Marriage-ment by Guessing Around
I just bought a brand new laptop. I don’t really know how it looks like, I don’t know the configuration, and I don’t really know how much it cost me. All I know is that I have indeed bought a laptop, and that my buddy, Nash, feels it was a great bargain. For reasons undisclosed, Nash was packed and couriered by his company to the US of A for a period of three weeks, which is the accepted maximum duration any given geography has been able to withstand. This felt like a great opportunity; all I needed was to get Nash to smuggle me something useful. The goody two-shoes absolutely and vocally refused to carry gold bricks, so I had to settle for a laptop.
Now when you buy technological gizmos like laptops, it is imperative that you give absolute, crystal-clear specifications so that you get what you need. Nash knew this. He called me up to make sure we were on the same page.
“Dude. I got your message. You want a laptop? What kind are you looking for?”
I thought for a minute,
“A good one…”
I trust his judgment. Of course, I will validate his judgment tomorrow when I go to his place and finally see the device. And if I find an ugly little toy instead of a decent laptop, I am not closed to the idea of strangling his judgment, shooting a couple of holes in it, pulling it by the short hair and hanging it out to dry. But I am not worried. I trust his judgment. And I’m carrying my shotgun because… err… I always carry a shotgun.
But to get back to rational sense (only temporarily, folks… don’t worry) at the end of the day, it’s just a laptop. It’s not going to alter the course of my life… I can AFFORD to buy one without being intricately involved in the purchase process. In the old days, people used to make supremely important decisions on whims. I am not talking about George Bush. I am talking about arranged marriages.
No, I am not ridiculing the concept. If I were, I’d go like this – “Ha ha ha… Arranged marriage? What a dumb idea!!”. No, I recognize that when it happens nowadays, the bride and groom gets time and space to get to know each other well…
Things were not always this smooth. There used to be a time, at least within the stubbornly religious, orthodox communities, when the bride was never even allowed to see the groom until after the ceremony. There have been documented, bizarre, spurious cases where the bride accidentally married the groom’s pet porcupine. This was never a good sign, and if PeTA was active back then, they would have had pickets up against the inhuman treatment of… well, the inhuman porcupine.
But then I digress. I tend to do that sometimes. If I digress in the future, it is your job (yes, YOURS!) to get me back on track…
So what was I saying? Arranged marriages used to be unbalanced decisions where, if you arranged the people involved in the order of their importance, the groom and bride would come after their fathers, mothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, older cousins, neighbors, and their sacred animals, if any.
But those were the old days; the dark ages – people were less aware, the youth weren’t seen as mature. Today, people in general are more open minded; they are willing to see their young ones as able, independent, confident people who can judge their lives for themselves. They are in control of their own destiny. Today, if a bride marries a porcupine, she KNOWS she’s marrying a porcupine.
Incidentally, as I was daydreaming about my laptop, which, as I imagine it now, has the power and capability to wake me up, make breakfast, file my tax returns, microwave dinner, and fly me to work in rare cases of emergency, I called up a friend back in Kerala, and she told me the wonderful news that she was engaged. Let’s call her AQT. (Why not? That’s what I call her anyway. Honest!)
Hey, she’s a product of the new age. She’s educated, with loving parents, and with enough exposure to the world. She’s not the porcupine-marrying specimen of yesteryears. So, quite naturally, I congratulated her. She beamed, took a bow, and thanked me. Of course, I’m assuming that she beamed and took a bow, seeing as we were chatting up on the phone.
“So, what’s the guy like?”
“Hmm… I haven’t met him yet..”
“Oh? Well, that’s ok. He’s just like my laptop. I haven’t seen it yet, either. Well, so what do you know about the guy?”
“Hmm… Well… He’s from Dubai”
“Oh, cool. Mine’s from the U.S. What else?”
“Err… he’s nice. I’ve seen him when we were kids.”
“Come on, you gotta do better than that. What’s his name?”
“Mine is HP. Go on, take your time. Tell me more about the guy.”
“Hmm… His family knows my family.”
“Hey!! Come on!! Mine has a 250 GB hard disk. It has a webcam and a microphone built in…”
“Well, he’s… he’s… I’m…”
“Wireless network, 15.4’ screen, Windows Vista preloaded…”
“He works in Hotel management…”
“That’s better. What is his background?”
“Duh. He did his hotel management course.”
“Hmm… and? Anything? Mine comes with 2 GB RAM. It’s a pretty good deal, excellent features, robust, stable”
“So is he.”
“Really? He comes with 2 GB RAM? I don’t think so.”
“That’s not what I meant. I… you know what… it’s not fair comparing my guy to your laptop.”
“That’s right. In a few years, I can always upgrade my laptop.”
Well, ok… so maybe the new ‘know-everything-about-each-other-before-you-tie-the-knot’ philosophy of arranged marriage hasn’t got through to everyone. But still, society IS getting better. Plus, there are fewer objections to love marriages than in the past… almost none at all from porcupines.
But then again, what do they know? They’re just a bunch of pricks.