One for the bride

‘Look at this one! Sounds formidable.’
‘Here’s a techie working in an MNC, just as Father wants.’
‘I like this one – he’s a chartered accountant – they can start their own firm.’
‘I’ll call this local number. Age and qualifications fit.’
‘He has a dosha* in the seventh house. I’ll download this horoscope.’
‘Jyoti, do you like this face? Come on, be free and frank.’

We wassailed in the umpteen comments merrily doing the rounds. It was all part of a suitable-boy-hunting spree for a dear sister-in-law on the www by her twin brothers and the co-sisters. ‘I am convinced he is there, biding somewhere in cyberspace waiting for her’, I had said, when gifting her a paid registration with one of the flashiest cyber ‘broking’ sites, with option of ‘automatic’ match-making activated.

And the mailbox was inundated – and how! Some invisible computer code written most likely by a well-meaning novice ensured that we received the history and geography of all types of self-proclaimed eligible Keralite bachelors populating this world: tall / short, fair / dark, too old / too young, hairy / bald…. Some profiles were jolly, some meaningful, some flamboyant and some were downright silly, and juvenile. Most were sketchy; some did include the food habits of the sixth cousin twice removed. Did you think the QR’s* were a tall order? By no measure – all that the girl, and our family asked for, (once horoscopes matched reasonably!), was simplicity, ‘green’ eating habits, equivalent literacy level and of course a Decent Occupation; (these last couple of criteria courtesy peer pressure on my respectably bourgeois father-in-law).

Where was the Right Man? Somewhere, I was sure. ‘Yet to be born’, said the loving brothers. ‘Did you look in the backyard?’ asked another loving cousin. ‘In far away US or Australia’, said Mother dreamily. Find him we will, said we with gusto. What a task it was to sift and filter, delete and recycle, bookmark and research; with each well-wisher cradling fond hopes that (s)he will find Jyoti’s Man of Destiny.

Then there he was: a profile that met all requirements to a t, the made-for-Jyoti groom – he of the f identical educational background, with simplicity as middle name and a green-eater to the point of being vegan. Another point in his favour, as the female of the species saw it, was the fact that the feeler was initiated by the boy’s party. In this web-enabled fairy tale we saw unraveling on cloud nine, someone with feet still grounded mildly pointed to the small print – it said, after the simplicity and the vegan bit, ‘I wish to live life in accordance with scriptural injunctions’. Out came Webster, Collins, Roget, Oxford and Lifco. Thereafter, bless them, fuzzy words became friendly ones. But continued to remain a puzzle to unsophisticated Jyoti. So in the midst of encouraging e-overtures between the eventual couple, when we all hoped that mail and chat sessions could help in soul-mating and matching, it was decided that the services of a Scholar were called for, to enlighten the anxious bride-to-be.

Fortuitously for her, this scholar, my mother, was then honing her considerable bi-lingual skills on a booklet of essays on relevance of ancient spiritual and philosophical wisdom*. There right in the first essay was the most comforting example of ‘scriptural injunction’: words every daughter-in-law of the world should know, and occasionally use as a gentle reminder. Verse 10.85* cited therein states, “that the daughter-in-law should be treated as a queen, by all the family members, especially the mother-in-law, husband, father-in-law”. Wow what more could one ask for? It was Enlightenment for everyone around, ultimate empowerment for the ladies of the house and cautionary thought for their mates. And that was how we armoured Jyoti as she prepared to embark on her ‘Queendom’!

Hail ye Daughters and Sisters! Arm yourself with the Suktha – the better to start your new household with.
Hail ye Daughter’s fathers and sisters’ brothers! Have no qualms, only another copy of the Suktha, to be gently waved at the smallest sign of marital unhappiness.
And all ye Eligible Bachelors: don’t think twice to add those magic words to your profile, to succeed the sooner at bride hunting. Yes, they may be duly copyrighted to my new brother-in-law.

Dosha: a negative aspect (in an individual’s horoscope) that requires remedial antidote.
QR’s: Qualification Requirements
“Why Read Rig Veda?” copyright Dr R L Kashyap, SAKSIVC, Bangalore, 2003
10.85: 85th Sukta (verse), 10th Mandala (Chapter).

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