Sunday, June 13, 2004



Saturday evening.

Sitting at a pizza parlour with Ashok.

Pizza. One large mushroom, small chicken.
Chicken. The tool of the south indian iyer/iyengar rebel. This generation is certainly enjoying it's rebellion, but that's a different issue.

As conservative Tamil iyers we have forgotten what it means. Great to see it happen again. Or believe that it happens.

I want to believe.

Of marriage. Girls. The pizza.
A sign of our growing up. A year back it would have been about MBA, business proposals, music, or bikes. Today it's marriage.

Where do we stand? What's our stand? Or more importantly where we don't. All drunk over half a glass of Pepsi. Dark red, it seems Pepsi would like us to believe that Pepsi looks like red handsome rich scotch whiskey.

I want to believe

Whiskey gives you a high before it kills you. Pepsi limits itself to a small burp.
I'd rather have the high.

I want to believe

Smoking Joe's.
Ashok is singing "Smells like Teen Spirit". The conservative stereotyped rebel. We talk on about life, it's issues, pontificate and indulge in a little ego flashing. Garlic bread arrives. Smoking Joe's is serving thin crust. It's a small joint. They would like us to believe it's a family outing to eat pizzas, pizzas actually qualify as food by itself, and the garlic bread, with the cheese on top, is indicative that the pizza is magnificent. Old chap with glasses who probably owns the place. Nice team. I wish him well. He bobs his head. It's still not a roaringly good place, though Ashok thinks the yellow stick it notes, pasted there seem to indicate business is picking up. A lot of yellow there. I ask him to check out the handwriting.

I want to believe

Pizza is served. Hot. Nice. Beautiful. Rich with a large layering of cheese on top. 20 laps more tomorrow, bringing the total to a whopping 110. Let's see. Can I do it?

I want to believe

We talk.

I have a nice predictive model of marriage. Ashok's getting married in 3 years I tell him. 'Poda baadu', he says. I am willing to bet on my model. It's simple.

There are only two factors involved.

Ashok's boredom.

Ashok's postgraduation.

Ashok is going to be bored once he gets a job. In college he has the time to pick a thousand interesting hobbies, and the surety that he can pursue them to his own satisfaction, and at the end blame his profs. for his bad degree.

No such safety net in real life.

He picks a job, the onus is on him to ensure he likes it.

The first six months I told him he will booze. He will start learning a foreign language. He will play tennis. He will enjoy his job. He will read.

The next six months he will drop his tennis, or his foreign language, and the booze. Rebellion calls for a constant reinnovation. A mindless pursuit.

The books he read will seem to repeat the same stuff over and over again.

The next six months he will travel.

He will do all the same things he did six months before in new places.

Maybe Pune. Maybe Philadelphia. Maybe Peurto Rico.

Discuss the booze in Philadelphia...

"Illa da machi. I was in Orgeon and we were having sarakku under the stars. God! How beautiful"...

Then he will come back to his appartment block.

Open doors to empty rooms.

He will get bored.

Ashok's postgraduation.

One item less on the checklist of devout parents.

One item more on the list of possible father in laws.

Interesting byproduct.

How do you best describe a person, a girl or a boy.

IIT. IIM. Fair. 5ft. 10 inches. Bardhawaja gothram. Hindu. South Indian. Tamil. Iyer.


or. with Honours. 5 ft. 6 inches. Kashyapa gothram. Hindu. South Indian. Tamil. Iyer.


My bank manager with whom I spend about 5 minutes every year, asks me for a lot more information.

And we are all going to spend our time with guys/girls based on a description of our characteristics in a hundred words.

But till the time this ad is published our parents would like us to believe we are on a lifelong vow of celibacy.


Funny thing about these ads. The first thing that's published is the IIT/IIM bit. I am what re. Where are those patrons of social commentary. Alas, asleep or commenting on the state of Surjit Singh Barnala's beard.

Ashok has now one less reason to quote against being married.

He has a snowball's chance of hell of resisting it. My model predicts that in a year or two he will be married.

Whether he likes it or not.

Pizza over.

We are walking out.

Ashok's his usual bluff self.

"No machan. I will resist it man. Anyway I don't want to"

I want to believe.