Monday, December 26, 2005

Speechless in Singleville

Jane Austen once wrote (and I have recycled this number of times) that It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife (or something to this effect). I don't know if any of her descendents married into desi families, but one of them just might have, because most middle aged women with sons of marriageable age seem to share this sentiment to the last "T". Particularly those Random Conservative Desi Moms (henceforth referred to, as RCDMs) who seem to inhabit the by lanes of Tam land down in the south of India.

The moment their offspring come in possession of a paycheck or two (the aforementioned fortune), their maternal instincts kick in and they plug their antennae into the neighborhood grapevine to look for a Ms. Right for the poor guy. Of course this being the digital age, the Sanskrit phrase Vasudaiva Kutumbakam seems particularly relevant and so this so-called neighborhood extends over the whole of the known world and beyond. By the time the poor guy gets first hand knowledge about the whole thing, there have already been a couple of enquiries in his name in his firm's HR department. [1]

All this while, the guy who is in the dark regarding concerted efforts to get his "legs tied" (Tam translation being Kaal-kattu which is the colloquial Tam term for marriage), finds it strange that the whole of his city has been in involved in activities that involve the term "holy matrimony" in one way or the other. And he finds it strange that his mom seems to have met every friend of his who he hasn't seen or talked to in a long time. What's more, each of these friends seem to be on personal endeavors to rid themselves of their single status, or which is what they seem to talk to the mom about.

It is a well known fact that most RCDMs would be automatic shoo-ins for Republican party membership, with a large percentage of them being "anti pro-choice" advocates. Before you get me wrong, I mean they'd like their sons leave the choice of life partners to them, the moms and the dads. So it is not un-common to see them give their sons the standard talk on the virtues of arranged marriage. I got one myself the other day too and I was totally amused. It's also funny that none of them would participate in any discussion about the "birds and bees" with their sons. The daughters seem to be well educated in these aspects, which is natural, I guess, but the boys get their education from the darkened movie halls in the bylanes where the movies played don't match the posters pasted on the gates of the halls. Personally, an amusing incident was when, on the brink of my departure to the US, a grand-uncle of mine sent me off with the words - Thaniya pora. Thaniya thirumbi va (You are leaving alone. So you come back alone). Sadly, it looks like his words might be prophetic. Anyways I am digressing.

Then there are the soothsayers. To any Random Son of a Random Conservative Desi Mom (henceforth referred as RSRCDM), the talk of the stars and the signs coming from the mouth of his mom are as unclear as the Linda Goodman's words that he had once memorized to impress (rather unsuccessfully, I should add) a few gals. And the really close amatuer star gazers (they do this for fun, it seems, which totally leaves them devoid of any accountability and so you can't catch their collars for predicting that the future wife of the RSRCDM in question would be the heiress of the Hilton fortune), pitch in with a few bits of free advice and a few warnings too, resulting in awkward conversations like the one that I'll detail now.

*RSRCDM is in the middle of a game of 8 ball with a few buddies. Sean Paul and Beyonce are crooning in the background as a few glasses of chilled coke (your mental image is brought you by Pixar and has been touched up by Industrial Light and Magic to remove the ubiquitous smoke and the 500ml bottle of Kingfisher from the frame) sit on a side table. As RSRCDM mentally exclaims "Quarter Ball, matter solved" and contemplates rolling the cue ball off the side wall to angle the 3 ball into the side pocket, his cell phone rings. RSRCDM abandons the shot and picks up the cell phone to find that it is RCDM.

RSRCDM: hello ma.
RCDM: Hey da. What are you doing?
RSRCDM: Playing pool with my friends, ma.
RCDM: Pool? What is that?
RSRCDM: oh, it is like billiards.
RCDM: Oh, so. Why are you playing, this late at night?

*RSRCDM decides that he has a long night ahead of him and hurriedly changes the conversation as he finds 3 other pairs of eyes boring into his face while his friends wait for him to play his shot.

RSRCDM: What are you doing ma?
RCDM: Nothing da. I just thought I will call you.
RSRCDM: Oh, ok.
RCDM: How are you? How was work this week?
RSRCDM: Work was fine ma. I am thankful that it is the long weekend.
RCDM: Oh ok. So what are you doing this weekend?
RSRCDM: I am going to look around for a car ma. I am spending a lot on rental cars. I am buying a used car.
RCDM: Good. What are you going to buy?

*RSRCDM gives RCDM a quick low down on the used car buying methodology. Seeing daggers in eyes of his buddies, he keeps the descriptions really short and tells her that he will be online in half hour once he gets back home. As soon as the game ends, RSRCDM heads back home and as expected his phone rings almost immediately after he walks in. And it is RCDM.

RCDM: Hello. Are you coming online?
RSRCDM: I don't know ma. ItÂ?s already too late. I think I want to go and sleep.
RCDM: oh ok. I wonÂ?t keep you long. I just spoke to this astrologer last month and he had some advice for you.

*Instantly RSRCDM's senses are all heightened and a light goes on inside his head.

RSRCDM: What did he say?
RCDM: Nothing da. I went to him because things seemed to be difficult for you career wise.
RSRCDM: Ohhhhh kkkk?
RCDM: He told me some things that have come true in the past two weeks or so. Now your career prospects are better right?
RSRCDM: Yeah?
RCDM: So then, he told me to pass on some advice to you.
RSRCDM: ok?
RCDM: You are a hardworking boy. And you are earning well.
RSRCDM: So?
RCDM: No. That means you are an eligible bachelor.

*RSRCDM now knows where this is going

RSRCDM: Ma, itÂ?s barely weeks since I started working, so stop!
RCDM: No. No. Just listen. He told me that boys like you are an attractive choice for Indian families in the US looking for a match for a daughter or two.

*RSRCDM decides that this is a conversation that is moving into unknown territory.

RSRCDM: WHAT?
RCDM: No, No.. The man told me that these families might want you to be their son-in-law and try to TRAP you into marrying their daughters.

*When RSRCDM's friends wake up the next morning, they find him on the couch, sitting still, open jawed in shock. Last known, RSRCDM is still trying to recover from the shock of this new angle that seems to have stumped him, mute and defenseless.

So, it turns out that these days, every single desi guy needs to be wary about Entrapment. While the mention of the word conjures up images of Catherine Zeta Jones, a single look in the mirror reminds every RSRCDM that he is no Sean Connery and hence he resigns himself to the inevitable with a sigh and gets back to his life.

*Sigh*

All characters and incidents featured in/on this post are the product of this blogger's imagination, well almost. Any resemblence to actual persons (living or dead) or events, is purely coincidental (well almost, again).

1. In fact there have been so many similar enquiries in IT firms that a few firms seem to have norms in place, governing responses to such enquiries.

47 comments:

Hawkeye said...

anti,

kannalam panni paar..come soon to the other side.. ensoyy thangamani..

( I ofcourse ignored the "no resemblence to real characters/events" that u mentioned in the end )

Krithiga said...

For guys it starts when they earn their paychecks. For girls?? Don't even ask what some RUCR - Random Ultra Conservative Relatives are capable of!

Anonymous said...

Anti'ku Kalyanam ...Dumm Dumm Dumm

-Prabhu

anantha said...

Prabhu: PM (thanjai bad word, this was)... You alive? One birather, asking me to get married and the other birather actually telling i got married. MP (this general Tam bad word), call me sometime...

dumbs said...

maams thats my story word by word...:)

Anonymous said...

dude
u will njoy the next phase better.
random people calling u to know ur credit history,green card status ,what not and in one case if the guy was involved in amway/quixstar :))

-shashi

Zeppelin said...

machi.. ennoda case-la reverse-a poindrukku.. but a couple of relatives are ready to jump in with some "alliance".. idhula some girls have just finished school.. i mean the actual school.. not school (university).. :(

also i am suffering from single-child-last-in-the-family-to-get-married syndrome.. :)

anantha said...

Everyone please read disclaimer. And I was not hinting *ANYTHING* with the "clever" use of the word "almost"!

Hawkeye said...

sorry anti,

it is comfortable 4 us to ignore ur disclaimer :-)

anantha said...

Hawkeye: :p Big Birather and Small Birather joining joining and doing jalsa at my expense...Let it walk.. let it walk..

Arun: Machi.. One big man, once said "Bade Bade Deshon main Aisi choti choti baathein hoti rahti hai" i.e. in big big countries, these small small things keep happening...

Shashi: OMG!

Dumbs: So, you are a member of the RSRDCM club too?

Pirabu: Blooddy dawg...

Krithika: I hear ya, gal.. i hear ya...

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Whooo-ha ha ha aha ... that was sure hilarious! I will show this to my mom if I can get her online ;)

IBH said...

Yam petra inbam peruga ivvayagam :)

enna anti rombha lam yosikka kudadhu...it is always bitter sweet but in the end it is sweet :) so *praying to god that Anti accepts* please please come and join this side of the world :)))))

Whoosh said...

Well...

There is a saying in tamil that sums this up well,

"Kaakaikkum Thankunju Ponkunju"... This will be abt for the RCDMs!!!

Hardu said...

For girls it is indeed worse. It starts went they are studying! Enjoy your last few days of freedom. ;)

anantha said...

Vikram: Nice saying, but what conveniently brushes under the carpet is that : the golden youngster described as the "Pon Kunju" is a crow after all ;)

IBH: Ummm, I thought we were in the same side of the world. I am in the Northern Hemisphere only, or have you already left for India? Hehe.Btw no one ever said that RSRCDM's don't wanna "join (your) side of the world", its just that they want some quality single time to spend their fortune as they please on things other than that 5 inch platforms at Payless!
Sudipta: Beware, you don't wanna give your mom ideas.. do you?

anantha said...

Hardu: Ya, I guess.. A year or two is all that I need...to attend every bachelor party I can ;)

RS said...

Funny post! Somehow, it seems to me that you are enjoying the whole RCDM vs RSRCDM debate sessions rather than being mute and defenseless, as you claim :)

anantha said...

rs: I am not saying anything ;)
Btw, welcome.. I have been a silent reader on yours for sometime, via KSP...Keep writing..

Krithiga said...

Either I should invent a way to shut the mouths of RUCRs when they talk of "kaal-kattu", or I should invent a way to shut my ears when I hear such words.

anantha said...

krithika: My sister is apparently coming across similar situations herself. She's in her final yr of engg. in Chennai, and she'd kill me if I laugh at her plight.

Hardu said...

As you have a younger sister, you are safe until she gets married. You wont be troubled much atleast until she is married off. How I wish I had an elder sis, so that I could escape from RUCR's.

Harish said...

ellarum solradha paartha going over to the dark side thaan nyabagam coming :)

Harish said...

enga thalaivar vadivel maathiri sollanam na.. "ungala ellam nenacha enakku paavama irukku" :P

Shashi Rajasekaran said...

anti thats pretty unfair of a self proclaimed RC to transfer the burden of his latest lurking interests to the paavam RDCM..

look what two pay checks have done to you..

inlivenout said...

Since I have a non-RCDM for a mom,no interestin experiences of dat sort...anyways,it all comes down to "polambals-before-marriage-n-polambals-after-marriage-n-polambals for life".Moral of d story--Lifela idhellam sagajam machi..nsoy!

anantha said...

inlivenout: Well.. who said I am not enjoying. This was just a public service message, recounting a story about a RCDM and her son ;)

Shashi: Disclaimer dude.. you gotta read it completely ;)

Curses: Inna idhu.. summa sirupulai thanama illa irruku :))

Hardu: My sister is six years younger than me.

Hardu said...

6 years? Then good luck to you. Soon you will no longer be RUSRCDM (Random Unmarried Son of a Random Conservative Desi Mom) but will soon become RMSRCDM (Random Married Son of a Random Conservative Desi Mom). ;)

anantha said...

Hardu: Ok.. i am the only one who can coin all these acronyms. And I don't need anybody's best wishes :p

Me said...

Happy New Year aNTi Superman

btw indha thai masathuliye ungaluku kalyana aaganam nu na saami kitta vendikaran ....;)

anantha said...

Me: Dei dei dei.. u are the one with steady gf... :O

Me said...

sorry thalaiva ...maarghazi la ungaluku gf kadaikanam...thai la ungaluku kalayana aaganam nu ippo maathi vendikitan :p...okaa

anantha said...

Me: Niruthanum... ellathayum niruthanum... seri.. car vanginiya?

anantha said...

awesome... which year?

Me said...

yes used toyota camry...

anantha said...

For some reason my comment went above yours :O

Vani Viswanathan said...

haha! nice one! there might be another side to it with RDRCDM, try finding out from your sis! :)

B o o said...

Wishing you a wonderful New Year, aNTi! I hope singleville reduces its population by 1 this year! :)

jerrymaguire said...

man u write wonderfully well.i make a resolution to read urs often.have a nice yr 06.

alpha said...

anti: Happy New Year da and hope you get married to the man of your dreams.

WA said...

:)) Naan onnume sollale :))

anantha said...

WA: You don't have to say anything. In fact, don't say ANYTHING! :p

Alpha: Thanx Alpha... *searches hard for a repartee, his first of the year.. but fails completely* Aah.. well.. I thought my annus horribilis was past me.

Jerry: Dude, what are you on? No seriously. :D Ahh, thanx :)

Boo: Thanx. Wish you, Ashu and HD a wonderful year ahead too :) And thanx for the other wish too. But 1 is too low a number. There are so many of my friends trying hard to get married. Will divert your wish their way and hope one of them catches the luck.. :p

Vani: I don't wanna open that can. Who knows what kinda worms will crawl out of there!

hathirpithi said...

RSRCDM has uncanny resemblance to you da!

anantha said...

Hathirpithi: Who.. meee? *wonders where that came from*

Shashi Rajasekaran said...

Your disclaimer is as true as the original inspired songs of Anu Malik :-P

be preapred to become a..Randomly Selected Mappalai of a Random Ultra Conservative Desi Mammiyaar..(RSMRUCDM)

anantha said...

Shashi: You are making me think that i shld stop comments on this post :p

Zeppelin said...

machi, so finally enna solre ? kalyanam pannika poriya illaya ?? :P

anantha said...

Zep: I did not say anything ;)
This was a "current affairs" post meant to enlighten people about the scene these days. :D
I urge you not to put a spin into it, because I mean what I mean and you cannot be so mean! :D