Thursday, November 10, 2011

Haircut and a story about love

Vinu was missing from work for over three weeks. When I ran into him  I jokingly chided him for being away for so long. "My uncle passed away", he said. That shut me up good and without further drama I booked my hair cut appointment.

"Dooor kay uncle thay" (The uncle that passed away was a very distant relative) - I was told with little remorse as he shampooed my hair. "I was only there for few days then I went to Ahmedabad. A friend of mine opened a new salon in a mall. I went to help him and he wants me to work there. He'll pay more than here and work is good too."

"So why don't you go for it." I asked.

"My parents wont let me - they have said not till I get married. This place looks better on my marriage bio data. "

This reminded me of the time at Microsoft when a bride was being looked for for a program manager friend of mine - @microsoft.com is a very valuable address he told me and having 'manager' in your title helps too. I mean a year out of grad school and manager already and that too at Microsoft. That was your weight in gold in the Indian marriage market.

Back to Vinu- he told me how much he wants the job in Ahmedhabad- how his whole family (four older siblings, their spouses and his parents) were working hard on finding a girl. They have seen two already but they were not good enough. It seems two van full of people went to see the second one - his parents, siblings, spouses and kids of siblings. She had looked promising on paper but was short in person. Literally not tall enough to be a suitable bride for him.

"It will take a long time at this rate" I said. "Especially if the girl has to be approved by at least ten people.:

 "Yes" he said "but I don't mind."

Then he confided in me - "There is a problem, like a love problem. I like this girl but she is from the Northeast of India. She is Christian. I am Hindu and if we have to get married I have to change my religion. I don't want to besides my family will kill me"

That was a tough one. "Where is she now?" I asked. "
"In Udaipur. We worked together"

 Must be the reason behind the fried hair incident I thought.

" I don't know what to do, I don't want to change my religion and my parents will kill me." He continued.

"Aren't they looking for a girl for you ?" I exclaimed.

 Unfazed  he said "Oh, first they have to all agree on her, then her family will see me, then we will see each other, then there will an engagement, that is a long long time away. I wish I could just take the Ahmedabad job"

"Job? Don't you have a bigger issue to solve?"

"Yes, but Ahmedabad is just four hours from Udaipur." He said with a smile.

Now , the three weeks away made more sense. If they are anything to go by then I foresee a Christian wedding in the future where Vinu is repeatedly slapped by the ten elders in the family as he walks to the altar.

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