Nishi was browsing through online profiles when a chat request popped up. Who was this?
"Age 34, senior management professional in some multinational. Lives in Bangalore"
Hmmm. Nishi had begun to notice the gendered differences in the way these profiles were written. Women dwelled more on their looks: slim, fair, blah blah while men waxed eloquent on their qualifications, jobs and salaries. Showed what society, or rather marriage, expected of them.
Accepting the chat request, Nishi typed in 'Hi'
Social niceties out of the way, Nishi typed in a question about the guy's interests and hobbies.
Hmmm. These chats seemed to be scripted and followed a template. First, the social graces. Hi, Hello, How are you etc etc. Then the exploratory 'Tell me something about yourself'. Then more focused probing. Right now, the conversation was dwelling on food.
'I'm a foodie' said Nishi 'I love to eat and like to try different types of cuisine. My only limitation is that I'm a vegetarian'.
Speed breaker! Oh-oh.
'Vegetarian? But I'm from eastern India'
'Meaning?' Nishi knew what he meant. But she wanted it said anyway.
'I'm non vegetarian' he clarified.
'OK. I have no problems with that' said Nishi with growing irritation. She knew where this conversation was headed.
'But will you cook non vegetarian food'? he asked
'No. But if you want to eat non veg food, you are welcome to cook it yourself or order it from outside'
'Oh? I'm looking for a life partner who has same interests as me. And I would prefer if she is also non vegetarian. It would be difficult otherwise.
Tough Nishi wanted to say. Instead she said 'Well good luck then. I hope you will find a wife whose food habits match yours'
More disillusionment. She had heard of people matching horoscopes. But matching dietary preferences? That had to be a first! Did one really need to use food habits as basis for choosing a life partner? Why this insistence for standardisation? Same caste, same religion, now same food?!
Maybe she was a fool. But she did believe that it was possible to coexist and that diversity made a marriage interesting. It helped you retain your individuality, your uniqueness. Oh wait! The institution of marriage in India demands conformity, especially from women.
At this rate I'll never get married!
- Welcome!Blogging is a form of self expression for me. I find it a wonderful, democratic space. So often in life, our articulation and expression are controlled by environment-like relationships or work place. Here, it is only about me and what I want to say. I write about anything: books, movies, issues, rants...anything which strikes a chord in me or makes me think. Life's lighter moments, highs and lows, causes, opinions. Anything. I follow no structure. It is all about self expression - a form of empowerment if you like.
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