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Someone, somewhere

The king and queen of Bhutan

How does one find the right partner? Bhawna, an avid blogger herself, tells us her many experiences with traditional and modern ways  of finding the right partner.

As I pick my tablet, the glass surface reflects back a familiar face. A “Been there, seen that” expression has crept in. Wisdom has arrived, a little each day.

I am completing my last year in the twenties next month, and if I were to ask everyone for their reactions, they’d see me as unsettled- unsettled in a womanly way, without marriage or children. Having a job for which I had slogged from my kindergarten days until around my twenty first birthday is a side-dish: good to have, but not all that important.

Over time, I have realized that marriage in India is not seen as a choice you make, or a chance that you stumble upon. It is a rule you have to live by, whether you believe in it or not. Let me tell you about the lessons I learnt during my encounters with six potential husbands.

Candidate One – was at a time which now seems like ages ago. I was still a junior at work, struggling to find my feet in an industry steeped in recession. I met him when both our families were present. I was in traditional attire holding a tea tray (yes, it is difficult to believe that it indeed was me) and as you may have guessed, there was hardly any time to talk or get to know or for that matter, even get comfortable. Forced to give an answer based on the brief five-minute encounter, a “No” from my end seemed like the easiest escape. No one involved, including my mother, was amused.

Lesson: I need more time than five straight minutes to decide on my life partner.

Candidate Two – was at the oh-so-right-age of 25. Everything seemed right at the surface, the background, the education, the flair. Only the guy was a suffering from commitment phobia and it took too many meetings to figure it out.

Lesson: Just because someone is meeting potential partners, does not mean they really are ready for marriage. Spot the phobic ones early.

Candidate Three – met him through our familiar circle- very sharp and sophisticated, but totally self-obsessed. Thankfully, did not take long for me to figure this one out. I think it was our second meeting, when he ordered a dessert, only for himself, totally forgetting he was not dining alone.

Lesson: While a knight in shining armor is what we may really want, compassion is what takes life through, especially when two people are not in love.

Candidate Four – never met him in person. This is how the phone call went:

He – When can we meet?

I – Saturday?

He – I was wondering if we can meet on a weekday, en-route to work.

I – (Really!) Hmm, sure.

I suggest a place.

He – Oh, that place is off-route.

I – Ok, then you tell me where we should meet.

Suggests a place near the Metro station.

I (deflated) – Ok, I ‘ll see you there at 7.

He – Can’t make it before 8 30.

I – Silence (already made up my mind against him)

He – Hello, you there?

I – I don’t think this will work out.

Lesson: Being liberal in “bigger” aspects like education, work and responsibilities is the easier part. It is the smaller, everyday things which decide whether or not you are a chauvinist.

Candidate Five- was three hours away by flight from where I stay, he was good, but not good enough to leave my whole life behind.

Lesson: Just because I am a woman, does not mean I am really ready to leave my life behind.

Candidate Six- knew him since our days at school. There was hardly anything to think about, or doubt. Only, our horoscopes did not match.

Lesson: No one wants to take a risk, when it is about a lifetime. If the stars call it a bad match, it is for the best to believe so.

The last lesson surprises me, as much as it makes me smile. Like the famous Indian actress Shabana Azmi says in her movie, Fire,”We’re so bound by customs and rituals. Somebody just has to press my button, this button marked tradition, and I start responding like a trained monkey.”

The latest I hear is that it will happen when it has to. I am happy that the world assumes it matters to me, when deep within, it doesn’t.

Author: Bhawna

Editor: Manasi Gopalakrishnan

You can check out Bhawna’s blog at


18.10.2012 | 15:05