To cherish and to hold, until rights do us part.

Aah, the internet. A wild and wonderful place. From seedy troll lairs to shiny white collar business pages, the Internet has managed to wind it’s wily roots like a modern day mela..by offering something, for everyone.

But when Mr. Kahn and Vinton sat down with sharpies and whiteboards to sketch out the Interwebz blueprint, never in their wildest coffee-chugging dreams would they have anticipated that one day, Indian parents would be using their brainchild for exchanging horoscopes and scoping out personality traits from blurry photos of girls they wish to foist upon their sons, and vice-versa.

And once in a while, this strange process throws up gems like Mr. Iyer below. A precious snowflake so exquisitely amazing; one must switch off the computer, put down one’s pack of Cheetos and coke and reflect upon the meagerness of one’s existence.

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Image courtesy: Facebook (UPDATE: The Facebook post was later removed by the lady who uploaded this photo.)

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You may take a minute to pick whatever is left of your jaw from the floor.

Done?

Onwards then.

You see, Mr. Iyer and his kin have gotten to the down and dirty of it. They have surpassed all the tedious processes of tasteless CCD coffees, doodhpeda and mixture chai ceremonies, initial awkward conversations with zero eye contact, estimations of social status based on the brand of handwash in the home, etc. etc. Not for Mr. Iyer, this social circus of pre-matrimonial lollygagging, no thank you.

Mr. Iyer knows what he wants and he goes after it with all the finesse and subtlety of a Rhino on Redbull. And his demands seem quite fair. Young men reading this, take note:

  • Tattoo = Hippie. Don’t you just hate it when you’re honeymooning in Bali and your wife suddenly sticks a flower in her hair, tie-dyes all her dresses, croons to The Doors and gets the urge to drive a VW like a female version of Shaggy? While you’re sobbing alone with your pina colada, you will wish you’d listened to Mr. Iyer and ran from this marriage the moment you saw her butterfly back tattoo.
  • Feminist woman = Raging man-killer. Pssh, like this is even a question. We all know feminists bathe in male tears, sacrifice religious books to Satan, enjoy kicking babies and old ladies in their free time and will most certainly not make you Idli-Sambar even if you were dying. Lighting the lamp?? More like lighting your sanskaar on fire. Have fun wiping the floor with your tears, says Mr. Iyer.
  • She shouldn’t push western world deep, deep into Eastern world. (Cue “that’s what she said” joke about that foreigner guy dating Aishwarya Rai in crossover movies). No, an ideal woman will use besan flour for facepacks, hand-ground spices, charcoal ironboxes, read only Grihalakshmi, chulha for rotis and flip it with her fingers like a boss…and any world she pushes in will be home-grown Eastern, IYKWIM. (*nudge**nudge* Mr. Iyer)
  • Keep all previous friends at bay. As all of India knows, a woman post-marriage is naught but her husband’s property; like he could even misplace her deed papers one day and it will be all haha LOL. So of course, she must say bye to anyone she knows at the wedding hall itself. Preferably before the two get into the car. And then no Facebook and Whatsapp and all that jazz. God forbid another soul pollutes this holy union with their well-wishing and socializing and newfangled notions of friendship!
  • Manage a family. Young man, have you forgotten why you’re getting into this whole headache of matrimony and paying for..um…Ok, not paying for, but putting yourself through this wedding? All these Western ideas about soulmates/life partner/equal players; Mr. Iyer is here to put them at rest. This is no equal game, fool. You need a budgeter-babymachine-investment banker-life manager. She’s a JAVA programmer, you’re the CEO. She’s a canteen clerk, you’re the CEO. She’s the delivery girl, you’re the..you get it. And since she has no friends anymore, more time to manage the marriage! Win-win, says Mr. Iyer.
  • NGO type lady. Good Lord in heaven, you should rather marry the rabid sewer rat from the Municipal corporation dumping ground than a woman who *shudder* works to alleviate some societal issue or *cringe* fights for anyone’s rights. What’s next?? Women who rescue orphans?? Women who rehabilitate prostitutes?? Is there no end to this madness??? Where will the Iyers of the Bharatmatrimony world find marriage-managers??!

I can almost imagine little Iyer cowering in a corner as his paatti goes “Eat your avarakkkai, or the Big bad tattooed rights-fighting NGA woman will come for you.”

As with all things, this isn’t a generalization. But having traversed the murky swamplands of matrimonial sites myself, I can vouch, however, for the majority leaning towards an Iyer-esque mindset. That’s what makes this process fun, no? The treasure-hunt like exercise, the sifting aside of countless such snowflakes to find the right set of HTML script that might one day end up in an awkward framed photograph beside you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go update my side-profile photo.

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