NOTE: I do not know anyone by the names I have mentioned below. If there is someone by that name, it is purely coincidental! PLEASE EXCUSE! AND BE HAPPY YOUR NAME IS IN A BLOG! OK let's move to the post now.....
Ah yes. Love. The time when the guy sees the girl and gets that feeling neither he nor she can describe. That innate feeling of happiness, joy and freedom. The need to keep on staring, whatsapping, FB chatting or Facetiming the other person. On to take the relationship ahead, and end with marriage, if the girl accepts his proposal. Oh! The good times!
However, in a country like India, things are not as simple as that. Oh no, not by a LOOONNNNGGG way. We Indians, when at the ripe age of 25 - 30, look at taking it to the next level. And that is where all the complications arise. For we are not a country with a single religion, single belief, same customs. No we are not!! Far from it, even God would have a hard time finding out the total number of religions and customs in this country!
We, as the youth of the country, are at the forefront of technology. This means, free access to all religions, beliefs, and of course, the women (or for the women, the men) of other religions, castes, creeds etc etc.!!! So much choice!!! What can do we do at this point?
- Go after who we want : In 99% of the cases, this would mean going against our parents wishes. This invariably leads to years and years of bloodshed, chaos, and most importantly, missing out on those delicious home made goodies!!!
- Go with what they (meaning, your parents) want: This way, your profile would be posted on all matrimonial sites, with yourself being projected as "Another man Superman!" instead of "Anantharaman Subbaraman". Families from the boys and the girls side meet, exchange many pleasantries, plan the engagement, wedding and the honeymoon of the boy and the girl, before the boy even gets the chance to meet the girl.
- OR, follow a third way. A blend of the first 2 ways. A 1.5th way, if you may put it that way. In order to illustrate how it goes, I shall put a "case study" below.
So say we have this guy, a queer sweet vegetarian Tamil Brahmin who goes by the name Thiruvillai Krishnaswamy Ranganathan Kunjappan Iyer (Yes, we Tam Brahms have tongue twisting, never ending names too!) . He sees a girl.
Immediate thoughts in his mind (basic instincts, rather, of any male)
"The girl looks good!"
"Oh man hope I can talk to her atleast once!"
"Hope she can say my name properly! Otherwise I'll just ask her to call me KR... much simpler no?"
He meets the girl. He asks her name
"Harminder Singh Sobti"
His heart sinks. "OH NOOOOOO!! Ayo parents will never accept! Marriage alliance down the drain, we can be only friends!"
The problem doesn't end there. KR meets another girl the very next day! The same thoughts go through his mind...... He asks her name
His heart skips a beat. "TAMIL IYER PONNU!! OMG OMG OMG! YESSSSS" He thinks. He smiles at her and decides to take the next step in interacting with her. There is only one way this conversation is going.
"What is your Gothram?" (Don't ask me what this is called in English, I have absolutely no idea!)
He screams his head off! ITS THE SAME AS MINE! NOOOOO! All efforts to woo this girl down the drain!! Have to go back to friendship zone! What a waste of effort!
LO AND BEHOLD, the very next day, he meets this simple, studious Pattathi (Iyer) called Azhagia Brahmakumari Chidambaram Dorai (or, very conveniently, ABCD in short! I'm not sure Azhagia is a girl's name, but I just wanted ABCD to come in the first place.)
Our dear KR goes through the motions once again. This time his hopes are a bit low.
"Azhagia?? Is that even a name?? Ummm... she looks cute BTW!". For us men, after sometime, all it takes is a bit of cuteness, to set the ball rolling.
This time however, ABCD starts asking questions to him. His antenna goes into alert mode. He thinks "This is not standard protocol!!! Better alert the relevant authorities!!" and swiftly goes and tells his parents of a possible alliance, even before he talks to ABCD.
The parents huddle together and deliberate. KR watches on nervously as they go through her Facebook profile. "Good looking", "Well educated".... the vibes are coming out good! KR gets asked a lot of the standard questions. However, as he has already gone through the motions a lot of times before, he had done his homework!! He already got all the relevant details from ABCD in his own sweet way and presents them to his parents.
And finally, the outcome. Parents say YES!!! KR is ecstatic! FINALLY ALLIANCE APPROVAL FROM PARENTS! I CAN GO AHEAD AND ASK ABCD OUT!
Parents ask "DAI! How are you going to take this ahead?". KR actually becomes "Another man Superman" and replies "Don't worry Amma, Appa! I got this!" and promptly goes ahead to date ABCD, and get things in place before the parents can change their mind!
So you can see, the Indian Love story is not a simple "I love you, you love me, lets live happily ever after". There are a lot of external factors, unknown variables, and complex solutions, that even a creative MBA (HA, yeah right, that was an oxymoron right there!) would find hard to decipher. And that is what makes this, the great Indian Love Story (Or South Indian, as I have put all Southie names here, ah but it would be the same all across the country!!)