Sunday, March 27, 2005

How to get a nice wife?

Disclaimer: No I havent taken the pains to compose this. As usual found this in my inbox.

- Dheepak Ra

Here goes nothing..............

There are times in a person's life when he needs to take crucial decisions on his own. Marriage is one of them. Believe me, the decision on whom to marry is the most important decision a person will make in his life. After marriage, your wife is the most important person in your life. She can make or break your life. The mere thought of this is very frightening.

Some of the questions that crop up are -

a.. What sort of a girl do I marry?
b.. Will she adjust in my family?
c.. How can I decide on a girl by just meeting her for a few times?
d.. When should I get married?
e.. This is my life. So, I should choose the girl I marry, but then what if I make a mistake? .. so on and so forth.

I will try to address these & many more questions in the following sections.

The Nine Rules of Arranged marriage

Rule 1 - Magic no. 28

In an ideal scenario, a girl goes to college at the age of 18. By the time she graduates, goes for her post graduation and/ or works for 1-2 years, she will be about 23- 24. This means that she has spent about 5 years away from her home. In the 5 years period, she would meet many smart guys at college or during her first few years on job. So, in all probability it would be difficult to find a good girl older than 24 yrs. Secondly, in Indian families there is lot of pressure on the girl's to get married by the time they become 24-25.

Statistics says that there is a generation gap after every 5 years. So, in such scenario, one would prefer to marry a girl who is about 3-4 years younger to you. Thus, working backwards, an ideal age for a guy to get married is by 28. Earlier the marriage, the better it is.

Well, as we all know, in the current market scenario, there will never be stability in our career. So, I believe there is no such thing as, "I will marry when I settle down".

Rule 2 -- Subset of marriage-able girls

At times you hear statements like, "I am not getting the right match, I will look after 3 months, I will find a better match then". Well the truth is otherwise. The subset of unmarried girl looking for a match is fixed. From this subset, there would be girls who would get married & there would be new girls added who would be looking for a match. The net result is that at any given time, the variety & number of marriage-able girls are fixed.

Rule 3 - Competition for girls

Like all other facets of life, there is lot of competition for good girls. So, if you are looking for a girl who is post graduate, done her Engg, is working, very beautiful, smart, from a good family etc. etc, just think again. There are other guys who are also looking for similar girls & probably they are better off than you in terms of career, looks personality etc. Given a choice every guy would like to marry Aishwarya Rai. So, set your expectations accordingly.

Rule 4 -- Understanding girls

You would have met a lot of people during your life. As we all know, its difficult to judge a person based on a few meetings. I am sure you would agree with me that in case of girls it is even more difficult to understand them in a few meetings. I know people who are still trying to understand their wife. ;-).. Understanding your spouse is a life long assignment. So, then how do you select a girl based on a few meeting? This is where you need to take the help of your parents/ friends & latest technologies like email/chat to choose your girl.

Rule 5 - Society expectation

The selection process is tough on every one who is involved in the process. In arranged marriage, involvement of family & society is pretty high. You can't meet a girl 3-4 times & then say no to her. It is bad for her future. So, you should have a good short-listing criterion. Meet only a few girls & be sure what you are looking for. It is for the benefit of everyone involved.

Rule 6 -- Marriage between equals

Unlike love marriage, in arranged marriage you also marry into the girl's family. In arranged marriages, family support plays a major role in ensuring a successful marriage. This is where the compatibility of social status, family values & caste/religion plays a major role. Its important to note that in case there is a perfect match between the two families, the marriage is destined to succeed.

Rule 7 - Know yourself

Unlike love marriage, in arranged marriage you first marry a person & then fall in love. So, it's very important that you do a self-assessment on the kind of person you would love. They say, "Opposite attract", while they also say, "Bird of same feather flock together". So, you take a call on what sort of person you like. Take a pen & paper; write down the kind of attributes you are looking for in a girl. Say, she should ideally have the looks of Sonia, the style of Monica, the voice of Sheena, the patience of Rashmi. You will certainly not find the perfect girl, but then you would have a good idea of what you are looking for. The secret here is to set some minimum criteria for selection. Don't forget rule no.3 here.

Rule 8 -- Girl's Beauty

A girl's looks attract, but then no one wants to end up marrying a dumb It is like buying your bike. When you initially buy it, you are crazy about the looks, but later on you love it for its reliability, fuel economy & comfort level. Similarly, a girl's looks are important, but then it should not be the most important criteria. Later on in life, you will get bored of her looks. It is then that her personality & behavior will make all the difference to your marriage. I am sure your parents will be able to advice you a lot better on this topic.

Rule 9 -- Taking advice

As I have mentioned in the next rule, it's very important that the final decision on whom to marry must necessarily be yours. However, don't do the mistake of isolating yourself from the world while planning your marriage. Discuss with your parents & very close friends on this issue. They are your well wishers. Secondly, in such important matters its necessary that you analyze all possibilities. Remember, I am not suggesting that you follow others' advice, but don't forget to take their advice.

Rule 10 -- Own decision

All said & done, it's your marriage & your life that is at stake. Once you are married, you & your wife are the only persons who will be facing the music. Don't marry a girl just because your parents or friends asked you to do so. After marriage, if things don't work out & you end up saying, "It's because of my friends or my parents that I married you", then your marriage is destined for disaster. If the girl is of your choice, it is you who will be responsible for whatever happens. That's when the marriage works out perfectly. So, ensure that you marry the girl of your choice.

How to approach the selection process?

From the day, a person decides to get married; the selection process takes a minimum of 3 months. The whole process needs a lot of patience & commitment. The ideal steps to be followed are:

a.. Definition phase –

Define the minimum criteria for the kind of life partner you are looking for in terms of education, physical appearance, social status, family values, future career plans. Remember the Rule 3 here.

b.. Lead Generation phase –

Place ads in various newspapers, magazines, websites, through friends, family friends, family societies & association etc. You need to exhaust all possible means of getting bio-datas at one go. Remember the Rule 2 here.

c.. Short listing phase –

Based on your selection criteria, short-list the interesting bio-datas. The general process followed for correspondence is as follows:

1. The initiator sends a one page profile of himself/herself.

2. Based on the profile, the receiver sends his/her one page profile along with request for detailed profile, photo, horoscope.

3. The initiator then sends the requested information along with a request for similar information.

4. The receiver send similar information.

5. If the bio-data is selected, it is passed over to the next phase.

A.. Casual interaction phase –

Based on short listing, about 7 to 10 bio-datas are taken forwarded to this phase. The next step to follow here is to exchange email/ chat ids. The guy & the girl then interact for 10 - 15 days to try & judge mutual compatibility through email/chat.

B.. Family interaction phase –

Based on the earlier phase, about 5 leads are taken for consideration in this phase. During this phase, the parents get involved & check the background information about the families to find mutual compatibility.

C.. The dating phase –

Based on the earlier phase about 3 leads are taken forward to this phase. During this phase, the guy & the girl interact by going out alone for 2-3 times. The guy needs to prepare a set of simple questions like who is your favorite star, what are your hobbies? He needs to use his judgment to analyze the girl based on her responses.

D.. The D-day phase –

Finally, the D-day comes when the guy has to select the girl he wants to spend his life with. If the process if followed systematically, there will be no ambiguity in deciding who should be your life partner.

Finally, my dear friends, marriage is all about compromises. In spite of all the planning that you do, there are a lot of uncertainties in a marriage. In fact this is the best part about marriage. Just remember that the person you marry must be of your choice. In such case, there would be no going back for both of you.

A few words of advice: To make your marriage a success; just believe in the age-old virtue, "Never do anything to others that you don't like for yourself".

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A boy with roses

There was a boy in high school we will call Joey.

One day Joey leaned over to the girl sitting next to him in class and whispered, "Red

The shocked girl stood up, slapped Joey in the face and went crying to
the teacher. The teacher called Joey to the desk and asked what he had
"Red roses" was Joey's reply, at which the teacher screamed and sent
Poor Joey to the principal's office.

As Joey waited in the lobby to be called in, he pondered what was
Happening to him. His thoughts where cut short by the sound of the
secretary saying he could go in. Joey walked into the office and was
told to take a seat, which he did. After telling the story of how he had
been wrongly accused and how he knew there was some mistake, the
principal smiled and asked, "OK, Joey, I understand. What did you say to
her?" Joey was sure the principal would be a reasonable man and
responded "Red roses." you could watch as the principal turned red and

Joey asked to wait for the bus to take him home, since he lived some distance away. "NO!" Then Joey was informed that if he were caught on the premises again, he would
be arrested for trespassing.

Very distraught, Joey set out on his way home. He had made it about a
Mile down the road when Old Man Jones, the local pig farmer, stopped and
ffered a ride home. Joey, being very upset, of course, accepted the
ride. Not morethan a mile down the road, Old Man Jones asked why Joey
wasn't in school, so Joey told the story of the events that had happened
that day. At the end of the story, the old man said that it sounded like
Joey had quite a rough time of it "Oh, and what did you say?" Joey
hesitated-- should he tell the man what he said, or not? He decided to
tell him. "Red roses." The tires squealed as the truck ground to a halt.
Old Man Jones reached over and opened the door and pushed Joey out on
his ear.

Now very angry, Joey got up, brushed himself off, and continued on his
way home. Upon arriving at home, Joey's mother, Mrs. Campbell, saw that
her son wasn't looking too good, and asked why he hadn't caught the
bus. Joey told her. She fixed Joey a bowl of soup and then asked, "Joey,
dear, what on earth did you say to that little girl?" Joey wasn't sure
what to do. He knew his mother loved him, but he didn't want her to have
the same reaction everyone else had. But he told her anyway. "Red roses." Joey waited in his room with a bruised ego and a sore bottom, wondering what would
happen when his father got home. Six o'clock came around and Joey's
father got home. He could hear his parents arguing outside his door and
then suddenly it was quiet. Mr.. Campbell came into the room and said,
"Your mother told me you had some trouble at school, but I told her you
and I would figure it out."But the first thing is you have to tell me what you said." "OK, Dad, I said red roses'," was Joey's response. "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, YOU"RE NO SON OF MINE!"

The next morning, Joey decided he needed to get a job. It was awhile
Before he found anyone who would hire a 15-year-old who had been
expelled from high school and kicked out of the house. But Joey wasn't a
quitter, and he did find a job working at a gas station in a
neighboring town. After a few months, Joey had managed to get settled in
his new job and had even moved into the apartment over his boss' garage.
On a particularly slow day at work Joey's boss asked what had happened
that caused everything that had happened to happen. Joey went into along
story of emotional stress,misunderstood youth, the pain of having lost
all of his friends and family in one fateful day. The tale Joey spun was
so powerful;his boss was moved to tears and, out of compassion, offered to adopt Joey. With the first smile to cross his lips in months, Joey accepted. On the way to the
courtproceedings a few days later, Joey's boss asked him, "Exactly, what

did you say to her?" Without thinking, Joey replied, "Red roses." His
boss grew as white as a ghost and said, "That was my niece, you little

Once again, Joey was without a friend in the world. The next day Joey
Took all the money he had managed to save and bought a bus ticket "to
Wherever the farthest place from here is." As he waited for his bus, a
little old lady sat down next to him on the bench. Even though he didn't
want to, she started talking, and before you knew it, she had heard
almost the whole story. But she interrupted and asked what he had said.
"Ma'am, I said 'red roses'." Well, the words were just barely out of his
mouth when she started beating him with her cane. In order to flee the
fury of the old woman, he ran across the road, but he never made it to
the other side. He was hit by a speeding Mack truck and he died.

The moral of this story is:
Always look both ways before crossing the street.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Links 4 U

Here is a list of sites which you shouldnt miss:

You get this when you mix the sound track of Rambo movie with the CNN video of Iraq war. Rambo in Iraq

You can spend loads and loads of time out here. Particularly check out the quick links to the right. Satire Wire

A take on Bush An appeal to all Canadians

For wanna b chef like me Cooking for Engineers

The 100 best pictures from NGC National Geographic Channel


Updated on Apr 11 2005:
Thanks to Anony(refer to comments), we now have the source for this wonderful article - Its all relative by VijiRaghunathan.

Here is the story:
Grandmother was pretending to be lost in prayer, but her prayer-beads were spinning at top speed. That meant she was either excited or upset. Mother put the receiver down. "Some American girl in his office, she's coming to stay with us for a week." She sounded as if she had a deep foreboding. Father had no such doubt. He knew the worst was to come. He had been matching horoscopes for a year, but my brother Vivek had found a million excuses for not being able to visit India, call any of the chosen Iyer girls, or in any other way advance father's cause. Father always wore four parallel lines of sacred ash on his forehead. Now there were eight, so deep were the furrows of worry on his forehead. I sat in a corner, supposedly lost in a book, but furiously text-messaging my brother with a vivid description of the scene before me.

A few days later I stood outside the airport with father. He tried not to look directly at any American woman going past, and held up the card reading "Barbara". Finally a large woman stepped out, waved wildly and shouted "Hiiii! Mr. Aayyyezh, how ARE you?" Everyone turned and looked at us. Father shrank visibly before my eyes. Barbara took three long steps and covered father in a tight embrace. Father's jiggling out of it was too funny to watch. I could hear him whispering "Shiva shiva!". She shouted "you must be Vijaantee?" "Yes, Vyjayanthi" I said with a smile. I imagined little half-Indian children calling me "Vijaantee aunty!". Suddenly, my colorless existence in Madurai had perked up. For at least the next one week, life promised to be quite exciting.

Soon we were eating lunch at home. Barbara had changed into an even shorter skirt. The low neckline of her blouse was just in line with father's eyes. He was glaring at mother as if she had conjured up Barbara just to torture him. Barbara was asking "You only have vegetarian food? Always??" as if the idea was shocking to her. "You know what really goes well with Indian food, especially chicken? Indian beer!" she said with a pleasant smile, seemingly oblivious to the apoplexy of the gentleman in front of her, or the choking sounds coming from mother. I had to quickly duck under the table to hide my giggles.

Everyone tried to get the facts without asking the one question on all our minds: What was the exact nature of the relationship between Vivek and Barbara? She brought out a laptop computer. "I have some pictures of Vivek" she said. All of us crowded around her. The first picture was quite innocuous. Vivek was wearing shorts, and standing alone on the beach. In the next photo, he had Barbara draped all over him. She was wearing a skimpy bikini and leaning across, with her hand lovingly circling his neck. Father got up, and flicked the towel off his shoulder. It was a gesture we in the family had learned to fear. He literally ran to the door and went out. Barbara said "It must be hard for Mr. Aayyezh. He must be missing his son." We didn't have the heart to tell her that if said son had been within reach, father would have lovingly wrung his neck.

My parents and grandmother apparently had reached an unspoken agreement. They would deal with Vivek later. Right now Barbara was a foreigner, a lone woman, and needed to be treated as an honored guest. It must be said that Barbara didn't make that one bit easy. Soon mother wore a perpetual frown. Father looked as though he could use some of that famous Indian beer.

Vivek had said he would be in a conference in Guatemala all week, and would be off both phone and email. But Barbara had long lovey-dovey conversations with two other men, one man named Steve and another named Keith. The rest of us strained to hear every interesting word. "I miss you!" she said to both. She also kept talking with us about Vivek, and about the places they'd visited together. She had pictures to prove it, too. It was all very confusing.

This was the best play I'd watched in a long time. It was even better than the day my cousin ran away with a Telugu Christian girl. My aunt had come howling through the door, though I noticed that she made it to the plushest sofa before falling in a faint. Father said that if it had been his child, the door would have been forever shut in his face. Aunt promptly revived and said "You'll know when it is your child!" How my aunt would rejoice if she knew of Barbara!

On day five of her visit, the family awoke to the awful sound of Barbara's retching. The bathroom door was shut, the water was running, but far louder was the sound of Barbara crying and throwing up at the same time. Mother and grandmother exchanged ominous glances. Barbara came out, and her face was red. "I don't know why", she said, "I feel queasy in the mornings now." If she had seen as many Indian movies as I'd seen, she'd know why. Mother was standing as if turned to stone. Was she supposed to react with the compassion reserved for pregnant women? With the criticism reserved for pregnant unmarried women? With the fear reserved for pregnant unmarried foreign women who could embroil one's son in a paternity suit? Mother, who navigated familiar flows of married life with the skill of a champion oarsman, now seemed completely taken off her moorings. She seemed to hope that if she didn't react it might all disappear like a bad dream.

I made a mental note to not leave home at all for the next week. Whatever my parents would say to Vivek when they finally got a-hold of him would be too interesting to miss. But they never got a chance. The day Barbara was to leave, we got a terse email from Vivek. "Sorry, still stuck in Guatemala. Just wanted to mention, another friend of mine, Sameera Sheikh, needs a place to stay. She'll fly in from Hyderabad tomorrow at 10am. Sorry for the trouble."

So there we were, father and I, with a board saying "Sameera". At last a pretty young woman in salwar-khameez saw the board, gave the smallest of smiles, and walked quietly towards us. When she did 'Namaste' to father, I thought I saw his eyes mist up. She took my hand in the friendliest way and said "Hello, Vyjayanthi, I've heard so much about you." I fell in love with her. In the car father was unusually friendly. She and Vivek had been in the same group of friends in Ohio University. She now worked as a Child Psychologist.

She didn't seem to be too bad at family psychology either. She took out a shawl for grandmother, a saree for mother and Hyderabadi bangles for me. "Just some small things. I have to meet a professor at Madurai university, and it's so nice of you to let me stay" she said. Everyone cheered up. Even grandmother smiled. At lunch she said "This is so nice. When I make sambar, it comes out like chole, and my chole tastes just like sambar". Mother was smiling. "Oh just watch for 2 days, you'll pick it up." Grandmother had never allowed a muslim to enter the kitchen. But mother seemed to have taken charge, and decided she would bring in who ever she felt was worthy. Sameera circumspectly stayed out of the puja room, but on the third day, I was stunned to see father inviting her in and telling her which idols had come to him from his father. "God is one" he said. Sameera nodded sagely.

By the fifth day, I could see the thought forming in the family's collective brains. If this fellow had to choose his own bride, why couldn't it be someone like Sameera? On the sixth day, when Vivek called from the airport saying he had cut short his Gautemala trip and was on his way home, all had a million things to discuss with him. He arrived by taxi at a time when Sameera had gone to the University. "So, how was Barbara's visit?" he asked blithely. "How do you know her?" mother asked sternly. "She's my secretary" he said. "She works very hard, and she'll do anything to help." He turned and winked at me. Oh, I got the plot now! By the time Sameera returned home that evening, it was almost as if her joining the family was the elders' idea. "Don't worry about anything", they said, "we'll talk with your parents."

On the wedding day a huge bouquet arrived from Barbara.
"Flight to India - $1500.
Indian kurta - $5.
Emetic to throw up - $1.
The look on your parents' faces - priceless" it said.


Another reason for forking this, is to explicitly post all email forwards which may not be in the public domain.

I herein admit and explicitly declare that none of the postings in this blog is my creation. The best forward of the day, will find a place here.

Yet another blog?

My original scrap book - Baejaar was getting cluttered. In an attempt to stream line it, I have forked out this blog to contain interesting links or may be some interesting text email forwards.

So if you want to while away some time, then this should be the blog for you.

I am even thinking of making this blog - open source, so that whenever somebody comes across a nice site, they can post it to this repository. Lets see......