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The Muse

October 26, 2005

Hold my hand, hold my heart

Its been a tiring week. Lots of work, and a lot of news that has forced me to think and introspect, and thinking is tiring. I'm planning a trip to Vegas this weekend - now that will be relaxing !!.

Well, anyways, I was talking and reading a lot about the marriage process and how it has evolved over the years. Guys and girls have a lot more expectations and higher standards from their prospective partners nowadays. Part of this can be attributed to the increase in exposure that people are getting - lots of travel, lot of opportunities to meet people, lots of friends [of both sexes]. Part of this is also because our movies are getting slightly more intelligent [the guy does not attempt suicide every time the girl says no].Part of this is because we are learning from our mistakes, and are refining the process as we go along [all these wahooo websites, matrimonials and all that are trying to match people in ways you would never think of]

Among these things, there has been a really strong, silent movement where a lot of people are starting to "arrange their own marriages". How many of you can relate to this experience? Let's look at this - so the guy is working in a company, and he is friends with our girl in the next cubicle or neighboring company or whatever [just friends people]. After a couple of years or so, he has got his first Yamaha and all that cool stuff, and is now thinking about "settling" down [or his relatives have decided that its time they had a get together or a good lunch, so a wedding is needed]. Cut to the girl, almost exactly the same circumstances [you can substitute a Kinetic Honda for the Yamaha maybe] and voila! Marriage! The next thing you know, the guy and girl are in love, they sell their two two-wheelers to get one four wheeler and then arrange their marriages through their parents.

Now, if this happens once in a while I can maybe understand how love might have blossomed. It is too much of a stretch to accept this when it keeps happening every Tuesday. My take on this is that people are choosing this as an alternative to the traditional arranged or love marriage option. Everyone is shitting their pants when you talk about arranged marriage, as you think of all the possible scenarios [what if the girl is actually a guy? or what if the guy has uneven feet? or what if the guy has a tail? and so on]. On the other hand, people don't find love that easily either, as we don't really have that much of an open society in schools [except maybe where my brothers go] and colleges [except Mepco Schlenk], despite what everyone says. It is open, but only to the adventurous [like me!]. It becomes really open when you start working but that is a bit too late for love to find you, unless you are lucky [like me!]. But even then, you have to work hard or you will mess it up [like me!].

So now, what is happening is that, people are getting married out of sheer convenience and labeling it love, as it somehow makes it sound better. In addition to convincing themselves that they are in love, the participants also convince themselves that they have cleverly avoided the pitfalls of an arranged or love marriage scenario.

I can see where this is an intelligent decision for some, but I am totally against this. And my reason for this [other than the fact that this is my blog] is that it kind of takes the approach of saying, "I like this girl/guy, who knows who I will get if I wait, let me play it safe and take what I have right now".

When I get married, I am sure that I will fight, I will be obstinate, I will be stupid, I will be angry, I will be sad, I will be inconsiderate, I will be dumb, but I will also be able to make up, be understanding, have intelligent conversations, be forgiving, be happy, be kind and be caring. I am going to see her smile each morning and look into her eyes each night [1], for the rest of my life. And I should and can be all of these only with someone whom I truly,totally and absolutely love.

I guess what I'm saying is - don't give up on love guys! I can see your arguments saying that well, "why can't I fall in love with this girl whom I know and like, after I get married?" And my answer is simple - not likely to happen. Think...if you see, and talk and hang out with this girl or guy for three years and nothing happens, but you suddenly fall in love only when people are forcing you to get married, then the chances are that it is really not the kind of love I am talking about. On the other hand, if you get hitched to someone through the arranged marriage paradigm, then that person is someone unique, someone who the family thinks will make you happy and so that is a different kind of love, a kind of love that is inherent due to our culture and so on, and it can evolve,develop and blossom [or go kaput], but it atleast gives you a shot at getting the kind of life that makes living worthwhile.

You can like people, and hold hands with a lot of them, but like Michelle Branch croons, its only with certain people that its true that "when you hold my hand, you hold my heart"[2]. You get the opportunity, and the privilege, to love only a few. So make it count.

October 25, 2005

A Little Perspective

Its been a while since my last post. In fact, its been such a long time[or short, depending on where you live!], that after hurricane Katrina, the entire hurricane alphabet has been used up and we are now in the "second round", as hurricane Alpha arrived a couple of days back.

I really don't want to talk about Bush, its almost too easy. There are now Bush greeting cards with "Bushisms" on them. Shows you the state of affairs right? My professor bought one to class the other day. Shows Bush holding up three fingers and saying "I have three words for you". Inside it says "thank you"

It just seems like its one straight tragedy after another. Absolutely devastating earthquake, and it is somehow made worse when I get a western spin on the event. Other than the death toll, the news [or what people refer to as news] has been semi lamenting the fact that India and Pakistan did not make use of the opportunity of this tragedy to kickstart a Kashmir "peace process". The remaining news has been focused on how India is handling the event. The NY Times had a report that questioned India's claims of not needing any assistance. They went to great pains to point out that India had refused aid during the Tsunami and was doing the same with the earthquake, and also pointed out that this was India's attempt to be seen as a "giver", rather than a "taker". Sort of like saying, "you are not ready to play with the big guys yet fella". Well, we will see. Although I agree that politics should take a backseat when it comes to saving lives, there comes a time when you do what you got to do.

I saw this big picture of an old lady standing amid her ruins, with tears in her eyes and that really, truly shook me. We see so many deaths and disasters that I think we have unconsciously blocked out their significance so that we can live a normal life. This barrier is overcome only when the loss is close to home, and perhaps because I am so far away from home that it hit me so hard.

Thinking about all this leads me to a discussion I had with one of my friends the other day. Among other things, we found that we shared a common belief that it is essential to have a little perspective when we encounter problems in life. I mean, getting a job or traveling abroad is really important, but what is that when compared to seeing the earth heave up and waiting for someone, anyone, to tell you what happened to your daughter? Before we realize it, we become entangled in this vicious but trivial circle of salaries and job profiles. We need to make a concentrated effort to stop, take a step back and look at who we are, and what we are doing here. Lately, I have heard a lot of my friends here complain about a serious backlog in green card issuances and so on, and my response is - perspective people, perspective!

Well, a lot of heavy thinking there guys. Let's cool down. My friend keeps ribbing me that I don't drink anything other than a "tall,regular" at Starbucks, so I decided to expand my horizons. So, I go in and read, and read......geez [all these "iatos"], I finally ask the hot chick at the counter for a tea with milk, and find out its called Chai Tea Latte. Now, let's translate that. Chai in Hindi is Tea with milk, Tea is tea and Latte is "with milk". So when someone orders a Chai Tea Latte, he is requesting a Tea with milk tea with milk - how dumb is that? I'm sticking to my tall, regular - maybe some room for cream.