At the time of writing this I am 28 years and 23 days old. A “ripe age” my relatives and society in general would call.
One year ago, when my dad was retiring from his job after 40 years of service, he told me “Son! its time for you to get married, you need to start saving money from now and we will find a suitable bride for you to marry in a year…”. Never did I ever imagine that it would actually come to this stage.
After visiting three different astrologers and registering my name (and my annual salary among various other details) with various matrimonial agencies (few caste based ones too), my parents shortlisted 8 prospective brides out of 35. They were the ones whose horoscope matched with mine and only 5 were ‘tall’ enough to marry me. Apparently, the bride shouldn’t look out of place in photographs when standing beside my 6 foot structure. As a relative of mine would often say in Malayalam,
‘Penninu neelam illengil aanayum aananum aduthu aduthu nadakunne pole indavum’.
If the girl isn’t tall enough the couple will look like an elephant and a squirrel walking together.
If I had a choice I would choose not to get married but since my wonderful parents are hell bent on convincing me to try and speak to this girl, who checks all the criteria set by them, I prepared myself a list of questions to ask just in case life turned the tables on me.
Here are the 5 questions I want to ask
1. Are you looking to have a career even after marriage? What are you career ambitions?
I want to know what my future wife intends to do with her career. I have known girls who just wanted to find a good rich husband and settle comfortably in some other part of the world and I also have known ambitious girls who would flip out when someone asked about their marriage plans and declare that they wouldn’t get married until they establish themselves in a good career and would only get married when they find the right person. I find the latter ones very attractive.
In this case, I need to be lucky enough to find a girl who will find me to be the right person for them.
2. Do you love to travel and explore?
I want to know if she gets excited to go on un-planned day trips and if she would take the much more scenic route instead of the one showing on Google Maps.
I want to know if she will have the urge to climb that hillock to watch that sunset and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty to capture that beautiful bird on her camera.
3. How do you manage your personal finances?
A very popular social experiment by a popular brand in India showcased how women are lagging behind in financial literacy compared to men. I was shocked and it made me think. I felt ashamed that even I had unknowingly taken to the ways of patriarchy. In retrospect, I grew up in a family that didn’t even allow girls to have their food on the dining table along with the other men and that included my 10 year old female cousin.
I don’t claim myself to be master at personal finance but I manage well enough and I wish for my bride to have financial awareness or at least be willing to learn.
4. Do you want children?
There are many reasons why I don’t want a child. The most general ones being, ‘we are already over-populated’ and ‘I don’t want to bring a new being into this dying world’. I know the reason might sound lame but think about it. Especially, after the COVID pandemic has changed the way mankind lived and the world it took for granted.
Also, where does it say that your duty as a human being is to ace through school and college, get a good job, get married, have children and impose upon them the same kind of pressure that your parents and society imposed upon you.
There are more reasons why I want to go childless and these are personal reasons which I feel compelled to share but maybe in another story.
5. Do you believe in having the “Fat Indian Wedding”?
When Chandler Bing on F.R.I.E.N.D.S said
…Honey! I’m not gonna spend all of the money on one single party..
I felt that.
I really believe its a crime to spend so much money on a party for people most of whom you meet only once in 5 or 10 years and whose existence has not had any kind of impact on your life. And don’t get me started on those pre-wedding photo shoots; even coming across one on social media drives me up the wall, forget about me being a participant. I know I’m going to face a lot of criticism for this but I understand it is ones wish what they want to do with their hard-earned money.
As a child I always used to joke around saying “… on my weddings I will treat my guests only to a cup of tea and a parippu vada (fritter made with lentils; a popular evening time snack in India).
If I live to see that day, I want to have a sustainable wedding. Maybe, a small outdoor function with trinkets and fandangle’s made out of recycled waste, a low-key vegetarian meal for the close friends and family who have gathered to celebrate the joyous occasion and of-course tea and parippu vada for people who hang back after the boring event.
And then, a trek to the Himalayas…