Saturday, April 02, 2005

The in thing…………

A conversation overheard intentionally in a popular beauty salon in Thrissur, Kerala.

Participants: Two girls of 20-25 years of age(whom I’ll call G1 and G2) and another girl of about 10-14 years of age (whom I’ll call B1).

G1 is wearing a heavily embroidered salwar kameez and atleast 1Kg of gold ornaments.
B1 is most probably her sister, dressed in tights and a short top and wearing 5 inches heeled sandals which is apparently very uncomfortable.

G2 is dressed modestly and is most probably from a middle class family.

G1 and G2 have been sitting together for sometime now and they start the usual girly chit chat. Things take an interesting turn after around 3 minutes into their banter.

G1: Did I tell you that I am getting engaged next month?

G2: Oh really?

G1: Yeah …I am. The guy is from GULF. I always wanted to go to GULF and settle down there. Finally my dream is coming true. You know, chettan says that one should start the preparations one month before the function..….So I am going to be here whole day today.

G2: Oh good. Even I am going to be here for a long time today. So I’ll have company.

G1: Yeah. By the way did you see the Opel corsa outside? That is part of the dowry and it is…...

B1 to G1: chechi…is it over? I am getting bored here. I want to go home and watch Cartoon network.

G1 gives B1 a Filmfare to read and pacifies her. B1 tunes her world into Bollywood gossip for awhile.

G1 to G2:This is my bridesmaid. We are going to have matching hair cuts and matching makeup. That’s why I have brought her with me. It was the idea of my would-be in GULF.

The expression on G2’s face is worth watching at this moment. She looks and nods at G1 the way a person buying Rin detergent powder will look at a person buying Ariel Front-O-Mat! Finally she makes up her mind that two can play at that game.

G2: hmmmm.....well I don’t like gulf much. My engagement was over 2 weeks back. And my would-be is in the U.S.

G1: I see…..

G2: yeah…I had lots of proposals from GULF…but I turned them all down. I always wanted to see America.

G1: Oh well even I like the U.S. But after the Iraq war and the falling dollar my father felt that Gulf was better anyday. And there's the Dubai shopping festival every year!

G2: Well well…you never know what a person is really doing in GULF. My friend got married to a supposedly big-shot in GULF last year and after two long years she came to know that he had a very menial job there. And before she could get a divorce he got her pregnant too! Poor thing!

G1: Oh well…all my cousins are settled in the GULF. And my would-be is a blah-blah-blah-blah relation of my blah-blah-blah’s cousin. He is very close to lots of Sheikhs and all there. And he is head of a a big company there. He has been searching for a girl for 2 years now. He din't like anyone till now it seems, he tells me that he didn't find anyone good-looking enough until he saw me and he wanted a housewife - so it matches my plans perfectly. And you know, in GULF I’ll get to watch all my serials too.

G2: Oh that’s not a problem for me since I watch only English sitcoms. Mallu serials are oh-so-boring. There was this proposal from GULF for me 3 months back...…guy was very handsome..earning good enough…respectable family…he liked me too…dowry was also settled…but I had to say NO to him just because he was not from U.S. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity....…you cant compromise on these things, can you?

G1: Oh yeah. You took a very bold decision. These days its always better to wait for the right person rather than jumping the gun.

G2: Yeah…this guy in US is not very good looking and I have talked to him only once. But those things don’t matter, right? Once I get to U.S. I know I’ll be happy. He has said that we can buy a computer and I can chat with my parents in Kerala every night. Now I am learning how to use a computer and have to teach my parents too.

G1: Oh we already have a computer. I chat with my would-be daily for atleast 2-3 hours. Oh by the way my wedding is in June. Give me your contact, you should definitely come.

G2: Oh mine is in June too….here take down my mobile number. This is a gift from the U.S.

G1: Oh its lovely. But isn't it an old model?

G2: Hmmmm…..... see that girl over there? The one in the red sari? She was in my college. Poor thing…her life is a big tragedy.

G1: What happened?

G2: Oh well…she got married 2 years back. Even she wanted to go to the U.S. The guy’s family told her that he has joined XY-BRO and would go to US any day now and she can also go along with him. It's been so long now and she is still in India. Poor thing doesn’t even smile these days.

G1: Oh how sad. You know, these things are God’s blessings. Thalavara venum.


I couldn’t hear the rest of the dialogue as my hair cut was over and I had to leave the place. Couldn’t help wondering while walking out – arranged marriages in Kerala has moved on to a new plane now. It seems to be more like a ticket to go abroad rather than for a happy married life.

Whatever happened to the arranged marriages of yester-years where the most important criteria for the girl's family was finding a life-partner who earns well and fits well with their family? Now the deciding criteria seems to be the free Visa that comes along with the mangalsutra.

7 comments:

Pramod said...

Didn't know Gulf was still hot in the marriage market - one thing I know from personal experience is that - management is not popular in the marriage market - and belive it or not Europe ranks below Gulf :-)

But arranged marriages - I think its like a family run dating agency - and if there's a small tweak - allowing little more than the 30 mins to talk - it could give run for all the money of all dating.com companies here in the west ;-)

Anonymous said...

can i see ur new hair style -:))

Anonymous said...

u r making comments on the arranged marriage in kerala by hearing a convorsation b/w two stupid girls who came to a beautyparlor.. take some better specimen for analysis.. anyway ur blog is nice..

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Oh yeah I am gonna do a market research on the topic.

keep watching this space for the survey analysis!

:)

Vishnu said...

Is this a true incident? It looks too well-scripted! I agree that there is such a tendency, even in the matrimonial websites (ie, Groom wanted, preferably settled abroad), but this seems an overkill.

Anonymous said...

Hey PTS, i know that these specimen do exist, but THIS bad eh?

And, MORE haircut??
-VKM

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hey Vishnu,
well would you believe that this is a toned down version? Only my RAM to blame for that. There was some other statement that one of the girls made that almost made me jump up in my seat. But I forgot what it was :(

and VKM
well...you gotta do what you gotta do! The suckers were crying for a cut. :P

GWBE