Sunshine Too Brief

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Tazzy at
tashuq78@gmail.com


I'm a self-absorbed Bengali-Torontonian;
Fish comes to me raw, wrappend in seaweed, not cooked in curry;
I love watching thunderstorms and rain;
Sad endings make more sense to me than happy ones;
I hate empty walls.

In the News

Craving of the week-
Dark Chocolate
Reading List-
Midnight's Children
Movie review(out of 5)-
127 hours- *****
Buried- ****
That Girl in Yellow Boots- **
Love of the week-
Seeing James Franco
Aim for the weekend-
Watch 'Going Postal' The Movie

My Novella: Samosa for the Arranged Souls

Introduction & Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapters 3, 4 & 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 continues

Chapter 7 & Epilogue


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    Tuesday

    Samosa for the Arranged Souls


    One thing we, people of South-Asian origin, are known for in the world, aside froim curry, is our marriage custom. A non-desi person might not be able to name one spice in curry powder but you can bet he/she knows about ‘Arranged Marriage’ phenomenon.

    A favourite topic of conversation among the young brown folks also concerns the pros and cons of this ‘Arranged Marriage’ compared to the so called ‘Love Match’. Of course to assume that love isn’t involved in the first one would be foolish so hence forth I’m taking it upon myself to change the term to ‘Mommy Arranged Match’, or MAM for short.

    To properly understand MAM one needs to have a clear depiction of the exact events leading up to the ‘arranged marriage ceremony’ complete with some real-life experience for added effect. So in the course of next unspecified-period-of-time, This Blogger will be attempting to highlight what precisely goes on in a MAM of South-Asian kind……and yes complete with real-life accounts from hapless friends, relatives and acquaintances whose names have been changed to protect them from the dreaded ‘Aunties’.

    Chapter 1: The Mark

    The first question to address is: How does one know one is having a MAM? Does a flier arrive in the mail one day addressed to the 17yr old in the house; bright neon pink letters saying ‘Congratulations! You are have been chosen just like everyone to participate in the century old Mommy Arranged Match!!’ ? Probably not.
    But, as a girl specially, you’ll notice the signs.

    At the next community religious/cultural/personal-showing-off event (invariably at an Banquet hall serving Indian food) you could be sitting down with some girls your age at the ‘children table’, dressed to nines, dipping the assorted pakoras/samosas in tamarind sauce, comparing the cute-factor of Zach Braff versus Ashton Kutcher when suddenly the hair beneath your done-up-hair would start to prickle. Is there a breeze from the constant slamming of the doors by the bratty kids? Or is your heavy glass encrusted necklace unraveling at the edge?
    You’d turn around and catch a middle-aged woman, lips smeared with too much pink lip-liner, sitting two tables away, staring.
    At.
    You?!
    A quick check will confirm that she is indeed not blinking nor smiling as she is staring at you. Is it the new(less puffy) hair cut making you look less traditional or your choice of black that offends her so, you wonder. She will next be talking out of the corner of her mouth to the plump woman in gold sitting next to her. About you.
    Note the time child. You have been Spotted. Marked.
    By the woman-with-too-much-time-in-her-own-unhappy-marriage!

    You will have confirmation of this when in the lineup for food, she stands right behind you staring, then turning up a fake smile and asking questions about your ancestral home and how much money your dad makes, peppered with the some extremely personal questions.

    Zeba, the 21 year old girl of Pakistani parents, spoke to me once of her own stunning encounter at the Eid prayers two summers back. It has become customary for everyone to be dressed in the Eid finery to attend the prayers in Canada and she was no exception. She was however a little perturbed with all the deer-caught-in-the-headlight effect she was having on all the woman folk in the mosque. “Each and everyone of them was eyeing me all of that hour, even during the obligatory talk by the Imam”. “I felt like I was the sacrificial lamb not the one at the Halal store and everyone is measuring me with their eyes checking to see if I meet the requirements”. “It was horrible”, she cries into the perfectly manicured hands.


    From the first of such encounters you can be rest assured that you are being MAMed. The next step would follow within weeks, days even.


    Chapter 2: The Call. (coming soon)



    4 Comments:

    At 6:55 AM, August 03, 2005, Blogger Rezwan said...

    If we start to bitch about MAM outlooks then it will require pages. In short we people of South Asian origin has 'Forsha' (fairness) fetish. I have heard even from a high cultured Mom bitching about 'the side face' of a beautiful girl. What do they want for their sons? Miss Universe? Even they will be able to find fault. I know my herd instinct and I must say its pathetic that even the educated and modern 'sons' basically want a beautiful girl as a bride whom they can possess and dominate. They do not even try to think that they should look for a companion instead with whom they will be living for the rest of their lives.

    In a relationship the vital thing according to me is the wavelength. It has to match. You require a considerate companion rather than a fashion item spouse. And nobody in the earth is perfect. We all have limitations and good attributes. Like minded people are required for a match.

    The biggest failure of MAM is that the persons in question do not get the chance to know each other and will have to eventually decide the marriage on others' accounts.

    This attitude needs to change.

    One recluse could be what I experienced. It may be called FISAM (Friend initiated self arranged match). My two friends were the colleagues of my wife. The both played an important role in briefing much about one another to get us interested (in fact seduced us to get involved) and finally a meeting was arranged. Looks were not important to us rather the complete person. We started dating and within 15 days the decision went to higher level. The parents consented and there you have a successful FISAM.

     
    At 9:25 AM, August 03, 2005, Blogger Tazzy said...

    Oh don't get me started on the fairness fetish....I've had it upto my nose with comments of 'gayer rong moila' (which basically translates to'your colour is dirty') ugh.

    FISAM sounds promising....though I'd be too scared to decide anything in 15 days :(...but it has worked for you and that all thats important :D

     
    At 1:00 PM, August 03, 2005, Blogger Jasmine said...

    Heh. I hope you do a post on Indian MAM's as well. Plenty of dirt there. :)

     
    At 4:20 PM, August 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    time for chapter two please :)
    -sim

     

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