Followers of South Indian Cinema in general and Tamil cinema in particular would remember the hit film ‘Manal Kayiru’ in which playwright and stage veteran Visu made his debut as a director. The film has the male protagonist played by comedian S.Ve.Shekhar laying out an elaborate list of 8 conditions which a girl must satisfy to become his wife. The director himself playing the role of a marriage broker in the pre – Shaadi.com/Bharatmatrimony.com,… era lines up a girl and cons the hero into accepting her by proving that all his conditions were met. In these times of sequels, if one thinks of making Manal Kayiru – 2, one important change is called for in the script. Or rather a role reversal. Today, it has to be the female protagonist who has to dish out the conditions to be met by her potential suitor. A survey conducted by a matrimonial site clearly pointed to the trend of more and more girls putting forth conditions before taking the final plunge.
I thought that this emerging change was wonderfully picked up by ‘Shaadi.com’ a leading match making portal when they started running a very interesting TV commercial which showed young liberated girls. They claimed in a montage of visuals that they will marry but in their own terms. You may see the ad here. The ad ends with a super with a very firm voice over – Shaadi.com – My conditions apply!!! I must say that the creators of the ad (JWT I think) have a very good sense of what is happening today and smartly weaved it into the commercial. This is today’s generation of girls who are extremely liberated and self-confident.
It’s my premise that much of this change must be owed to the IT revolution which programmed India in the late 90’s. In one of my earlier pieces I had attributed the Ascent and Revenge of the Mamis to this same IT revolution. (You may read that piece here). Now I must say that the “Revenge of the Mamis to be” can also be ascribed to the growth of IT Industry in India and its hitherto successful run in empowering Middle Class Indians and the women folk. Traditionally a core Engineering/Mfg. Company would prefer to hire male engineers citing tough conditions at work. But with IT, that line just diffused.
Ergo, India’s IT rise has stopped the party the boys were having, on its tracks. For long in India the boys were a privileged lot and were used to listing a set of conditions and detailed specifications for their wives to be. Must know to cook, must be domesticated enough, must quit the job after children and if it’s Tambrahm community – must be trained in classical music, must be trained in Bharatnatyam (but must stop dancing after marriage) ,…,… were some of the wish list. But today, it’s the girl who calls the shots. In the “getting to know each other date”, the girls come prepared with a clear set of questions and conditions while the boys just show up.
- A minimum 5 figure salary/month (preferably take home that is). To be proved with a copy of the last not one but 3 salary slips😊
- Should have a house in his name (shared or an ancestral property is not enough😊)
- Should be owning a four-wheeler
- If its IT – should have opportunity for “on site”😊
- Cannot be in ‘Joint family” post marriage
- “I will have to take care of my parents even after marriage. No questions to be asked”.
- You have to treat my family as yours”
And making it abundantly clear what to expect and what not to expect after marriage. Like
- “I can’t cook to save my life. Will try to learn as much as possible. But you should manage to cook”😊😊
- “Will dress as my wont – modern, traditional, whatever”
- “Will not give up my job under any circumstances”
- “I will decide when and how many children to have”
- “No joint family under any circumstances”
- ‘Will retain my surname”
While most of the above still lie in the realm of reasonable expectations, there are some which border on the extremes. Sample this:
- Like when a girl asked her potential suitor – “how many luggage you have???” – And she meant parents, sisters, brothers,..😁and particularly wanting to make sure there was no “unmarried sister”😄😄
- When the shocked boy objected (sort of) to the use of the word luggage for family members, she quipped, “Relax, I just said “luggage” and not “Excess baggage”😄😄
- Like when a girl candidly said – “I turn on the GPS as soon as I enter the house – so that I can locate the kitchen😜😜
- Like for a change one girl gladly accepted to live in a joint family post marriage adding “Somebody has to handle the kitchen and take care of the child when we have one, no???”😜
- Like when a girl scanned the boy’s complete FB profile/posts and ofcourse friend list (particularly the girls type) and asked, “Who is this _____?? You seem to like all her bakwas (If it’s another girl it has to be bakwas😜) posts and post elaborate comments!!!”
Particularly at a time when the gender ratio is skewed against the men in many communities, they are at the receiving end of this revenge onslaught. “So my dear younger generation “to be married” male doston, All the very best! And be prepared with “No conditions apply” from your side and for “Many conditions apply” from their side.”😄😄
Kyunki, Mera Desh, Mera desh badal raha hai, Aage badh raha hai!!!😁😁😁