Friday, August 26, 2005

Car, living room, earthquake and days after! WY-3 - Part 2

Part 1 is here

But….I responded with the accelerator instead of the brakes!

In few seconds I was inside my living room. Yes! I looked back to see that the car was right inside my living room.

“What the f#$%? The walls used to be stronger in India!” said one of my multiple personalities!

How did I penetrate my own living room! How much do I have in my bank account!? What am I going to do… were the thoughts that were flowing thro’ my mind as I pulled my car out of my living room! Soppu was still undisturbed. I gave her that piercing look and said “We are divorced”. She smiled back and said, “We were never married” with just a few scratches on her forehead.

My friend, who was fighting for world peace upstairs, came down running. If a car can pierce through the wall, imagine the tremors in the room right above the living room! “Machan! Earthquake!” that’s what he was shouting! I gave him that look that gleamed with Pride and Honor! “It’s me” I said, without taking my eyes off the achievement!

The car that was assumed to be a useful piece for in-town activities, ended up to be used for in-house activities! In few minutes, I understood that I cannot do anything about it. So, I said to myself, “Let us enjoy this moment!” and hence the cameras popped up! Digital cameras were luxury then, so bear with the scanned versions!

Inside view

The cops and the landlord came to witness the miracle. They were amazed by the fact that the unthinkable happened! The cop was dumbfounded and this was the conversation.

Cop: “Hello Sir, are you okay?”
Me: “No, I won’t be until I know what the consequences are”
Cop: “Can I have your License Sir”
Me: “No Sir, I don’t have one!”
Cop: “Oh! Can I have your learners permit?”
Me: “No Sir, I don’t have one!”
Cop: “Oh! Do you know your License plate is expired 4 months ago?”
Me: “No Sir, I don’t”
Cop: “Do you have any kind of insurance to this car?”
Me: “No Sir, I don’t”
Cop: “Oh, Man you could end up in jail for this!”
Me: “No sir I don’t want to”
Cop: “Are you the one who just ran the car inside the living room?”
Me: “Yes, Sir I am”
Cop: “I know. I am just making sure that you know to say yes”

Well, after the initial formalities the cool cop took some pictures for some insurance issues. Luckily, I had a way through the mess without doing anything, which the cop handled. And the rest of the day was filled by seeing the mess from different angles!

Front view
Two days after this incident, I was at a coffee shop, waiting on the line to pay for the celebration. A bunch of undergraduates, were enjoying their ignorance, as they were talking about some funny incident that happened near their apartment complex.

This white guy who standing in front of me, with his excitement popping out as much as his eye balls, was narrating something to his friends, “There was dis guy wita huge car who jus slammed in to his own livin room man! That was so damn kool!! I have neva seen nythin like dat bfore!” without realizing that I was right behind him.

After listening to it, I said, “Buddy! It was me. Do you want to see some pics?”

Other view

The funny part of this story was that the whole similar kind of a mishap happened again, to the same wall. Six months later! The cops was rolling on the floor and laughing at us! This time it was my friend, the one who came down running did the honors with a different car. He was not able to match the standards that I had set, but he certainly did well and made it easy for us to get out of that apartment right after that without any problems with the lease!!

Earthquake friend and myself

May be we should have had a Stop sign right in front of our apartment. As for the house, its still struggling without a good door!

Here we go! One last good lookat it!...Man I did a good job!

The Final Look

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Car, living room, earthquake and days after! WY-3 - Part 1

I guess its time for a less serious post! This is one of my best kept secrets from home and I guess I don’t have to store it anymore! Here we go with one of my Indiana Jones stories!

Grad student life is different from what we think it is before we come here. I don’t know about others, but for me USofA was all about technology and comfort before I came here. I was not exactly looking for Skyscrapers around me but I did not expect a small township as well. Cookeville was one such town. But you can’t ask for a better place than this to do your Grad studies. Extremely affordable cost of living, above average nice people who are willing to understand different cultures amidst those usual morons and more than everything, it’s so damn small and connected. Especially, within the Indian community that is not more than 120-140 in number, which never let you walk alone in the few years of Cookeville life. Everyone is a celebrity and everyone is a kid to be taken care of! Even if you break the wind, people will get to know it in a jiffy! It’s that small!

It was more than 4 years ago, when one of my friends told me about our senior’s car which was lying in the parking lot, asking for help. This amazingly huge almost antique piece was in very good condition with respect to Cookeville standards and henceforth was assumed to be a useful piece for in-town activities. All we had to do was to change the tires and start using it, which took us less than 100 bucks! Hence in no time, we the 4 roomies were the owners of this late 1980’s Oldsmobile car. We did not pay a penny for it as the owner was happy to get rid of it in the first place. The car was functioning properly, we drove it in the parking lot and hence we were good to go!

Everything is set, except for one thing. None of us had the License to hit the roads. And hence we coasted towards the walls! The car was in the parking lot for a while with occasional visits from us to drive only on the space outside our apartment complex. We named her Sopanasundari (Dream girl) and not Swapnasundari (the correct way of telling it).

It was April 9th 2001, Monday

One of my roomies was pretending to work in those browsing centers that are diplomatically called as PC labs. The other one was sleeping his day off around noon. The last one was tired and almost dying with a viral fever or something like that. The only one who was home and conscious was yours truly. It was then, my desi-neighbor, Ramdas who was just 5 apartments away, came by for the usual onions and cooker issues.
Our apartments were duplex kinds, where we have the living room and the kitchen and in the ground floor and the two bedrooms in the 1st floor. So when I say he was 5 apartments away, it’s on the same row, which is less than 30 seconds walking time.

Few minutes after he conquered the onions and the cooker, I asked that question,

“Ramdas, do you need a ride back home!?”

I still wonder, why I asked that question. I was so damn bored, I wanted to do something, and hence driving, which was always an adventure with Soppu!

In minutes, I drove him home! I dropped him and returned to my apartment when all his roomies and his friends who had gathered there was looking and smiling at my sweetheart. Well, now that Soppu had her attention flowing, she was supposed to be parked!

Soppu! She looked amazing and exactly married! Huge and undisturbed.

Our parking lots are different. Every apartment was allotted two spaces facing the front entrance. The space between the car front and the wall will be approximately 3 ft. Soppu was parked exactly how it should'nt be..the amateur driver was still learning. But then the perfectionist inside me wanted to finish it in style. As a matter of fact, he did. I changed the gears from Drive to Reverse (automatic craps)…with my right forearm over the passenger seat…I was hoping to re-park her! I wasn’t expecting to disprove Newton’s Second law, but Soppu did not react! She wasn’t moving back…I used all my force to the accelerator, the car went in the wrong direction….front instead of the reverse direction.

Instincts popped up to say! “Hey! Baburao! Press the brakes”

“Yes Mr. Instinct” I said.


Part 2 is here!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Did I tell you that I recently tied the knot? Yes, I did. I was married to Laziness. She was pretty, cozy and extremely tempting, so my resistance was limited. I was with her for a week. She was extremely possessive and did not let me spend even the limited time that I do with my blogs and other activities. Apologies! Now that we are going through a rough patch and might even lead to divorce, I am here with you again to be strictly ideal.


How often do we judge someone or something and at the same time on a different plane hate being judged? Hypocrisy is one way of reasoning it or may be it’s just an imperfection that we fail to comprehend. I have seen and been in situations like that, where preconceived notions play a major role in the so called “virtual-image” (VI) development. This could also be understood as visual interpretation. What I call as VI here is the so-called image that we create about others and use them to judge, analyze and evaluate. This VI could be totally opposite to what the person is in reality, or could be mixed with some reality as well as some own notions.

Lot of my friends has told me that I was totally not the person what they initially thought I was going to be like. I don’t want to comment on the truth of that statement, but the real truth is that the assumption that is based on your initial image comprehension doesn’t necessarily have to be true. We all understand that the first impression is the best impression, but one should also comprehend that its time that is going to shape the truth rather than ones’ understanding of initial actions. The chances of one showing their whole self in the initial few understandings is very very less. So, if one concludes their characterization based on the initial few understandings, it certainly doesn’t fall under the sensible decisions category.

We always remember not to judge the book by its cover, but we fail to practice it. Regardless of what the person is, we tend to frame that VI and try to place all the actions based on that. In some cases, the other person gets to read the VI that you have on him/her and sometimes tries not to do anything that’s would corrupt it. For example, for some reason, if one of your friends believes that you are a religious person and appreciates it literally, and say you are not towards idol worship, the chances of you arguing your ideologies on this topic with him/her is not very high. I am not sure if this is a great example, but the point is that sometimes you don’t want to disturb that image that he/she holds on you. Especially, if it’s on the brighter side! And what we fail to comprehend sometimes is that there are false images on the other side as well that we are not exposed to. Say, a person holds a wrong perception about you, and the probability of this person telling this to you is not high. And if you realize, this image is based on what you are not really. So, by not being yourself you tend to project this false image that hurts your so called true self.

What we are actually practicing is denying the reality and understanding the VI. Sometimes we have fun with it, by seeing how away the VI is from the real us. But sometimes we don’t know what’s the VI is. In both cases, we don’t gain much by being someone else and hiding our true self. If being ourselves is going to hurt someone or something, we tend to rethink and change a little bit of us to fit in to the peace category. But if we keep doing it forever, we tend to lose our real identity and stay back on that veneer of someone else that people around us wants. On the other hand we also have to realize that we tend to do the same mistake! Making an assumption and analyzing someone without any true knowledge about them, is a blunder that one should not commit. I still remember one of my friends saying this Mother Theresa quote to me before I came here, “If you spend too much time judging people, you won’t have time to love them”. It’s hard to follow it completely, but if you hate being someone else, you better expect the same from everyone around you and accept them the way they are.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Is life better when it’s singular? I really don’t know! I have never been plural before and I don’t have any complaints except for the fact that like all men I always tend to propagate towards plurality! Either trying to add something that’s fun or family!

It was one of those, designated-driver Friday evenings for me, when few of us were discussing crap over some Miller lites. As we were talking about life and time being monotonously up-yours’ing and the fact that we needed a break from celebrating stupidity, a camping plan was born! In less than few minutes, almost 2 45 am early morning we started driving towards Smoky Mountains in search of camping spots. With neither the motel reservations to cuddle with the few hours of necessary sleep nor the camping reservations, we were driving towards a so-called spontaneous adventure ahead of us! No worries! I am not going to describe the trip here which is of no importance to you! But to provide a closed form, let me take a sentence. We went there, found a motel after a couple of hrs, found a camping spot along with the rain gods, camped in the rain, talked non-sense around the camp fire with dripping water, went for a 60 minute trail along the stream next morning, checked out few artificial rides and were back in 37 hours! We did not do anything different, but yet it was fun spending few hours without thinking about anything else.

As soon as I got back to my abnormal usual, I was thinking if I would ever do this if I was married, this spontaneously at 0245 hrs? I don’t think I could. It’s a different story when you get married. Not that I know anything by experience but just a prediction. When we are married, the fun part will be doing this whole thing spontaneously and may be making it more on a romantic plane. But this is different! Comparing these two and commenting on what’s better is like talking about apples and air! No connection whatsoever!

The part I was thinking is, what is that we enjoy being single or romantically challenged, as the Orkut people call it. I might miss a few, disregard the ignorance and enlighten me!

As I thought about it a little loud, Mr.G suggested a few earlier overlapping thoughts on this. One of which I want to use. As such, let’s stick on to the two types of bachelors, primal (18-30 years old) and advanced (30+). Since most of the readership is from the primal bachelor clan, and I don’t have any clue on the advanced stage and I don’t have any intentions knowing about it either, so let’s see the life from the primal kind’s eyes. These gentlemen, fresh from schooling, are limited by the meager incomes that entry-level positions/ graduate-student salaries provide them. Thus, they sometimes tend to live in primal groups, pooling resources in order to maintain a level of adequate sustenance.

Thought pattern – Most of the time, the thought pattern is associated with the people around the visible and invisible friends. Family members do pop-up now and then depending upon how far you stay away from them. Anyways, the life steps are taken with total personal control and none blocking it. It wouldn’t be the case if one is truly married. Even if you are committed, it wouldn’t be the case. Every step you take in almost everything you do will be overtaken by the thoughts on your own family or other half. As such, this covers the whole thing that I want to say, nevertheless it’s better to describe.

Listening – We listen to ourselves and none else. Organized or disorganized. Clean or dirty. Whatever it is, we do it only when we feel like doing it. Regardless of the economic conditions/necessity, it’s the right of the primal bachelor to get what he wants when he wants! According to us, a person who differentiates his luxuries and necessities is someone who doesn’t know that we are ear plugged to those conversations. Things don’t work that way, when you are married.

Kitchen culture - The cooking place is never to stay for more than the cooking time. Daily cleanliness is not what we expect to extract out of the kitchen as long as it can feed us the right way, with reasonable taste and devoid of bugs. The kitchen keeps changing as we approach marriage. Initially, it would be in the impossible-to-clean category for quite a long time, and then it might turn out to the approachable category, then once a month cleaning stage and then once a week. After that you would be married!

Flirtations – You flirt with almost every member of the opposite sex even with a reasonably attractive class, and above all, you accept it! Be it a girl in a grocery store or your common friend whom we just got to know – we flirt and we accept it! If you are married, in most of the cases, you don’t like the consequences of accepting it. Exceptions are not examples!

There are whole lot of other areas we can address, bathroom manners, bedroom ideas, learning to spend, proactive living etc. All these, leads to one thing that bachelorhood is all about freedom and whereas marriage is something which constraints this freedom with some things that we would be convinced to reinvent us with.

Being a bachelor is more different than how an ordinary person, who has no clue about it, personify. “A man is a man until he marries, then he becomes a husband!” is a quote from If a Man Answers that I partially agree with. Because most of us are much different before we get married and we tend to change as we start growing up with someone else after we marry them. Right now all we can claim is that the marriage with the bachelorhood is as amazing as the real one in days to come. So letting it pass as we breathe the days out of it and reasoning it with responsible living is something on the grounds of future regrets!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Jai Hind!

I had this for the August 15th! But could'nt wait.

Jai Hind!

Wikipedia lists Jai Hind as follows.

Jai Hind is a salutation most commonly used in India in speeches and communications pertaining to or referring to patriotism towards India. It literally translates to Victory to India.

I can never say India is perfect but I am sure that we are so damn close to it. When I say Jai Hind it’s the shear pride that takes over than the prevailing thoughts of imperfections that I want to set straight.

May be it’s a mistake and that’s what is keeping us away from the ideal state.May be Mohan Bhargava is right that we seek asylums in the form of culture and heritage and forget to realize that we are far away from being the best. May be we have loads of work to be done to reach there and prove the world that we are incomparable in all forms.

Where? How? When? is for the experts/leaders questions to answer! To remember our right to choose them with hearts and brains and stay responsible as we breathe is how we reciprocate to our country! If everyone of us assume atleast 10 % of the responsibility that you expect from your leader, may be we will make this world realize the power of true India. Though I have responsibilities ahead, right now I take a moment with pride and honor to say that we are strong and we are the Indians!

With all heart!

Jai Hind - From Miles away!

ps - found Nehru's Aug 15th speech here from one of those comments ...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Would you come back!?

Almost everyone I met back home asked this question! In different forms, yes! They wanted answers that could solidify the perception that they had on the US of A. Almost everyone assume that they are safe and secure in the States. There is (atleast then there was) a preconceived notion that US is all about comfort, easy living, less-trouble etc. Especially the groom-hunters/bride-busters! Security is what they are looking for. Well, the answer is in the grey area. Lies well with in the bounds of the not-exactly type. There are a whole lot of positives and negatives, which is another post by itself and hence we shall talk about that later.

On the other hand, conservative amrus here would ask, so what’s your plan? Work here for a while? Are you thinking of staying back till you get your PR/citizenship or are u going even before that? Are you planning to settle here? Most of them are happy that international people are here for studies, but when a conservative person gets to know his/her chances are being hampered because of these bright less-meat brains, he/she turns out to be ordinary. In a way it’s true, we all know that employers want people with better efficiency and more brains. If that happens at less cost, why would they wait? Alright, let me not digress.

In essence the question is whether one would or could get back from here? The most important thing that people fail to realize is that, answering this question and taking a decision to get back is not easy. I certainly respect those who make these decisions. I have seen people who assumed that they knew what wanted to do; again, Steven Segal was right about mothering all F-ups. Then as time progresses, magically, what they wanted to do, change and they do something they claimed that they never would. Stay here forever without any intentions of returning. Well, the claims are amazingly very reasonable and in most of the cases you can easily relate yourself and understand the difficulties in those actions. So is this almost a point of no return? I hope not. In any case, coming back to the original question, is it possible to go back home for good? Well, I don’t want to dodge this bullet with “it all depends on the individual” or “it’s a matter of one’s priorities” kind of answers. Let’s face the truth and see if we can find an answer.

If we think on the questions of technological advances and stuff, take yourself a break! India is well within the same frame as the place that you think is highly advanced. Outsourcing has been from there in almost every case. Well, errr.... I had to write this just to include this cool cartoon.

Outsourcing Posted by Picasa (source: funonthenet yahoo group)
In all areas we are developing, here I go! Stole a post from Viji's blog which I think reflects the idea! From the speech by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times,
“When we were young kids growing up in America, we were told to eat ourvegetables at dinner and not leave them. Mothers said, 'think of thestarving children in India and finish the dinner.' And now I tell mychildren: 'Finish your maths homework. Think of the children in Indiawho would make you starve, if you don't’.”
So when we get back, we are certainly going to a better place, no questions about that.
When we talk about getting back home, the first thing that pops up is the usual question. Why do you want to go? If your answer is I want to serve my country. It’s respected and appreciated could be even recommended for Ms/Mr. World contest, but I want to be more pragmatic. If you intend to serve your nation, there are gazillion ways to do it regardless of where you are what you do.
So when you ask that question to yourself, why do you want to go back (or come back)? The answer is directed to another question, what is the change that you are looking for? Even about the normal occasional trips back home is associated with a change, say may be you are working you posterior off and want to take a break and be your disorganized self, or may be you need to witness someone else’s change, say a marriage or anything for that matter.
Most of the changes, places or people, happens or enforced to realize the positivities. I came from India, in an idea of pursuing graduate studies that would eventually lead me to temporary but necessary pleasure called money. Progressively, I learned lot more than what I thought I would, but still have loads to earn though! In a way, at that stage it’s a positive progression. One would not change from one place to another to realize negativity. Have you ever heard of a person who wanted to change what they are doing because they want to do badly? Never would that happen in anyone’s lifetime. If it does there is no life in the first place. Though some changes may appear to be completely stupid, with no visible positivities, the inner perceptions would definitely have some reason that we fail to personify. So, in words we can state the law of changes as “every change in the universe is associated with a positive progression”
Now that we know that the changes are associated with positive progression, the decisions should be based on what kind of change you are looking for. The most beautiful part about the changes that we are looking for is that, the changes that we want, keeps changing. As a confused school kid, I needed those words which said the things that I wanted to listen and hence for no specific reason other than the typical parental pressures I stepped in to something that I did not have any idea about, professional degree, and hence a positive progression. As a jobless undergraduate I thought US is all about opportunities and easy way through the art of money making and henceforth attracted towards the Masters program for the inevitable change. There are thousands of such examples! So as we progress, we divide the life in to several bits and pieces where the transitions are associated with a positive progression. Say, stages like attention, sports, girls, money, career, love, affection, happiness, peace etc., that are typical in any man’s life. When we step in each stage we look for some changes, when we truly know that this is the change we are looking for, I am sure we will be able to make the right decision. It all boils down, what are we looking for? And when are we doing it? May be it’s your kid’s educational development, may be it’s your parents health, may be it’s your own career move, may be it’s your other half’s decisional pressures, may be its anything. When your heart and mind says that this is the change that you are looking for and this is definitely going to create some positivity, you would get back home. No matter what you claim to be the best, that’s home and this is just a place you live.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Chennai Traffic

Chennai Traffic!
To mitigate the traffic congestion in the City, a sum of Rs. 22.60 Crore will be spent for construction of bridges and subways during 2005-2006. It is proposed to construct 5 Railway over bridges / Railway under- bridges during the year 2005-2006 and to make Chennai City level crossing free.
This is from one of those Chennai corporations’s policy list

Traffic congestion! Every one of us has been a part of it. Several times we could have even been the originators.

Don’t worry there is neither a preaching session nor a story ahead of you.

Recently, I was caught on an interstate hold-up here in I-65 on my way down from Indianapolis. Most of the time, here in the interstate the traffic never stops, if it does, it stays for not more than few minutes. This temporary traffic congestion was due to some merging lanes and road works that broiled my 20 minutes. My furiously impatient side was irritated at the lack of control I had over the situation, while the sometimes-sensible side was adulating my evaluations on the tolerance limits. I was telling myself why in the world am I getting irritated? I can’t do anything, stay right there and wait for the traffic to move. On the other side, I was thinking if my tolerance limit was reduced by a significant margin, when compared to where it was in Chennai. Then I realized that, in Chennai, I have never waited for the traffic to let its way, unless for some unpenetratable signals or the unavoidable traffic affairs. So the fact that I am waiting illustrated the increase in threshold from where it was! Why didn’t I do this there?

It was 4 years ago, when I visited Chennai, I asked my cab driver if he could reach the destination a little faster. Witnessing his right-hand-side driving skills was the last thing I had in my mind. For few minutes, I was not even looking at the roads. The cool driver responded with a smile and asked "why I was scared even after getting used to RHS driving in the USofA?" I was not in a frame of mind to answer the question, when almost 25% of the traffic was outside the driving boundaries! I know almost all of the time I used to drive, I was a part of that 25% educated illiterates.

For the past 3 years, I have never violated the lane rule in here!

I have been married to Chennai-driving for atleast 12 years now. Even today, if I get back, I cannot even think of a life without a two-wheeler. But, the fact is I still don’t have a two wheeler driving license.

It took me a 2+ years and a brick-wall, which I ran thro, to get my license here. I postponed it purposefully, but never in those 2 and odd years had I had the intentions to even place my little one on the driver seat. Not due to the inclination factors, but the fact that I don’t have license just stopped me from touching the wheel. May be its costly affair! Neverthless, it worked. I did not touch!

Now, the question is why was I not the same there? I have never seen/followed lane driving in Chennai. I have never seen/used indicators for lane changes in Chennai. May be it’s because the people around who never followed it, motivating me to be the part of the ugly mess. But if you see, to someone else you are one of the people around, and if we follow a rule, may be it will motivate another to do so and henceforth we might create something out of just being ourselves. Even here I break the rules sometimes, have had a couple of speeding tickets. But the frequency is comparitvely low, may be its the traffic patrol or my delta age factor.

Claim whatever you want! I can see people cribbing against all those public transportation people, enormous increase in spending power and access to vehicles, which was once a luxury, very little improvement on the road patterns/traffic rules etc. I am sure that this cribbing world will definitely approve that half of the traffic congestion problem would be resolved if everyone follows the city rules! It takes just the brains to understand but it’s the guts that will make you do it.

It is certainly not easy to be the odd person and follow the rules! May be its home and we tend to be ourselves (!) there. But when I hear numbers like 22.60 Crore that is being spent on solving traffic congestions, which would be easily done if everyone follows the rule; I hate to say I broke the law and was not a part of the few who followed it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Arranged Marriages!

“It’s amazing! I still can’t believe that it’s successful there. May be it’s a cultural difference. But, how can someone marry a complete stranger? I am just baffled! Well, explain...”

This is generally how a conversation goes right after the few-minute silences between an American and an Indian in here. Most of the time, they are astonished, amazed, awed….after witnessing and understanding its success or the ‘sucks-us’ rate!

“So your brother as well as your sister got married this way! Do you have someone waiting on you there to go and tie a knot?” is the general question I try to dodge diplomatically, else would lead to ‘true love’ and eventually to the ‘lord’ discussions, which I hate from the bottom of my pants!

Anyways, coming to think of it, it’s true that my brother as well as my sister are married to almost complete strangers then, and now celebrating life of reasoning and adaptation as happy as anyone! How in the world does it work?

What an arranged marriage is? It is something, which is fixed by someone other than the couple themselves, usually the parents. The cruelest are the ones which are forced by them sans the couple's interest/concern. While, the liberal ones, which is the way it is nowadays, start with just an introduction of the couple through their parents and the rest is up to the couple. Anyways, I think that it’s not a good idea to get in to the development or the definitions of the formal procedures that seems to be ever changing. There are various different kinds of arranged marriages. However, it’s too broad a topic to delve in to especially after realizing the truth on the level of cultural knowledge that I posses on the places like Japan, Bahrain etc, that follows it. Nevertheless, from an Indian perspective, I think I can drop my penny based on the reason that I have been exposed to it for the major part of my life education.

I had this same thought, but it was one of my friends who laid it in better words, before I could. It all boils down to behavioral pattern.

You belong to a certain religion and to a certain caste and in some cases, to a particular sub-caste just as your parents do. Interestingly, there are many other people with the exact same background. So, by choosing someone from that pool you have already achieved compatibility on an important level. In addition, if the two of you have a similar level of education and financial status, and have compatible interests also, then you are a long way into finding the ideal partner.

I think this is amazingly true. Well, let’s see from a behavioral perspective. It is hard for the other half to understand the behavioral pattern of families and relatives if he/she is not exposed to it in the first place. Right off the bat, the question pops up…Marriage is between two people… isn’t it? Well, excellent question! Accept it or not, regardless of what culture you are from, the truth is that Marriage is just not between two souls but between two families. So it is highly essential to understand and articulate both sides’ behavioral pattern to extract harmony. By marrying someone from a similar cultural background, any possibility of difference of opinions with respect to behavioral patterns is denied and henceforth happiness and peace prevails with respect to that.

On the other hand, the most important part that people think it fails to address the ‘true-love’ story. I am not taking sides here. I don’t want to dive in to this ocean where I would end up talking more on the definition of love, rather than positives/negatives of arranged marriage.

According to people who are successfully married through this arranged marriage system, Love is something that they extract by understanding and appreciating marriage.

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry” - Tom Mullen.

The arranged marriages of these days hope and fight to make the second part of the quote true and in most of the cases, it works. It also assumes that the first part of the quote can be achieved by trust and faith.

Okay, from a common-man perspective! If I assume, true love is all about extracting from each other! What if there is no resonance?

The possibility of having people from the same cultural pattern with completely different perceptions is not low. I still remember one of my friends telling me about her husband hopping in from a totally different planet with no common thoughts and completely blank when it comes to areas of her expertise, even in common life situations. Hence the complaints on this being a high-risk system, is not a surprise. This is what the parents or the people who arrange these have in mind when they start looking for grooms or brides. The concept of behavioral patterns comes within the framework of choosing someone from the similar cultural background. The resonance and thought pattern comes from the scrutinies that are involved with the education, family background etc. So, when the so-called formal introduction of families/couple happens, be in any form of setting, with a snack with families around or as a date, each other’s thought patterns are almost predicted well by the couple and henceforth are looking forward to surprise each other by revealing something that would generally involve long term perspectives on the future or haunting past if any. In both cases, they are educating each other in what happened and what they expect. If any of it disturbs anyone of them, the process is thought over time and so are the chances of an amalgamation and hence the answers follows based on the amount of compromises involved. So once the preliminary process is over, they step in to the institution called Marriage assuming they will stand by as well as surprise each other as they progress and understand life. If you think, isn’t this the same way you step in the case of a love marriage, except for the surprising part.

I have a whole bunch of friends who proclaim that they hate this system called arranged marriage. Most of them say, that no matter how long it might take, they would find the one as long as he/she can satisfy the set of rules they have. If you examine them, you would definitely find one addressing the behavioral pattern. I will fall in love, but I will make sure that she is Tamil Iyer from a different gothram…I have heard these as well. I truly don’t have the right to criticize individual thought processes, but I certainly have the right to say that I don’t want to think like that. Again, I am not taking sides here. I can certainly understand people, who say, what if I can find true love with all the constraints I have..? It is highly possible and its happening, but to assume that it is impossible to derive true love by reasoning and adaptation is something that I hate to perceive. Yet, if happiness is what everyone seeks, love or arranged, Marriage will deliver if you believe in it. And by the way, the person who thought her husband was from a different planet is living happily now, with the same person.