Tuesday, February 27, 2007
If you are a typical, single, Indian man who lives in the USA, the time will come when it will dawn on you that the only chance you have to indulge in wedded bliss lies in the hallowed institution of the "Arranged Marriage". You probably left India when you were twenty-one, having squandered your adolescence striving to get here. At this point, you are twenty-five or older, and have been out of touch with the general Indian female population for more than a decade. All the women you know back home are married. This manual is written for those of you who harbor hopes of acquiring a beautiful arranged bride.
If you belong to the rarified set of intellectuals to whom the external female form holds no charms, and those who evaluate others according to the quality of their inner selves, this manual is not for you. Before you stop reading, please accept my heartiest congratulations on your self control and ideological correctness. I am not worthy of even addressing you (kneel! kneel!).
No, this manual is for the rest of you, mere mortals, who still have enough red blood in their veins so that you can admit, even to yourselves, that you rather like the idea of having a beautiful wife.
Of course, before I even go about describing how to acquire beauty, it is necessary to define it. And this is where I expect the most disagreement. There will be those among you who proclaim, "But beauty is in the eye of the beholder!" And you would be partly right.
If you are a man who equates beauty to facial attractiveness, there is not much that this manual can do for you. You are a very fortunate man, for Indian women have the most beautiful faces of any race in the world. You have a very large pool to choose from, and you do not need much help in choosing, because you can look at each prospective bride's face and decide whether she is beautiful or not.
No, this is written for those who would like their wife to have a good figure too. For you, the job is harder. Typically, Indian women do not get much physical exercise, and consequently, if they are not scrawny, tend to be on the overweight side. Why do you think sarees are so popular in India? Because they can hide all the embarrassing bulk! Some men think that Indian women do not have shapely legs by reasons of genetics. I say to them, check out the figures of the IA (ABCD to you politically incorrect guys) women. They are on par with anything I have seen on any other race. This is because IA women work out and take care to keep themselves in shape. You cannot go covering yourself up around here, not if you want to get dates.
If you are one of those academic types who have not given much thought to the matter, or merely one of those blighters who like to ask intelligent questions to which you already know the answers, and ask me, "But why does one NEED a beautiful wife?" I would reply that beauty is a double edged sword. It has its advantages and disadvantages, some of which I summarize below.
Advantages of having a beautiful wife.
a) A beautiful girl is much easier to adjust to than an unattractive one. You will be much more tolerant of her faults during the initial "adjustment" phase of marriage, simply because you will not have the heart to get irritated with someone so lovely. She will be much easier to forgive after a fight.
b) If you are the typical desi engineer, you will not be exactly Adonis Reborn. If your wife is homely too, your child will probably look like the Swamp Thing, or the Blob. If you love your unborn children, you owe it to them to give them a beautiful mother.
c) A beautiful wife enhances your social stature. People will look at you and think, "How the ^&*% did that !@## land such a gorgeous babe? He must have something that is not visible on the outside!" You will get invited to more parties, especially by men who want to spend the evening drooling at her. Conversely, if your wife is homely, you will be rather embarrassed to take her to gatherings of your friends, especially if they are all married to knockouts.
d) And most importantly, sex will be much better if your wife is good-looking. Otherwise, after a couple of years when the pent-up horniness of the past 25+ years has worn off, you probably will not be even able to get it up, unless you resort to ungentlemanly and undignified tactics, like fantasizing about Sridevi when you are in bed.
Disadvantages of having a beautiful wife.
a) If you are one of those for whom innocence, virtue, and chastity are important, beautiful women are not for you. My empirical research shows that, while beauty (or the lack of it) in a woman is in no way indicative of her intelligence, beautiful women are invariably very street-smart. They KNOW that they are good looking, and have got used to people bending over backwards to accommodate them. This dawns on them very early on in life, when they observe that teachers are much nicer to them than to their less-attractive friends, when almost all the men they encounter behave like brainless, testosterone-driven apes in their presence, when they observe that they get things done twice as quickly in a government office.
As a teenager in college, a beautiful woman would have had lots of men vying with each other for her friendship and affections. She would have to be more than human not to have enjoyed the attention. She would have played the men one against the other, as women have done since time immemorial. She might have dated, and even had affairs. In the process, she would get to know men all too well, and would realize that they are but putty in the hands of a good-looking woman.
b) A good-looking woman is more than a match for the average desi engineer. She will twist you around her little finger and make you jump through hoops. Things will get done her way nearly all the time. Of course, it will be fun to jump through hoops for someone as lovely as she is. A homely woman, on the other hand, will usually be so grateful to you for marrying her that she will treat you like a king.
c) As I mentioned before, a beautiful woman is unlikely to be particularly virtuous or righteous. But that is okay, since too much virtue often goes hand-in-hand with rather undesirable traits. A virtuous woman may also be ugly, weird, boring, hyper-religious or frigid.
d) A beautiful woman is more likely to "stray" after marriage too. This is the USA, and the fact that a woman is married does not make her off-limits to adventurers or would-be Casanovas. The more lovely a woman is, the more likely is she to be propositioned by her male colleagues or friends. Ergo, she is subject to much more temptation than her homely counterparts. Think about this... how would it be if women kept asking you, a man, to make love to them? How many times would you refuse?
How to go about selecting a beautiful wife.
First of all, there is the matter of mentioning the fact to your parents. If your parents are anything like mine, they will freak out when they hear that their dear devoted son is actually interested in earthy things like beauty (and, by extrapolation, sex). It is not considered good form to say that beauty is important to you in Indian circles.
Here is a very important tip... do not leave bride-hunting to your parents! Beauty is going to be the last of their priorities, coming after caste, horoscopes, family background, perceived virtue of the girl etc. Make it very clear to them that beauty is high on your list of priorities. State in no uncertain terms that you will not marry anyone who does not measure up to your standards. That will prevent them from goofing off during bride-hunting, shirking their responsibilities and palming off some family-friend's daughter on you.
Another unpalatable fact is that your mother will not want you to marry someone too beautiful. This often comes as a surprise to most sons, but the reason is simple. Mothers know that, sooner or later, there will be a tussle between her and her daughter-in-law over her son's affections and loyalties. Since women are extremely conscious of their looks and tend to rate themselves accordingly, a beautiful woman has a psychological advantage over a less attractive one in an argument. Also, your mother knows that a beautiful wife will tilt the scales against her as far as you are concerned, since such a wife will probably have you dangling by the balls, if you pardon the expression. So, left to herself, your mother will limit her search to women who are less attractive than she perceives herself to be.
Before you start on your bride-hunting, you should convince yourself that you deserve a beautiful wife. Do not ever think, "But I am not so good-looking anyway, what right have I to demand a lovely girl?" Since Man started walking the earth, it has been the man's wealth that has been traded off for the woman's beauty. Rest assured that your looks will be the last thing on a girl's mind when she rates you as a prospective husband. (I am limiting myself to arranged marriages here). She will be weighing your earning potential, green-card potential etc. Even in this land of feminism, "Cosmopolitan" has articles on "How to hook a rich husband" and "The ten best places to meet successful men".
You have worked hard, and wasted ten of the most wonderful years of your life getting where you are. You deserve to get something out of it. Do not squander your bargaining position. In other words, do not be ashamed to make your preference for beauty known.
How to check whether she is beautiful.
First of all, never consent to marry a girl whom you have seen only in photographs. PHOTOGRAPHS LIE!!!! Photography is an art that can make HKL Bhagat look like Zeenat Aman. All too often, photographs sent to prospective suitors contain only the face. Also, they usually have been so air-brushed and sanitized, all the pimples and other irregularities removed, that the end product has little in common with the original. Also, it is a certain fact that no woman will consent to send you photograph that presents herself in an unflattering light.
These days, in the urban areas of India, it is often the practice to take an album-full of pictures of a girl when she gets to marriageable age. These pictures show the girl in various outfits, eastern and western. The album is then sent to prospective grooms-in-the-states. During my last visit to India, I learned from an authoritative source that many of these pictures are blatant forgeries, involving splicing the girl's head on to the figure of some other girl, sometimes professional models. In one case, pictures of a girl's good-looking sister were went out instead. Bottom line: do not make a decision based merely on photographs!
Once you see the girl directly, you can easily check whether her face measures up. The figure is a different matter altogether. Women have conducted more research into packaging themselves than have been conducted on the entire US space effort. You should realize that, while you were struggling in your engineering program in undergraduate on grad school, women were learning the techniques of camouflage. She KNOWS that it is her looks that count. By packaging herself so that she seems attractive to a non-resident Indian for about 10 minutes, she can earn all that it took the NRI 10 years of hard work to realize. Women are extremely honest with their friends about their positive and negative points. They are intensely aware of their flaws, and work systematically towards concealing them.
So, if she seems to have a liking for loose, flowing sarees orsalwar-kameez, keep your mind open to the possibility that she may be overweight. That fold of her saree draped oh-so-elegantly across her midriff might be concealing a paunch. It it is wound demurely around her back, she probably has spare tires. Does she walk slowly and sedately, like an old Spanish galleon making its way across the seas? She is probably holding her paunch in.
So what do you do if she always appears in such clothes? You cannot very well demand that she change clothes... that would be outrageously bad form. AND SHE KNOWS THAT! One way to approach such a problem is the following. Tell her that she cannot wear a saree in the states ,that it would be embarrassing for you. Tell her that if she is not willing to wear jeans, shorts and pants on a regular basis, you are probably not a good choice for her. Subtly hint that you would like to see her in western clothes. If she refuses flat-out, my friend, you can be sure that she is hiding something. If she has a good figure, she will make damned sure that you see it.
A large percentage of women in India have huge hips and very heavy thighs. This is mainly due to lack of exercise. In a saree orchuridar, it is impossible to check for these, which is why they are so popular. If a woman states that she does not wear pants, warning bells should ring in her mind. One way to check for obesity under asaree or salwar is to note the relative positions of her bosom and midriff. For a woman with a good figure, the bosom should be at a considerably higher level. If she dresses so that the bosom does not stand out, it is almost surely because she has a paunch that comes to the same level. Or she may be droopy, saggy or totally flat.
Let me reiterate, if a girl has something to show, she will make damned sure that you will see it.
One way to see how your prospective bride looks when she is not dressed up is to ask to see her family albums. NOT the ones that they keep out ostentatiously but the ones that they keep tucked away at the corner of the shelf. A lot of overweight women go through crash diets during the wedding season, starving themselves or going to professional "fat-farms" to lose dozens of pounds, to get into presentable shape for the darshan. I know of one woman who lost 60pounds in 8 months preparing for the wedding. She quickly gained it all back after the marriage. Pictures of the woman taken 2 or 3 years ago should tell you whether she is inclined to obesity.
If, on the other hand, she is a thin woman who has padded herself up to look good on darshan day, there is no way on earth that you can tell. The best way to check for this sort of stuff is to enlist the help of a sympathetic, liberated, female, friend, sister or other relative. She can easily see through the disguise and give you unbiased estimates of the interior. So, if you have a sister, you had better start being nice to her.