So I walk into a coffee shop and I know what I want. Cappuccino, no sugar on that. Somedays it’s topped with a shot of hazelnut and some days it’s hot chocolate with no cream on that. Everyday it’s a solid yes to a helping of chocolate icing. The biggest challenge to that endeavor is passing my name for the drink to be served. Most days, people don’t bother asking for the name. Easy peasy and done deal.
The thing about arranged marriage is that , unlike most people who are so sure that they know they are ready for a marriage and have undergone a PHD certification on What it all means to get married, I for one am pretty oblivious and clueless to the ways of knowing what it means to get ready for marriage. Most people I know have been married just once and oddly that makes them qualified subject matter experts on the topic. If it was recruitment for the works in my pipeline, that experience would not have got them an audition with me in the meeting room!
So mom has updated her runbook of questions she has for me everyday. Apart from the usual, did you eat, are you ok and are you sure that you are not falling sick, she’s added a few more questions to that list. Did you speak???? I still don’t have an appeasing answer to that question.
When it comes to an arranged marriage, there is a definite advantage in terms of the initial questions and conversations that would unravel in sweet time. For instance, Love marriage would have had it’s initial batch of questions around ‘Whats your favorite color pa’, ‘Pav baji ah, bhel puri ah? ‘. Lets not forget the past. Anyone and everyone who has had a crush, a fling, a stint at being a lover, would have endured and survived that question.
Advantage arranged marriage: Here , since the prospect is kinda pre approved, pre vetted, skimmed scanned and requisites assessed even before the first word of a ‘Hi’ exchanged, it also means that Pav baji ah bhel puri ah is no longer the determining factor of where that relationship is going to head. That being said, that question is definitely waiting in the pipeline to be asked. With arranged marriage, the sequencing order changes.
Come to think of it, I think there has to be a published list of questions that have to be asked, and expected. It might come in handy as a framework to kick start and sustain conversations and more importantly, it might help with the decision making process.
I mean questions like
- Do you snore ? how loud is your snoring? Have you ever had it checked? Can it be cured? Do I have to wear ear plugs to get a proper night’s sleep? This makes sense in an arranged marriage. With loveu, trips tours or even office meetings presents the valuable opportunity to assess the decibel levels of snoring from a safe distance.
- How prone are you to embarrassing yourself in public? It’s a very relevant question. No married couple is going to stay indoors forever. People make funny noises (if you know what I mean), people spill things all the time, people have baritone voices which refuse to stay in the whisper zone , people pick noses, and i’ll leave that list to your imagination. I’m pretty sure that these annoying peeves are not going to get featured in the resume under the section ‘About myself’ in the matrimony portals. Tough luck gathering intel on these. The only way you’d find out is when you bare witness or put on a grand show!!!!!
- Are you a sadist, masochist, sociopath, psychopath and feel free to pull in any and all worst case hollywood thriller villain’s mental ailment here. Unless you ask, you wont know. All honesty aside, it takes a really SPECIAL special kinda person to go public and proud about it. Who knows, that question might prove to be a game changer!
- What are your dining habits ? Do you slurp, do you nakkify all your fingers in public after a meal? Do you use towels to dry your hands or is it always the jeans? Come to think of it, eating is going last a lifetime. One not only marries a partner, one also ends up marrying their habits. Habits tend to last a lifetime. No wonder people go on dates!!!!!
There are a million questions that are either waiting to be asked or stuck somewhere in the thought process. I had a little time to ponder today and quite honestly, I’m glad that I don’t have any serious questions running numbers in my head. I do feel that having questions is an indication of a preconceived plan of how that life after marriage is going to be. Those questions are probably our own way of confirming our bias or expressing our expectations and hence setting a bench mark for the other person to fit into. Not that it’s wrong, not that it’s any more pressure, I think it’s kinda pointless. Read all you want, once married, that is a goldmine of gyan only married folks experience and keep mum about it. Rest of us solo flying blokes can’t , very fortunately, quite experience yet.
For what it’s worth, I think questions on life choices, life styles and outlook are worth the ask. It would probably be a steeper and a dreadful co-learning curve if there are stark differences to life choices. Anways, what the bleep do I know. I’m winging it all one day at a time. I’m still short by one marriage to be a SME on marriage 😛