Monday, September 15, 2008

love marriage

Alright. So.

I have lost track of the number of times I have had this conversation with people.

Person (to me) - Where are you from?
Me - Delhi
Person - I thought you must be from somewhere in south India.
This statement creates much confusion for me. Mainly because I can't entirely agree with them. How can I?
Me - Actually, my dad is Tamilian and my mother is Punjabi...
Person - Did they have a love marriage?

Okaaayyyyyyyy. When I was younger, this question used to have me in quite a tangle. Of course they had a love marriage. How else are marraiges supposed to be? And then ofcourse, by the time I was about 10 or 11 and I had learnt about arranged marraiges, when people used to ask me this question I would think, yes they did have a love marriage, but how did you know that?

I haven't really got over that one completely even though I'm much older now. I mean, really, who would have thought that giving a person a simple piece of information like where my parents come from would give him or her an insight into such a personal detail of my parents' lives? It makes me uncomfortable.

Is a love marriage that rare and uncommon that it can be immediately spotted from among the other mundane family ties that are forced upon us? And by simply knowing where a couple comes from, if you can map out such personal details of their lives...

What does that say about us as a society?

Hmmmmmmmmm.

There are other conversations too, that I have had with people. And more explaining to do.

Living in Delhi, I'm always getting asked,

How come your Hindi isnt that good?
Me - I don't speak it at home. And also I went to a school where everyone spoke English.
Person - How come you don't speak Hindi at home atleast? What do you speak then?
Me - English mostly.
Person - Even your parents? How come you speak English at home?
Me - My mother is Punjabi. My Dad is Tamilian. It is only fair to speak a language we all understand.
Person - Ohhhh. Did they have a love marriage?

Right. That intimate detail again.

And when I lived in Chennai for a year, I was told....

Your Tamil is really funny.
Me- I have lived in Delhi for nearly my whole life. So ofcourse my Tamil is going to sound funny.
Person - Oh yes, you've lived in Delhi so you must be good at Hindi then. But don't you speak Tamil at home with your family?
Me - Not really. We speak English most of the time.
Person- Really? Why?
Me - My mother is Punjabi. My Dad is Tamilian. It is only fair to speak a language we all understand.
Person - That's interesting. They must have had a love marriage.

Aaah yes. How very kind of you to point out.

3 comments:

Anand Shankar said...

Hmm.. That is true...Sometimes mundane question ask for more than what you can give.. :)

Nicely Done.. :)

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ink said...

oof. :) a real post!