Samosa for the Arranged Souls Part VII
Part VII: The Discussion
Whether you have participated in the 'meeting of the prospective partner' or just received the 'Hello-you-don't-know-me-but-my-mom-thinks-I should -marry -you' calls, inevitably you'll be made to sit down with your parents to have the a post-date-discussion.
Here is a typical conversation over 'chai and samosa' at home
(SL=Sacrificial Lamb i.e. the legal aged Child and DP= Desi Parent):
DP:"Sooo beta...what do you think?"
SL: "Erm, I just spoke to him/her once and for 5 minutes. I don't know. He/she seems ok."
DP:"Well I spoke to him/her aunt's sister and she says that the family is very keen. But of course its upto you. We just want to know what you thought. "
SL: "Weeeellll. He is a little short/she seems a little too young"
DP:"Oh thats not a problem. Without your high heels on, he is almost as tall as you/when she puts on some weight after marriage she'll look older"
SL:"O-kay. But he has only been here for 6 months, he is a little too traditional for me"
DP: "He seems perfectly ok. You are just too picky. You don't like anyone"
SL:"Mom thats not true. You said the first guy smelled! And the second guy he lives all the way in New Orleans AND I only hung up on him because he said career women don't make good wives. Do you WANT me to stop being a doctor?"
DP:"We are not saying that but you have to decide soon. You are getting older. We have to answer to the society too you know"
SL:"Just what I need. The society deciding who I should marry. No thank. Can I atleast see him/her on my own again? Without-mom-trying-to-picture-us-at-the-temple?"
DP:"Okay okay. Only once. Then you have let us know"
So after going through all these MAM introductions, some are allowed to continue onto second dates or more involving phone conversations , peppered with updates to family.
Some of the 'arrangements' fall apart and you are pulled back into earlier chapters with renewed vigor from your parents.
Eventually the SLs do get married.
Some even fall in love.
Some lucky ones even stay together in love.
"What? How? Why", you ask!
Well, it probably has something to do with
a) 'fear of commitment' and
b) 'aspirations for intimacy'
- Little of the a) and A Lot b).
Combined with the chance that attractions can crop up in first meeting, some decisions almost seem pre-made.
If someone is seriously ready to settle down and he/she is being MAMed, its not unlikely that they'll find 'the one' with MAM.
If family is important to you and you want to marry into a family that gets along with yours- MAM works! Generally.
"I liked how he was a strong but a kind person from the first meeting. He wasn't a player and he knew how to involve my family in everything. Yes I'm not in love with him yet, but I can see myself with him. And that's good enough for me. ", gushed the 25 year old newly engaged Amrita.
"But what of love? and You don't know everything about him", piped in the 17 year old cousin of Amrita at their engagement ceremony.
"I'm happier with a companion who respects me. . And you'll never entirely know a person anyway, doesn't matter how long you are with him/her", Amrita sensibly answered while rearranging the folds of her saree and then walked towards her partner-to-be amongst a gathering of people, everyone of whom has claimed a hand in 'arranging the match'.