The magnificent seven

And no, this is not a tale of the wonderful movie that rides by that name. Unlike the flick, this is not a tale of heroes, cowboys , the wild west and a battle of good over evil. Maybe a little struggle is left lingering in there somewhere.

MARRIAGES ARE MADE IN HEAVEN AND DECISIONS ARE MADE ON EARTH ☺️

The magnificent seven is the tsunami of lessons that I managed to acquire in a very short limited span of seven days. In a nutshell, I’d probably say that all it took was a week to rearrange the plans that have been in the works for nearly a quarter now. All it took was a week to offset all the plans for the future. A week, that attracted an investment of mind, thoughts and time.

One of the better lessons that I acquired was the way of Failing with dignity and grace.

Now that I think about it, historically, it has been very convenient to have a selfish , centred outlook towards most of my failures. It was easier to accept that I could never manage to do anything wrong and things fell out of place because of the inefficiencies that are abundant around the world. This time around, acknowledging the failure was a helpful endeavour. It was a reflection of what I was, what my limitations were and what I could and couldn’t deal with.

It was a rather cheap lesson , and I use the word cautiously because the price I might have ended up paying might have been way too high, in understanding that one needn’t be wrong to fail. Sometimes even two rights make a wrong. All in all, I learnt to appreciate that a failure was not a reflection of all my limitations running a parade. I It felt nice to not delegate the blame. It felt nice to accept the failure and attribute that to my own way of viewing the world. The world wasn’t at fault and I didn’t care if I was at fault either. That did seem to help me sleep a little peaceful.

Expectations versus Intuition <<<

ver the last few years, I've been constantly reminded by the world to lower my expectations on life. I do find that funny because , a : not a lot understand what my expectations are and b : a lot pass their bias and their outlook towards life and assume that they are all interchangeable across different people. The wider lesson around this was to learn to isolate the things that bothered me and things that didn't. Fun exercise it was.

The last few months, I had revisited my expectations, or so to speak. If I were honest to myself, I'd probably say that I pretended to lower my expectations. That's still 50% of the story. it's also true that I had volunteered myself to adapt to the changes and deal with them as they came. I think the whole deal about expectations is the ability or inability to compensate for things that are either there or not.

Amidst all of this , there is that glaring intuition. For someone as opinionated and as delusional as me, it's hard to ignore such intuitions and gut feelings. I did the best I could to suppress them and dismiss them as 'pseudo intellectual noise'. The term pseudo intellectual is a fancy one. It pampers my ego by proclaiming that I'm an intellectual and at the same time by addressing it as pseudo, I do let myself believe that I'm not as smart as I'd like to be.

Intuition eventually caught up. Push came to shove and I grabbed on to my instincts rather than peripheral intelligence. I still don't know if I had managed to do something right or wrong. I do know that I neither regret nor have doubts on how I finally chose to conclude.

The lesson was simple enough. Intuition is both a blessing and curse. Knowing when to pamper it and when to dismiss it might be the answer to the holy balance of things. The wider lesson was that sense of owning a choice. A choice without regrets and doubts. I like such choices. Such choices deny me of hostages to hide behind. Such choices are a reflection of a clarity of thought. Being right or wrong is irrelevant to such choices.

Fears and insecurities <<<

he immediate consequence of any failure is the blaring conclusion that we remain, forever denied, to all endeavours in the future. I wasn't immune to that fear. In fact , by making that choice to fail, I had ushered myself to that tricky spot of a land of limitless impossibilities. The window of thought that lingers on our mind, constantly fuelling that fear of impossibilities is a very crucial zone. Buy into it and you are denied of the comforts of making choices without regrets or doubts. Coast out of it really quick and you risk missing out on understanding the magnitude of the situation.

This was the hardest phase in the week. It took me three sleepless nights to reach a consensus.

A little faith, a little courage, a little understanding of the extent of the failure , a little consolation of that willingness to live with that failure , these are the quintessential steps in escaping this purgatory of fears.

Choices and opinions <<<

his is more of a personal take rather than a generalized observation. I usually make my choice and then float around for opinions. People usually float around for opinions before they arrive at a decision. I had both, friend sand circumstances, that contributed towards that cause. The big war between choices and opinions is usually fought as a team. It requires a clearer understanding of your own indecisiveness and also a certain trust in your friends to help you make that right choice.

I remain allergic and averse to indecisiveness. I feel comfortable at failing rather than failing to commit to a decision. It's a contradiction. The time I've spent in this city, I've always remained indecisive about what to eat, what to buy, where to go and mostly because I really don't care enough to make a decision. My decisions here don't matter. None of it means anything to me. I go with the flow of whims and spontaneity.

The difference between choices and opinions was an interesting lesson to acquire. It helped me see why I couldn't stomach my choices. It made me see the pointlessness to all my justifications and also see why my justifications remained so special to me. Opinions were not for me to own and choices were not for others to make. This resulted in a shorter time for grovel.

All in all, the seven days had been one of the hardest weeks to endure. As I brace myself to live out to the consequences of my actions, I do feel lighter at the fact that I could understand myself a little better. The hardest thing in the world is to sell yourself an idea. The hardest thing in the world is for you to believe in what you do, believe in your choices, believe in your own ability to cope up. Marketing the idea to the world is a smoke screen which aims to distract you from owning your actions.

All that on one hand, I still have a mouse in the house that keeps me awake and jumpy. I'm still mulling over my choices in dealing with that little invader!!!!!

Karthik

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A for arranged marriage!

huh-what

 

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

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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!!!!!
  3. 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!
  4. 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 😛

 

 

Karthik