This post is in continuation to Arranged Madness Part I.
Long post ahead!
January 1, 2010 Time 10 a.m.
Ann, hungover from the NYE party, had returned home 30 minutes back from her friend’s place.
“Ann…Mum here…Happy New Year…Okay here is the list of things you need to get me when you r visiting us later this month….one small pressure cooker (Ann: eh!)…I want to make biryani for Isabel (Ann: Mom…she is just over a year old!!!…okay)…one Preeti Mixie (Ann: eh!) Chechi can make idlis, dosa and appams for Isabel (Ann: what!…okay), 5 packets puttu podi, appam podi, vatteyappam podi, idli podi, dosa podi (Ann: okay okay) and since you are not getting any younger we have started groom hunting for you….(Ann: Okay…wait wait what!!) Avalu okay paranju (she said okay- that was my Mum speaking to my Dad)”
Phone hung up….
That is how my parents tricked me into getting into the arranged madness that nearly every Malayali Christian (hereinafter referred to as “MalChris“) gerl worth her appam and chicken stew (with beef cutlet) undergoes!
Old methods like the ‘broker’ method or ‘exhibition’ method where the girl is made to dress up at all functions including cousin’s neighbour’s great grandmother’s funeral lest someone notices her and inquires about her are still prevalent. But here we focus on websites. The Malayali Church realising the existence of a market for eligible MalChris boys and girls decided to start websites serving only MalChris (seems like some of priests went to a Grade A business school for coming up with this profit making biz idea) So we have the chavara and bethlehem and the like.
Contents of Website:
(1) Name: Mallu Rules on Nomenclature makes sure that majority of the boys will not have a decent name.
(a) Compound of parents’ name: Malini + Babu = Malibu
(b) Add in some love: MalibuMon
(c) Senseless name to match the boy’s sibling: Titty (Because elder brother was Itti! )
(d) Name of some Hindi Movie/Hindi Movie Hero of 80’s: Aashiq Mathew, Saajan Veeliaveetil, Prem Shaaju
(2) Physical Features: Every boy is fair, tall and handsome. Some of them think that we are stupid enough to not compare the details with their ‘latest’ photos uploaded by the side! Some of them are so good looking and fair that they refuse to upload their pictures and ensure that none of their pictures are floating on the internet. (They fear they might meet the fate of those Emirati men!) and these men will always ask the girls for their photos..(you show then I show policy)
(3) Education and Work Ex: There was a time when boys were given a preference over girls in everything, food to education to opportunities. Exactly why has that not translated into well educated and well placed boys, I fail to understand! Is there a conspiracy from other communities to steal our worthy MalChris boys??
(4) Expectations: Everyone wants ‘beautiful, fair, slim, educated, intelligent, smart, homely, god fearing girl with simple values’. Confusion much! (My mother was so scared when she saw the god fearing aspect and told me to go to church regularly so that she can say I am god fearing (thunks head on wall!!)). Despite the fact that Mallu Chettan is tall/fair/handsome only in his eyes, the standards set for the girls (who are better educated and better placed) are of the highest order and no compromise on this aspect. Although there is an effort to show that all round personality will be considered, most of the time it stops at beauty, height, shape and the greatest consideration of all SKIN COLOUR.
(4) Photograph: Photos uploaded are of the following types:
(a) ‘Marriage material’ guys:For more information please read Arranged Madness Part I on how this photo is composed and photoshopped.
(b) Professional guys: Pics uploaded on Linkedin profile or taken at some wedding when they wore a suit.
(c) Cool guys: Where they r standing next to one of the world’s famous monuments (please people Dubai, Singapore and Thailand are now a part of India) or bungee jumping/skydiving/marathon running.
(d) Miscellaneous guys: Some of them think they are the curious case of the abovementioned Emirati men. Some parents will send a pic which was taken 4-5 years ago i.e. when the guy was not balding.
(5) Implied Expectation: We don’t want dowry, but gifts of high value will be appreciated (and are expected)
The other day my cousin sis called up asking for advice to survive this madness. She said
Sis: “Chechi, chavara-il chavaru poley chekkan maaru ondu!” (There are so many guys in chavara website)
Ann: “So that is good, you have a lot to choose from”
Sis: “U didn’t hear me properly! I said chavara-il chavaru polathey chekkan maaru ondu” (Chavara has rubbish choice of guys- this language!)
I am sorry girls…I hate to say this but its a rite of passage!
But don’t let any boy/his family make you feel inferior and pls don’t get married for the sake of getting married!
PS: The author does not intend to rebuke or humiliate MalChris men. Neither is this a vent out post. It is unfortunate that well educated and well placed girls have to go through this humiliating process. Some boys’ families are understanding, but most of them are down right nasty, sometime making us girls re-evaluate our worth. You may argue why would any self respecting educated independent girl put herself through this humilation…well try arguing that out with our MalChris mothers who resort to emotional blackmail, open threats, divine intervention in the form of weekly novenas and nercha idals (bribing Jesus basically) to make us conform!