moi, in my fatter days, on marriage :)
A successful pick-up-artist friend of mine told me that the perfect pickup line has to be curt, friendly yet border on rudeness, and most importantly, be distinctly different from what the recipient is used to.
Who even knew that there actually was a science to the art of the pickup??!!!
And that’s exactly my point.
India is in the news, baby – we’re there slowly hitting the right notes in sports, making our presence felt in business, and we’ve always been a silent force in art – there are increasingly lesser number of areas which has not been hued by our tricolor.
But there is still an area where our collective report card as a nation is still in the red – and that’s the l’art de l’amour, or the art of love.
Let’s face it – we Indian men suck at the dating game. The world’s greatest lovers are considered to be French, Italian, Latino or Espaniol. Indians, by the way, are not even there in the reckoning. And that’s so sad, man.. I mean, there was a time when we were known as the guys who gave the world the Kamasutra, the dudes who gave Romance it’s greatest living monument (‘via Agra’ was the coolest thing in romance until they dropped the space between it) – and we could sooo be the guys who could show the world how it is done; but instead, today we’re getting known for complaining about women wearing clothes that are against “our culture”, those stupid annual V Day atrocities and other such incidents created by men who clearly aren’t getting any.
Where the hell did we go wrong?
Now I agree with a lot of people who say that men have historically assumed an inherent sense of superiority over women–men brought home the bread and women took care of the house – and it kinda worked well for centuries. But now, things are changing - women around the world have started donning the role of the bread winner and are proving that they can do whatever we men can, with equal finesse, if not better. And while most of the west have already acknowledged and accepted this development, in India we still have not accepted this reality – there are still a majority of Indian men who try to suppress women back to their earlier roles, hammering them sometimes with brute force, or mostly with words like “patriarchy” , “tradition” and “Indian culture”. Personally, I think the root cause of the Guwahati incident is this misplaced sense of male superiority.
And there is a social phenomenon that propagates this misplaced superiority complex to further generations - Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to the arranged marriage!
Fundamentally the yesteryear concept of arranged marriage is reeking with male superiority – in many cases, women have to prostrate themselves in front of prospective men and their parents for acceptance and then dowry away their worlds to fit into the guy’s life, dancing to the tune of inane things like horoscope, birth charts and planetary positions. Then they walk into their new worlds to a lot of expectations and demands, most of which are put forth by the parents. Pati is the parameshwar, while the patni is supposed to be pliant, rather than partner – not exactly the perfect breeding ground for romance, you’ll agree.
Now imagine if he had to get his girl without the arranged marriage, which for starters is the way Mother Nature intended it to be, as evidenced in the animal world. Since brute force lost its appeal a long time ago, men will have to use charm, guile and wit to woo and win women. Like the western world, dating will become an accepted prerequisite to marriage. Love would be the only way to get married and people would know what they’re marrying into. Things like dowry, family honor and profiles on shaadi.com would cease to be driving forces, replaced by things like the 3second rule (the least time to make the first move) compatibility and being 'mad bout each other'.
It’s not that arranged marriages don’t work – nay, I’ve got tons of friends who still get their marriages(and love) arranged for themselves and I guess it’s working out pretty well for them. I’m just saying it’s about time we get rid of it – it’s one of those yesteryear concepts that does not belong to the new age networked world. Love marriages are better – for one thing, the guy does not sit on his butt and get spoon fed to the most important relationship of his life – instead he schemes for it, fights for it and earns it. And in the process, the Indian man will finally get practice in romance to stand alongside other men of the world that have made their worthy mark in love. And maybe, with time, he could comprehend the subtle science that teaches him that the perfect pickup line actually is curt, friendly yet borderline rude, and distinctly different from what its recipient is used to.
This world deserves a better class of Indian men – it’s high time we give it to them!