Saturday, February 23, 2008

Matrimonial Platitude

The matrimonial column beats the stock quotations page in its formidable quality and the gossip column in its entertainmetn quotient. I often read the matrimonial column when the stock market is full of 'bears' and when there isn't enough gossip making the rounds. My mother,a stauch believer in the indomitable goodness of the human spirit, tells me to keep an 'open mind' when it comes to finding a spouse. 'If you start looking now you might find someone nice by the time you're 27', she says to offer encouragement.(Readers please note,I don't believe that the goodness of the human spirit is indomitable.At least not in the treacherous field of matrimony.)

As I am still waging an endless battle against platitude. Here are some terms that are peculiar to the average Indian matrimonial advert.

Slim - Quite a misnomer because the average Indian woman lacks the genetic makeup of the likes of Kate Moss.

Fair- A highly relative term indicative of 'skin tone'. I really cannot define the word 'fair' without coming across as being racist.A foreign writer once said that he couldn't tell the difference between a 'fair Indian',a 'dark Indian' and a 'wheatish Indian' because all Indians looked the same to him.

Homely- Here's an example of the importance of taking words in the right context. When taken in the context of the dictionary, homely means 'plain'. When taken in the context of Indian matrimony; homely is a term applicable only to the female kind. A 'homely bride' is one who keeps the house squeaky clean,cooks a delicious meal and is a model of perfection irrespective of the circumstances.

Convent educated- This was a very common requirement prior to the IT boom. A girl who was convent educated was something of a 'trophy'. The 'convent educated' requirement has now been replaced by 'bachelor's degree'.

From decent background and tall- I don't quite understand qualitative terms without a point of reference.

Drawing six figure salary- This is a trait used to describe prospective grooms. Even 000000 has six figures doesn't it?

It's time to trash platitude. Long live originality!

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