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(This thread is the Special Prize Winner of the Topic-based TOW contest for the month of Oct. '18)
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    It is that interview time again

    The doorbell announces their arrival
    I sigh, in disgust, at my own plight
    It is another 'big' day today
    The exhibition is on, with me, the exhibit
    There'd be an interview too
    A series of rapid-fire questions

    I walk into the living room
    A goodie laden tray in hand
    Head down, taking slow measured steps
    I dare not lift my eyes, make eye contact
    That would break the 'ritualistic' protocol
    Yet, all eyes are on me – piercing me through their gaze

    I sit when asked to be seated
    Twiddle my fingers in anger than in nervousness
    It is time for the big test – one that's worse than a job interview
    'MeToo', I think, of course from a different perspective
    But here I am, up for grabs, in the marriage market
    The interview will decide if I am a 'suitable candidate' for the boy's family

    "Can you cook?" the boy's mother asks, "our Rahul likes only homemade food"
    Ah! That's a skillsets question, I think
    "She is a wonderful cook, you don't have to worry", ma retorts
    Why is Ma being so defensive? Why am I not allowed to respond?
    "Daughters-in-law do the cooking, in our family", says Rahul's mother as she describes the 'position'
    I draw a seven-figure salary, says my mind, but don't blurt it out

    "We don't allow modern clothes; no jeans, no dresses", she adds
    "We allow only the sari, with 'pallu' covering the head"
    Quite a dress code there, I think, much like the corporate dress code, at my office
    "And we do 'mangalvaar' and 'shanivaar vrats', and there is no non-veg in our house, not even eggs"
    This gets better, as I compare all of this to regular team parties and working lunches
    Quite similar, in terms of customs, yet antithetical, in an oxymoron kind of way

    "We've got many offers for Rahul', I hear them say
    "Factory owners, business families, but we're being choosy"
    Alright, I'll have to ace this interview, beat the stiff competition
    But, is it really in my hands?
    Ma suddenly looks fidgety; her mask of confidence falls off
    The anguish on Pa's face is easy to read; he shifts uneasily in his chair

    "The party from Faridabad is willing to give us a house," says Rahul's mother
    "Arey! Have you forgotten the Mehtas? They said they'd get a dealership in Rahul's name", adds Rahul's father
    My mind ticks in overtime, that's like salary and perks negotiations
    But, isn't it in the reverse?
    Maybe they're making a pitch, showing all their cards before closing the deal
    They're here for business, not relationship building, aka team building

    The interview gets one-sided, they're ruthless negotiators
    Looking for the best deal perhaps – will it be the Faridabad party, the Mehtas or me?
    They're doing all the talking, laying down conditions and demands
    A car, a house, diamond sets, honeymoon in Europe – really!
    While Rahul, sits quietly, not a word from his mouth
    Is he a pawn in all this, or is he the real strategy planner?

    Interviews are fine, I have aced them before
    You need to ask the right questions, as an interviewee, you know
    So, I straightened my back and lifted my head
    And I popped a series of questions and watched their uneasy squirms
    Ma looked shocked, and so did Pa
    But, I wouldn't let an outsider, come and tell me how to live

    And then I asked -

    "Do you want a marionette or a partner for your son?"
    "Do you want a puppet, with her strings in your hand? No, I won't mould my ways for you"
    "I love my food, and I love what I wear; and what's that got to do, with being a bride in your clan?"
    "The Mehtas and Faridabad are good bidders, I see – how much will you auction your son for, what price will you fix?"
    "Do you know the meaning of marriage? Or is it just a means to get rich?"
    "There's the door, please leave, the interview's over, there's nothing more to discuss"

    This is my entry for the Topic for the month end -TOW contest for the month October '18
  • #651778
    A real situation faced by many girls in our country is well described. Even in these days of advancement still, this custom persists in some parts of the country. Why a girl has to mend her ways and get adjusted with the new family. Why not the boy's family see that the new arrival will be at home in their house and see that she will be comfortable. Here one important thing we have to notice is the mother in law conveniently forgets that she also arrived in this family of course sometime before. A change should come in the attitude of in-laws and then only this kind of harassments will go away. Of course, recently we are seeing a little change in the attitude of the girls. The girls are also trying to face the situation bravely and trying to put their point of view before the in-laws. This is a very good and welcome change. I feel before getting married the boy and girl can discuss separately but this type of interviews should never be encouraged. A good presentation by the author.
    drrao
    always confident

  • #651780
    Mam, I have no words, this is one of the best reads in a long time. Wonderful and kudos to your efforts and words here.
    Regards
    Iti Tyagi
    "Soar to Success"

  • #651795
    Great job. It shows how marriage is more of a trade than an affair of love nowadays. This was a very different type of interview that every Indian girl once undergoes. Nicely shown.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #652350
    The situation many girls face before their marriage in this country is wonderfully described here. From every line, the innermost feelings of the girl is understood.

    A very good entry.

    Sankalan

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #652380
    I tried to make a comparison between a job interview and the interview of a girl, in the marriage market.
    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652417
    Well composed and well narrated the plight of a girl in the marriage negotiations. We talk of 'woman's equality' and 'no gender bias' but this thread shows us where we stand. We are still at that old barbaric system of making a match through goodies albeit modern goodies this time.

    We say that the girl is the incarnation of Goddess Durga or Lakshmi but when it comes to marriage time we humiliate her in best possible business like ways in front of her helpless parents. What can be the more shameful example of the supposedly superiority of men over women in this world. Unfortunately in the society we talk about women differently than what we behave with them in the reality. It is simply male chauvinism.

    Knowledge is power.


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