‘Daughters growing older, their egos becoming bigger, their attitudes and behavior becoming more boorish..’

A guest post by Mr GV.

IHM,

I once told you I am a member of an on line community  forum at yahoo groups. We are about 6000 members located all over the world and discuss matters of interest to the community. Most of us are elderly folks. A subject that comes up often is the difficulty in finding brides for the boys of the community.  Anguish is often expressed when girls  belonging to the community opt for “love marriages” particularly with boys from outside the community. Unlike the past, today the boys parents are having  trouble in finding suitable matches for their sons from within the community.  In the olden days, boys parents sat back with pride and were waited on by parents of girls seeking suitable matches for their daughters.  These days,  girls are much better educated and often better employed than many boys. The shoe is on the other foot now.  The issue is now being looked on as a problem in the community. Several mails on this subject have been posted in the past.

I am reproducing an edited version of one such mail from a prominent member of this group. I have sought his permission to post it here on your blog after deleting his name to protect his identity. He has kindly agreed, even after I have warned him that his views may invite strong reactions from readers of this blog, many of whom are staunch and committed feminists.

I will send a link to this gentleman so that he can follow the blog if and after it is published.

The editing is merely to reduce the length of the post and nothing relevant to the subject has been left out.

Regards and best wishes.

GV

JARGON ON THE MARRIAGE BOURSE

Hey guys, most of you, if not all of you, may be very familiar with the

jargon in the share bazaar and commodities markets. Matrimony too operates like the market economy. So this industry too has coined hits own jargon.

*INNOCENT DIVORCEE*

One of the most widely used terms to describe female divorcees is “Innocent divorcees”. Other terms that strike the eye are “upper middle class”, “affluent”, “well connected”, “prominent” “compatibility” , “adaptability”, “effervescent” , “ebullient”, “positive”.  More Lallies than Venkies use these terms. Want proof? Visit any matrimonial website featuring Lallies and you will see for yourself.

(GV :  Lalli, is a typical nick name for a girl from the community. Venky is a typical nick name for a boy from this community)

What does the term “innocent divorcee”  mean? Can you fathom it? Honestly, I can’t.  Who exactly is an “innocent divorcee”? What is innocence in a typical matrimonial situation. Was Lalli, the innocent BE (computers),MCA, MBA, or CA, or MSc. Microbiology or Pharmacy or MBA, widely traveled working for an MNC and drawing an astronomical salary and one who knows about the birds and the bees and the ways of the world, lured into marriage by a demon, plainly cheated, tortured, betrayed, exploited and thrown out? Or wasn’t the marriage consummated.  If so, then what about her four year old son?

One can’t imagine today’s Lalli being so naive. We all know that a camel can pass through the eye of a needle but  a Venky has to do Bhagiratha prayatnam to enter Lalli’s life. It’s tougher for a Venky to marry a  Lalli than clear the entrance to IIT or IIM. Such is the grilling the poor guy has to undergo, not only from Madam Lalli herself but also from her “super-educated” parents. It doesn’t matter if poor Venky is highly qualified.

That isn’t a bar for Lalli’s superannuated stenographer, section officer or supernumerary father from patronizingly grilling poor Venky and his parents and putting them through the grind. So, what or who then is an “innocent divorcee”?. Honestly I don’t know. Can any one of you enlighten me?.

*UPPER MIDDLE CLASS*

Now for the term “upper middle class”. Lalli’s parents are always upper middle class, whatever that term may mean.  How do they manage to include themselves in this class? What is the yard stick they use to decide which class they belong to?

My  limited knowledge on the subject makes me ask a lot of questions.  The average family income of a Lalli works out to around not more than 7 lakhs per annum. May be she has a Nano or a Wagon R (seldom used) parked in front of her house. The car is usually driven to the temple or to a wedding with Appa and Amma proudly riding in it, sitting erect and tossing their heads pigeon like, left and right, wondering and wishing if they are being noticed. And of course, getting out of the car, slamming the door aloud to attract attention and announcing aloud for every one to hear, “onnum chollaadey, enna traffikk jam theriyuma? ayyo romba bore??”

(GV: Liberally translated from the dialect of Tamil dialect spoken by the community:  Let’s not talk of it!  What a horrible traffic jam it was! I am fed up!”)

(GV: or as they say in Hindi “kuch mat bol, baabaa, kyaa traffic jam thaa pataa hai?, had ho gayee”)

Sorry folks, I am deviating from the narration.  If Lalli and her parents believe they are “upper middle class” living in a shoe box 442 sq.ft apartment in a pattar ghetto in Mulund or Dombivali, (GV: pattar is a popular colloquial term for the community, used with some mild contempt) we wonder about those small businessmen and professionals earning in lakhs every month, the top business executives and middle level businessmen, share brokers, mediamen and film fraternity, cameramen , directors, lawyers, highly paid medical professionals, consultants. What class are they? Are they the super rich, the aristocrats? And then the page 3 people. Are they upper middle class? If not what else?

In their bleak blinkered existence, with Lalli’s father eking out a living doing some subordinate, supernumerary job, a salary of Rs.7 lacs is big. A car is bigger.  An engineering degree or an MBA degree, from whichever third rate degree manufacturing institution, and a designation of “Manager” “Executive” (however deflated, inane and silly these may be) is the stuff dreams are made of. Lalli’s appa compares the managers of his times with today’s paper managers. An MBA from Pandurang Patil or Munisami Periappa University, however worthless these may be is the greatest of things. So, he and his Lalli are “upper middle class”.

And that gives them the liberty to talk, act and behave haughtily with persons seeking their daughter’s hand. The result?  Daughter’s growing older, their egos becoming bigger, their attitudes and behavior becoming more boorish, more condescending, more patronizing, advance towards menopause, growing fatter and uglier by the day. If perchance some Venky is meek enough to tie the knot with our Lalli, surrendering to her every whim and fancy, then hell awaits him. And very often, the marriage ends in divorce? Lalli is the “innocent divorcee”

*KOMPATTIBBILLITTY*

This is a much touted word. The first thing a Lalli’s father asks is “onga pullaikki ettanai chambalam kadaikkaradu.”

(GV: What salary does your son get?)

This is a genuine question, and a very welcome question. Valid too!

But the haughty, arrogant way this question is asked would put even an illiterate laborer to shame. There is no politeness, no humility, no kindness. A typical father of a Lalli would phone a prospective groom’s home. The conversation would go somewhat like this:

Boys father: Hello?

Girls Father: Hello, Subramaniama? (Now no Mr. no Sir.) (GV:  is it Subramaniam? ) note, no prefix

Boy’s father: Yes?

Now without identifying himself, without a formal greeting,  Lalli’s father would come straight to the question

*Ongattulai oru pullai irukkaan innu ketten*

(GV : I heard you have a “boy” in your house , (meaning a son of marriageable age) )

Boy’s father: Aamaam irukkaan (GV: yes, we have one)

Girl’s father: Enna chambalam avanukku? (GV: What is his salary?)

Boys’ Father: Saar, neenga aaru pesereyael, engendu kooppudarayal ?

(GV: Sir, who is this speaking? From where are you speaking?)

Girl’s father: *Aieee, adu ellam avvsiyam illai. Modalla pullayoda chambalam chollungo*

(GV: Arey! Let that go, it’s not necessary (for you to know) . First, tell us the boy’s salary)

Boy’s father: Saar, konjam vivarama chollungo. Neenga aaru, ponnu aaru, onga background enna

(GV: Sir, please give us details. Who are you? Who is the girl? What is your background?)

Girl’s father: “Paarungo, modalulai ongolodu pullayodu chambalam enna chollungo”

(GV:   See now, first tell us what your son’s salary is)

Boy’s father: *Enna avasaram saar?*

(GV: What is the hurry sir ? (for knowing the salary))

Girl’s fathe: *Modalla adu terinju aahanam. Kompatibbillittee vendaama?*

(GV: Right at the outset, it’s absolutely necessary to know that.  Isn’t compatibility needed?”)

Is Lalli’s father seeking to marry his daughter’s pay packet with that of the boy ?

“Kompattibbillittee”  for Lalli’s learned father also touches professional areas.  (Nalla kompattibillittee irukku.  kompooter=kompooter )

(GV: There is good compatibility. Computer = computer, meaning both boy and girl are computer professionals)

Are two computers going to tie the marital knot?

So Lalli’s father goes from boorish encounter to boorish encounter. Hasn’t he been a supernumerary all his life?  In his “aapees” (GV: the community’s typical pronounciation of  the word “office”)  he was used to being talked down.  He suddenly finds himself empowered by his darling Lalli, an ”Ingineeyar”  or an “YemBeeeYay”)  and has his day under the sun.

I can go on and on about the various jargon words but it is too painful to do so. I will bring down the curtain of charity on this sorry Lalli story and the pathetic parents.

Finally, Lalli, her hormones fast withering, her youth fading away, marries whoever she comes across, generally a Christian or a Muslim or a casteless Hindu. And ends up an “Innocent Divorcee”

Why don’t parents of Lallis shed their stupidity? Their condescending  attitude? Their arrogance? And behave like normal human beings?

What they are doing is hurting their own loved Lallis. And demeaning themselves.

============

Related Posts:

Marrying out of caste, Divorce, and Nuclear Families are Social Problems or solutions to Social Evils?

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

“Everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

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115 thoughts on “‘Daughters growing older, their egos becoming bigger, their attitudes and behavior becoming more boorish..’

  1. //”Such is the grilling the poor guy has to undergo, not only from Madam Lalli herself but also from her “super-educated” parents. It doesn’t matter if poor Venky is highly qualified.”//

    I bet the person who wrote this did not spare a thought on the poor Lalli who had to undergo grilling from not only the Venky that was him a few decades back, but also his “super-educated” parents, and doesn’t matter if the Lalli had been highly qualified.
    Personally, I cannot stop laughing at the pretentiousness.

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    • //”He suddenly finds himself empowered by his darling Lalli, an ”Ingineeyar” or an “YemBeeeYay”) and has his day under the sun.”//

      Dear Venky Parent,
      You cannot blame people for following the High Standards set by Venky Parents down the centuries. It is only natural for Lalli Parents to want to emulate the *greatness* Venky Parents have displayed for hundreds of years.
      Now instead of crying foul at the reverse in fortunes, be a sport, accept your fate with equanimity and make a promise to yourself that from now on you will set a worthy example for others to emulate and make you proud. :P

      Like

      • You know what, I belong to GV sir’s community (Tam Bram no sir?). Up until my mom’s generation, Venky’s families behaved worse than the so called Lallis are now. How many times have I heard even my embeeyea cousins parents wanting a Post graduate aana aval velaiyukku pogakudathu, home business venumna pannikattum, avanum busy, ivalum busyna veeta yaar pathukuva (we need a post graduate for our son but she shouldnt want to work outside, she could choose some work at home thing, if he is also busy and she is also, then who will look after the home). What about the numerous, does she know how to cook, both South Indian and North Indian? Bharatnatyam? Carnatic?

        Interestingly, up until 5 years ago, when I had first started thinking of marriage, this was the trend. Of late, love matches have increased in our community. These days, despite my advancing age, my parents are getting more requests and my mom has said that she has heard that it is because it is tough to find a nice tamil ponnu (girl). And growing fatter and uglier by the day, I could say what about the potbellied Venky who flaunts his PR in some foreign country because of some useless IT job he got after engineering and some correspondence MBA and expects a maid cum nurse to his parents? No, I am not bitter, just want to reply in the same tone :-P

        And Lallis fathers have a point when they ask about the salary, no Venky worth his salt likes a more successful, better earning spouse. And I say if your Venkys are so good, why arent they doing that well. I think all Venkys parents are like those characters Dhanush and Silambarasan play in Tamil movies. The girls are always mean (because they have standards and don’t want to date a loser) and the boys are always ‘innocent pure heartbroken lovers’ who think every girl should accept their love, whether or not they bring anything to the table. Lets face it, relationships are hard as it is and no one should be forced to accept anyone who doesn’t meet their standards, however skewed they may seem to you. The grapes aren’t sour, you aren’t tall enough to reach them.

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        • That said, I agree there is no ‘innocent divorcee’ its just a euphemism to avoid the useless questions Venky’s Ambi mama will ask about the girl’s character. While I am at it, I should also tell Venky’s parents that there is no ‘modern, yet traditional’ girl. I always laugh at that oxymoron when my parents send me the matches.

          What I can say about our generation is that most of us don’t consider arranged marriage to be our first recourse. I am presuming Lalli didn’t either. She went for love, but its not easy for an Indian woman to sustain a love marriage. The guys parents never fully accept her, her parents have always been hurt about it and this has enlarged even the smallest problems in her relationship, its easy for couples in our country to make the leap to maybe mom and dad were right, I shouldnt have married and separate when the first hurdle comes up. Most of us, guys included, come to arranged marriage scenarios considerably late when we have tried things, made mistakes and we are not really sure how to proceed. Not a healthy scenario, but we think if we have tried everything else, why not give this also a try? After all it worked for our parents. Not everyone is this way though, I must warn but I have seen enough of myself and my friends thinking this way.

          Then we meet a few Venkys and their parents and we realise that maybe we should stop trusting the society’s judgement, stop giving importance to having the perfect marriage and family and do what we want. We finally start living for ourselves and perhaps thats when we meet the right person, who could be anyone really, from any caste, maybe our own. But basically now we are more mature, have dealt with our demons, have realised there is no point in giving into societal or parental pressure, have accepted that maybe our ovaries are dying and that it doesnt make us less of a human being if we dont end up having the perfect photo frame of ham do hamare do, whats more important is to have love and respect, with or without a marriage.

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        • I loved this. Thank you for articulating it so beautifully. How sad for us women that we have a limited sexual life span for Venky’s dad here to heartily mock.

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        • Why talk only about Dhanush and Silambarasan. From the time movies were made, it was sheer hero-worship. The hero ‘taming the shrew’ by sermonising her about culture and tradition (so culture and tradition if at all is necessary, then it is only for women, is it?). He will be dressed in tee shirt and jeans…well, so much for traditional attire!!
          In another ‘must not’ watch movie, the hero from a middle class joint family loves and brings home a model. He expects her to change her entire personality, so as to suit the family needs. Grrrrr…..if he wanted a traditional wife, then why the hell did he chase a model (he does it in the movie) and marry her? To top it all, he separates the heroine’s 3 month old baby from the mother and says, ‘this is just to punish you for separating me and my family who has been together for the past 30 years…’. (I wish men who are still tied to their mom’s apron string, would stop entering the marital bond. Please, no woman out here is in dire need of such men).
          The film ends with the heroine (who by now has started wearing saris) cries and comes back to her husband. UNIMAGINABLE….This movie was released in 2005.
          I wasted my precious time to watch this, assuming that at least in the end, they will show some progressive thinking…ALAS!!

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        • I can actually write not just a blog post but a book about the kinda guys i have met. these guys just seemed like, they have never spoken to a single soul of the opposite sex and their world has only been mummy, daddy all their lives. when we goto visit them, they would not come out of their rooms unless called by their daddy, do not speak a word, atleast the basic manners of greeting the guests who have come home!!, just answer in 1 word for the questions asked by us, some not even wanting to talk to me while i was willingly ready :P.. while the mummy and daddy go-on bragging n bragging about their so called son. Of all the 40-50 odd guys tht i have met(i have lost the count), just 3 were worthy enough (I married the third one ;)..) independent in the way they think, which is in no way influenced by the so called ‘indian culture’, mature, considerate, understanding and respectful towards all.. I was not concerned about their education/job/salary/money/assets as it is mostly believed, to be a girl`s criteria.. at a point when i was actually loosing hope on these guys, god was graceful enough (thank god!). but whats alarming is the ratio of guys who are actually feminists(or humans!?), while we girls are getting more and more empowered and opening up our eyes to the innumerable injustice done to us, most guys are still stuck in that old world and to that same old belief of getting a good girl who is homely, silent, soft-natured, innocent, traditional etc etc….. When will these guys actually wake-up and start behaving like normal human beings?? is my question…

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        • Cilla! You are the best! Love the way you summarized your thoughts :). The last line about Dhanush and Simbu made me laugh so loud..

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        • @Lee

          I remember that movie because I too was so disgusted by it. Karishma kapoors character didnt want to live in a joint family and her husband comes to the hospital while she’s recovering from giving birth and takes the baby boy. She starts crying and begging him to give him back to her and he says now she will know what its like to be seperated from her son like how she seperated him from his parents. And my friends wonder why i dont watch bollywood movies…..

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  2. Thanks IHM, for publshing this.

    As soon as the comments come in, I will send a link to the writer of this piece.
    Let him take a decision to remain anonymous or come out with his name and defend his views and answer your readers if he chooses to do so.
    I will not mention his name nor will I ask him to reply.
    As already mentioned, I have taken his permission to post his views here.

    Also, even though this was written with a specific community in mind, I think the “problem” (for those who consider this a problem) cuts across all Indian castes.
    So I will request your readers not to bring in the name of the community into the discussion.
    The name of this community will be obvious to those of you who belong to it. Let others please comment only on the views of this writer and not on the community. That is humble request from me.
    Regards
    GV

    Like

    • Same community, GV :) And hopefully your friend sees this comment.

      Dear Mr. Venky’s Dad,

      It is because of men like you who bring up their sons entitled and horribly insensitive to the needs and problems of the women in their lives, I have decided not to enter into an arranged marriage. Not only are such sons worthless, the parental interference and constant moaning (of the sort I see above) is a major reason for me to distance myself from this community. Personally, I would be happy with falling in love and that hasn’t happened for me yet. It’s alright if it doesn’t happen. It won’t make me ugly or sad, despite what you may desire. It merely means I will continue to live my life with great self respect, happiness and independence.

      And please, there is no such thing as an ‘innocent divorcee’. All divorcees are innocent, unless they have been actively engaged in criminal acts of abuse. Similarly, there is no such thing as a casteless Hindu, since Hinduism is based on casteism (and the reason why I have renounced it. I would happily marry anyone of any religion who will make me happy (and who would not thrust his religion down my throat), but I would never marry the son of a man such as yourself, even if he is the last single man left on earth.

      You speak about not receiving respect, but how about giving respect to the women and her parents. Your entire rant is extremely disrespectful of ALL women (including your wife, sisters and daughters).

      Please grow up, sir.

      Sincerely,

      A Lalli

      Like

    • GVji, gud post, which show how much different the world is when looking through patriarchal upper casteist glasses.
      This also happily highlights the winds of change sweeping into one of the most rigid and conservative communities of India.

      Like

      • I would say that all communities in India are rigid and conservative for that matter, and not ONLY this community. I am not taking offense or speaking in defense for a particular community, but it is the reality, which I have observed while interacting with many people, during my days of travel !! Also equally conservative is each and every religion, with its own tenets and rituals. Just thought I would say this, to add on to whatever you have told.

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  3. Well, why insist on having a Lalli for your darling Venky when all of them are lower-middle class, Nano-WagonR driving, boorish, ill-mannered, fat/ugly upstarts? If Lalli and her parents are such terrible people, shouldn’t you just be saying good riddance? Looks like a case of sour grapes to me!

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    • Yes.
      I cannot believe the sheer level of entitlement oozing from every line.
      Also, no guy *automatically* deserves a wife for earning a degree and getting a job, not even your darling son.
      Finally, the rules of arranged marriage( boy’s status and salary, girl’s looks, virtue and potential dowry) were set by Venky’s family a long time ago. Now play by them, or quit the game.

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      • What is this GV ji, stirring the pot and sitting back to enjoy the fun :-) how is the grandchild . i dont agree with asking for salary as a compatibility but i understand from the lalli’s dads end, there are venky’s who get intimated by their wives bringing home a bigger paycheck and for that reason alone the marriage is headed towards disaster. but even if i dont approve , I’m happy the girls are speaking up and so are their parents, one day it will be a true joining of equals ( marriage) and everyone will live happy .
        I have 2 boys so i can be said to be venky’s mom :-) however the boys seem to have no trouble attracting their fair share of “friends” and so i leave them to their devices. Unfortunately I was one of those lalli’s who choose my own Venky much to my parents anger , Venky didnt have parents so dont know what their reaction would have been. so we are resolved to step back and let our young venky’s deal with this themselves. works for the best. Find your partner, get married or not , we just need information and we’ll be there for support :-) so much simpler being a parent nowadays i think.

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        • Thanks to all who commented.
          While I have been sleeping, the comments have poured in.
          They are generally in line with what I had anticipated.
          I am sending the link to the letter writer now. so that he knows how his thoughts are being received by modern young women.
          Regards
          GV
          (Camp: California)

          Like

        • Oh I wish!! what if every parent has such a simple concept like this in everything, from academics, hobby activities, career and need for marriage….still go ahead and teach each child the responsibility towards their life. Then I think our place will be a better place to live in. It is nice to hear a few son’s parents speak like this. Like your approach towards your kids and family.
          But sometimes, some parents irritate the others, when they talk ‘boys will be like this…’, when they see them smoke, drink or pass comments (read lewd), but still do not teach them the responsibility for their actions. They think it is ‘cool’….well, I doubt if it is really cool?! Worse scenario is when the parents themselves ask the son to cut off the relationship with the girl, once they come to know that she has become pregnant, before the wedding. I do not know whether only the girls should be taught the outcome of unprotected sex (before or after marriage), and not the boys. I wish parents tell their sons, (the same way girls are told) that intercourse may result in pregnancy, and BOTH the partners are equally responsible.

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  4. “casteless Hindu?”

    Really?

    I think that about reflect’s the writer’s priorities. His concern is neither for Lalli nor for Venky but for a “pure” community that stays as it was. Where girls did not have the gall to ask questions – where they nodded their heads if a boy agreed to marry them. (Girls’ assent was considered immaterial once upon a time, the very question was outrageous).

    It doesn’t seem to occur to him that caste and community may not be as important to many Lallies, who choose their own matches – without waiting for a dad to produce a suitable Venky.

    - From one of those boorish girls from this very community who married a casteless boy out of choice (not because her arrogant dad drove any Venky away) and is very happy.

    Like

      • May be in this letter you found the person treating non-hindus as outcasts. If you ask another non-hindu to write a similar experience he/she would write against marrying a hindu and convey similar ‘boorish’ sentiments. My point is hindu or non-hindu, belonging to this community of the letter writer or another community, irrespective of all these, every person belonging to a particular religion or community in India, has a very high opinion about their religion or community, and despises the others. So let us stop saying that only hindus are doing this. This letter is written by a hindu, does not mean all the other religions have broad-minded views. Let us start saying ALL religion are equal or no religion has special privileges over the other. I say this, because in our enthusiasm to encourage the ‘so-called’ minority, we tend to easily point an accusatory finger at a seemingly majority, saying they are narrow-minded. According to what is found in reality, every religion and community is equally narrow-minded, but some wear the garb of ‘lesser privileged or outcasts’ and think that they can criticize the others, only to become a majority in the long run. Now again we will have lopsided percentage in the future because of this. The tables may be reversed, but the situation of majority controlling the minority will remain the same. Is this the scenario we are aiming for?!
        I reiterate this because Mr.GV himself (who has posted this), has already written in one of his comments above as follows –
        ‘Also, even though this was written with a specific community in mind, I think the “problem” (for those who consider this a problem) cuts across all Indian castes.
        So I will request your readers not to bring in the name of the community into the discussion.
        The name of this community will be obvious to those of you who belong to it. Let others please comment only on the views of this writer and not on the community. That is humble request from me.’

        May be he should have added religion too !!

        Like

  5. I think letters like these are a good thing. This racist, sexist, classist person is clearly upset because more and more women and their families aren’t jumping blindly into arranged marriages like they used to. Hopefully, as time goes on, more and more racist/sexists like him will be frustrated.

    This man also seems very annoyed at other peoples’ (as in any girl’s parents’) social mobility.

    “Lalli’s parents are always upper middle class, whatever that term may mean.”

    Dear racist, sexist, classist: that term means that perhaps 20 years ago, this particular family may have been earning far less. With India’s economic policies and consequent boom, they are now earning far more. Maybe you feel like it’s not enough money to be termed as ‘upper middle class’ but irrelevant because they’re clearly comfortable.

    Also, what do you hope to achieve by saying that the girl drives a Nano or a Wagoner? Is it to say these are cheap cars? Clearly you want to belittle the girl’s earnings–but the fact of the matter is, she’s earning enough to be independent and lead a life that she feels is comfortable for herself. And you know what, dear racist, sexist, classist, that’s what you find threatening.

    “growing fatter and uglier by the day”

    Here, dear racist, sexist, classist, you’ve just described yourself. Your bitterness is laughable and your frustration with this ‘new world of Lallis and their parents’ seems to be growing uglier by the day.

    “Is Lalli’s father seeking to marry his daughter’s pay packet with that of the boy ?”

    Yes. That’s one of the problems with arranged marriages.

    “Finally, Lalli, her hormones fast withering, her youth fading away, marries whoever she comes across, generally a Christian or a Muslim or a casteless Hindu. And ends up an “Innocent Divorcee””

    Here, dear racist, sexist, classist, I’m going to suggest you take a basic biology class. Hormones don’t work that way.

    Oh no! Woe of woes! She marries a Christian, or a Muslim, or a casteless Hindu. What an abomination. And then she gets divorced? How can she be an innocent when she’s married an eeeevil Christian or Muslim or casteless Hindu. What is the world coming to, I tell you!

    You are a disgusting racist.

    “Why don’t parents of Lallis shed their stupidity? Their condescending attitude? Their arrogance? And behave like normal human beings?”

    Dear racist, sexist, classist person. Take a look in the mirror and repeat these words. Only, instead of saying ‘parents of Lallis’ say ‘I’ and instead of the world ‘their’ use the word ‘my.’

    “What they are doing is hurting their own loved Lallis. And demeaning themselves.”

    Oh the irony of ironies. Dear racist, sexist, classist individual–you’re only hurting yourself with your profound bitterness against independent young women and their families. You’ve demeaned yourself by your racist, sexist, and classist tirade.

    The way I see it, you’re an obsolete racist, sexist, and a classist, who’s bitter at the way the world’s advancing. You’re pitiable, you’re laughable, and more appropriately, your words are meaningless to the many millions of ‘Lallis’ out there. You’re not the first person to be this way and you won’t be the last.

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  6. Bravo….I like the hypocritical attention given to Lalli and her family. But shall we rewind the scenario a little bit (say 5-10 yrs. back), and have the same dialogue slightly changed, by Venky’s parents. Now for choosing compatibility for a bride groom if the salary is a determinant, then for the bride it has/still is, the following (replace the following words in the dialogue between Venky’s parents and Lalli’s parents) – beauty, fair-looking, well-educated, homely, respecting elders, has brothers(of course, who else will later follow the tradition of giving wealth and gifts to the bride), working woman, knows cooking and amiable. It is a combo offer you see ! And apart from the above, there is this complimentary expectation of able to give male heirs to the family.
    Here I am just trying to highlight that the tables might have turned a little, and all this fuss. Whatever, neither is this scenario a good one. Earlier the son’s parents and relatives were treated with utmost reverence and even a small mistake might endanger the canceling of the marriage (this even after everyone has assembled in the marriage hall). Though I feel that the bride groom’s family need to learn to be in the same shoes, to have the taste of their own pill (not pill, own arrogance); considering the well-being of the couple who will be married, I feel that both the sides’ parents should let their children decide how they would like to have their marriage. Many of my friends and me wanted to just get married in a temple, with just the immediate family member, but with the priests chanting and the homam. I am not saying this to encourage religious practices, but just to show that tradition can still be followed in the midst of a few handful, who are the real well-wishers. It is only when the expectations are high that the demands are also high.
    When both the partners are earning and they are adults, I think we should give them a fair chance to decide, help them with a separate house and let them manage by themselves, only to pitch-in, if they seek help. It is high time, Venky’s parents leave the shirt of Venky, so that he can lead a peaceful new life with Lalli.(no talking about Lalli’s parents, because Lalli’s parents has not been staying with them for generations).

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  7. When the shoe is on the other foot, it hurts, right?

    Maybe now we can look at people as people (versus Lalli and Venky! We’re not talking of car spare parts!) and support people who choose their own partners, taking responsibility for their own lives – within or without any community. It is so painful but we have to stick in this community?!

    Maybe this is the intermediate step for patriachists to feel the pain enough to discard these practices? If parents of girls had to ‘thalai kuninchu’ (head bowed) submit, others need to see the view from that same angle?

    Leave the young people alone! Or don’t you have any confidence in the parenting you guys did? Pardon my lack of sympathy – been on the other side too many times to count!

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  8. GVji, this stalwart of your community is misogynist, and casteist to boot. I won’t be surprised if this piece is born of frustration that his darling “Venky” was rejected by many “Lallis”. If the Venkys he talks about share his mind set and attitude, independent “Lallis” will hardly “compromise” and marry such misogynistic boors/bores. Alas, that is a bitter pill for pillars of communities to stomach.

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  9. Well, with lessening female to male ratio in many parts of India, ladies can surely get to be even more choosy in the future…I know the LW meant to be offensive towards ‘Lallies’ in general, his letter at some places do shed light on the fact are women are finally having a stand, even in the typical marriage market :)…
    Plus women are allowed to have ego, let all the humble sacrificing role model housewives limit themselves to the serials……:)

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  10. I just see this letter as a super-exaggerated ramblings of the write’s depression!! :-) !! It’s hilarious to see the dialogue interpretations..!! With this attitude, I bet he can never get a Lalli for his Venky..!!

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  11. Well the good thing about this letter is that it shows how Indian women are now doing things that are best for them rather than succumbing to parents’ wishes & getting married to idiots.
    To the LW, I would say, this is just the start of what’s yet to come. No longer are women going to just accept your son just because he is a “B.E & MBA” working for an MNC waiting for his chance to go to America…
    They understand now that they are also meant to follow their dreams & have a life of their own.
    Maybe it’s about time now that you let your son find someone on his own & it shouldn’t matter if she is a “casteless” Hindu, or whatever religion. Because in the end it doesn’t matter what religion or caste the person is brought into but rather that person’s character.
    You fail to see this sir, which is why you are finding it so difficult to get your son married off now.

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    • I know. I was actually laughing inside when I read his letter. May all such frustrated sexists find peace by accepting women empowerment as the reality or they will perish sooner or later!

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  12. The post of reeking of racism, castesim, is sexist and is dripping venom about women who hare either divorced, single and older and he mentions menopause as if it is something to be ashamed of.

    Mentioning a traffic jam after a long drive is not a sign of arrogance. It is just a simple statement.

    However all this is BESIDE THE POINT. The real problem is the man meddling in his kids marriage. Why is he so worked up about getting his married in his community. Let them sort it out for themselves and he keeps his nose out of it.

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    • In our culture, purplesheep, adult men and women listen to their parents and do only what they say. Heck, I saw the worst of this when I moved briefly to Chennai and my 60 year old landlord said that his mother wants to meet me before I moved in. I am a little bit of a tubelight, thought the woman had previously lived here and is 80, what harm could it do to me. It was only after the meeting I realised that my landlord is still cowed down by his mother. Surely she told him how can you give it on rent to someone I havent approved of and must have created full tamasha, having known the landlord for a few months, I can pretty much imagine this is what happened.

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  13. Loved the letter by the LW.
    It means the following :
    1) no longer are Lallies taught that cooking,dancing,singing,sewing,ironing,sweeping are the only things they are born to do.
    2) no longer do parents of lallies beleive they ought to kiss the very earth on which prospective venkies’ parents walk.
    3) no longer are lallies’ parents forcing them to get married right out of college and stay in bad marriages.divorce isnt considered so taboo.
    4) no longer are lallies treated as baby producing machines with no chance at a life,dreams,ambitions,opinions of their own.
    5) no more ‘Oh my God,what will people say?’
    (Anyone is free to add to this list.)
    3 cheers to all Lallies and parents of all Lallies.

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  14. This post really made my day. Reading it i had a lot of fun imagining this frustrated probably father and his son. He is using so hard words towards women and their families that i hardly think will ever find a bride for his son. I pray also to don’t find it because life of that woman and her family will be a hell. I am sorry also for all women from his family.This man is so bitter and frustrated that probably will die because of that. I advise him to start to practise religion and some yoga maybe to cure his dirty mind and soul.
    “Sir” ( because seems that he suffer a lot due to the fact that is not hearing often this term) when you talk about woman growing older, becaming ugly and fat and rest of shit that you say about menopause and all, you are pathetic. Your wife is not like that ,”Sir”? Suppose that you should re-marry with her today….what you will do? You will choose one young, slim, beautiful woman because she is too old, ugly and fat?
    Growing older is a natural process for all men and women no matter if are married or not. Being old, fat, ugly or not, are not criterias for choosing a life time partner. Look around you and see how many “ugly”, “fat”, “old” persons ( like you name them) are in love and marry. So don’t worry for your fat, ugly, old son! If you let him out in the world to experience life finally he will find a partner to suit him. But if you want for him a beautiful, very young innocent, obedient, modern, traditional, working, homely bride, then sorry but i announce you is not borned yet and will never be.
    Few years before families of guys were so happy with the arranged marriage market. Now days they are not anymore. Why? Because they face same problems that family of a girl was facing years back. Now they realise how cold and strange is this market. If it is arranged “Sir” is all about money and goods “Sir”. It is more about what i receive if i accept marriage and not about what i give. It is business and i should have my profit . Yes or not?
    I think was about time to feel that your precious son is treated like a commercial good and refused like a dirty, useless, broken thing. I think was about time that you to feel humiliation that you exercised from years on the girls fathers. Does it hurts? Seems that it hurts a lot!
    I am not indian “Sir” but all over the world women are pointed with finger they changed their attitude, they are cheating, drinking, behaving like men. We do what we saw “Sir”! Years, generations after generation we saw our mothers humiliated by cheaters, lousy, drunk, violent husbands. We felt their pain of not being able to say and do anything because of their financial dependence of these bastards. So we sweared that this will not happen to us and our children. Slowly we gain our financial independence but many of us became like the persons that we hated so much. Why? Some of us didn’t wanted to be like that. We wanted a happy family life but all that we gained was a lousy, cheater, drunk, or violent husband so finally we end up in leaving him and looking for another hoping for better and so on. Some of us just gave up to the ideea of having a stable partner because of fear to be dissapointed again. So ” Sir” don’t hate us because we want to be treated like humans, with love, care and respect. We prefer to became old, fat, ugly, to reach menopause, to be alone but proud and happy of what we are and what we did and saw in life. Is way better then to reach menopause, to grow old, fat and ugly, to be near a man that was never able to understand us, treasure us, that treated us like slaves and dirty socks, to not fulfill our dreams, to be unhappy and to deceive ourself that we had a good life and we have a great family and the most important achievement in our life were our kids.
    Even you hate women so much i wish you good luck “Sir” and a long life to be able to see all the changes that will come and maybe one day, even is the final day of your life to understand the woman nature.

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  15. I can actually write not just a blog post but a book about the kinda guys i have met. these guys just seemed like, they have never spoken to a single soul of the opposite sex and their world has only been mummy, daddy all their lives. when we goto visit them, they would not come out of their rooms unless called by their daddy, do not speak a word, atleast the basic manners of greeting the guests who have come home!!, just answer in 1 word for the questions asked by us, some not even wanting to talk to me while i was willingly ready :P.. while the mummy and daddy go-on bragging n bragging about their so called son. Of all the 40-50 odd guys tht i have met(i have lost the count), just 3 were worthy enough (I married the third one ;)..) independent in the way they think, which is in no way influenced by the so called ‘indian culture’, mature, considerate, understanding and respectful towards all.. I was not concerned about their education/job/salary/money/assets as it is mostly believed, to be a girl`s criteria.. at a point when i was actually loosing hope on these guys, god was graceful enough (thank god!). but whats alarming is the ratio of guys who are actually feminists(or humans!?), while we girls are getting more and more empowered and opening up our eyes to the innumerable injustice done to us, most guys are still stuck in that old world and to that same old belief of getting a good girl who is homely, silent, soft-natured, innocent, traditional etc etc….. When will these guys actually wake-up and start behaving like normal human beings?? is my question…

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    • This is so true,…..the funny thing is guys in late thirties which I now see since I’m one of those lallies…..tall,overweight nearing menopause,…are same ,….similar to those I saw in my twenties.They are stuck in time warp while I have changed over the years.Things which were imp to me in 20s is no longer important.Those sons ageing parents are still engaging in all conversations which happen between 2 parties,….while guys don’t even want to talk. Every meeting is disappointing.

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  16. “In their bleak blinkered existence…”
    LW, after reading your views, I feel this phrase applies to your life also.
    Your in-laws are Lalli’s parents – is this what you think of them? Why do you think only Lalli’s parents are pretentious? Do you think parents of One Venky and One Lalli will behave differently with their children’s prospective in-laws? They will be mowed down when it comes to their Venky and be like tigers for their Lalli?
    If you sincerely feel for your community and think matrimonial advertisements are not suitable, I challenge you to write one that you think is appropriate. Be the solution.

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  17. Oh, this is a hilarious group. I used to visit it occasionally at one point for purely entertainment value. It’s mostly populated by men who seem to be over 50 of the particular community, maybe one or two women at the most. It is amazing how such groups love to talk about what women should/ should not do. They recently had a topic called “Today chudidhar, tomorrow bikini”. It’s frankly ridiculous :D

    But in all seriousness, this issue of men not finding brides is something I’m hearing a lot of in recent times. I have a few people in my extended family in the same boat.

    Women not only have the power of choice these days, we’re able to choose earlier in life because we are financially well settled at 24-25. We’re not longer waiting for a husband who would take care of us, we’re perfectly fine taking care of ourselves and are looking for someone to share our lives. This is a concept a lot of traditionalists find hard to swallow. They still look at marriage as a directional relationship – men providing for women, being served by women.

    But there is something more. A lot of these ‘older’ men who are unable to find wives have zero socialization skills, not many outside interests, no friends, not much to talk about. Their only ‘virtues’ are a good job and the ability to earn. In other words, some of these men are sadly boring. A lot of parents find it amazing that girls reject their sons because they are …boring. (“Idellam oru reason-a? Is this even a reason?” they ask.)

    A girl I know was 28 when she was approached for an ‘alliance’ by a 31-year-old’s parents. She works very long hours, and she had mentioned that, saying she employs someone to cook her her meals. The parents of the ‘alliance’ had insisted that after the wedding, she could not have a cook and would have to learn to cook because “what would she do if the cook did not show up”. Needless to say, she called it off.

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    • I agree with your story, but I think people who are reasonable like yourself are the minority.

      I’ve met about 12 brides during my arranged marriage search, and all of them were from well-educated families and from metros. 7 out of 12 were blatant about the fact that the daughter is earning and they want a boy who is significantly more qualified and wealthier. The ‘market rate’ for a boy’s salary is 2-3 times the girl’s salary. A girl who makes 5lpa will NOT settle for a boy who makes 7lpa by any means. It has to be approx. twice the salary and parents are pretty open on discussing about this.

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      • That is surely one of the biggest problems with an arranged marriage–the boy as well as the girl is commoditized.

        Both parties look for the best bargain available. The ladkewale are about as particular about looking for the best-looking girl they can get as the ladkiwale are about landing the highest-earning groom they can get. And just like sometimes ladkewale settle for a not-so-fair/not-so-tall girl because she has a great job or because her parents are rolling in money, sometimes a 5 lpa-making girl will gladly settle for a 7 lpa guy because of other considerations–say, maybe his parents have a nice bungalow and he is an only son!

        It is the nature of the beast called arranged marriage, you see. It’s a market, and everybody is out to grab the best deal.

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  18. This post is so wrong at so many levels.
    But I agree, it was funny !! and I liked that these grooms parents are getting a taste of their won medicine. After doing this to brides family for centuries, they are so irritated with the same things when its happening to them.
    That said, if this guy had talked like a mature person who expects respect and sincerity from other person i.e. if he is giving it too (not just expecting from other end), I would have pitied him. But his arrogance at being a boy’s father is so evident that I feel happy with the things he has experienced. Otherwise he would be the one doing it to the brides family.
    Here being offensive saved the gals family from this person n his family :) :)

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  19. HE he he hurts doesnt it , when the shoe is onthe other foot. :-) good for lalli’s parents ( not that asking for salary is of any use) by why spoil their JOy and ERY good for LALLI marrying who she pleases and even better for Lalli that she has the self-confidence and wisdom to realize that she is more than her hormones and decide to divorce if she is unhappy…

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  20. Hilarious as this is – I was appalled when some of my female cousins expressed similar sentiments when matchmaking for their sons :( This was about 4-5 years back and I have still not recovered from the shock of (a) hearing “well educated” (well obviously, having a degree does not guarantee education) cousins brought up in fairly liberal households speak in this manner and (b) for crying out loud – werent they subject to the same scrutiny all those years back and why would they want to speak about a fellow member of the female species in that manner??

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    • Well, you may not know. You may even have more surprises, when someone from this blog itself start behaving like this, when their sons are in the queue for marriage….so hold on…I do not talk to undermine anyone, it is just reality that we need to face. To bring about attitude change in others may seem hard. But when one is faced with the same reality, it becomes the hardest and very challenging thing.
      I write this, despite knowing that I will receive a great number of thumbs down. I would rather like to see the thumbs down and getting defeated, when I find the women stand up to their principles in real life too, in the long run. Is there any one up for challenges?

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      • I too have found people from this blog telling me how carefully they would be bringing up their daughters in India and how they would be protected. I was horrified really, because previously I had faith in these people to stand up for their beliefs. But hypocrisy exists everywhere. At the same time, I understand how difficult it is to not follow age-old notions and strike out a new path for yourself and your daughters, so I can’t really judge. Still, I feel these people should not be hyperventilating at how backward OTHERS are if they aren’t taking charge of their lives.

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        • I can always trust you to say it as it is, Fem. I agree with you 100%. If I hear one more time from my male friends about how they’ll be that uncle that’ll protect me future daughter, I’ll just lose it. My baby girl will grow up knowing her own self worth and being strong enough to defend herself if at all it comes to that. She doesn’t need fake offers of protection from any man.

          This is how I plan to take charge of my life, Fem. I’ll never let anybody tell my daughter that her worth is dictated by her relationships. She is first her own little person before she’s our daughter, someone’s sister, girlfriend, wife, mother or whatever other relationships she chooses to enter. I may be her mother but I have no dreams about me owning her in any shape or form.

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        • I remember one such conversation – and I was one of those who might have accidentally horrified you. Just to be clear, the point I was driving at was that I would try my damndest NOT to bring up my (still hypothetical) daughter in India, since I want her to have all the freedom I didn’t have growing up, without having to be scared for her safety. I DON’T want her to experience any of the shit I went through when growing up – the gropers, the cat-callers, the stalkers, take your pick. And I don’t want her to have to bother with arbit aunties and uncles talking about her numerous boyfriends/choice of clothes either. No hypocrisy, No falling back on age-old beliefs, and no patriotism (patriotism is just one step removed from Thackerayesque regionalism, if you ask me) whatsoever.

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        • @Thumbelina, I don’t think it was you. I understand not wanting to bring up your daughter in India, but it was someone who was going to bring up their daughter in India and claimed that she would be protected and not let out after 6 pm or something like that.

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  21. Happy though Iam at this turn around, it’s not widespread. We have one such dipshit in our family, only son of indulgent chavanprash feeding parents . he’s a bore and a boor. finished be, me and then starte din a company . been there ever since, gets up , has coffee, paper, shower,breakfast ( all hand delivered by doting gloating mummy) goes to work in appa bought car/bike ( environmentally consious you see , so we alternate) , amma puts dabba in car ( yep 3 course) , comes home at 7pm, has tiffin/ coffe.. goes to the terrace to lounge for a while, comes back by 8, shower, dinner ,TV and then finally bed after warm milk + chavanprash.
    I kid you not ladies this has been his schedule for the past 10yrs. except on sunday when the going to work part goes away and he deigns to visit ( sometimes) his relatives homes ( unfortunately for us) . or watch TV.
    His is no star, big belly, nicely rounded and absolutely zero social skill. no interest in anything remotely physical. basically loves his food ( of course amma made)
    His parents my dear relatives searched and found him a cute BE,MBA girl from a little outta town whose parents live in 17th centure i assume and TOLD her shw will not work ( lest their ladla’s health suffers) , maybe something from home is ok. she got married , had a son ( yep!!!) and helps MIL in all chores. wears what she is told, my aunt is weird, told her to put all her nice clothes inside – not to waste you see an d the poor thing wears the same ugly , stained faded 2 salwars everytime i see her . When i asked she come for a cup of coffee the aunt had a minor heart attack.. unfortunately she couldnt say no to me :-) so i asked her how she was doing and she said ‘ same akka – as usual what choice do i have’ in such a sad voice. They go on a once yearly trip, everyone. mom, dad, son, wife, grandosn and sometimes accompanied by mom’s mom who is a royal pain, where she serves the elders and they visit numerous temples or waterfalls and picnic and share rooms :-) her parents are not ready for her to dump him, they find nothing wrong with her life, husband is nice MIL is nicer , nice house, kushi life, what more does she want. the fact that she has no JOY No OPINION, restrictions couched under love and protection mean nothing to them. and it goes on. MIL is just late 50′s so there you go another girls life down the drain.
    so i despair, where the heck is womens rights and enlightenment and when is it going ot catch up in so called liberal families. and yes i have tried talking to the dipshit, it’s a lost cause. aunt thinks i’m a wicked witch from the west out to derail her sons life !!!!

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    • MR, Am I totally weird for finding the Mr DSs life not attractive at all? What’s the joy is letting someone else run your life? What’s the joy in letting everyone but yourself raise your child? Doesn’t he have any need to pleasure his wife and derive joy out of that(that however seems to be something you’d do for someone you loved and not someone you “employed” for free)?

      I am not happy to report that I have several family members who’d qualify under the DS umbrella. How can you raise your daughter and educate her all the while reminding her that she’s never going be able to flourish as an individual without her husbands’ blessings?

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      • I had to fight this attitude in real life. Just yday has one of those discussions where dad said maybe you shouldn’t have studied but should’ve married early. Granted he is saying it out of frustration and acknowledges that he is just concerned that since I started living alone, due to various circumstances like the economy and some flaky guys, I haven’t been the happiest person around. Dad feels he failed us children somehow and says this. But I have tackled this before and yday finally told dad not to say this ever again. Education and marriage are mutually exclusive and not an either/or. Frankly, it took most of my 20s to unravel the conditioning. Despite some level of independence, I too was those girls who thought that all was naught if I couldn’t hold a relationship well. I know so many of us women who are pretty independent but the conditioning makes us emotionally dependent. Even Venky’s parents for that matter don’t want him to be truly adult and independent. They want him to leave all major decisions to them and be dutiful child forever even if he has his own children. Its just the way our so called culture thinks that parenthood is the ultimate excuse to control another being. So yes, the parents expect independence in terms of not having to support the kids financially or otherwise but want control of their lives simultaneously.

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      • Trust me I don’t have a clue either, how can he not want to be a part of molding his child, part of seeing and enjoying the joy of companionship?? He got upset when I needled him about going on a holiday to Maldives. ‘ who’ll eat that crap food ‘, ‘ what will we go do there , as if there’s no beach in chennai’. ‘ time waste’ were some comments. Every time I see that girl she s either doing dishes, washing clothes, folding them or following some instruction from MIL. Of course mil loves her !! Even does her hair!! Wich she has to keep long and lustrous, sign of a sans kar babu, she had shoulder length hair initially MIL oil edit and grew it and tells everyone proudly how well she takes care . I see the girls face andsee helpless and anger behind the smile, she told me sometimes she wishes she could walk and keep walking !! Sad.

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        • DS will also let major decisions such a child raising be made by his parents. My question to such people – you clearly believe in giving control to parents who “know it all”. But if you’ve never ever had the reins in your own life, how are you going to effectively manage to control your children without royally messing up, whenever your turn comes because at that time, you’re actually “know nothing”. Logic is uncomfortable, eh?

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    • Liked your post because of the way you express the ‘khushi’ life people seek for their children. The plight of the DIL is beyond sad and what’s more, no one can even see it. Would say the same for the son – when horizons are set to go from door to door and reinforced, it gets prison like! So both Lalli and Venky are happy? Which generation’s Lalli and Venky?

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  22. o_O What the F was that about? None of it made any sense to me. I actually don’t know any woman’s father who speaks like this. And what is he thinking? What does he think an arranged marriage is but a barter system? This man seems to have some major issues with independent women, and is taking it out on their poor parents. I also didn’t quite get how if a woman is married to a Muslim, Christian or “casteless Hindu” (whatever that means), she becomes an innocent divorcee?

    I also got the impression from this post that women shouldn’t have possessions. Like, you know, CARS. Nor drive their parents around. They must struggle and come by crowded bus and spend all their hard earned money on a lavish wedding instead of wasting it on you know EDUCATION from “Pandurang Patil or Munisami Periappa University” or cars. Why spend on yourself and your family when you can please some weird patriarchal stranger? /sarcasm

    Frankly, with this type of guy in the community, the woman is SO much better off marrying someone outside the caste.

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    • Obviously this very open-minded, progressive, unbiased and absolutely credible Venky father – is that something you can get a degree in? :-P – believes that a marriage with Muslims, Christians or mythological “casteless Hindus” is doomed to end in divorce. Voila, here we have a divorcée who her parents dare to flaunt into the face to his precious son! As long as the son earns enough, of course.

      /sarcasm off/

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    • Yeah, the OP seems jealous of women and their success. Although I do have to concede that arranged marriages used to be more benign in the previous generation.

      From a woman’s family, I’ve seen that asking for salary is considered appropriate, and I’ve been rejected based on my position/salary or my family’s wealth. One family was fairly open about the fact that we aren’t as wealthy as they’d like, which caused my mom to get really bothered and eventually my father unhappily changed the family car which was serving us well till then.

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      • I feel your pain, Arun. My brother in law is going through the same process and gets rejected because the potential bride is making a few thousand more dollars than he is. However, do remember that the tide is turning and girls’ parents are becoming as blatant as boys’ parents used to be in the past. Have you never heard of stories of extra dowry is the girl is dark-skinned, extra dowry if she wears specs etc? I am not trying to say that this complete reversal with no regard for the qualities of a person is a good thing, but this is completely the making of our patriarchal society that has messed up the sex ratio. There are too few women compared to men and they can naturally choose to be very selective. Law of nature, unfortunately.

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  23. Pingback: Simbly Bored» Blog Archive » Lalli and Venky

  24. Oops, my last comment was accidentally posted as a reply to Radha’s comment.
    I didn’t intend to do that. I am reproducing it here.
    =========
    Thanks to all who commented.
    While I have been sleeping, here in California, your comments have poured in and I read them this morning. They are generally in line with what I had anticipated.
    I am sending the link to the letter writer now so that he knows how his thoughts are being received by modern young women.
    Regards
    GV
    =======
    @Radha

    This pot needed to be stirred!
    When IHM sent me a short mail stating that the blog post had been published, I had sent a short reply saying thanks and I had also included a quote from Shakespeare in Julius Ceasar “Mischief, thou art afoot. Take thou what course thou wilt”

    Seriously, I think I am doing a useful service to the letter writer and also to all of you by making you aware of each others views on this subject. This post deserved to read by “Lallies” and there were no Lallies in our forum to read and respond. What better place to locate outraged Lallies than this blog!

    I had taken the letter writer’s permission to post this here and also warned him in advance of the possible reactions. So I should hopefully not be really seen as a mischief maker! I have learned from experience. Sometime back, I had posted a similar letter from another member without his permission, but without mentioning his name. I got into serious trouble with him, after he received a solid dressing down from the readers here. He later flooded me with mails expressing his anguish and blaming me for his predicament. I assured him his name will never be revealed and all he needed to do was refrain from visiting this blog and subjecting himself to needless agony, but he couldn’t keep himself away from this blog and posting comments anonymously and he and couldn’t stop inflicting pain on himself when the response came swift and fast from all of you. It was my mistake perhaps to have sent him the link to the blog. He has disappeared from the scene now, thankfully.

    I had identified more posts like this from some others but when I wrote to them asking if they were prepared to risk exposure of their extremist views to a wider audience, they chickened out, telling me that their views expressed in the forum are for forum members only. I then determined not to take liberties like this without their express permission.

    In answer to your question, my grandson is now 16 months old and is keeping me and my wife on our toes. We are having our hands full, baby sitting him and keeping him out of harms way, as he is now walking around and has become curious about everything he sees and wants to experiment.

    We will be back in Bangalore in the middle of March and my son in laws parents are coming here to California and will take over from us.

    @cilla ,

    Oops! I didn’t want any community name to be mentioned here to avoid needless controversy.
    But yes, you are right, I do generally belong to the community you mentioned but there is a sub group to which I specifically belong. That community should be clear from the dialect of Tamil in the conversations I have quoted.

    @Fem,

    Quote:
    Same community, GV :) And hopefully your friend sees this comment.
    Unquote:

    You bet, he is going to see it.

    I am sending him the link right-away after typing this comment.
    There have been more posts like this from him in the past on various other issues too.
    I don’t often agree with everything he writes but I must admit I enjoy reading his posts.
    It is definitely entertaining. He sometimes stirs up our forum with provocative posts like this.
    We, the elderly members in this forum are not as hot-blooded as you folks here and we don’t normally react. But this time, I felt it would be a good idea to see that he gets a reply.
    You people are are the best to answer him, not me. I am a softie. I am tactful, I am polite and gentle. I placate or try to win over. I don’t counter attack!

    @Thumbelina and others.
    No, I don’t think he has a Venky of his own.
    I think he is talking on behalf of other parents of Venkies.

    @Rahini David.
    The original post was in English and not in Tamil but some conversations in Tamil (or rather that dialect of Tamil, commonly spoken by this community) were quoted in Roman script. I have tried to translate them as best as I can.

    @Nitya
    Quote:
    Oh, this is a hilarious group. I used to visit it occasionally at one point for purely entertainment value. It’s mostly populated by men who seem to be over 50 of the particular community, maybe one or two women at the most. It is amazing how such groups love to talk about what women should/ should not do. They recently had a topic called “Today chudidhar, tomorrow bikini”. It’s frankly ridiculous.
    Unquote:

    I don’t recall this topic you mentioned and I have not missed any thread from this forum.

    I am not sure you are referring to the same group that I am a member of. Actually there are at least half a dozen such groups that I am aware of. Yes, all members are over 50, in fact over 60 or even 70 I should say. The group I am referring to has elderly folks belonging to this community and most of the discussions are useful and constructive. Religious matters, interpretations of the Shaastras, Carnatic Music, Classical dance, South Indian recipes, Sanskrit shlokas, scriptures, discourses, philosophy, problems of the elderly, both financial and medical, tips for old age, family relations, etc are all discussed in a mature fashion. Members also seek each others help in matters of travel, accommodation, transport arrangements, houses for rent or sale, etc etc. Often notice is posted about the availability of boys or girls for marriage and correspondence is invited from other interested parents. It is a great group to belong to for persons of my age.

    There is another that has only US based members focusing on issues of the expatriate community but the scope is enlarged to include all sub castes and regional identities. There is a third group that has members of all sub sub-castes and located all over the world.

    A fourth (where I am an active member) consists of all elderly folks irrespective of caste, region or linguistic identity. Any thing and everything is discussed here. No rules, no restrictions.
    The only common thing is the members are all either bald or have grey hair!

    These groups help us in combating loneliness and fulfil a great social need, these days. Hardly any of us is into Facebook or Twitter or that sort of thing.

    @ all

    I don’t know if the letter writer will respond here or not.
    I hope he at least reads this.
    Thanks once again. It’s been great fun, reading your responses
    And finally, thank you IHM for kindly agreeing to host me.

    Regards
    GV
    (Camp: California)

    Like

    • That is very interesting information you have right there. I wonder if these people speak such nonsense in their personal lives or if they are just venting frustration in that small group of like-minded thinkers? Do they understand the larger repercussions of their mentality and how would they ever begin to understand if they don’t even interact with the people whom they want to oppress? GV, does anyone other than you even disagree with them? Please just give me some hope in the above 60s …!

      Like

  25. I am reproducing a copy of my letter to the original letter writer after editing out his name.
    Regards
    GV

    Dear Sri ************ ******

    Please recall our email exchange about a week ago.

    I had submitted an edited version of your posting on Jargon on the marriage bourse and it has appeared on this blog here, which deals with feminist issues mostly and is read and followed mostly by modern young women and a few men too.

    You had kindly consented to this post being published here, if your name and email address was kept confidential.

    I have followed this instruction. The name of our forum has also not been revealed.

    You may like to read the reactions from the readers which were along expected lines.
    At the time of writing there are already 50 comments and there may be more by the time you receive this and read the blog.

    The link is

    http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/daughters-growing-older-their-egos-becoming-bigger-their-attitudes-and-behavior-becoming-more-boorish/#comment-234066

    You can decide if you wish to reply to them at the blog site, using your real name or assumed name or simply ignore the posting.

    I thank you for giving me an opportunity to share your thoughts with these readers at this blog.

    Regards and best wishes.

    GV
    (Camp: California)

    Like

  26. Here I what I would like the LW to think about. What would your reaction be to the following:

    - The boy buys an affordable car, and uses that to take his parents to the temple
    - The boy’s parents are proud that the next generation has done better than them, and would like people to take notice
    - The boy’s father calls up the girl’s father, and treats him as an equal
    - The boy’s father calls up the girl’s father and, without any preamble, asks – can the girl cook? Or, is she fair? And slim?

    I agree that the girl’s father calling up and insisting the know the salary before saying hello is wrong in so many ways. The question is – do you set the same standards for the boy’s parents?

    Like

  27. Go Lalli, you are the role model here. This is wonderful after reading endless il- law horror stories here. Finally some Indian women are standing up and demanding what they want and deserve. Poor Venkys and their fathers, serves them right, no sympathy from my end.

    Like

    • Thanks Arun for your earlier comment and for this Thodi-Kalyaani Joke.
      It is rather apt.

      I wonder how many of you will believe this but in the fifties – sixties, girls presented to the prospective grooms parents during the “girl seeing” ceremony had to undergo even worse humiliation. My mother once told me she watched in horror when, during the girl seeing ceremony (or Ponnu Parking Ceremony as some Tamilians refer to it ) an elderly aunt from the grooms side actually put her arm around the prospective bride with seeming affection and took her aside and discreetly tugged at her hair, obviously to test if the lustrous tresses were genuine or were artificial.

      Imagine a boy having his mustache or beard tugged at these day!
      An absurd analogy? I don’t think so.

      Regards
      GV

      Like

      • This isn’t just the 50s and 60s. A few years back, a friend of mine was subjected to such torture. She was told to stand up on a chair so they could look at her height and then the prospective MIL made her open her mouth and checked her teeth! Her parents LET this happen! She ended up with two divorces and an unwanted child, and severe depression.

        Like

        • I remember seeing such things (checking the teeth and all), when they buy cattle in the village market. I think the groom’s family were planning to go there, but due to losing address to the location of the village market, they might have landed in the girl’s house. I believe they did not use google maps and GPS system….let us forgive them for landing at a wrong place!!

          Like

    • Rather unfortunately, no? Although a lot of women realize the importance of seeking equal rights, we have not grown past the need to have a husband more educated than, or earning more than we do. Most women still want a man taller than them. Though this may be a matter of personal preference, isn’t this age-old gender dynamics playing out? I don’t know what goes through a woman’s mind when she wants to marry only someone making twice as much as she does, but is that equality, and is that any guarantee for happiness? I am asking this as a genuine question, a rather important one that requires introspection and discussion.

      Like

  28. Thank you message to the letter writer:
    Some where along the way I felt that, though the letter writer has stirred quite a bit of reactions (than he may have expected to), we need to take time to thank him for his sportiveness in allowing this to be posted, in spite of the warning given by Mr.GV. I really doubt, if many people would do this. With all due respects to the letter writer, I would just like to add that, all these reactions are not targeted at you, but at the patriarchal mind set which has been fed in dollops to all Indians. Your letter is just a sample or representation of the attitude that requires change.
    I may sound apologetic, but I am not. This is written to say that whatever you have written is not just your mistake, but the way our women are seen. A change is required in that, and elders like you will be looked upon, if you set examples regarding the same.
    Thanks again for permitting this to be posted.

    Like

    • Well said Lee,
      Let me also record my appreciation of his willingness to permit this post here.
      Not everyone will be so brave. Others in the past have backed off when I wanted to give wider publicity to their posts and asked for their permission.

      I have known this letter writer on line for a few years.
      He has many interesting posts to his credit on other issues.
      He does plenty of plain speaking, calls a spade a spade and can be uproariously funny at times.
      I recall with pleasure many of his old posts.
      Even while reading this, I initially assumed it was a satirical post and that he did not really mean what he was saying but was merely trying to entertain us.
      But soon it became clear that he sincerely believed in it and this was no flippant post but a serious one.
      I didn’t agree with his views but have regarded him highly and have also corresponded with him privately.
      I did not post a reply, on our forum as I was sure IHM’s readers could do a better job of answering him.

      I hope he takes all this in the right spirit.
      I wish him well, even if I don’t agree with some of his views.
      Regards
      GV

      Like

      • Thank you sir, for sending the post details and also for appreciating the letter writer, as it is because of him we got a chance here to speak about the various expectations from the grooms’ family that has been happening for many generations.
        Here again I take the opportunity to express that many of the comments have unnecessarily targeted at a particular community, as if the groom of other communities do not have such expectations. (I clarify that I do not belong to the particular community, which is spoken here). I have seen some kind of ritual or expectation that need to be fulfilled by the bride, in whichever community they belong. Just because we belong to a particular community, it does not give us any ‘extra’ right or privilege to slander that community in any form. This is my humble view.
        I say this, because, I have seen many brahmins nowadays, in their enthusiasm to be in a group, try to claim proudly that they also eat non-veg food and go to other religious’ places of worship. I also find many youngsters, unwilling to mark their forehead with ashes or sandal paste, but are ready to bear the symbol of other religion on their chain. Is religion then a fashion or trend that you should wear, or is it a path for spiritual progress? There is nothing great about eating veg food or non-veg. food. It is a personal choice. If ashes or sandal paste smearing is considered shameful, then why wear the other religious symbols?? If display of one religious faith is considered as being a stickler of that faith, then why is the display of the other one considered as shameful or need to be hidden? (is it because the religion is majority, that it should be underplayed and the ‘so-called’ minority religion can over-emphasize or flaunt their faith??)
        I say this, because everyone has reacted to the words ‘casteless hindus,etc…’ IF the letter was posted by a non-hindu, then I am sure that he/she would have written about hindus in an undermining away. The issue of boys’ expectation from the girls’ family has unnecessarily become a religious and caste problem too. (this despite your request in the blog, to overlook this). It is not a problem with ONLY tambrahms, it is a PATRIARCHAL issue, pervasive in ALL communitites, irrespective of caste or creed. May be in the next post, the mention or indication of a particular sect of people can be avoided, so that the core issue can be looked at without distortion. Thanks.

        P.S.: If some persons feel that the core issue is also religion and community, then let them also speak about the patriarchal attitude the other religions and communities bear.

        Like

    • I don’t agree. He is old enough to be responsible for his actions and behaviour and I feel that his behaviour leaves a lot to be wanted. He has been provided with that wonderful thing called brains, and he should simply use them to understand what he is doing wrong here. So yes, it is his mistake. What we have to realise is that people like him can make other people’s lives miserable. This is not just some random rant from someone who is powerless. This man, if he has children or a wife, is in a position to make trouble for REAL people. It’s simply not acceptable. It IS about him, as well as about all other people who think like him. My reaction is targeted exactly at this person, so please don’t make excuses for me or my comments. I am justified in reacting in what I have written. This man has written something that demeans and humiliates me as a woman, and my responses have been in line with that. Telling him that it’s not his mistake and that the reaction is not about him, is simply demeaning me further.

      That said, I accept he has been good enough sport to let this comment be published here, even if it merely is because he feels conviction in his bigoted beliefs.

      Like

      • I agree with Fem. There is difference between “having a different viewpoint” and having the kind of hatred and condescension the LW has for girls, their parents (that’s half the population), and people who belong to other religions (another 1/4 of the population). Who remains to hold his respect? Tamil male brahmins? I find his attitudes despicable, not just “different”.

        Like

        • It’s also a little more than that. This person above is actually policing my opinion and trying to suppress my voice. This is the way I choose to react to people in my real life too – with bluntness. If they can’t take it, they shouldn’t be talking in such a manner anyway. And then someone comes along and tells them “Look, she really didn’t mean what she said”. WTF?????!!!!

          Like

    • @freebird
      I read your blog post.
      Superb!
      In my opinion this is the best of all comments so far.
      I don’t know if the original writer has read this blog post and yours as yet and whether he will do so and whether he will respond.
      Only I know his name and email address and I will never reveal it.
      I would like the content of your blog post referred to above to be emailed to him because I want him to read it.
      Do you mind if I do so?
      You can reply either here or at IHM’s blog, where I am posting the same comment.
      Of course he will never know whose comment this was, except that it was from a a Lalli.
      Regards
      GV

      Like

  29. I think one of the things this post triggered for me is that in India kids have freedom now, in some ways, but not the freedom of making mistakes, marital or otherwise. But like they say its no freedom if you dont have the freedom to make mistakes. IHM, other parents, care to elaborate how you see this?

    Like

  30. Here is the response I received from the original writer, as an email this morning
    Regards
    GV
    ======

    Dear GV

    “Hell hath no greater fury than a woman scorned”. The responses proves this adage. Quite a hornet’s nest has been stirred.

    Hats off to the young ladies for their robust response. This proves my point that our girls have come of age and can hold their own.

    More power to them.
    =======================

    Like

    • I’m kinda curious–most of the posters here are women well over the age of 18, calling them ‘our girls’ is quite paternalistic and patronizing. So is using an outdated quote that is clearly sexist. Also, many of us aren’t from the same community and are in the dreaded ‘caste-less Hindus, Muslims, Christians’ or even ‘atheists’ group.

      On the other hand, this poster reminds me of everyone’s elderly, sexist/racist/casteist/classist/etc relative who says inappropriate things in front of people. No amount of debating is going to help change this person’s viewpoint.

      Like

  31. Here is a copy of my reply to the letter writer, which I wish to share with all of you.
    Thanks to all of you, for your spirited responses and to IHM for this great platform.
    Regards
    GV
    =========
    Dear Sri ****

    Thanks a lot for being such a great sport.
    In the past I had requested some of our members for permission to circulate their postings outside our forum but none were ready.
    I am grateful to you for agreeing.
    You have shown that you can “take as well as you can give”
    I have posted your reply in the comments section without your name.

    It is not often that a posting receives such attention.
    It has inspired others to circulate them and also blog on the subject.
    I was particularly impressed with this blog post, in reply to your posting.

    Please read at your convenience.

    http://frivolousreflections.blogspot.in/2014/02/to-unrelenting-frustrated-misogynists.html

    I look forward to further postings from you on our community forum.
    Right or wrong, whether I agree wholly, of partly or simply disagree with your views, there is no doubt that I greatly enjoy reading them.
    Regards and best wishes
    GV

    Like

    • I am posting this again here, (though I have already done it under my previous comment. This is just to again reiterate the proper understanding of the cause, rather than deviating from it in the name of caste, community or religion).
      Thank you sir, for sending the post details and also for appreciating the letter writer, as it is because of him we got a chance here to speak about the various expectations from the grooms’ family that has been happening for many generations.
      Here again I take the opportunity to express that many of the comments have unnecessarily targeted at a particular community, as if the groom of other communities do not have such expectations. (I clarify that I do not belong to the particular community, which is spoken here). I have seen some kind of ritual or expectation that need to be fulfilled by the bride, in whichever community they belong. Just because we belong to a particular community, it does not give us any ‘extra’ right or privilege to slander that community in any form. This is my humble view.
      I say this, because, I have seen many brahmins nowadays, in their enthusiasm to be in a group, try to claim proudly that they also eat non-veg food and go to other religious’ places of worship. I also find many youngsters, unwilling to mark their forehead with ashes or sandal paste, but are ready to bear the symbol of other religion on their chain. Is religion then a fashion or trend that you should wear, or is it a path for spiritual progress? There is nothing great about eating veg food or non-veg. food. It is a personal choice. If ashes or sandal paste smearing is considered shameful, then why wear the other religious symbols?? If display of one religious faith is considered as being a stickler of that faith, then why is the display of the other one considered as shameful or need to be hidden? (is it because the religion is majority, that it should be underplayed and the ‘so-called’ minority religion can over-emphasize or flaunt their faith??)
      I say this, because everyone has reacted to the words ‘casteless hindus,etc…’ IF the letter was posted by a non-hindu, then I am sure that he/she would have written about hindus in an undermining away. The issue of boys’ expectation from the girls’ family has unnecessarily become a religious and caste problem too. (this despite your request in the blog, to overlook this). It is not a problem with ONLY tambrahms, it is a PATRIARCHAL issue, pervasive in ALL communitites, irrespective of caste or creed. May be in the next post, the mention or indication of a particular sect of people can be avoided, so that the core issue can be looked at without distortion. Thanks.

      P.S.: If some persons feel that the core issue is also religion and community, then let them also speak about the patriarchal attitude the other religions and communities bear.

      Like

  32. Pingback: Pretty brides who respect elders and identify themselves with their husband’s families. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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