(Not) made for each other


Priya looked at Rajesh's profile photo. He looked like those "uncle" types. Not very tall and sported a moustache. But these reasons were not sufficient to reject the "prospective" groom. At least her parents thought so. Give the person a chance is what the others told her. So, she ignored the heart and went ahead with the mind. She began corresponding with Rajesh. Nothing seemed wrong with him prima facie. He responded promptly to all her mails and answered her questions with grace. Yet, there was something nagging in her heart. She wasn't yet falling for him.

Priya was well educated and worked in an MNC. Tall, dusky with a not-so-perfect skin, she was your girl next door. A sunny smile, perfect gait, a nice figure and pleasant disposition made up for the lack of conventional beauty. She went through the usual rigmarole of groom-hunting, burying the secret desire of finding someone who would sweep her off her feet to fall in love. She was practical too. Giving in to her parent's requests, she had signed up on the matrimonial sites.
 

Mails followed mails and soon the initial introductory phase was over and it was time to move on to more serious topics. The horoscopes were already matched, so families and habits were discussed. Priya had a lot of apprehensions but Rajesh deftly handled her queries. She seemed pretty fast (?), he told her once over an email. (Whatever that meant!). There were things that nagged her. The fact that Rajesh's mother doted over him more (apparently) and valued his opinion more than that of his elder brother triggered an unease. That, he kept track of the family budget and prepared extensive excel sheets for the finances should have been a plus, yet it gave her strange goosebumps. These were inexplicable irritants- no real reason on the face of it. Call it a woman's instinct, Priya was certainly not at peace.

Things were moving a fact pace, sooner than she liked. It was time for a face-to-face meeting and she was dreading it. Rajesh hailed from a different city, worked in yet another city and was to fly down to Priya's city to meet her. She was hoping for a miracle. Something that would stall things or something concrete that would come into light to enable her articulate her fears, to base her possible rejection on. It was not as though her opinion didn't matter. She was given the reins as far as the final choice and decision was concerned. Her decision would be respected even if it was just based on her whim. But maybe the responsibility that comes with the freedom stopped her from making rash decisions without giving a full chance to the other party and to herself.

Priya's prayers were answered, when all of a sudden before the meet was to happen, her brother-in-law, Santosh, had to go on a official visit to the same city from where the guy hailed from. In short this was a opportunity for someone from her family to meet the guy's family and gauge them before she and Rajesh met: an important lead to take things ahead. She spent a restless day and was eagerly awaiting some news, when Santosh came with some information that confirmed her fears about this match.

Rajesh was the second of the two children. The elder son and his wife lived with the parents. The elder son didn't hold any professional degree, but came across as a very warm and genuine person. But the manner in which he was treated by the family that too in front of a complete stranger (Santosh), rang warning bells in the brother-in-law's mind. The way Rajesh's family functioned and behaved was typical of an orthodox system where hierarchy of age prevailed over wisdom. In the course of the short visit, small but significant facts like: the mother kept the main/common cupboard locked and the keys remained with her at all times, came out in the open. Thanks to her brother-in-law's sharp observation and deducible powers, Priya was assured that her fears were not baseless. She had already made up her mind. With nothing to worry now, she looked forward to meeting Rajesh. It was just a mere formality now.

Rajesh came with his uncle in tow. Priya tried to meet Rajesh's eye. Considering they had corresponded for some time they were not strangers but he evaded her gaze. The minute the snacks were placed on the table, the uncle made a dig at it with an air of authority and superiority and even had the nerve to ask his nephew to eat on without inhibitions. No issues with the eating bit; if snacks are served they are meant to be eaten of course. But uncle's attitude definitely reeked of "oh! we are from the boy's side and we ought to be take care of"- a total put off and a glaring danger signal for any girl. Anyway, soon it was suggested that the girl and the boy talk alone for some time.

The minute they were alone, the first thing Rajesh said was that Priya needed to change a lot. On asking what exactly needed change, he replied that he found Priya a little too modern and that needed change; for e.g. she "couldn't" wear T-shirts as they were un-lady like in his opinion. She was emboldened by the fact that she didn't have to marry this creep, so she took this as an opportunity to scrape the surface further to test the true mettle of the person.

Priya: do you think the wife should "adjust" more??
Rajesh: I think ladies are naturally endowed with powers to adjust.
Priya: So, do you think your wife should work?
Rajesh: Well, I earn enough, so she need not. If she wishes she can however just for time pass.
Priya: What about the decision making? Will you consult your wife in all the decisions taken?
Rajesh: She will be consulted if necessary but the final say would be mine
Priya: You may want to give her some money to run the household then? (the sarcasm was obviously lost on the thick-headed guy)
Rajesh: Oh yes! I am an expert in making budgets. I'll give her some fixed amount for the monthly expense.
I am a good manager at office hence feel I have the capability to manage home too.
meaning: she can be a doormat while I give her some pocket money so that the poor girl can sometimes entertain herself.

Priya was enraged enough to give the chap a tight slap but decency stopped her. They wound up the talk on the "will let you know" note. She had to collect her thoughts

A closure was important and it was more important that she drew it. That night she shot him an email to give a finishing touch to the matter:

Mr.Rajesh,
I don't think this alliance can work out due to following reasons.
1.We are on completely different wavelengths.
2. I find your views very imposing and rigid. Marriage involves adjustment and change for both partners in equal proportion. I don't believe ladies have special power to give in more than gents. At least this 21st century has no place for such backward beliefs.
3. Change in attitude and lifestyle should be gradual and out of mutual respect and love and not because one partner demands it and expects complete compliance from the other,out of personal reasons and beliefs.
4. I believe, space for personal likes and dislikes and personal growth  is absolutely necessary even between a husband and wife. Individual identity cannot be compromised upon.
5. A life partner am looking for is someone who can be my best friend,who  treats me as an equal with respect. Respect can only be earned and not demanded and it is mutual (works both ways).
6  I believe, marriage cannot be dealt with in the same way one manages a team  in an office.Many successful managers are poor home makers because they see no difference between the two. 
I sincerely feel we cannot get along. These are entirely my viewpoints with nothing personal against you.
Wish you luck in future.
Priya.

The "send" button was clicked to flush out both- the mail and male chauvinist out of the system.


43 comments:

  1. L.O.V.E.L.Y. yep, that's it!

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    1. THANK U, Purnima!
      psst..this is a true story ;-)

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    2. WOW! If this is a true story then "Hats off to Priya!"

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  2. Beautifully written..I knew how the story was progressing but your language kept me glued to it until the very end.

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    1. Thank you so much, lostworld! am flattered to hear that..
      welcome here :-)

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  3. Oh I wish I had the guts to do this in real life :(

    Superb post - enjoyed reading it!!

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    1. :-) thanks, Me!
      err..hope you are not faced with such a situation but if you do, you'll find the guts to do something like this :-)

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  4. superb superb..loved reading it...good riddance Priya!

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    1. Thank you, RM! yes it was good riddance! ;-)

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  5. Awesome!! Very well narrated... And it's a very useful post as well.. ;) :D

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    1. Thanks a ton, Radhika!..:-)
      will be glad if someone can make use of this post ;-) :-)))

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  6. wow loved this one. kya baat hai. applause! admire the lady and all such real life Priyas :)

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  7. thank you Sujatha! will pass on your thoughts to Priya :-))

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  8. Wow!! Just loved this! Hats off to Priya! :)
    And in one of the comments you said it was a true story. Why am I not shocked!?!
    But still, Awesome reply!

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    1. Thanks a lot, CD and welcome here :-))
      and..err...why are you not shocked?
      and, yes, thanks for the follow too..:-)

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    2. Thank you Uma :)
      I am not shocked because we have many narrow minded men like the guy above in our country, isn't it?
      You are welcome :)

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    3. Ah yes! unfortunately there is more than a fair percentage of such creep around us :-(

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  9. This story happens everywhere.... the only thiing is that all girls should be as bold as Priya to kick such a guy out of their lives....

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    1. yes, Tan..isn't it sad that even in this age there are so many young chaps that think like Rajesh :-(
      It is so needed that every person who is looking to marry spends some time introspecting. Knowing themselves first and then getting their priorities right before embarking on the soul-mate seeking journey.

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    2. True. Every person needs to spend some time introspecting. [irrespective of the marriage factor] :)

      Nice blog, Uma. You've a new follower.

      PS - I could easily connect with the "About Me" post. Especially the 'tough to write about oneself' and 'I don't stick to a particular genre while writing' part. :)

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    3. You're right cmus. An introspective is needed irrespective of marriage :-) Thank you very much for the comment and the follow.
      Checked out your blog too and you've some great stuff there.

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  10. Replies
    1. Thank you, Navin and welcome here! :-)

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  11. If only more girls had the guts to stand by what they believe in! Btw, love the new look :-)

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    1. I guess it also depends on how supportive the parents of the girl are. If she knows she is right and her people will support her come what may, then perhaps she will be empowered and emboldened to take the right steps..
      aah..new look? seems like you are not new here then :-)))
      thanks and welcome here, Bindu..hope to see you more often :-)

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  12. Sometimes Uma, I think, the arranged marriage method is so flawed. I mean in a small meeting or two, you have to make up your mind on someone and if you don't have a keen eye or are gullible, you are really done for. Not that I think that those who choose their partners have it easier. There is always post marriage dissonance. Won't say anything for the men, but the girl sure has to be very sure of what she wants, the extent to which she will compromise and explicit about her expectations from the partner. Sorry to rant so much, I remain a cynic!!

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    1. yes there are flaws in the present arranged marriage method. Imagine, the girl and the boy are not allowed to date until at least they are engaged. Even if the engagement is then called off, it is considered as a huge blot on the girl's family. As you say, even love marriages don't come with any guarantee. Both the parties need to have a basic idea of their spouses and have a clear idea of at least where they stand on important matters like religion, money, children, career etc. The best one can do is correspond/talk as much as possible on serious and important issues with the prospective bride/groom before coming to a decision. Yes, one needs to read between lines and keep a keen eye of observation too.
      Marriage is quite a gamble I'd say.

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  13. wow uma! well done! u have a good flair in writing stories! keep it up!hats off to priya!

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous! :-)
      It would've been nice if you had left your name.

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  14. What if he answered all the questions the other way just to impress her? A small advice.. be ready with smart questions.. not these direct questions. Not every guy is honest.

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    1. hmm..that's a scary thought..guys like Rajesh see no harm being the way they are (in fact pride on the way they think) and hence do not disguise themselves..
      but what you are suggesting would mean dealing with a psychopath who very well knows his shortcomings and is out to cheat/trap a gullible girl. Now that's a challenge. Thanks for the advice and comment!
      and welcome here :-)

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    2. Let him talk too much.. continously.. that will do.

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    3. aah..so there lies the trick, you say? hope this tip helps people who find themselves in similar situations.

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    4. Same for girls. They are not amul babies..

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  15. A lovely post, Uma and thoroughly enjoyed reading:) I wish all the girls have the courage to call a spade a spade!

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    1. Thank you so much Mr. Bhatia! glad you liked it.
      Welcome here :-)

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  16. If I am ever put through to a similar guy, I bet I will say this on his face. The nerve to say, I am a good manager at work so I will manage you as well at home. THIS is my problem with arranged marriages :( considering I am a very poor judge of people. Esp, all my first impressions so far are far from what they actually are.

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    1. I am sure you'd, Arch :-))) (I wasn't so bold, so took the email route:-))
      yes, arranged marriages are more of a gamble than love marriages are..but for people who have been unable to find "the one" completely on their own, for whatever reasons, the matrimonial site gives at least some independence/autonomy by way of emails, chats and phone calls BEFORE the actual face-to-face meet. At least this is what I think :-)))

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  17. Wonderful post Uma..
    There is this instinct, gut feel or voice of the heart that all of us have .. It always prompts the right thing .. Bang on at the first go .. The mistake we all do is to push it down to the bottom and rationalise with our so called logical mind .. Marriage concerns the heart and not the head .. Making a wrong choice can be disastrous ..
    One must not follow the checklist approach .. Ticking off all the desirable qualities that the guy has and compromising the relatively insignificant requirements with the more important ones etc .. It cannot work that way ..
    Its not totally wrong to be rational in judging or seeking someone with traits you think would go well with your personality , but for the final decision .. Follow ur heart !! Follow ur heart !! Follow ur heart !!

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    1. Hi Aarthy,
      Yes, trusting your gut instinct is very important. But sometimes, it takes time to understand the truthful inner voice. One must also not be completely out of rationale too, I believe. Some amount of objective and logical approach is also necessary.
      Thanks for your lovely words and comment, Aarthy and yes, welcome here :-)))

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  18. Wow Uma, I was going to say your fiction seems to be as good as your poetry, then read in the first comment that this is a true story :). Even then, your narration is superb, totally keeps your attention until the last word!!

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    1. hahaha Aparna, I wish I had the creativity to write fiction..but as they say never say never ;-)
      and yes, this happened in real life, so had no problem narrating it. Though, it makes me happy when people say the narration was good. What better encouragement for a writer? Thanks a ton, Aparna! :-)

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