Sunday, November 13, 2005

Rishte mein hum tumhaare...

"Ek ladki hai"
"Ek kundli hai"
"Beta, ek achcha rishta aaya hai, vakil ki beti hai, ladki ka naam hai Pooja"
"Mujhe pasand hai ma"

That's an ad for a phone company. Just one of those ads that seem to glorify the phenomenon of matrimonial arrangements in which things happen in one tinny little glance. In the ad above, the guy's in a bus stop, looking at a girl in an autorickshaw for approximately three seconds after which he pronounces the verdict "Mujhe pasand hai ma". Yuck.

Another ad I remember was one in which girls meets guy, tells him she's not interested, she has to pursue studies, confides in friend, friend tells her guy would've dumped her anyway because of hair. So she uses some shampoo (or soap? or detergent? I don't remember) and cleans up the act, and guy comes home, says yes purely on hirsute attraction. Loverly. Just loverly.

And how can we forget: Girl likes house, asks parents to "baad badhaiye na", and parents do so to find out son of house is 10 years old. Girl says 'main intezaar karoongi'. (Clap, clap)

What prompted this blog post was yet another one of these ads: Girl is told to go to parlour, gets lazy and uses some liquid on hair, mom says "kahaa tha na, parlour chali jaao, woh to aa gaye..." and then obviously man with brains below navel goes ooh-aah, but not the iodex way.

I think these ads are driven by people who're getting into the whole arranged marriage concept big time. Perhaps the copywriters have come to that age where their parents are "thoopofying" them with resumes. Perhaps the ad-men have the daughters of that age. Perhaps we're all getting carried away with tradition, and want it in a quick-fix-two-bit-film manner.

While I don't particularly dislike the arranged marriage concept, I find the concept of choosing ones life partner because of flimsy things such as hair...fairly stupid. To see it in an ad is quite demeaning - to women because they're now objects of desire only with respect to hair silkiness, or to expand it, with respect to their looks only. And to men too, since we're dumb enough to stop at percutaneous pulchritude.*

But if this helps reduce dowry because "heck, man, look at that hair, I'll take her without any money!", I'm all for it.

(* - Beauty only skin deep types. Someone once said "Of course beauty's only skin deep. That's fine with me. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?")


Blogger Anuja said...

love your blog!

and these damn someone-please-marry-me ads puke me out too. as do a lot of these serials where everyone's just dying to get everyone married... not just coz they objectify women, but they suggest that any lady's sole purpose is to find someone to latch on to; what are they, leech? yuck

1:20 PM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Deepak Shenoy said...

Anuja: you bet! The whole idea of a woman being perenially on the lookout for a "suitable boy" is the sickest insinuation; the subliminal thought remains that girls, once beyond the age of 20, are practically withering away and dying unless rejuvenated by marriage.

It irks me no end that there's a different standard for men.

2:36 PM, November 18, 2005  
Anonymous Peppers said...

Deepak. I would not agree so much with the fact that women and men are treated differently, they are in the terms of being given two different scripts but end of the day people (at least quite a huge amount) of both sexes get a predefined script. period. Its highly comfortable following the script.A woman who is on the other side of 20's knows that her parents will find a guy and she need not think what would come next just need to know how to leech which again is predefined. On the same lines, a man who is 28 or so need not know anything about a woman or a marriage but is very comfortable with the idea of marriage as he is already given a "social" script of what he has to do, how he has to get married and what would be his role in the marriage. Now you tell me how many people want to actually sit and think on their own and work out the logistics of one's own life?

9:15 PM, December 02, 2005  
Blogger Deepak Shenoy said...


Heck, I don't know how many people want to - but I sure wanted to! My wife and I met each other, fell in love when BOTH of us were on the wrong side of the 20s. (Who am I kidding, I was 30)

These scripted approaches may work for others - but I still don't think women have only one hope in life, to get married. Men, on the other hand, get enough leeway till they're much older.

Working out logistics of ones life isn't that difficult, things will happen. Heck, if they don't, isn't it just about evolution?

9:37 PM, December 02, 2005  

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