Selection Process and Thereafter.

Would your mother or aunt pull the hair of prospective bride you are selecting? Well, imagine a scene in a living room in one of the metros- say Mumbai. The bride demurely brings in a tray laden with snacks, keeps it gently in centre table and walks back slowly. The eyes are down cast and tries to look fleetingly at the groom and slides into a curtained room. The mother and aunt walk purposefully into the curtained room. A few minutes later there is a shriek- ahaa- ahaa. It is hair pulling ceremony. The men in the living room who look alarmed are now pacified by informing about this ceremony.

A few minutes later a frightened voice trying to sing an out of place song- oh sanam oh sanam- is heard. The men stop speaking wondering what is the need to sing a new film song at such a serious moment. They are reassured that this is voice testing.

This is how brides were selected not too long in the past. It seems to be not unlike buying cattle. I imagine doing this now and what reaction it would evoke. I try to think what would have happened if we had tried similar antics in any of the recent marriages in our family.

What has changed now? Has human expectations from matrimony changed? Do we view relationships among close family members differently now?

Yes, things have changed. The main change is education , economic and social expectations. What has remain unchanged is the emotional craving for closeness, companionship, sharing, mental and physical compatibility between spouses. But the time we devote to such activities seem to be reduced. A very senior executive of my employer who always appears relaxed and smiling gave a very interesting answer to a question on how he unwinds or relaxes. He said that he spends time with his wife and also with a pet dog. It was an endearing answer and certainly makes all of us think of our relationship with our spouse and children.

I had always believed that relationship between a working couple is different from that in which only the male member is working. Today looking at the world around us, I am not so sure. I think human beings take their environment for granted. Both partners earning a living is mostly incidental to the relationship. There could be ego issues. But finally the bottom line is that the couple living in Reykjavik –capital of Iceland- have the same emotional expectations as those living in Hissar in Haryana (excepting those characters in Na Aana is Desh Mein Lado- a serial in Colors T V Channel).

I sometimes wonder about what would be life if career or profession becomes an all consuming passion. The power point presentation at tomorrow’s meeting (MD would be present along with foreign JV Partners) is to be a game and life changer. MD would smile and say “good job done”. Colleagues would look at you enviously. Then life goes by. What do such a couple think on a Sunday evening when the rains are pouring (just as it is now when I am writing) and the excitement and challenge of working life is waning? Would the latest Bose Home Theatre system (basic set costs Rs. 2 lacs) give the same excitement as watching your own child whizzing past making a noise like a flying jet plane and the living room strewn with toys?

There are no answers. My belief after seeing my grandson Shivam is that watching a new life grow is the greatest gift God gives to human being. Having an opportunity to be part of the journey of that new life is the greatest pleasure that a human being enjoys.

What do you say?

6 Responses to Selection Process and Thereafter.

  1. Ananth says:

    Dear Mr.Anjeneyan

    Was awaiting this topic blog post from your end for about a week now. 🙂 Glad to read.

    The hair pulling part is actually hilarious. Did it used to really happen. In today’s scenario, it might be the Girl checking the hair of the guy.

    As for the changing life scenario, I guess it is all for the good. It’s getting more nuclear, so much that 2 and 3 are the biggest numbers for a family.

    Till the point the working couples are able to keep the distance and the gap between work and Life and treat a job as ‘just a job’ things will be difficult. It would be not difficult but impossible to enjoy the little joys of life that are actually ‘real’. One needs to always understand, that job is to pay the daily dues. Life is to cherish every moment. There is no point in living if you cant really feel alive.

    Keep posting

    Really enjoy reading your blog posts.


    Ananth V

  2. A.V.Subramaniam says:

    Dear Anjaneyan ,

    I fully agree with you. A person should spend more time with his family . All work and no play makes life monotonous.

    I also spend my week ends tending to the plants,enjoying the chirping sparrows which visit the bird house I have kept for them in the balcony.I do not want them to become extinct, feeding nearly 65 pigeons who wait regularly for me at 6.10 A.M in the morning for their quota of Bajra. On Sundays they get an additional quota.

    Insstead of daily looking for appreciation from your Boss,which rearely happens, it is better that we devote a day appreciating nature and spending valuable time with our family.



  3. Venkateswaran says:

    Yes, it’s really true… these sort of tests used to be a regular phenomenon in the olden days… pulling the hair, watch the girl walking, tell her to sing (voice testing), etc…probably the reason being that there are instances where only the parents and few other close relatives see the girl and the bride & groom meets only at the wedding ceremony…

    It was really nice reading the blog. Look forward to read many more such interesting articles


  4. Parvathy says:

    Hello !

    I do remember having heard stories of hair pulling, making the bride walk etc happening. Probably the methods used by the older generation were crude. The singing process was to check if the girl was dumb,walking was to check if the girl had a limp.

    Today’s world we are running with targets at the work place and time is just not enough. Life styles have changed and hence it has become a must that both should work, rather we have made it so. If we are able to leave work behind when we come home and vice versa i think life would be good. We need to prioritize and maintain a proper balance, The most important thing is that one needs to understand that the family needs them and they too need them to carry on with life.
    Nice reading the blog and look forward many more interesting ones

  5. Emadul says:

    Interesting!! that someone in Mumbai is thinking the similar way I am thinking in Dhaka. Anjeneyan, I am sure you agree that we are in a Rat race. The values are changing fast. It seems, we have around 100,000 hours of working life. Like machine hours we are utilizing our working life hours to increase our wealth (bank balance, shares, apartment). Values like “reputation”, “respect”, “relationship”, “Honesty”, “family” etc. are waning fast. Are we following the Americans??

    When I was in school we studied “Moral”. The education system is now imported. I think moving forward we should readjust our education curriculum best fitted for our culture and tradition without adversely affecting the fast growth of world economy. May be some of the young matured working people and our leaders also need to go back to school for refresher courses. Our family can also play a greater role in this regard as well.

    I am hopeful about India. I think the foundation built by Gandhiji can not be demolished so easily by the western tsunami. What do you think?

    Emadul, Dhaka-Bangladesh

  6. Geetha Krishnan says:

    A really good description of the olden customs I must say…Sounds very funny and maybe was considered necessary too as pointed out by other readers. Its just the way the current generation want to get to know the other person before tying the KNOT as we put it. However I really find some older customs like the pulling of hair or singing etc degrading because the boys were not subject to such scrutiny at that time…Now its fine cos both the parties check out each other 🙂
    Relationships between spouces work out well only if both have similar priorities ( not necessarily same) in life. Children need either of their parents or at least extended family while growing up. Personally I too feel that family is the most imp thing in our lives… As far as children are concered, they need BOTH quantity and quality time with their parents.Either one is just not enough.
    Thanks for this thoughtprovoking and entertaining post.

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