Monday, February 28, 2011

A matrimonial requirement

One of my favourite reading items on Sundays is the matrimonial section of 'The Hindu'. We sisters used to go through the malayalam section of the matrimonial especially, having read the whole thing and found that this part is the most amusing.  No, it was not for searching for grooms for ourselves.  It was read for time pass,  to see what people wanted for their children or for themselves and how they put it in the open domain.   I have continued this habit to date.  My husband, every time he sees me opening that section, jokes if I am on the lookout for a new groom for myself.  Then comes the next question, what new am I looking for.

All the time, he knows what exactly I am looking for.  I am looking for those matrimonials that make me laugh, make me pass a remark and make me angry.  It gives me a idea of how men and women give advt either for themselves or for their children.  Some of the most hilarious ones I have come across are as follows:

1.  A prospective groom had given his age, qualifications and that he was living abroad.  Added at the end was HIV -ve.  That was the age when AIDS was in the news and it was talked about as being more among those living in foreign countries.

2.  Nair groom from aristocratic family - this is one that is found very often.  Aristocracy existed in Kerala, yes.  It was abolished long ago.  But there are so many people still living in the past.  Nair families whose ancestors served under kings continue to think they are past of aristocracy.  We have to ask what job these ancestors did ?  But two three weeks ago I found an advt where someone from lower in the caste hierarchy called himself from an aristocratic family.  This when members of this caste should not cover their torsos and their shadows should not fall on a person of the higher caste.  How come he is part of aristocracy ?

3.  A bridegroom, Kama from Hyderabad (I remember the details because he advertised in such big columns repeatedly for two weeks and my friend told me that Kama was a caste in Andhra) needed a wife.  He was 45 and above living in one of the posh areas of Hyderabad.  He was outgoing, broadminded, rich and so on and needed a wife who would look after his child and be someone who would stay at home.

4.  A man above 40 looking for a bride in her late 20s.  What was he thinking ?

The one that got me wondering this sunday was from a prospective bridegroom looking for a girl who was family bonded.  That is a nice quality to expect from a girl.  That she be attached to the family.  But, did he mean she should be bonded to her family, meaning her parents ?  Would he like that in the long run if she loved her family more ?  Or did he expect her to become bonded to his family on marriage.  Bonded - bonded in what sense ?  Bonded out of love ?  Or is it bounded by labour ?  Made me wonder.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Natu Panchayat

The other day, driving down to work, I came across an interesting incident.  There was this father, groggy after being woken up from sleep, still in his night clothes and his two sons on the road, dressed tiptop in their school uniforms, shoes and ties in place.  The threesome were waiting for the school van to pick them up.  In the meanwhile, an issue had arisen, I guess.  There was one child complaining to his father, with all actions and pointing to his brother.  The brother was standing quietly, yet nodding his head from side to side.  A sort of indication that all is not true.  Yet, the brother was pointing a finger at him.  All this time, the father, still half asleep was sitting on his bike and trying to listen to the problem, probably praying inside, hoping that the school van would arrive at the earliest.

This reminded me of the natu panchayat's of yesteryears now being shown in movies mostly.  (On the side, taking a class in management, I mentioned the panchayat system and asked the class if they knew about it.  Immediately, one student says, 'Yes'.  Another says, 'Nattamai'.  The third was the best. 'Sombu'.  Which threw the class into another round of laughter.  So much for movies.) 

Anyway, this poor father, still asleep was trying to show interest in his sons little quarrels but was so sleepy.  I slowed down the car but didn't want to invade into their family time.  Anyway, it felt good to be on the road in the morning and see that life continues the same way.  We grow up, but the same things happen everywhere.  I was reminded then of the many panchayat's my parents had to sit in.  The three of us were a handful and with so many quarrels, sometimes, we used to get a whack or two from our parents.

To parents and natu panchayats.