

I was all enthusiastic to attend the practice sessions because I was cheated into believing that we both were at the same level and combined studies would be good for us. And after the first taste of the game, I needed to touch first base everytime we met. It was thrilling and delirious. I should give due credit to Fair Guy; he has amazing lips and everytime he necks, I could feel a pleasaurable sensation going down till my toes.  But my interest for second base ended the day Fair Guy decided that he had to be honest with me and told me he had already reached upto the third base a couple of years ago. In effect, I attended only one class of second base and that was not much of a practice.

I ask myself, why am i upset? There was no commitment or anything. Moreover it was before my times.And does it matter? I know that I would definitely not end up with him. Then why the hell am I pulling a big face over it? Because I repeatedly kept asking him his experiences and he repeatedly kept saying, " RB, you are the first! There were no others..." And then this confession of sorts ( why do I call it a confession?) has really put me off. Because i have no previous experience and he has. I know I'm being puerile and his is a small experience. Still...the balance has tilted.

Mar 24, 2011

Caged Bird

Are all parents like this; or is it only Indian parents or is it only MY parents??

Take this scenario. I'm a twenty three year old woman trying to enjoy her small life in this beautiful earth with wonderful people. But I'm under house arrest. Not the Aung San Suu Kyi sort of house arrest. I'm just not allowed to go hang out with people of my age. The day's incident is thus. I needed to go shopping. Ever since I came back from the Big City to this godforsaken place called home, I have been sort of lonely. In the first place, I did not have many friends near home. I was a timid girl back when I was at home. Timid for the simple reason that I was never allowed to mingle with my peers. I was not one among the neighbourhood children who used to play games in the evening, pick up mangoes from other neighbour's trees, or just simply be making noises in the lane to annoy the neighbours. Now you get the picture, don't you? My parents have their own reasons for not letting me do all this, but frankly what reason can be good enough not to let a child enjoy her childhood. (Before, you jump to any conclusions let me say this. I was a normal child and did not have any heart disease or any other contraindication to play games and run about. )

As I was saying, I have only few friends in my hometown. Rather only two friends and among them only one is presently staying in the hometown. Now, what can be wrong with two 23 year old ladies hanging out, having a cup of coffee or having lunch or doing shopping together? Is it a criminal offence? Is it a moral offence? Mind you,I'm not asking to hang out with her everyday.

I wanted to go shopping for general feminine stuff.  I told my mom I would take B along with me. My mom would hear nothing of it. Her excuse- "Papa may not like it" "The last time you went out with her papa was making such a big fuss." etc etc etc. So the result is I have to go shopping for lingerie, cheap jewellery, cosmetics,pajamas and other what nots with my nagging mom at tow. How amusing that can be!

Thus goes my only chance of interaction with my peer group!

You would ask me- why should I be taking permission from my parents? Why can't I just go? Because firstly, I live with my parents and living with them means I have to put up whatever bullshit they do to MY life. Secondly, I do not have an exhibitable income yet (though money for shopping is MY money) and so I'm still economically dependent on them. Thirdly, my parents are bloody control freaks. They would be happy if they can key in when I would sleep, when I would pee, when I would eat etc. Fourthly, after so many years of being caged up like this I do not know what my fellow twenty-something gals would be doing in this sort of situation. And finally, I do not have the guts to go against my parents. 

One day I'm going to snap. And I hope before that day comes, I'm free from this cage!

Mar 18, 2011

Fussy about fuzz

There seems to be a lot of discussions in the blog-world regarding hair these days. So I thought I shall clear some of my doubts regarding  hair.

Well, my doubt is not regarding the long or short tresses on a girl. ( I am yet to figure out why is it that hair on any other part of a girl other than on her head is considered  un-beautiful). 

It is regarding the hair way down there... yes, the pubic hair. It started when my friend mentioned her sexual escapades with her boyfriend. She uses a razor and she had shaved a couple of days before the said encounter. So there was a small stubble already forming. Her boyfriend uses a scissors to keep the area trimmed. The problem was this.... At the end of a fruitful night, the boyfriend says, " Wish you had not shaved. Now my teeny weeny is sore because of rubbing against your stubble." This comment had such an effect on my hapless girlfriend that she was in the brink of depression. Mind you, this was her first and she thoroughly enjoyed it. But the dickhead boyfriend had to come up with such a comment! 

I know we girls do enjoy the stubble on the man more than a moustache or a beard. The feel of the stubble rubbing against one's face or hands or neck or any other part is so nice and is known to turn on some women. But what is it with the menfolk? The pubic stubble making his dick sore? Please enlighten me about this, you guys out there.

My girlfriend was so curious after this incident that she went about asking a lot of girls what they do with the shrub down there. And I would also like to know. What do you men and women out there do with your pubic hair? Do you trim it with scissors? Do you shave? Do you use hair removing creams? And how do you want your partner's pubic hair to be? Do you want it to be hairy or hairless? Shaved or trimmed with scissors?

Mar 8, 2011

A Small Deviation

You all would have made your own guesses about the reasons which took me away from this blogging world. And the personal reason is….

I'm seeing someone… Yes, I think I can call it that. He is not (yet) my boyfriend. But what can I say? We both have feelings, strong feelings for each other.

A quick gist of the story so far. We shall call him Fair Guy as he takes immense pride in being fair as compared to the rest of the Indian population. I met Fair Guy about a year ago. He is the friend of my friend's boyfriend. I was in the Big City and he had accompanied my friend and her boyfriend for visiting the Big City. My first impression of him was that he is a lazy foolish good-for-nothing fellow and this impression more or less remains the same. It was a casual meeting. After that there was no contact until my friend informs me some months later that he has invited me to his birthday party the following weekend. So I took his number from her and wished him. (I had to, didn't I? Considering he has invited me to his birthday party.) Though I didn't want to go for his party, my friend somehow convinced me to go so that we (my friend and me) could meet up. It was not a big affair. There was only me, my friend, her boyfriend and another girl whom I thought to be Fair Guy's girlfriend but later turned out to be his facebook friend. After that there were occasional sms and chat, but I didn't encourage him. I almost didn't remember him when he added me as his friend in facebook.

I don't know what happened to me in January; I started to respond to his stupid smses. Maybe it was my boredom, or maybe it was the result of seeing pathetic profiles in the matrimonial websites; whatever it was we started to sms like never before. At first it was general mundane stuff, but soon it became outright flirtatious and adult stuff. (He now tells me that this is his MO for any girl and he is able to chat up and 'crack up' most of the girls. And I felt a transient feeling that I came off cheaply to him.) Now we sms, chat in facebook and gtalk, and call each other almost by the hour everyday. It has become something like he is slowly invading my life like weeds infesting someone's garden. I may not have given him permission, but I have given him enough fertile ground.

Am I attracted to him? NO. Do we have similar interests? NO. Do I think he is the one for me? NO. Are we compatible? NO. And in India we have more questions. Do we belong to the same religion and caste? NO. I'm a Christian and he is a Hindu. So what is it that pulls both of us? Is it the hormones? Is it our need to fulfill our respective biological and evolutionary roles? Or is it just the deprivation of sex in a pseudo-puritanical society? Frankly I don't know.

So friends, this has been the reason for my short absence from the blogging. And I'm frankly admitting to myself, I'm not a multi-tasker. I can't handle a profession and studies and an affair (or whatever it can be called now) at the same time.

Now, I'm slowly trying to get back my senses.  

Mar 4, 2011

Did you miss me??

I know many of you might have been wondering where I disappeared into. I had some urgent professional and personal matters which had come up and which made me a bit busy. I shall write about it in my next post which is soon to follow. Hope atleast some of you missed me and my comments.

Feb 11, 2011

Banana chips and other mallu stereotypes

Malluland is Kerala, a small state in Southern India famous for its Beaches and pseudo-ayurvedic massage centres. The language spoken by the dravidians in kerala is Malayalam and hence the other name Malluland. The subjects of Malluland are called Malayalis (or Malayalees) and in short form Mallus.

Whenever I have told my clasmates, college-mates and colleagues that I am from Malluland, I had always received the response (mostly from Mallus), "Really? But you don't look like the typical Mallu!" "You don't behave like a conventional Malayali!" This made me wonder how a typical mallu behaves or looks like. I have spent the most part of past one year in Kerala and I think I've partly found the answer or rather I've found what a Malayali's own opinion about another Malayali is when they talk about typical Mallness.

Mallu men wearing Lungi

A typical Mallu guy should have a meesha (moustache) as if the meesha is the source of his virility. The guys without meesha are not considered as men, they are still the 'Paiyyans'( the adolescent ones). The Mallu guys are expected to be experts in wearing the 'lungis'. The lungis are the informal wear they wear at home. It similar to mundu which is a formal traditional wear. The lungis can be made of cotton or polyester or any cloth and comes in different colours while a mundu is usually made of cotton and white or cream colored. They are both just loin clothes which are tied without any belt or any support thereof and wonderfully stays in its place and seldom falls off. Though a lungi shows as much as bare legs as shorts (or even more), Malayalis look down upon wearing shorts. (And some men like my neighbour, do not bother to wear an underwear below the lungi and take pride in (un)knowingly flashing their teeny weeny at the neighbourhood girls). Men do not bother to wear a shirt or anything on top of the lungi and walks around topless (I know Kerala is hot and humid and they are topless in their houses, but isn't it decency to cover a fat flabby torso with male boobs just to hide your ugliness?).

I'm still figuring out the psyche of the Mallu males, but their mindset towards the women clan is that women are the slaves of men and they are supposed to be controlled by men. A man as a husband is a failure who cannot rule over his woman's body and mind. A man is very protective towards his sister or wife or daughters and virtually keeps them under house-arrest, denying them the pleasures of mingling with other mallu or non-mallu males, denying them the right to wear fashionable clothing and denying them the right to explore the world outside her home. (I wonder if Taliban men were Mallus once.)

A typical Mallu woman is expected to have curly oily hair with long tresses with a twig of tulsi leaves on her hair. I know what you guys are thinking. No, my hair doesn't stink of oil nor have I a stick of tulsi leaves on my hair. My hair is definitely curly but well shampooed and never oily. It borders on the dry and lifeless side. I don't know which is worse as my non-oiled hair get dishevelled fast and I have to always tie it up. I got over this problem by undergoing the hot process of straightening my hair. And I love every strand of my new improved straightened hair. (Thank you, whoever it was who discovered hair straightening).

A typical Mallu married woman is supposed to have a lot of gold on her body; gold chain, gold necklace, gold earrings, gold anklets, gold bracelets, gold loin-chains and so on. They are yet to wake up to the truth that platinum and diamonds are more expensive that the yellow metal. 

The one thing I like about mallu women are that most of them are well-endowed with assets. (Even me, I'm a 36D. I would probably be a G but I couldn't find anything beyond D in Kerala). I've found that Malayali and Bengali women are well endowed and I wonder if it has anything to do with the communist governments. About the Mallu men's assets, sorry I'm not experienced to comment. But going by the sham ads of enhancing creams and tubings, I guess the Mallu junior is not very impressive.

And other thing about Mallus is that they cook exclusively in coconut oil. Starting from the fish curry to the pickles to the pappadams. The banana chips (and jack fruit chips) fried in coconut oil are a favorite of any Malayali and they simply relish them.  

Banana Chips

So this is all I've figured out in my one year of stay. And I'm wondering how can I marry the typical Mallu male? That would be disaster! 

Feb 1, 2011


Swayamvar or swayamvaram is an ancient Indian custom mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharatha (and no longer in practice in modern India). Nowadays swayamvar is taken to mean wedding. 

It is a custom by which a bride-to-be (mostly a princess) selects her husband. Usually an auspicious date is fixed. On that day, all eligible men from far and wide come to the country of the princess. The eligible men can range from kings and princes to paupers. The princess then goes around inspecting them (much like the Head of the State who inspects the guard of honor) with a flower garland in her hand. When she reaches the man who catches her fancy, she puts the garland on him and they are supposedly married. That's all! So simple! There can be variations also. The King can put some criteria for deciding the abilities and skills of his daughter's husband. I think that was like a preliminary test to sift the husk. For example, Draupadi's father had put the criteria that he would give his daughter's hand to only that man who could shoot his arrow correctly at the eye of a rotating fish which was perched high in the centre of the royal court and that too only by looking at the image of the fish in a pond . (Talk about shooting the semen in the right direction!).

Sometimes if the princess is already in love with a young man, then the swayamvar makes it a lot easier for her.  (Yes, even in ancient India girls had to be secretive about her love affairs).

That was the age of the princes and princesses.

Jan 26, 2011

A couple of drinks and Cutieboy

I had made a brief mention of Cutieboy in one of my previous blogs. Nothing much. He was my first crush in college. It seems that same old crush is showing its sexy face again. Sorry this is going to be a really long post. The gist of the post is in the above four lines.

First I shall brief you about Cutieboy. I saw him first in the railway station when I was waiting for a train. I was on my way to attend an interview for admission into college. I see him; a cute young boy of approximately my age carrying a suitcase and following his dad. I noticed him because he was cute and wondered whether he would also be attending the same interview. He and his dad seemed to be in a hurry. My train was late and so I assumed they might be going on a different train.

When I reached my destination, I saw them alighting from the bogey just before mine. Again I wondered if he was not my competitor. The fact was confirmed when I saw him next during the interview. By the time both of us came out of the interview, our dads had become acquainted with each other and other Malayali parents. As seventeen year olds, we kept exchanging glances. We didn't talk to each other. And I thought he was a haughty cute boy who would talk only to hot girls. (Later only I realised that he was a very shy boy and he hardly spoke to any girls).

The selection list was announced and my name was there in the list. Alas, Cutieboy's name was not there. He was 2nd on the waiting list. On the day of admission, I see him again. It seems two students had opted out of the course and hence he got through. Lucky Cutieboy! (Did I pray that he be in my college? I don't remember).    

College started and I got acquainted with Cutieboy. Like I said, at first I had thought that he was a conceited bastard. It took me some time to realise that he was the type of guy who took time to get friendly with other people, that he hardly spoke much and also that he was not a smart one. The fact is he is an eye candy and nothing more than that. We started talking to each other as his close friend R was also a close friend of mine and we were all mallus. (Mallu guys have this way of sticking on to other mallu girls. But gladly I was chucked out of the Mallu gang in my class as they found that I was not a stereotypical mallu!). R was a very funny guy and great to talk to. He would always have something interesting to talk about. In contrast, Cutieboy hardly spoke anything until he was spoken to. And that too some short inaudible sentences. That too he spoke because I was such so garrulous that it was difficult not to talk with me. Or even if he spoke anything out of his own initiative it would be utter nonsense. Some weeks (or rather days) into college, my impression of Cutieboy had changed and my crush had passed on from Cutieboy to other well deserving boys.

Third month of college. It was a couple of weeks after Cutieboy's birthday. We were having a mess table conversation about Cutieboy not giving a treat on his birthday. Then it turns out that he already gave a party to the guys. We were a couple of girls and we acted cross at him for not giving a treat to us. (This is typical Mallu boy behaviour! They have this weird notion of separating boys and girls. Boys party with boys. Girls party with girls. So stupid!). I bug him a lot about the treat thing and how I was looking forward to his party.

The next week I am called home by my parents. I'm happy to go home (still not gotten over my homesickness). I should have realised that something was amiss as I had gone home only a week before and was advised against coming home every now and then and to concentrate on my studies. I thought my parents were missing me. But that was not the case.

I had been given my first mobile phone when I started college. As a stupid first time mobile user, I gave my number to all the senior guys who asked for it. Do I have to mention what followed? I began to receive a lot of anonymous calls and a spam of anonymous dirty messages. So I thought it prudent to change my number and gave my sim card to my dad to attend such calls as he felt. It seems the first message he received was from Cutieboy and it went like, “Hey RB! Great to know you were looking forward to my treat. I think I shall give you a treat today evening. Hope chicken biriyani will be fine." (Was Cutieboy asking me out? Btw guys, chicken biriyani was the most expensive item on our college canteen menu). My paranoid parents thought I was having an affair with Cutieboy. It seems he sent a couple more messages and the last was," Where are you? I'm waiting in the canteen." To which my Dad replied, "I am in E#@$%*%$^." I bet Cutieboy would have been thoroughly confused. He had seen me only that afternoon. (My room-mate later told me that she had received a message from Cutieboy that evening asking whether I had changed my number, but she didn't bother to reply as I had asked all my friends not to give my new number to anyone). So because of Cutieboy I ended up listening to two days of my father's thrashings and my mother's lectures which consisted of "All these boys just want to have fun with the girls. After they get what they want they will throw you off. RB, you should not let them use you."  There was also deduction from my parents about the meaning of an 'evening treat'. When I got back to college and asked Cutieboy about the sms episode, he just shrugged it off. So I thought it would have been embarrassing for him and never asked him that again.      

This is how a chicken biriyani looks like, which Cutieboy wanted to give me a treat. I have wondered Chicken biriyani? Why?

In due course, we became good friends. We would tease each other and pass stupid notes in torn pages to each other during class. And yes, we would flirt with each other. (Or rather I would flirt with him).

But the problem with Cutieboy was that he was as slow in his studies as he was with anything else. So he ended up with a quite a few complementary papers and after that went into oblivion. We had occasional hi-bye talks. But we never sat in the same class to pass notes to each other :-( Besides I had other men to attend to.

Then I finished college.

Last week I went to my alma mater. I decided to catch up Yakov who had also turned up in the City. Lucio was also there in the City. We decided to have a blast like the good old times (These two guys were my greatest drinking partners). Yakov, Lucio and I head out to the latest pub opened in the city. Lucio tells me he has invited Cutieboy and another guy Blotch also. I'm a bit apprehensive as I will be seeing Cutieboy after such a long time and I don't know how he reacts to women drinkers (that is another aspect of mallu guys. They believe they guys are entitled to all the fun and the girls are supposed to be docile and to put up with all the shit of the guys. Women-drinkers are labeled sluts. I think I shall have to write a post on this!). I didn't want to be labeled a slut. That too by Cutieboy!

So then Cutieboy enters. He is looking as cute as before except that he has put on some weight and is growing bald. He sees me and looks a bit surprised. I don't know whether he was surprised for seeing me or for seeing me in a pub. We exchange our hi-byes and the usual, "How have you been doing?" "Long time no see" etc etc. It turned out that Blotch was also a mallu! So it is three mallus against the rest of India.

A couple of drinks later, Cutieboy starts to open up. He begins to talk. Yes! He is talking! He is starting a conversation and maintaining it! Thanks to the whiskey, he has lost all his previous inhibitions and my… I just love it. He is talking interesting stuff (or is it the whiskey which made me feel that what he was speaking was interesting). And I love all the attention he is giving me and all the things he is telling. He told me how he had a crush on me in first year and almost asked me out. It was too good to hear! It was general euphoria for me and I drunk couple more extra! And I was careful not to let out that I too had a crush on him. We laughed over how we were in first year and all the stupid things we did. It was nice.

This is what makes Cutieboy to open up....

 All of us were nicely drunk and in the euphoric stage when we left the pub and we decided we needed to get drunk more. We bought more drinks and ended up in the terrace of Lucio's apartment. All of us drunk till we got dead drunk. And this was the first time I drunk so much of liquor. This is one of the best memories with these friends and made special because of Cutieboy.

The next morning when we got up, all of us were back to our normal self. Cutieboy was back again as his the shy cute eye-candy self that he always was. We said bye to each other.

I was not leaving the City until the next evening. In the evening I received a call from Cutieboy shyly asking if I wanted to hang out and go for a movie. I am a stupid girl as I always was and always will be. My reply, "Cutieboy, no movie. I have come to get drunk and we shall get drunk." The movie thing didn't click me. He meant it as a date! When I met him he was still in his reticent boring self. It took a couple of drinks to get him into the 'mood'. We got drunk that evening too but there was Blotch also with us and I got Cutieboy to speak up more. I discovered a lot more things about him and we had many ideas in common. And he didn't turn out to be a moorachi mallu male chauvinist that I had thought him to be.

Now I'm back home with the sweet memories of Cutieboy. My crush for him is reblooming. But would I be able to seriously like and respect a guy who has not yet passed his course and who is comfortable to talk with me only after a couple of drinks? I don't know. I shall wait. But at present, I don't want this nice feeling to go away.

Jan 18, 2011

Facebook - the Saviour

"I didn't know the role of social networking forums in the modern Indian arranged marriage. Now I am enlightened!"

Next battle is against a South African. Seeing his expression in the photo, he looked like a loser playboy. The smile showing all his 32 teeth was itself a turnoff. And he had kept the first two buttons of his shirt open to show his hairy chest. The rest of his shirt showed his flab bulging out of the tight garment. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! Disgusting! But my very knowledgeable mom goes, "He's the same profession as you" (As if success of the marriage had anything to do with profession!). " He seems to like you very much RB. He has given his email id for you to mail him". "His parents are teachers so he would have been brought up really well". My mom has this soft corner for teachers' kids as she herself is a professor's kid and she believes that just because they are teachers' kids they would be impeccable. What rubbish! I gave her a few examples of teacher's kids turning out to be real bastards. "Those are all exceptions".

I didn't argue. Anyways the guy was in South Africa and he'll be coming only after a couple of months. I have time I thought. But for this I didn't have to rake my brain. Facebook did it!
 Armed with the email id, what does my mother do? She searches him in facebook. She has been recently introduced into facebook and has become an avid facebook fan. She has been adding friends and aquaintnces very enthusiastically. I, for my part, refused to be friends with her. Mothers should be banned from being friends with their kids in facebook. As if real-life stalking  was not enough, now mothers can keep a tab on their kids in cyber life also! Coming back to the teeth showing loser playboy, my mom finds him in facebook quite easily. He has put the same monstrous photo as his profile photo. She finds that he is what he has told- profession and education wise. And she is impressed until she checks out his photos. (I should say it was very stupid of him to keep his album visible to the public). After seeing the photos my mother's opinion of him changes from impeccable disciplined teachers' kid to philandering womanising drunkard!

 Thank You Facebook! Providence must have sent you.

Now my mom has decided to scrutinise all my wannabe husbands through facebook. She thinks their info in such public forums will give us a small idea of their personality. I found out that my mom is not the only one with this opinion. My friend's sister had got married recently. She tells me that their family went through facebook and orkut mania. Not just inspecting the guy's profile but going through all his friends in the friends list also. All his activities, comments and whatever visible were scrutinized. As if a ghost in his past may suddenly jump out of facebook. Guess my mom is far better than them.
Now my mom is behind me for changing my facebook profile photo in which I thought I was very pretty (Going by the comments of my friends). "Mamma, what is wrong with that photo? It was taken by best friend P. All my friends liked it."  " RB its pretty. But there are other photos in which you are prettier and more beautiful. Put them." I kept my profile photo. Its exhilarating to irritate her.

This post will be incomplete if I do not mention that I received three friend requests from wannabe husbands. When the first friend request came, I had no clue who he was. No mutual friend. So send him a message asking if I knew him. Pat came the reply. " I have seen your profile in the matrimonial column. Like your photo. So searched you in fb." Boy, I was furious. Furious that he had the audacity to not only stalk me on facebook  but to send me a friend request also. I didn't give him any reply. I rejected him as a friend. He was clever enough to get the message. To the second and third requests, I didn’t bother to respond.

Jan 17, 2011

Style Check

Hi guys,
I've won my next award in this blogging world (I sure like blogging)
Caterpillar at Musings and Confessions of a Wandering Mind has given me the Stylish Blogger Award. I request all of you to check out her blog and discover her like I did.

Now coming to the part where I 've to share stuff about myself ( I'm afraid all of you will realise how uninteresting a person I am).
Still, here we go...

1. I used to pick my nose when I was at Kindergarten.
2. I used to eat my nose-pick or that's what my Dad says ( when I think of that I go.. YUCK!)
3. My favourite colour is blue. And as I an extension, I like the clear blue sky, the clear water in the lakes, and the blue jays.
4. I can go on watchin TV without doing anything else. Without even drinking, eating or bathing.
5. I like the smell of the first rain, when it falls on the much thirsty mud.

At last to the interesting part, where I get to choose the Stylish Bloggers who deserve this award.

And the award goes to...

So now that I've got this award, there's presure on me to live up to the image ;-)

Jan 13, 2011

Finding my voice

I found a way to stop my parents eating my head over the next eligible bachelor. The proposal in question had been suggested by my aunt B (why is it that all these aunties want me to get married. More than my parents, they are worried. I guess all they want is to show off their new sarees before it is out of fashion). The boy is the nephew of my aunt B from her husband's side. He is now working as an engineer in the US (Again US!). My aunt can vouch that the boy is a really nice 'Indian boy' and out of all 'American' influences (what she meant she alone knows, if only she could be more descriptive and not use such meaningless words!). My parents say that what she meant is that he had been born and brought up in India and that he had had no girlfriends. No wonder! I have seen him when we were kids and he looked… well, I don't want to comment on someone's looks as I believe beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Still … In short he was not my idea of a prince in shining armour (I guess every girl is entitled to her own silly romantic idea of her husband). When I say that to my parents, they don't get it. They are of the opinion that I shall eventually like him. "All that glitters is not gold". That is my mother's favourite dialogue. "If he was a handsome young man, then he might have had lots of girlfriends. Since he is not…” I don't understand that logic as I know that a lot of bad-looking guys in my college had really busy weekends. And some of the good looking ones were the ones inside the shed. So that point was baseless. "Your B auntie never liked J uncle. She was crying uncontrollably on the day before the wedding. Look how happy she is now." And I wondered why she wanted me also to marry someone I didn't fancy. Oops, sorry! She didn't know that I don’t like her nephew.

Still my parents pestered. His photo was sent via email. Photo of him with full skiing gear and poles, standing in front of a car with snow all around. (Exploiting my obsession with snow). "Look beta, now you can ski in the snow with him". But he looked the same. Or even worse. I didn't want to marry him. I didn't want to go skiing with him. My parents didn't stop their pestering (I really admire their perseverance).

They were saying, “if you say yes, then we shall ask them to come over to see you". Bloody hell! They kept bickering morning evening morning. And I couldn't imagine waking up next to that piece of flesh for the rest of my life. Is it for him that I saved up my virginity? So many opportunities flashed across my mind. No, I shan't allow that to happen.

The next time my parents started the topic, I gave them a piece of my mind and yelled, " I'm never gonna have sex with him! If you want to proceed, you go ahead! It will only embarrass you. Either I will say no in the church or I will reach US and divorce him giving impotence as the reason!”

And that was it! They never spoke to me about him, again.
Sometimes all we have to do is to use our voice.

P.S. This was the first time I used sex in a conversation with my Dad. Ah! That was so liberating! 

Jan 11, 2011

The story of a friend- an obituary

This post is dedicated to a young bride. (This incident happened a few months ago and the girl was my senior in school).

She was a young girl who got married less than a year ago. It was an arranged marriage and her parents had selected the groom. He was the only son from a decent Hindu family with a stable job in Infosys. Her father had to give most of his earnings as part of the dowry. But he didn't mind as he believed this to be the right match for his daughter, as he believed this guy would protect his daughter and keep her happy for the rest of her life. 

Little was he to know what was to follow. She was tortured. Reason being dowry. He had given so much dowry beyond his means at the time of marriage. He had given them whatever they demanded. After the marriage, the in-laws wanted even more. Nothing could satisfy their greed. They considered the bride and her family as a bank; a bank from where they can loot and they won't be caught, where they can withdraw an infinite amount without having to return ever. The more the father gave, the more they kept asking. The last stroke came when they asked after milking the father to the hilt. The father was already in debt. The girl was sent to her 'maika' to ask for more but she had no heart to ask her family. She didn't say anything to her father or mother. Went back to her in-laws empty handed. Her disfigured body was found in the railway track the same evening. Was she killed by her in-laws or did she commit suicide.  Her hapless parents buried her disfigured body.

Jan 3, 2011

My first …

My first 'pennukannal'. I don't know if its technically correct as the literal meaning of pennukannal is 'girl seeing'. It is the term given to the custom when a guy and his family/ friends come for the first time to the girl's family to 'check out' the girl. The reverse which should be called 'cherukankannal' does not exist, for the simple fact that the girl or her family does not visit the guy or his family to check them out. Weird norms!

So I was subjected to this centuries old barbaric tradition. Phah!! Its akin to the custom of the king of Zanzibar who has a new bride every year and who selects her from other virgin beauties by watching them dance topless ( I have wondered what criterion he uses- the jumpiest boobs, the most erect nipples?).

I knew I couldn't escape from the pennukannals and the rest of the weird stuffs associated with an arranged marriage. But I wanted to prolong it as long as possible. I wasn't ready yet. I didn't realise I had to undergo this torture. I had thought that my parents would arrange it in some restaurant or a coffee shop where I can meet the guy alone with some privacy. They seemed to be more orthodox than I thought. Thus I decided I shall take it in good humor and derive fun out of it in my own way.

So about the guy who was coming to check me out (It sounds very tacky!). He sounded sane enough. He had migrated to the US in his teens. Now, he was working as a research scientist in the NASA where he was completing his PhD (and PhD after engineering too!). Or atleast, that's what he had said in his ad. And that’s what got my parents and my immediate family excited. In fact even I was overwhelmed after hearing NASA as I was a fan of the series 'I dream of Jeanie' and had liked the guy who played the NASA scientist. This guy had only one preference as regards the girl and I clearly fulfilled that. I was given a gist of his vital stats; his height, weight, skin color etc. They could've told me his dick size and his 'mileage' too. That would've simplified it.

I knew about his coming for the pennukannal after I came back from my night duty. He is expected to come in the evening. I asked my parents to shift it to some other day as I wanted to sleep badly (my much deserved sleep). But to no avail. "He will be going back to the US after one week." OK! Whatever!  

I had not yet got ready by the time my dad arrived from work. I was sleeping. He had to wake me up (he rarely wakes me up or enters my room). He asked me to get ready soon as they boy and his contingent were on their way. I wore a brown salwar-kameez and put my vegetable print dupatta on one shoulder. I applied only eyeliner as part of the makeup. But when I mom came from work she wanted me to change the outfit as she thought this was a simple one. Mind you, I had received quite a few compliments wearing this salwar-kameez also. I refused to change. Let them see me the way I am. Anyways, there was no time. My mom was clearly agitated. Not only about my outfit, but even about the snacks, beverages, settee, dining room, table cloth. Everything! Which drink to be given first? Juice followed by coffee or tea followed by juice. Anyways, I was saved from the embarrassment of taking the drinks to them. I thank God for that! My aunt, uncle and a cousin had also arrived. Another cousin and his wife were expected. Man! The pennukannal was a trip. Really!

Then, they arrived. He had come with his mom, aunt and uncle. I saw him from my vantage point in the dining hall. His eyes were wandering about for the 'girl' as soon as he entered the house. Our eyes met for a second just before he sat in the settee. He was ok. No wait! He was actually quite good looking. He looked like Cutieboy who was my first crush in college (and who later turned out to be really dumb). He had worn a formal full sleeved shirt with his sleeves rolled up to his elbow. Its weird how we girls don't notice the man's pants. I can't even remember whether he was wearing pants or jeans. I shall fix on pants. And he had spiked his hair (and I thought, “Daddy, if you are going to select this guy, better start liking spiked hair." My dad so hates spike hair and low waist jeans.)

Soon, I found myself sitting opposite to him in our living room. (contrary to all those bollywood and mollywood movies which show the boy and the girl speaking to each other in a secluded room in the house with all privacy). We were not at a distance where we cannot be overheard. Nevertheless I found the 'interview' quite amusing. In fact, I enjoyed it upto a point. I had decided to let him a have a hang of my mind-penetrating stare. I had found that guys are very uncomfortable when I stare directly into their eyes and gives them the look which can be variously read as 'I' m sizing you up' or 'what stupidity are you talking about' or ' I know your secret'. This PhD was no different. I know you faltered, baby.

The exact way the conversation started, I don't remember. I think he asked me my name and I asked him his name which was stupid as we both knew each other's name from our parents. He asked about my schooling and college, my parents, their job and their family. I also asked the same of him not to seem too rude. I remember him asking my opinion about city life. (I wondered what he meant by that. Did he mean was I a partying drinking type? Anyways, I could not have answered that when my dad was at an earshot). He made some comment about the traffic, "the cities have grown a lot but the roads haven't", to which I merely nodded assent (Did he expect the roads to grow up by themselves?). Is he tensed, nervous, or a mix of both? Or was that only my feeling? Or is he also dumb? Can PhDs be dumb? Who knows?  But one thing I was sure. He was not a great conversationist. He would be so ready to follow my lead in the conversation but he was faltering when he had to initiate any. He even asked me the same questions twice. Then all of a sudden, he asked a striking question, “Do you like cooking?" I replied an emphatic, "NO!” This guy he was not dumb! He was quite brave. Otherwise, who would ask such a question? He was straightforward. He just needed a cook, a maid and not a wife.  I am not going to be a wife whose only aim in life is to cook food for her husband. I want to follow my own career. I want to be independent and not be a doormat to a goddamn stranger! After this I think we didn't speak much. In the beginning I was politely rude by only half-answering his questions. People might have said I was shy. But now I was rude. I was not speaking to him at all. Inspite of all his good looks, he turned out to be a male chauvinist.

It was time for them to leave. His aunt asked me twice if I wanted to ask him anything more (what more do I need to ask him?). But when I think about it now, I could have led him on and had more fun. And I need not have been so bigoted. I need not have judged him by just that question. And there were one or two particular questions which I wanted to ask him; like why would he want to come to India to get a bride, can't he find someone in the US itself. But then there are limitations in the setup of the arranged 'pennukannal'. And this was my first. I didn't know what to ask or what to answer, especially when both the families have their eyes on you. Moreover, the cooking question was simply a turn-off.

Have any of you had similar experiences? I guess not. What you think of this custom. Drop a comment. 

P.S. Since my aunt and his uncle were acquainted at work, they had to come out with the truth on being asked by my aunt. He was not working at NASA. After his PhD he hopes to be employed by NASA. Wow! So much for his NASA research.

P.S. What is it with Americans of Indian origin? They want everything they have to be 'Made in America' except the bride.