My Parents On Tinder (For Parents)

Yes, you read that right. My parents went through profiles, swiped left, swiped right. They chatted, got excited, got ghosted and ghosted some others. The whole production.

But Tinder is too immature for them. Plus they’re both already married so their life is sorted. The project is to get me married. So they’ve been busy checking out Tinder for Parents, aka shaadi.com (and the likes, especially ones dedicated to the peculiar species of TamBrahms).

I resisted the idea for the longest time, because I didn’t and still don’t find anything very exciting about the prospect of sharing a bathroom with someone for the rest of my life while being forced to tolerate (even if I choose not to give into them) several patriarchal expectations within the household. Like the rest of the world wasn’t enough. But there was a little arm twisting, some cajoling and just general exhaustion with the frequent arguments. And I acceded. What’s the worst that could happen any way, especially considering my parents are the last people in the world to force me into marriage?

So, with the blessings of some greying relatives, my parents began the search. Their filters for choosing boys included age, education, job prospects and the absence of too many sisters because my mother’s experience with sister-in-laws has not been very pleasant, to say the least. That’s the starting point. Then the men are rated on a scale of “patriarchal bastard” to “decent human being”. To my parents’ credit, they’ve rejected more men on Tamil Matrimony in one month than I rejected on Tinder in six.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, because on matrimonial websites people are more honest about their expectations from women, and you rarely find horny self proclaimed “sapiosexuals” on it. The simple demands from an ideal Indian bride may be summarised as follows (In points because I attended a CBSE school):

  1. Modern yet traditional (Meaning jeans might be allowed but no drinking or late nights)
  2. Good looking (euphemism for fair and thin)
  3. Should have excellent career prospects but with “family values” so strong that she always chooses the home over the office
  4. Must partner with the man to take care of his family (Also take over household duties when the maid vanishes). The bride’s family doesn’t matter, of course

In return for all this, some men are gracious enough to add a line about how they’re quite okay should the woman decide to continue work after marriage.

And while the expectations from the bride are almost always explained in great detail, there is rarely anything mentioned about what they’re willing to offer in a marriage. That is left for the prospective brides to deduce from the annual salaries mentioned on the profile.

I had smartly requested my parents (for entirely selfish reasons) to give preference to men who own pets (because doggos are the best) and those living in Mumbai (because I want the “main maike chali jaaungi” threat to sound real)

My parents thought the whole exercise would be fun, because they aren’t in any particular hurry for this marriage business. However, they found themselves perilously close to losing their faith in mankind. “Man”kind.  There were hardly any who met the simple benchmarks of “don’t be an ass” or “be half the man my Dad is.”

But, because my intention here (unlike what it seems) is not male bashing, let me admit that everyone was not an asshole (at least on paper). There were some who were, you know, nice.

Well, sort of.

I had the (mis)fortune of talking to two of them. Let me tell you about them.

 

Prospective Groom #1

 

Let’s call him MM.

I spoke to him for about 20 minutes one evening. He owns some business which makes these super cool semiconductors. They must be really cool because he didn’t utter one sentence in those 20 minutes which didn’t mention the word semiconductor. Reminded me of this old colleague of mine who’d graduated from Princeton and could never have a conversation without mentioning Princeton at least once.

At the end of the 20 minutes, he asked if we could “proceed with the alliance.” When I suggested there was no way I could answer that after just once phone call, he assumed I had an issue with his “background.” I assured him that wasn’t the case.

From the next day, I promptly received a “Good Morning” and “Good Night” forward on WhatsApp every single day. I had to say Good Bye the next week. I have no doubt he was a nice person, just not someone I could imagine holding a conversation with without freuquent and inordinate awkward silences.

 

Prospective Groom #2

 

Let’s call him PS.

PS seemed harmless at first. He was rather funny and polite enough and understood these decisions regarding matrimony took time. Eventually I discovered hidden land mines and then he dropped grenades and he even owned a Glock.

  1. He insinuated I was considering him as a groom because I wanted a green card to move to the US (Did I mention the fellow lives in the States?)
  2. Couldn’t stop talking about what an amazing cook his mother is. Which is great but kinda weird if mentioned 10874859 times in every conversation.
  3. He seemed unable to wrap his mind around why I’d want to do an LLM and then look for a job if I did end up moving to the States. I mean, he earns well so it makes no sense that I’d like to have a career too, right?
  4. He made fun of HIV patients.
  5. He kept munching on chips the whole fucking time we spoke. Every time. I have no issues with people eating, and call me old school but it’s basic decency to at least pretend that you take this call seriously. I’d hear the crunch of the chips more often than his voice.

 

5 is a nice number so I’ll stop here.

This process has made me want to actively start looking for men to date. The other day I found myself ogling at the men at the bar, wondering if the looks thrown my way were arrogant or charming. And if they smelled nice. And if they’d listen to 90s Bollywood songs with me. (And other things but the parents also read this blog sometimes). Meanwhile my parents are exhausted at the end of this experience and for the time being, they’ve just given up. I shimmied a little in joy.

The search is on, and I am sure this is hardly the end of my trysts with the arranged marriage conundrum. I shall fasten my seatbelt and hopefully learn to laugh at myself (and others, of course) along the way.

 PS – Sorry for the long absence from this delightful space. In my defence I am just an exam away from being a lawyer! LLB Twiggy ❤

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Happy Diwali!

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous Diwali! May your lives be filled with light, hope and positivity 🙂

I understand I haven’t written anything here for a while. Some explanations (not excuses!)

  1. I did become half of a lawyer by giving another set of semester exams.
  2. I took up another writing assignment – a piece of short fiction which then turned out of be a lot longer that I initially thought it would be. I can multitask but my OCD isn’t letting me even consider any writing till I finish that. I have another 5 parts to write down after which I’ll be free to write for this blog as I please. Which is quite often.

No more fiction writing for me.. at least nothing that is anything longer than really short fiction. It’s exhausting and my brain gallops while my fingers trot which is frustrating.

Thanks for bearing with me!

And have a fantastic year ahead. Much love 🙂

Twiggy

PS – Until then, watch this video that will totally make your day:

Update. And Some Musings.

Sorry about being totally MIA this past month. I had some legit reasons though:

  1. I participated in a moot court competition. I kicked ass. It was awesome. Law student pheelz just got super real.
  2. My stomach kicked my ass. I was down with gastroenteritis for a whole week. All better now 🙂
  3. I was disappointed about not completing my 2015 Goodreads challenge. So I plan to target reading an average of 3 books a month this year (minus exam months). So far I’m on track – 2.5 books down in Jan.
  4. I recently bought a new iPad. So I spent more time fiddling with it and my laptop was largely ignored. That means less typing. That means no blogging.
  5. I like lists of 5. So…

 

On a totally different note –

One of my judges in the Moot Court asked me an interesting question. He asked me what I found most fascinating during my research for the case. I cannot remember exactly how I answered that one, since it was one of the 50000000 questions he threw my way (To my credit, I must have answered well. He gave me a fabulous feedback.)

But his question got me thinking. What did I find most fascinating ?

One of the many reasons I love the law is because it holds answers. It holds solutions. There is solid text which sets the ground rules. It sets principles. I can refer to it anytime a question arises and it will point me in the right direction.

What happened during my research for this competition was the total opposite. I did not find answers in the law. My solution lay in my problem – in the facts. The only thing I could use to my advantage was my version of the facts. Nothing written in any statute could do for me what that could.

Does this change my perspective of the law? Not change… broaden, perhaps. Does this make me question my motivations? No… it does make me introspect though. Does it make my rethink my decision? Absolutely not. If anything, I think I am more fascinated than ever before. Because I felt most independent when I came to that earlier realisation.

While I’m sure that’s not the norm – and more often than not I will have to turn to the words of the law to find what I need, but I still learned something wonderful. That I can work with what I have in hand and that will show me how to get to where I want to be.

It’s the kind of kick you get when you crack an important clue in a crossword puzzle. Or you begin to see that rubik’s cube finally come together. It isn’t completely solved yet and there are many more steps to take. But each of those steps is fascinating and full of discoveries. It’s wonderful.

Rant over. Kthanksbye!

Things that have happened since the last post

1. From a somewhat part time employed person, I am now a full time law student

2. I got through one law college and was happy and started classes. 4 weeks later I found out that I made it to another college which was better and also significantly closer to where I live. So I withdrew my admission from the earlier one and joined the new one.

3. I came to love law in class and hate it during exams

4. I found myself rather lost and friendless for some very long weeks. Then I decided to stop whining and enjoy what I did have. And eat a lot of chocolates while at it.

5. Read Ashok Banker’s Ramayana series [over 4000 pages in total!] and thoroughly enjoyed it. Rama is awesome but Hanuman is awesome-er. Bas.

Currently, I am preparing for my Semester exams and am (understandably?) quite miserable. I haven’t studied very much and have memorised nothing at all.

I am here to ask my readers to wish me luck and promise that I’ll be back with posts once my exams are over [they end on 2nd November]

Till then, take care and have fun!