India comes with potfuls of family values. The whole “being with the family” feeling, the bonding over dinners, the feeling of “being there, irrespective” is amazing. Such feelings are projected mostly during social events like festivals, religious occasions and marriages.
The last one? Well, it is a huge farce. Atleast in case of love marriages.
The moment one decides to get married out of their will, the parents and the ‘old’ relatives attached to the person getting married, start building this “wall” of animosity, adding bricks of distrust and faithlessness at the speed of light.
Till the time you ask them what is wrong.
Then comes a well framed array of wild allegations against the person in ‘question’.. Maybe just by looking at a photograph or by reading a mail or by talking to them directly… The most hysterical one, I recently heard … “He looks great and stuff, but he is from the interior part of that-ugly-place…What if he gets married to you, takes away all your gold and then beats you to death?” A bewildered look, a i-dont-watch-as-many-soaps-as-you-do smirk and a whole week of not speaking, works out best in these cases. Meh.
But what took the cake (and made me respect my family much more) were the questions that were asked about you, by your to be in-laws. Pree, spoke about how her ‘serious’ boyfriend, Whats-His-Name spoke to his parents about his intention to marry her. Curious oldies from Chennai that they were, his parents asked for her photograph. On producing one, his mother had to pose a few ‘important life-changing decision-making’ questions about the impending wedding. The last of which was,
“Will she be able to grow her hair for the wedding?”
Really? Like really? To do what? To wear your foot-long gajra to our Catholic wedding? Seriously. (But obviously, the right thing to do then, was to run far away from such a family.)
This whole vague insecurity about losing their importance to the kids and to make way for a new ‘someone special’, makes parents behave like teenagers. The spoilt ones at that. Much importantly, some very strange and unimaginable reactions to the smallest of things come up, much of them make you ponder whether you would still want to get married.
I am preparing myself by formulating a pageful questions that can be asked by my in-laws:
1. Would you be able to grow your hair for the wedding?
A. Can try only for the head. Do not guarantee the remaining parts of the body.
2. Will you be able to cook post marriage?
A. Try asking your daughter this question.
3. Do you plan on working post marriage?
A. Why? Are you planning on giving me dowry for marrying your son?
4. How would you manage to hide your tattoos during social events?
A. By wearing your blouses with my saris.
5. Would you manage your expenses or would you depend on our son for it?
A. Tricky question. But try asking your daughter about it again.
6. Will you be able to fit into our culture?
A. Umm, I will marry your son, to start with our own culture. That of having no set culture. Will you be able to fit into my culture then?
A special thank-you note will be designed for my out-laws by the time, the D-day arrives which would contain a dry orchid , a crumpled piece of paper and a flashback of how ‘enchanting’ their ‘family values’ were to bring me to this point in my life.
And if it turns out to be too difficult? Maybe also a “suck it, losers” at the end of the note.
Ahh, thank Providence for single hood 🙂