Saturday, November 12, 2005

Purely educational 

Ok! I've been advising one of my close friends on his possible arranged marriage situation :) I know that he reads my blog *and that he'll hurl abuses at me when he reads this* and would like to thank him whole heartedly for the material for this post. I also suspect that the post will be a lil too long and hence I shall break it up into two/three separate posts, at the end of which you'll know all that there is to long distance desi arranged marriage dating (now if that's not a niche area, I have no clue what is). Also, I'm no authority on this matter (as a matter of fact I'm quite the uninitiated one). So if you kind readers have anything more to add on to this topic - please do. My friend will surely benefit from your suggestions.

Assumptions: Guy stays in US (can be England, Australia or Canada as well). Girl stays in India. Somehow (read either via matrimonial sites or courtesy over-enthusiastic relatives) they've been brought into contact. This is not a fling mind you; coz emotions will be stirred and not shaken. So both parties mean business. Sadly, it's gonna be a while before the guy goes to India and hence the whole dating business has to be long distance. Got the situation?? Good! Now read on!

1. The Initial Contact
So this is the first time you'll interact directly with the girl. Before this it has all been through the parents. Your mom sent you her photograph and you liked it. Her mom showed her your photograph and she kept a copy of it in her cupboard. If rumors are to be believed she even showed it to some of her friends. All that's done. Things are now going to the next step - now you have to contact her (yes, it's always the guy who makes the first communication). So what do you do?

I think emails are the way to start. I know that phone calls to India are really cheap these days and you want to call her and impress her with your put on accent. I know you want to tell her abt the car you drive (without telling her that it was bought second hand). But don't do that right now. That's like bowling a googly when you are sure that a full toss will get you a wicket too. So let the phone call wait. Send her an email. Send her the standard "Let me tell you a little about myself. I went to blah blah and studied blah blah and now I am doing blah blah". Pleeeeeeeease spell check your document. Any kind of glaring spelling mistake and you'll instantly be given some negative points. Another important point is to mention at least one fun activity that you do and you're sure she doesn't. If you go for scuba diving or surfing - bingo! Tell her that and you have scored some good points. If you are really boring and seriously have nothing exciting to tell her - mention that you "like going on reallllllly long drives". And please - visiting strip clubs is NOT an activity. Remember that.

Also remember that a joke always helps. But a subtle one. Surely no scatological humor. If possible say something that is self demeaning in a funny way - BUT nothing abt your looks - that'll scare her. A good self demeaning aspect will be your forgetfulness; or how you are tormented by your sibling (if you don't have one use use that annoying cousin).

Heh! heh! So much for just the first email. And then you wait for her to reply. You check your emails every fifteen minutes thereafter and see if she has replied. Two things to remember - (a) she stays in India so there is a time difference and (b) she won't reply instantly either coz whoever wrote a similar MUST DO list for her would have mentioned that in Bold :) So learn to wait. And then when she replies - its round two. But that's another post - one where we'll discuss - the follow up email, the first phone call, the first gift, discussing ex relationships and your first romantic line.

Coming soon to a theatre near you - 70mm :)

Funny :)

But since its an arranged marriage, I would assume the courtship isnt so important anyway?
Ah! Another one succumbs to the 'pressures' and becomes party to this conspiracy of giving up fancy-free, singleton days?! Most sad. Though, while we are on this education stuff, I suppose there is some merit in knowing that marriages can be either love or either arranged. One musn't engineer these falling in love with matrimonial prospects attempt. I speak with some authority in this matter! :)

Though there is a school of thought which says that, 'love is all about perseverance.' Which is only true of non-online and often campus romances.

Oh and while we are putting the do's and dont's for the first email; its also a good time to put the disclaimers and caveats in place. Like they do in Economics theories, all theories hold true in a situation of Ceteris Paribus (all things being equal). And of course, 'just-right' quantity of information is most critical.

Oh and while we are at
Ur posts are hilarous but they have started making me feel disgusted about men-women relationships. there seem to be deep rooted selfish reasons behind everything. gross!
@casablanca - oh no no! these days with so much choice and all nobody has an arranged marriage any more. they like to say "it's a love marriage where we were introduced by parents" :))

@primal - really? coz quite a few people i know have taken this arranged marriage thing to total dating dimensions - where people literally date their partners for years even after starting from an arranged marriage perspective - i guess things are changing

@tipsy - very true! i keep saying this. we have become a lot more selfish these days. the other day someone mentioned to me how they should have a lease concept in marriages - talk abt corporatizing love :))
Wow. This insight seems to come from real practical experience. Beautifully written :-)
great post....hahaha..please do write bt a desis first strip club experience
How informative! Your friends must be soooo lucky to have you to turn to for advice ;-)

Just one point though, most girls I know get totally put off by irritating American accents, so you and your friend might want to go easy on that one.
@greatbong - no no :) this is completely based on what i "feel" should be done and not what i "have" done :D

@docdope - thanks :) i most definitely will write abt that t oo once i have the necessary info :)

@ron - will definitely pass on this information to my friend madam :)
marriages -arranged or love seems alwayz an interesting topic not only of relatives but also collegues and frends.
and itz a good thing that ppl in arranged marriages also go dating - itz a world of mix n match after all :)
Hilarious....can't wait for the sequels....waiting for the flowers, chocolate and card bit to surface in the relationship.
brilliant! now i know EXACTLY what mails-of-a-certain-nature mean *tee-hee!* i've recently been asked out by a guy in cal over email! the times, sagnik, they are a-changing! :)
@swathi - i agree that arranged marriages are great coversations among friends - oh! how many evenings have i spent just trying to get many friends married :)

@m - thanks :) oh chocolates and cards will follow next - but flowers across countries might not be a great idea (but i know of people who have found loopholes) :)

@rimi - you da woman - blog abt it lady - in detail :D
I can actually SEE you say all this!!!!! i mean seriousy. in a very adise dispensory kinda way.
but i was sorta disapointed. emon kichu hashale na. katukutuo lage ni.:( tho really good advice and i agree with ron. but uv written funnier stuff. next installment. make it funnier, please!!!!!!!"~
On a serious note - are phone calls to India "that" cheap? Oh come on! Why waste money sitting in the US - I was asked to treat a bunch of pals...and the request went like "just a bloody dollar for each"...which converts to per person like...you know!
And bro, were you really in the "ghot - kali" business in your last life?
After a long, prolonged interaction, decide that since you are a desi engineer in the USA, you are entitled to
(i) check out more babes
(ii) decide that your classmate "Shalu" commonly belonging to ABCD species is "adapted" better to life in the USA
(iii) question and needle every little insignificant detail about said babe

Sigh! Seriously, desi relationships suck so much. Sad that desi men can't even play honestly, they have to be so sleazy most of the time.
It was really interesting to read, by the way let me tell you that you are just confusing dating with arranged marriages. 'so called westernized' guys would like to get the girl to date almost instantly after he gets her contact information and if the girl doesnt go with that she is termed too desi???? She should have posted her profile on dating website isnt it if you thought that you had to wait so much for the matrimonial rituals!!!!!!
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