Monday, July 10, 2006

Much Too Perfect

Today, I was asked for my opinion on a matter that people assume I have some "subject matter expertise" on. Presumed knowledge like a little of it can be a rather dangerous thing.

Juthica is a very attractive 28 year old with a charming personality- the kind that could be described in a desi matrimonial ad as "exquisitely beautiful" and not be overstating the case at all. She is an accomplished Hindustani vocalist, frequently performs on stage, has a masters in microbiology and teaches at a well known university in India. The family is affluent - her father's business is prospering. Her only other sibling is a younger brother who is attending a premier engineering school. Most importantly, she has always been the model daughter - a source of pride, joy and comfort to her family.

Yet the parents are very concerned about her. They have not been able to find her a husband yet and its been eight years since they first started match-making. Much to their confusion and consternation she is always rejected by the men and their families that they try to forge alliances with. I was asked if I thought it might be a good idea for her to come to the US so she may advance her career and hopefully find a husband. They have given up any hope of being able to find her a husband in India.

First off, I tell Mrs. B that the rejections come from the insecurity of desi males and is no way a reflection on their daughter. She is just too much of a good thing. If she had looked plainer, had no special talents, was not nearly as smart and came from a less affluent family she would have had little trouble getting hitched. Mrs. B is old school and has much trouble comprehending this line of reasoning. I tell her she is like the car salesman trying to pitch a Lamborghini to someone with the budget and taste for cheap Japanese autos.

I tell her that Juthica's matrimonial prospects will not be dramatically different in the US either. She is too smart to be mere arm candy to a "well-settled" husband. What she needs is an intellectual equal who is confident, secure and accomplished enough to take her in stride. From the little that I have seen, it would take an act of God to find such a desi male anywhere which is not the same as saying it is impossible.

However, if she is willing and able to branch out into the non-desi world, things could be quite different. She would naturally experience social liberation in the west. Being single is easier here than it is in India. She may also find greater fulfillment in her career - something I think Mr. and Mrs. B are not nearly as passionate about as they are about her marriage.

Juthica reminds me of my friend V - an exceptionally intelligent, independent and accomplished woman. She promised that she would never compromise and merely "settle" in marriage and kept her word until turning thirty. Maybe it was the biological clock that finally made her succumb. V choose to morph into a vegetable to get and stay married. It breaks my heart to see what marriage has done to her. Her husband did not think it healthy for her to be in touch with one such as myself so our friendship ended soon after my marriage did.

Women like V and Juthica are over-qualified and over-accomplished to make a wife for a desi man. It does not help that they have the looks to kill along with everything else. They are everything a desi can dream of in a wife and ironically they are fated to remain just that - a far distant dream that no one has the nerve to live in real life. I hope Juthica fares better than V did, that she finds a man who can accept all that she is with grace, pride and gratitude. I want to believe there is such a man (and a desi) out there for her.


Ajay said...

So what do you think is an obstacle for an indian girl to be accepted by indian male:
1. Girl is too beautiful.
2. Girl is too intelligent, accomplished, etc.
3. All indian male are unsecure.

Would V or J fared better if they were not beautiful?

Heartcrossings said...

I will return to my Lamborghini and Japanese car example. Clearly there is a sharp difference in the numbers of the two types of cars. Likewsie women like J and V require a stripe of men that is very very rare.

They are (unfortunately) an awe-inspiring combination with too much everything.

Most desi males lack the confidence to take on a package like that as a wife. They will prefer someone that does not casue as much "shock and awe"

ggop said...

I know at least two instances in which the prospective candidate (in one case) and his mom (in another case) was threatened by reason 2. listed by Ajay.

In the latter, she mentioned she wanted a "homely" girl. I looked up the classic definition of "homely" and chuckled..maybe its reason 1. ;-)

HC, interesting post. Many of my friends struggled to find their s.o.'s in the US. Most of them tied the knot in their 30's.

Heartcrossings said...

"Homely" usually translates to woman with the personality of a wet floor mop, relatively light-skinned, regular featured (long hair is a bonus) with negative attraction quotient.

The desi male feels very safe with someone "homely". Other man would not so much as notice her existence.

bilbo said...

Came to your blog after a long time and came across this post of yours. I hope you don't mind my linking it at my blog.

Heartcrossings said...

Hey Bilbo,

Nice seeing you again ! Sure, go ahead and link