Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Thoughts about Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Thinking about marriage, I remember some of the strange incidents that took place long time ago. These were told to me by my parents. Only word of mouth. So, there could have been some exaggerations along the way. But they are real incidents that occurred.. These are not my runaway imaginations.

This happened in Mumbai, I was told. In those days there was a 3 year waiting list to get a vespa scooter. In a particular marriage, part of the dowry deal was the bride’s father should give the groom a vespa scooter on the marriage day. The marriage day came and the bride’s father could not deliver the vespa scooter because of the waiting list. He said he has the money and will give the money. This was not acceptable to the groom side. They argued and argued and argued in front of so many guests. Finally, the bride told the groom he has 10 minutes to decide. That 10 minutes came and gone. The groom was not willing unless a vespa scooter was produced. The bride took the mike and told the gathering as to what is happening and asked if any of the guests is willing to marry her that very minute. One of the groom’s friends came forward. Bingo. They both got married immediately.

Among Tamilians, there is this meeting called Pen Parkum Padalam. The groom and his family visit the bride and her family for the first time to officially “see” the girl. If both sides approve the boy and the girl, then the negotiations for dowry, engagement function date, and marriage date discussions will begin.

This also happened in Mumbai. My much older second cousin was living with his parents in Mumbai. His family arranged to meet officially one Sunday, a prospective bride and her family (Pen Parkum Padalam). My second cousin was very much excited and curious to see how the girl looks like. He did not want to wait for one week. His desire overcame his judgment. Therefore, he goes to the girl’s house in Mattunga the previous Sunday and knocks the door. Girl’s dad opens the door. He tells the girl’s dad that he is the boy’s uncle, leaving for Madras in a couple of days, and therefore could not come next Sunday with the family to officially see the girl. He wanted to see the girl earlier. The girl comes, falls on his feet for blessings, and after some time the “uncle” leaves the girl’s house.

Next Sunday, he along with his parents goes to the girl’s house. Everyone was shocked in the girl’s house. They asked the boy why he came last week posing as the boy’s uncle. He told the truth. Finally, everything worked out well. They both got married and lived happily.

This happened in a village in Tamilnadu. On a Pen Parkum Padalam, the prospective groom’s father asked his son privately if he liked the girl. The boy told his father that he liked the girl but she has very small breasts. The boy’s father got so angry at his son and he started to beat him in front of every one with his chappal. He told his son to fall on the feet of the prospective bride and ask for forgiveness. The boy got so afraid and he started to fall on the feet of the girl. The girl and her family did not know what was happening. They knew something was wrong. Otherwise the boy’s father would not beat him with the chappal. The girl went crying to the other room. Now the boy’s father asked his son to fall on the feet of the girl’s parents and ask for forgiveness. The boy did. Then, in an angry tone, the boy’s father explained everything.

He then begged the girl’s parents to go ahead and finalize this marriage. He wanted this particular girl as his daughter in law. He would forego the usual dowry and he will bear all the expenses for the marriage. The girl’s parents politely but firmly said NO.

Another story my parents told me happened long time ago in a remote village in Tamilnadu.

The bride’s side was short of 5 sovereigns of gold on the marriage day. Any how the marriage took place. That night, they have to consummate the marriage. The girl was waiting in the bedroom. The groom side will not allow him to go to the bedroom unless the 5 sovereigns are given to them. After about 30 minutes, the bride’s father got angry. He then told the groom if he does not go to the bedroom within 5 minutes to consummate the marriage, he would send his household servant to do the job. The groom ran to the bedroom. Ha ha ha. Funny.

If you know any funny story like this, please tell us.

47 comments:

  1. OMG! Talk about lack of privacy in our society! :P

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  2. Those sure are interesting and funny stories.

    Unfortunately for me, getting married was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life.
    If a driver's license can expire, why can't a marriage license expire?

    I always think marriage is like insurance, you pay and pay...but you never get anything back.

    Regards,
    Bill Clinton

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  3. very enjoyable post ! These discussions for dowry are there in every state.In north complexion is also a very big issue, everybody wants a fair bride.
    I had seen so much of negotiations and everything that I brought up my children with the principle that I shall neither give any dowry( for me dowry means what is demanded) nor take. By god's grace My daughter got married into a good family, I gave everything, but they didnt demnand a single thing. and I didnt demand a single paisa for my son.

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  4. The lady in the first story must have had a lot of guts. I mean, to stand up and ask if someone else would marry her is no small feat.
    LOL at the last one:-)

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  5. SHOCKING! Indians! Kudos to Renu for bringing up her kids with a braod-minded attitude. Its really inspiring:)
    Hats off to the bride in the first episode where she asked the guests to come forward...All's well that ends well. Good post. Enjoyed it:)

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  6. Funny and interesting incidents. I am sure more unbelievable incidents do occur.

    Nice post :-)

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  7. interesting and funny incidents! There mayn't be dearth of such incidents considering that 'dowry' is still practiced in many parts of India. However, I have a different tale to narrate. A bride's parents rejected a marriage proposal as groom's parents weren't insisting on dowry,despite groom having a decent paycheck in a reputed MNC,no marks for guessing what the bride's parents assumptions were.
    Appreciate the guts of the bride in your first narration.

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  8. very funny post SG...i remember one incident...there was a proposal for me from a very good family friends say for guy A...now they said that if I do not like guy A, his cousin guy B is ready too...

    and before I got any other package deals, I made mandar meet my parents:))

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  9. Thanks for your comments. Absolutely there is no privacy. For example, a doctor would ask questions to a patient in front of several people.

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  10. Thanks for your comments Bubba. I have a better suggestion. How about suspending this license for a time period, just like the 5 year suspension of your Arkansas law license.

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  11. Thanks for your comments Renu. You are a role model for other parents.

    Talking about complexion, I am remembering how many of the boy's relatives ask about this of a girl. Ponnu sigappa iruppala? (Is the girl red color). Actually they mean fair complexion...but they always use the term red color. Imagine a girl shows in real blood red color. The groom and the party would run away.

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  12. Thanks for your comments Jayashree. That girl had real guts. Please remember it happened about 50 years ago. She should be commended.

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  13. Thanks for your comments Varsha.

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  14. Thanks for your comments Insignia. Yes, lot unbelievable incidents do happen every day. Truth is stranger than fiction.

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  15. Thanks for your comments Rahul. Yes, people talk about how bad this dowry system is. But if a highly educated and financially well off groom say no to dowry, the girl's family think that something is wrong with the groom.

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  16. Thanks for your comments Neha. Your comments reminded me of a TV show called "Let's Make a Deal". 3 doors will be shown and the contestant will be asked to choose Door Number 1 or 2 or 3. One door will have a prize of $25,000. Another one for $1,000. And, another one for $1.00. Contestant will have to choose a door and get whatever the prize was hidden behind that door.

    I am glad you married Mandar. He is a lucky man.

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  17. lmao.. wow..this is seriously the funniest post abt marriage i hav seen so far.. as for the recommendation.. i hav 1 more post.. chk this.. its actually a serious issue but still funny..

    comin to ur post.. tht vespa scooter was one of the idiotic ideas for dowry.. good for us we dont see any vespa today.. the bride sure has some guts..

    i think i hav heard the 2nd story.. curiosity killed the groom..

    y the hell did a guy talk abt breasts to his father.. is he mad or wat??

    he would hav been an idiot if he had put gold on top of sex..

    ossum overall..

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  18. Thanks for your comments Vishnu. I read the post you referred. Funny but sad. That is why we have to think twice before calling someone as brother or sister.

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  19. hahahah!

    enjoyed every bit!
    and the last one is too funny! the first one reminds me of a particular scene of the movie 'Lajja' wherein actress Mahima Chaudhary refuses to marry because the groom's parents are arguing like this only.. i love that scene...

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  20. Thanks for your comments AS. I wish I could put a survey as to which one of those 4 incidents is more funny.

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  21. This suspicion thing happened with me also, my son is tall hansome and educated from premier institution, so when I used to say I dont want anything then some affluent families asked my brother with suspicion that is there any catch?...so I was advised not to say anything initially:)

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  22. hahahahahhahah@ sending servant to the bedroom.
    funny collections SG :)
    And I applaud the girl from the first incident. Need a lot of guts to do that.
    Anymore such incidents? :)

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  23. well the stories you mentiones were terrifying honestlybut intersting to know such thing happens.Do you know initially when girl used to get married father used to give her some expenses as her pocket money so that she can take care of herself for sometime but people have mislead the whole concept and have gone too far

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  24. I agree with you Renu. The problem will be compounded if that young man is employed/living in a foreign country.

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  25. Thanks for your comments Shruthi. Yes, the first girl had a lot of guts....that too long time ago.

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  26. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. You are right. Ordinary things, over time, changes a lot into something else.

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  27. Some people these days want dowry and they also want a bride who is working. That really bugs me! Women should refuse to marry if dowry plays a part in the marriage procedings, the 'greedy grooms' will surely learn a lesson they will never forget.

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  28. Thanks for your comments Radha. You are absolutely right.

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  29. Hahhah...that was really funny except the vespa one. How can people behave like that.
    People are so stupid sometimes!!

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  30. Thanks for your comments Nazish. Yep they are funny.

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  31. Yes it was another problem with us in finding a good girl as he couldnt come at all the times, and people first wanted to see him:)

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  32. Thanks for your comments Apurva.

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  33. You are correct Renu. If the boy is out of town, that is one more added problem.

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  34. its a very common thing..but ppl dont do nethin bout it...under the cover of traditions alls given n conveniently taken..shockin...sad but true!

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  35. I know it was a light post, but honestly made me scared !! :)

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  36. Thanks for your comments Divsi. And, welcome to my blog. I agree with you 100%.

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  37. Thanks for your comments lostworld. Don't get scared. These happned more than 30 years ago. Things have changed a lot now.

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  38. Rofl.. That is so funny.. After reading this post i tld my frnd abt the incidents and we had a good laugh .. Dowry is nt an issue in my place assam and im so proud of it.. Wonderfl post..

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  39. Thanks for your comments Rajlakshmi. I am glad you and your friend enjoyed this post.

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  40. All the stories are funny but sending the servant to the room was the ultimate .I am from Uttranchal(kumauon)and i am married to an assamese family ...luckily for both the sides (kumauon and assam)dowry is not an issue.Only one small problem was the food...my grandmother was not happy that my parents decided to serve a big time non veg food (even though my husband's side was ok even if we served the veg food)...but we arranged a separate dining hall for the vegetarians most of them from our side.Later when as a couple we visited my granma's home she asked me to say that my husband is a brahmin if someone inquires about his caste...it was funny !!!

    It was fun reading both the post ,what are your other fav post?

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  41. Indian marriages - however much you write is less on them!!

    I have also had so many experiences where there are cousins who are willing to marry Me if I decided to reject one..people who wanted to conduct conference calls with the astrologers and a translator to understand our horoscopes in details...the list is endless and hilarious!!

    It is encouraging me to write my own experiences on this as well LOL :D

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  42. The last two incidents were really a shock to read!

    Kudos for the groom's friend for such a decision at the split moment to marry the girl in the first incident.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  43. WHat a mixture of the shocking, the hilarious, the weird and the 'This happens only in India!'.
    Small breasts and servants to be 'whip boys' for consummation!

    Times have changed now. There is a new Marathi play where the 29 yr 'boy' is awaiting marriage b'cos he discovers in the Shaadi.com resumes that girls demands have sky-rocketed.
    No more of this 'I'll marry the first boy who condescends to accept me.'

    Eagerly awaiting part 3 of this saga.

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  44. Oh my God, that was some seriously killing compilation of stories.
    I felt so proud of the girl in first story that she took a stand for herself.

    And the second one made me smile big time. Bride falling in feet of her would be thinking him to be her future uncle hahaha
    I have this strong aversion towards whole dowry concept and I made sure that no uncle scrooge marries me with dollar bills in his eyes. I cant even stand these discussions as I feel daughters should make their parents equally proud and happy and worry free like sons!
    Thankfully money related discussions never happened between the two families till today, neither anyone ever inquired or commented on what I have been given on either sides.

    I remember a funny story where a groom's marriage was cancelled twice because he did not get leave from office for his own marriage!!! 😬

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