Thursday, March 08, 2007

Oru Thattupolappan Vivaaha Vyavahaarika...

I feel inspiration for a post hit and it was on a topic i had the least idea of...marriages!!! More odd...this divine blog actually began with a recounting of an american wedding i inspite of all further oddities i will strive on to finish this will be interesting for you the reader and me the blogger to find out where this goes! Apologies to my sis, her friends, my friends, our family, etc, etc whose interesting experiences is all that this post contains. A piece of ancestor, the Mahakavi wrote a musical-play, Sara Vivaham 104 years ago, to be screened on the occasion of my great-grandfather marrying my great-grandmother...wonder how favorable the odds are for him to throw a paathaalakarandi down from heaven, to scoop me off, for writing such chavare!

A girl reaches the marriageable age...a process akin to the software engineering life cycle begins..always begins by a requirements gathering. Lets see how a consensus was arrived at in my family.
Pops: The boy should be from a good family.
Mom: All i care for is a good boy!
Me: All i ask is he should have lived in Kerala at some point and...(secretly to my sis)i hope he drinks a bit too!
Pops: Why is that? 50% of malayali christians are expats!
Me(sheepishly): I'd like to talk to my future aliyan in pacha-malayalam!
Finally all eyes turn to the client for her concerns.
Sis: Haavoo!Thanks for asking me atleast now!

And so begins the next phase: the groom search. At no other point in life can you ever get to see such a vivid assortment of the male mallu psyche.
Boy1: Looking for a comely girl who can sing, dance, cook, yaada yaada yaada!
Boy2: Lookin for a homely gal with us citizenship/green card but brought up in kerala.
Boy3: Looking for lovely gal from financially sound family, who is preferably a single child.
Boy4: I need a beautiful girl!!!

One night. I get a call from Pops.
Pops: Go online to ChavaraMatrimonial and look up this boy.
Me: Pops I am applying for jobs rite now!
Pops: Well somebody just applied for a bharthaav udyogam!
So I login on my sister's account to check this guy out...the same usual stuff. I am tempted to browse out the gals on the site. A message pops up - "Same Gender Search not allowed"! Dang...i didnt know the church was so hell bent on checking homosexuality!

My net-savvy dad even taught a still-surviving broker a lesson or two.
Pops: Send me a snap of the boy.
Broker: Okay sir! I will post it.
Pops: Dont you have an email? It is so much faster, you know.
Broker(now desperate):Then i will bring snap over!
Pops: Vendae Venda! Ennaal vandikooliyum tharanamello pinne!

Then begins the emailing the end of this, you actually realize half the guys out there in the arranged-market are desperados, if not psychos...sympathies for the gals tagged to them for a lifetime!
Boy1(wud seem like a spammer in his spare time seeing his flurry of emails!): I have brought a 3 bedroom house for us.ur parents can live with us. me even ready to watch mallu movies with u!
Gal: Take it slow dude!
Boy1: Are you seeing someone (surprised that she didnt fall for all that?)
Gal: WTF!

Boy2: Take a look at some casual pictures of mine.
Each pic clicked on causing increasing panic. In one he shows his well-toned biceps. Another in front of a mirror. And finally the piece de resistance of the slide-show...he wears red-coloured goggles. Total Disaster!
Gal: Good Luck!

And so the party moves to the backroom. Time for background check. Sometimes done by direct house visits, sometimes by asking common friends, inquiring at colleges studied, etc, etc.

A friend of mine, is asked by his dad abt a boy who was our senior in college they had found for their child.
Gal-Dad: Do u know this guy?
Friend: No...never heard of him.
Gal-Dad(relieved): Thank God! If you havent heard of him, it means the boy must be real nice, studious and didnt alambufy in college!

Marital background checks can come handy for college on! One day The Savages, our gang in college was summoned to the ladies staff-room and the teachers ganged around, scolding us for all the alambs in class. Seeing us not bothered...
Teacher1: Ha Varatte! Ningalkke kalyaana samayam aakumbol pembillerude achanmaar chodhiche varum
Teacher2: Annu njangal kaanichu tharaam
Savage1: Njan love-marriageil vishwasikkunna aalaanu.
Teacher3: Ho thanne love cheyyaanum pembiller dhairyapedumo!

This happened at one such direct visit i had to attend to make up a quorum for marriage functions...i forget if it needs to be odd or an even number of people that needs to proceed.
Gal-Dad(a relative): How come the boy did his MD in such a useless field?
Boy-Dad(our family friend too, this man, now irritated): How come the gal got 80% for degree and only 54% for PG? Was she distracted by something?
Mom unable to stop laughing, me wondering if a fight would break out!

Another such visit of a Gal-Dad to a friend's workplace to interview him.
Gal-Dad: Do you smoke or drink?
Friend: Yeah!
Gal-Dad: Eh! But your parents said you dont.
Friend(to himself):Iyaal aaruva! Ithokke veetukaarode paranjitta ellaavarum cheyyaa?!

Nowadays a new tool rampantly used. Orkut! Every boy/gal's profile, scrapbook and friends-list is checked...many are rejected for being around in the site long but not having enough friends! So those on warned...either leave or get active, if inside!

And now comes the Pennukaanal Chadangu. So long as you are neither the boy/gal involved it is fun. Some of my blog-pals like Anish and Silverine have written awesome posts on this endeavour.

Here is one incident that went almost wrong. To satisfy the quorum said somewhere above i had to go for this ceremony once. My cousin-chetan, the boy, all clean-shaven, me with a beard, arrive at the gal's house...
Gal-Dad(outstretched hand, towards me): Welcome, nice to meet you, i am george
Cousin(lunging forward, taking the hand): Njaanaanu cherukkan
Gal-Dad(to cousin): You look younger to him!
Gal-Dad apologizes cousin made sure i never went with him to see gals after that!

Another one that went real wrong.
Boy: You said you were 5ft,4 and 52kgs in ur profile...look at u!
Gal: You said you were fair-complexioned, handsome and well-built...look at u!

This one had almost tragic repercussions. 30 years back. My uncle was to go for Pennu-Kaanal and his friend agreed to tag along for company. On the appointed day the friend arrives, decked in a new, finely stitched coat and suit while my uncle wore an old, almost worn out one. Uncle surveys the friend head-to-toe, realizes the danger of his bride-to-be casting her eyes on this upstart.
Uncle: Nee varaenda. Nee vannaal sheriyaavilla
Friend: But...But...this new suit...50 dollars...quorum...
Uncle: Quorums be damned. This is America!
The joke in later years was, this friend realizing how a man can change with the coming of a woman, swore at the altar of chronic bachelordom for 15 long years, until he finally yielded to nature's call!

Sometimes the Pennukaanal Chandange never happens...a friend's wife said she saw 28 guys before just talking over the fone with him just once...and she realized he was the right guy and decided to forego the Pennukaanal!

And so my good people, an odyssey of unparallelled psychological profiling besides other physical, mental, material, logical, familial analyses leads to an engagement and then the marriage which despite all the above said human exertions is supposedly ordained in heaven! A post i thoroughly enjoyed penning...well i think the incidents above can be generalized across the kerala spectrum. But the troubles malayalis have to go through even after a marriage is over...i leave you with one final anecdote.

Man: We were the best of friends 30 years back. Yet he didnt invite me for his daughter's wedding.
Pops: Maybe he forgot.
Man: I am not inviting him for my daughter's wedding.
After the man leaves...
Mom: What's wrong with him? I'd be glad if there was one less wedding I'd be invited to.
We could only laugh in agreement at her pungent observation.


Anonymous said...

"Then begins the emailing the end of this, you actually realize half the guys out there in the arranged-market are desperados, if not psychos... sympathies for the gals tagged to them for a lifetime!"

Just went through this phase! Realised that I tend to piss off gals, learnt my lesson, and married a gal with whom I had spoke to for only 15 mins. (During the pennkanal, I had asked my mom to call me after 15 mins) hee hee hee...

Now, the poor gal is blaming her fate... hee... hee...

Jiby said...

anon, that was funny...include me in the same boat too...even i piss gals off fast! neways u not my friend who got married recently rite...just a doubt, thats all?

Jina said...

hehe..:)..ROTFL..I actually cant blieve i read the entire no offense to u...its just coz im sooo allergic to the whole idea itself..esp wen u r almost of the marriageable age..[acc to my folks dat is..]..

b v n said...

Thattupolippan !!! were you collecting material for this for some time now...i was grinning all thru the of yr best posts man ! adipoli :)

by the way oru vivahathinte full lifecycle itra careful aayi nokkan...vallathum sambhavikkunundo ? :))

N A R I YA L C H U T N E Y said...

Nice Post .Couldnt help laughing throughout :D . Somehow I feel sympathy for both guys and gals now :P since you have covered both the parts of the story :).

P S: Orkut , Sounds interesting . All these matrimonial sites may shut shop after sometime :?

mathew said...

Jiby..good one..i love reading all the boy meets girl posts..always fun from the sidelines..

btw in case you need recommendations for your marriage..count me in..I can say a few blatant lies about you if you pay up!! ;-P

silverine said...

This is so funny and so real!! Man I miss the penu kaanal chadangus. Dont know what the trend is like these days. I seem to have lost touch. This summer I will be going to quite few as there are quite a few cousins planning to get married :)

"Iyaal aaruva! Ithokke veetukaarode paranjitta ellaavarum cheyyaa?" rofl too good!!!

Thanu said...

Matrimonial sites are good source of entertainment.

I saw a profile that said 10 reasons u shud marry me:
1. I make the best moru curry...

Rajesh said...


Is it that all the really funny things happen when you are around or is it just the amazing memory?

LOL, ROFL (I dont know any others).
GREAT post!!

Jiby said...

jina, i understand...belive me i have seen a whole lot of gals irritated when talk of marriage crops up...i have even tried working as a marriage broker but escaped without getting beaten up!

bvn, no data collection done...embarked on it impromptu...actually i realized there are many anecdotes left unsaid...will leave it for another volume. no nothings happening to me like u suspect...but a lots happening around though!

NC, thanks, i decided to take the politically correct stance! ur posts on marriages were awesome.

mathew, it will be a long long time but ur recos will be badly whats the rate?

silverine, thanks and the format of the pennu kaanal doesnt allow much scope for change, does it? think its the same.

thanu, after reading the first item on the list, i really felt deprived u didnt write the rest 9 reasons...hey u can shape that to a post!

rajesh, thanks man. thats a real tough poser u have...lets assume a combination of both.

silverine said...

@JIby: A lot of people ask me the same thing...whether funny things happen only to me all the time. I believe that funny things don't happen all the time, you have to see the funny side of things :)

Anonymous said...

am waiting for the chance to read ur first hand pennukanal experiences. hope u won't disappoint us by jumping the fence ;))


mathew said...

ahh..considering how much i need to bluff..

basic level
good looking.relgious..good habits

intermediate level
smart and charming,deadly cook,sings and dances well

blow away level
stunner..tom cruise lookalike,sings like frank sinatra,swiss accounts,einstein intelligence...

choose the profile..price is non negotiable.. ;-P

silverine said...

mathew: Wow!! Prices have fallen!!! Or did you miss out a few zeroes?


Jiby said...

silverine, like you said if i didnt see the humour in these ordinary incidents i just wouldnt have remembered any of it!

NJ, i wont disappoint...i am good at jumping fences!

mathew, ponne mone nee enee sheddil kettumo?? u forgot to factor in the inflation over the next 5 years. good one man!

silverine, so u also in this trade? so bigger the hero, more the zeroes ha?

Arun said...

That was funny! I guess its as close to the real scene as it can get.
And how do you know you piss off gals fast? Didnt you hear about your secretive female fans from college?

silverine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajesh said...

That might be the reason I am a big fan of your posts. Your humour is not forced in any way and therefore totally believable. Its a gift to be able to see the humorous side in situations. Not many have it. I surely don't.

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Friend(to himself):Iyaal aaruva! Ithokke veetukaarode paranjitta ellaavarum cheyyaa?! This was rocking. I could find a mohanlalesque personality saying this..

My uncle went through a lot of pennukanals. According to my mom, he belonged to Asura Gana in the horoscope and thats why it took him a lot of time.

I am sending this post to my friend who is in the process..

Enjoyed a lot

Ashok said...

You have a knack for compiling such slices of life -- recollecting incidents and conveying them in a raw, yet warm, tone. The prayer scene at home, a school classroom, and now, the wedding plan. Hats off to the ethnographer's brain, and a sense of humour. Looking forward to more.

pophabhi said...

Awesome post. Was laughing throughout.

Enigma said...

stumble dover ur blog funny post. sad but true. as long as ppl think money or status is veerythnig in society thinsg like thsi would happen. i wish every one wuld fall in love iwth soem one and get married

silverine said...

You are tagged at Think Pad with a tag I created. I think you will enjoy doing this one :) But not a problem if you dont have the time!