Sunday, October 14, 2007

Does being single really translate into “cornucopia of choices to mingle” or is it “an over-exaggerated fad?”

A disclaimer right in the beginning: this post isn’t my attempt to condone or condemn the choice that people make about their marital status.

With God’s grace, I have alluring, altruistic, soigné, illustrious and vivacious friends – a mix of both single and married people. Depending on the marital status, people belong to different school of thoughts. Overall, I am a homebody, but I have a confession to make-- somewhere in my heart, I envy an aspect of the “carte blanche” that accompanies single people. Oops! My entire family just cringed after having read the aforementioned line. Believe me; I can jot down my candidness with such ease because (Thank God!) I am not married to some sanctimonious ignoramus who would be offended beyond comprehensible means because of my ‘sacrilegious’ thoughts. My husband is au fait with where the adulation for “the smell of freedom” comes from. To me, “no strings attached” or “living large as a single” doesn’t translate to “license to go on a dating binge;” what I covet about the single life, is the ability to do what you want when you want without feeling culpably or emotionally torn apart—whether it’s juggling or multi-tasking. The going gets tougher when you actually want to be home and not because you are duty-bound.

Last night, an incident transpired that made me wonder if “being single” is overrated. I woke up at wee hours and realized that I had temporarily lost mobility--maybe pulled a muscle in my sleep or just slept in an incorrect posture. The initial feeling was that of inexplicable fear—“will I be able to stand on my own?” “Will I be able to walk?” Of course, it was the sleep-deprived brain thinking and hence the dramatization.

For the last 15 hrs, I have been dealing with excruciating pain and my husband has been striving to eradicate it - both mentally and physically. This whole episode made me cogitate how people handle such overwhelming situations when they have no one with them. I know this country thrives on dialing 911 but what if the phone is few feet away and you are unable to dial that magic help number. Yes, it can happen. It dawned on to me that those few moments of “it’s my life” or “my way or the highway” that the single life provides you with, is maybe coated with as much tribulation as felicity.

I am not saying that marriage should be raison d'être, but I think the illusion of being single is more appealing than the phenomenon itself. Not everyone lives the life Carrie Bradshaw does on “Sex & The City”- a socialite on a columnist’s salary. That is a completely different story. The media portrays the “single life” to be all glamorous and beguiling, but I believe that is just half-truth.

Copyright © 10.14.2007

“I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life” ~ Rita Rudner

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What’s in a name?

Over the past few years or so, Onomastics (or onomatology-- the study of names) has enamored me completely. The word, which is derived from Greek ονομα (onoma), means "name".

So, I have been drawing a mental comparison between people with identical first names and dissimilar cognomen. My postulation: people with the same first compellation share comparable characteristics. It could be the persona or the demeanor, but there is that inexplicable common thread created by the almighty. They are not doppelgangers. So, what I am sharing is my candid raw analysis based on keen observation.

Over the weekend, I was at a party in Albany. The host, who is my crony, introduced me to her confrere and posse, including a person named Anu. Five minutes into a conversation with her, I could see similarities between her and my friend Anu, who lives in NYC. They have the same hairstyle, analogous demeanor; they are dead ringers of each other physically and have the exact same style of iterating their point. I could not believe my ears or eyes. Was it an eidetic image? It was enough for my conjecture to morph in a conviction.

At the top of my head, I can think of four “Archana’s,” who I know closely and they all have indistinguishable hair and similar outlook towards life. None of them knows the other one. Isn’t that bizarre?

My list of examples doesn’t end with just these two names, but I’ll stop here. I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but I am convinced-- It’s all in the name!

Copyright © 10.11.2007

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - William Shakespeare

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Born an Indian; say "I do" to an Indian

I had a rather interesting tête-à-tête with one of my dearest buddy over the weekend. Over Christmas of 2006, he decided to visit his comrade and indulge in some Southern comfort food, I guess. Holiday euphoria, scrumptious aliment, festive sentiments and guess what the topic of conversation was — something dear and near to every Indian’s heart. Can you make a guess? “Matrimonial confabulation”. To cut the long story short, my friend’s amigo made a judicious (?) suggestion. His “words of wisdom” -- since my chum is of Indian origin, he should espouse only a “desi” girl. His postulation was based on his understanding of the striking disparity between the east and west. He thinks that these dissimilarities would precipitate a domestic crisis and eventually my friend would be forlorn.

Here is a fact: every single Indian I know (from my generation) has at least a friend or a cousin whose marriage unfortunately has dissolved. Mind you, these people were wed to Indians. Not only that but also some of these alliances were arranged by their parents - known family, comparable rearing, propitious omens, assiduous family background check and the groom/bride befit the parents’ characterization of beauty. Such flawless matchmaking and yet separated? Pardon my cynicism but that is extremely astute, right? I have also seen couples (where they sought out their own spouse= “Indian love marriage”) show utmost disrespect towards each other. Their public display of differences makes you mortified for them. Only thing they have in common is the country they come from.

I know of numerous successful marriages between people of dissimilar religious faiths, ethnicities and milieu. Is it just serendipity? I hardly think so. They choose to pick the strengths from each other’s background and let the negative disparities dissipate.

I am not sure if nationalities determine the success or collapse of a marriage; human personalities do. I agree; similar cultural/religious upbringing might make things easier but they do not guarantee a thriving nuptial relationship.

We live in a world of never-ending stress, materialistic awareness and incessant pressure. Seeking happiness has become the prime challenge for most people. Does it really matter what ethnicity your spouse is if you can actually get along?

These again are my two cents. I would be curious to know what others feel about it.

Copyright © 10.04.2007

"Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation." – Oscar Wilde