Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Why I Want Dowry

August 27, 2012

Dear Girl,

I am writing this letter to you with a deep sense of anguish.

Today you have declined to marry me because my family and me wanted the dowry to facilitate our happily ever after.

To my utter dismay, you rejected me!

This is unbelievable!

How could you?

How the f*** you had the audacity to decline my proposal?

Let me impress upon you the gravity of your loss that emanates from you rejecting me as your future husband on the flimsy ground of “not willing to pay dowry”.

You see I am an extremely well settled professional.

I work for a stupid blue-collar Indian software body shop where I, along with my one hundred thousand colleagues, work 24 X 7 to collectively promote mediocrity by performing electronic scavenging tasks for businesses based out of the “white world”.

My future is bright as I aspire to go to the “white-world” soon and I plan to settle in those parts of the world in the distant future.

I swear I don’t aspire to learn any of the cosmopolitan inclusive cultural lifestyle of the west but I aspire to immigrate just to dig more gold.

As I calculate, if I spend X years in the “white-world”, I shall amass enough wealth to buy a Farm House in Gurgaon and a Mercedes and thereby fulfill my life’s ultimate goal.

So, by declining my offer your future stands bleak, as you will be relegated to the job of a housewife in some dingy B grade town of North India- married to some desi oaf.

Now you also stand to miss out on being a part of my great family.

Our family is a very close-knit unit and you always have the pleasure of the company of my parents 24 X 7.

Privacy is a western concept and we don’t care about stupid western views.

But hey, we have an exceptionally well-decorated completely western style home in Gurgaon!

There are air-conditioners and 40” televisions in each of the 4 bedrooms and we even have a bar- though I must admit I have no clue what is the difference between whiskey and single malt or Martini and Margarita, beer and lager and so on….

We are very modern but we always consult vaastu to ensure each thing is kept at a place where the grand celestial design is not annulled.

We are very scientific and forward-looking but we completely believe in astrology and we have to find auspicious dates for doing all the important works.

We have all the latest “must-have” appliances but I challenge you to find a single book anywhere at home!

The closest things to a book that we have at home are cheque-books!

Books are boring and none of our family has the habit of reading books- they are only useful for passing examinations.

But we are very well educated (from D grade mushrooming colleges of course) and we speak excellent English- though we pronounce October as Uk-too-Bur, station as Us-te-ssan and so on…

I am proud that no one in our family has any hobbies.

Our only collective interest, obsession, passion is Money.

We are a bunch of living-breathing-f***ing price tags and we love to boast of that at all times- like the house we live in costs 1.25 crores rupees ($0.25 million)- the bar costs 200,000 rupees, the rug costs 40,000, the sofa set costs 80,000- the milk jar costs…..

Money is our real god- the reason why we are all alive and why we are here in this world…

My elder brother (henceforth called Bhaiya) is a great money machine.

Bhaiya works for a same type of company I work for and also has a surreptitious side business- though the side business has a conflict of interest with his current job- but who cares- he mints money!

Bhaiya  has an offshore bogus bank account and he has 40 lac rupees ($ 100,000) as black money in that (who cares about color in post apartheid era, it is money after all…)

He makes money in his sleep and dreams, eats, talks, breaths money at all times.

Bhaiya married his girlfriend but still managed to arm twist 800,000 rupees in the process- such the money making genius!

So, by not accepting my match you are sure to be cast to eternal despair of destitution of being married to some honest wager.

Finally, why did we demand dowry?

You see we married off my younger sister last year and we paid a hefty dowry there.

We also bought this great 1.25 crore home.

With so much outflow, I am sure you would agree, we need some inflows and what better than getting some dowry?

After all, this would have been your home post the marriage and should you not be looking out for the collective well-being of your would-be-in-laws?

Consider this, your father would be our relative post the marriage, so is his money not a part of ours in the larger context?

You must be weak in logic Girl!

And then again, I welcome you to look at the demands we forwarded.

As my marriageable resume in the matchmaking portal says- “No Dowry Demand”, we only wanted you to bear the full cost of the engagement ceremony, marriage function and the wedding reception- that is surely a legitimate demand after all I come from the groom’s side, don’t I?

And all we asked for you to pay for the small insignificant expenses like all the food and drinks, 3 day lodging arrangements, air travel for our 150 strong marriage party, entertainment options along with the usual ubiquitous deliverables like jewelry, clothing, gifts etc.

This is surely not a demand of dowry and there is no reason to over-react, right?

Wasn’t this a small price to pay for the awesomeness my family and me could have brought in your sorry miserable life?

But still you rejected me!

This is completely unjust and uncalled for.

Let me tell you, this is ultimately your loss as you are being deprived of the connubial bliss that you would have encountered with my cultured-modern-educated-wealthy family and me.

You lose girl, you lose big- now deal with it!

Yours Greedy and Needy,

The Awesome Boy


I Hate Landlords #$%^%^&*(*(&@#

June 28, 2010

Yeah, in a face-off b/w the tenats and the landlords, the outcome is rigged


Rich and suave, chaotic and bellicose, frenzied and abusive,fast and short-fused – that is the city; the city of opportunities and the real kaleidoscope of India’s new found “affluence in selective pockets” identity over its millennia old recognition of the capital of the “country which does the great rope trick” or the “land of myths and miracles”……

The city is hosting an International sporting event – the Commonwealth Games 2010– in 3 months’ time. The last minute “lets do this somehow” construction boom and the much needed arterial adrenaline shot of Metro Rail connectivity is turning the city into a veritable hotspot of new found opportunities.

And here am I, attempting to wet my beaks in this socio-cultural melting-pot in one of its meteorically rising satellite city of NOIDA. What was nothing more than a sleepy suburb designed to probably offer a peaceful retirement life for the Army, Navy and Air-force of India has now metamorphosed itself into a bustling metropolis with all modern facilities, sometimes a notch better than the average Delhi neighborhoods.

Alright, so now you know the protagonist (of course that is me) and the stage settings (the NOIDA city), now let us draw the plot around it and introduce the characters/villains etc.

So, the plot essentially contours around the protagonist’s quest of finding a good rented accommodation in NOIDA in the summer of 2010. Being a member of the “newly achieved affluence” group of software professionals, I set a generous budget of 20 grands for the monthly rent- absolutely certain of getting a decent abode.

“You know what, I am going to find a house in just a weekend’s time- you see that” I tell my wife, Mausmi, over the phone. She is still in Kolkata and is due to join me in NOIDA in August.

“All the best” she said and then added, “be sure to ask for the terms and conditions of the owners”.

Prophet speaks in many tongues. Sometime that form can be your wife too!

So very soon in an extremely warm summer afternoon of June, I am in a big drawing room in one of NOIDA’s plush sectors meeting the landlord whose house seemed a fit for my requirements (not discussing them as they are out of scope for this blog).

At first Mr. Potbellied Meatball (name and identity with-held, a nearest visual impression has been used for christening) does a full round of visual inspection, measuring me from tip to toe with his penetrative eyes. I could hear him as he did that-

“Ahh the chap has long hairs….”

“and look a goatee too….

“and wearing dark shades…..”

“and is flipping his car keys…..must be a rich SOB doing some stupid MBA spilling his dad’s black money”

I was getting a bit uncomfortable with this visual examination (I am not a woman so not accustomed to it really).

Then he spoke.

“But this premises is only for married couples, not for you.”

I: “I am married”

Mr. Meatball: (full of surprise): “You are?”

I: “Yes. My wife is in Kolkata and she would join me in a few weeks’ time”

Mr. Meatball: (now looking at my sporty shorts) “You don’t look married. You look like a student”

I: (no idea what to say) “?????”

Mr. Meatball: “How long have you been married?”

I: “5.5 years”

Mr. Meatball: “?????”

Needless to say, I did not get the house. I looked like a fibbing student who wanted to use his premises for all sorts of illegal activities.

Yeah ass***e, I forgot to invite you in my marriage so now I know you are getting back at me.

Not married? You will not get the house. But then I am.....then??????

Round 2!

This time the villain comes in a lady form with two daughters, one of which was a pretty stunning damsel.

This was a nice 1700 sqft 2 bed room, 2 bathroom, 3 balcony, 1 huge hall and a fabulous modular kitchen unit. I fell in love with the house at the first glimpse, who said there is no love at first site!

This time I was dressed in a jeans and a tee with sneakers and did not wear my shades- an attempt to look more mature probably.

Mrs. World is a bad place: (again identity withheld, this time naming convention is based on what she would repeat after every sentence): “Ok so you are a married couple with no children and two cars and jobs for both and friends visit you often and family visits you seldom, is that right?”

I: “Yes”

Mrs. World is a bad place: “Ok, so what is your caste?”

I: (a bit puzzled) : “I am a bharmin and my wife is a kayastha”

Mrs. World is a bad place: (probably pleased) : “Ok. So what is your name son?”

I: (with my usual James Bond gusto): “Manasij, Manasij Ganguli”

Mrs. World is a bad place: (jumping up almost): “Are you a Bengali?”

I: (not sure how to respond to the excitement generated) :”Yes”

Mrs. World is a bad place: “Oh no no….we don’t rent out to Bengalis”

I: “??????”

Mrs. World is a bad place: “They always cook fish and smelly stuff and we are allergic to fish, you see….”

I: “But we don’t always cook fish. Besides my wife is a Bihari.”

Mrs. World is a bad place: “Oh no no, Biharis make the place very dirty. We have let out to so many people that we have all of these experiences…..”

And then she said the killer words: “You know son, THIS WORLD IS A BAD PLACE. I have two daughters in my house…….”

Yeah lady, sure it is – in a place where all Bengalis force feed fish to their landlords and Biharis poop in their drawing rooms and have dreams of landing in a threesome with your daughters.

that what the landlady was safeguearding herself and her two daughters from....point is, we don't cook fish at home at all!

My last interview session was by far the best of the lot.

This was again a great house and the landlord was an ex-military man.

The house was great and I was very keen to get it on lease. So, this time I dressed up in formals and went to meet the landlord.

I was received well by the landlord whom I would call Mr. Butterfly because he had butterfly mustache.

However, the start was not auspicious. It was 10 am and the time for the power cut.

I pretty much walked into a furnace of a drawing room.

I sat in one side of a huge table and over me was a fan that was not moving.

However, seated on the other side of the table, the ex Colonel was under a fan that looked to be running on some serious steroids.

Colonel Butterfly: (pointing to my fan) There is no power and I am saving my inverter battery. You are a young fellow, I am sure you are fine, for at your age I could hike 50 miles a day….blah blah”

Then the conversation followed a general pattern.

First was “tell me about yourself”, followed by “tell me about your family”, followed by “who all will visit you and when and for how long” and then Colonel Butterfly took over the talking reign.

I was taken through “my harrowing experiences with my previous tenants”, followed by “Army is the best” and then I intervened.

I: “So, do you have any general do’s and don’ts?”

Colonel Butterfly: “Young man we fought so that you have all the best things in your life. We want you to live as you want to.”

I: “Thank you sir.”

Then we happened to reach the last leg.

Just as you reach a point in a job interview where you would be given a price for your head, pretty much the same way is the case where the landlord puts a price on the property.

Here it was fixed at 17 grands per months.

I was fine with that. Looked like I was getting the house!

Colonel Butterfly: “Ok, there are a few rules that you must know.”

I: “Yeah, please tell me”

Colonel Butterfly: “First, I charge Rs. 250 per month for maintenance.”

I: “Maintenance? What for?”

Colonel Butterfly: “For cleaning your apartment.”

I: “But I will hire a domestic help and would get the house cleaned anyway.”

Colonel Butterfly: “No, I have seen tenants don’t clean the lamp shades, fans, window panes. My chap will do it.”

I: (biting by lips) “Ok, I think we can manage this. Anything else?”

Colonel Butterfly: “Yeah, periodically my electrician/plumber/carpenter would check all fixtures and report any breakage/abuses. If that happens, you will be responsible for fixing them.”

I: (biting my lips harder): “Ok. Anything else?”

Colonel Butterfly: “Ok yeah, when you leave finally- you will get the house painted.”

I: “I don’t understand. Why will I paint a house I am leaving?”

Colonel Butterfly: “Thats the rule here. And yes, if you leave before 11 months your 3 months’ security deposit will not be refunded.”

I: (speechless): “????”

Colonel Butterfly: “And I only take cash for rents, no cheques.”

I: (amused by now) : “Don’t you think your terms are too steep?”

Colonel Butterfly: “No son, I am asking for fair things only. After all I am not money minded.”

Right Colonel, you are surely not money minded. Never-mind you charge for every breath taken inside your palace and want it all in hard cash. You are surely not money minded, for you did not ask me to paint a flower pot even though I came to your house to see you and left far before 11 months which obligates me to paint the house.

It has been 3 weeks and the house still eludes me.

Sometimes because I don’t look old enough (too bad in a world that wants to look young), sometimes because I am a fish fighting Bengali and my wife is an all dirt-loaded Bihari (not sure if I can help it, afterall I could not choose my parents right?) and sometimes because I don’t let my landlord do a broad day light robbery on me, even though the robber is an ex army man!

I am sitting in the cafe and I see the NOIDA telephone directory.

I think I am gonna try calling Santa…..

Oh no Manasij, there are no homes available for you

Manasij Ganguli


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