Saturday, November 15, 2008

Books, Desis and Dating

Though I am ashamed to admit it now, I did read Ayn Rand, Richard Bach and Robert Pirsig in my teens and was quite a bit of a fan as well. This is one of those teenage afflictions that many of us have suffered and with any luck recovered by the time we became adults. 

Was reading this fun discussion on personal ad red flags and could not help chuckling at Ayn Rand devotion being among them because I do feel highly repelled by adults who say that they are. Likewise a grown man who writes in his personal ad, that he is a P.G Wodehouse fanatic and reads Calvin and Hobbes for wisdom and inspiration has always proved to be really bad news in my experience.

I enjoy reading Wodehouse as much as the next person but would never feel compelled to include this fact in my bio. The desi male who calls out his devotion to Calvin and Hobbes has told you a whole lot about himself and as a woman, you would be well advised to heed this message. He is telling you that he is highly intelligent, given to pondering the social, political and philosophical questions of the day and that he has a phenomenal sense of humor. 

The comic strip happens to be the prop he uses to present himself to the world. When you consider that in the light of the desi male's frequently exaggerated sense of self helped along by fawning mothers, aunts and hero-worshipping sisters, the popularity of Calvin and Hobbes with a desi male of a certain stripe becomes that much easier to understand.

A desi woman who ignores this particularly dangerous red flag in a desi man's personal ad does so at her own risk. The Wodehouse deal is similar only a little less alarming. The man is not trying to signal an off the charts IQ or sense of humor which is definitely some consolation. He is however trying to impress upon you his good taste, wit and breeding. That you will most likely be disappointed on all those counts and more, is a different matter. It is not for nothing that you would be hard pressed to find a desi dude whose favorite books include Portnoy's Complaint, Adrian Mole or god forbid The Confederacy of Dunces. Now that is a self-deprecating sense of humor a girl could live with and even learn to adore.

1 comment:

Priyamvada_K said...

HC,
I was grinning when I saw the note about Ayn Rand. Yes, THAT one is a big red flag. Guy is either half baked, narcissistic or a combo of both.

Calvin & Hobbes I absolutely adore, though. Seriously, when I'm too stressed to sleep, I just pick up a C&H, laugh out loud for a while, and then fall asleep.

Priya.