Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The horror scope mania

Cross posted from Let it be!. Of some perspective problems in the Indian convention of arranged marriages and more, Ramya says...

I think we Indians live in a pseudo modern world where we want to seem broad minded. We don't want to be seen following age-old customs blindly, but on the other hand we're also too scared to let go of some traditions. One place where I see this most is during horoscope matching for weddings, and how some astrologer has predicted what will happen to them. Here's a conversation I had with one of my friends in India who is trying to find his life partner through the arranged marriage setup. Although I'm taking his example, I know a lot more people on the same boat.

He: I spoke to this girl just now, she called me after seeing my profile on the matrimonial site. She's very bold, forward thinking and independent. She's really pretty too.  
Me: Wow that's excellent news! So you're going ahead with this one right? 
He: No I think she's nice but I have to wait till they check if our horoscopes match. 
Me: Wait, so you're saying if horoscopes don't match you'll let it go even if everything else about her is exactly what you're looking for? 
He: My mom said horoscopes absolutely have to match. And I also believe in it. 

I was quite amused that a person from my generation was willing to make life changing decisions based on how the stars and planets were aligned at the apparent time of his birth. But, I don't question people's beliefs so I left it at that. However, what's more interesting is what he told me after talking to the previous girl that he had met through a similar arrangement. The horoscopes had matched. The parents were very happy. But he said the girl was too traditional, did not have a mind of her own and was not "good looking".

End result: He is frustrated. The parents are worried.

This is the case with a lot of others too, both boys and girls. So what is the problem? We have a picture of this perfect person in our minds, and we keep waiting for that Prince Charming to come. He should be cute, rich, funny, loving, sexy and my parents should love him and our horoscopes should match and he should cook for me and do all other household chores as well because I'm all for feminism and shit. In return he'll have my conditional love. Come on, isn't that enough?
Harish sent me an article with 60 short love stories... and this was one of the favorites.

Today, when I asked my grandfather for some relationship advice, he said, “Honestly, the moment I stopped trying to find the right woman, and started trying to become the right man, your grandmother walked up to me and said, ‘Hello.’”

Pretty much sums up what I'm trying to say.

Coming back to the horror scopes. I have another friend who's doing a PhD that told me that she believes that only if horoscopes match, the marriage will work. And that her astrologer has correctly predicted that she will be married this year.

(Now the same astrologer had predicted that she will get married even last year).

I have no problem with astrology. I know that there are some really strong astrologers out there who know their stuff. But here are some of my problems with the blind rigid following.

1. Your entire horoscope is prepared based on the exact time of your birth. How accurately do you know your time of birth? The clocks in the hospitals may have been running ten minutes fast. The doctor may have taken a few extra minutes to note down the time after having you delivered. What if there was day light saving? ;)

2. Many times, two kids are born in the same place same time. But one dies immediately after being born. They have the same horoscopes don't they?

3. Have all the marriages that have been made through horoscope matching succeeded? No diseases, no deaths, no problems? No. I have examples from my family, and I'm sure you do too.

So, every relationship can go either way. The only reason for it to work is that you want it to work :) Instead of adding to your list of criteria the partner should have, work on being the person they'd want. And get rid of blind beliefs, replace them with faith in yourself. There's no star or planet in the universe that can control your life more than you yourself!

Ramya is an aspiring armchair critic and internet troll. In her free time, she enjoys eating Chinese food and learning Thai. Or eating Thai food and learning Chinese. Whatever.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Exhibit 1:
Exhibit 2:
Exhibit 3:

Coming soon

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Act of god

A friend of mine had a tree fall on his car last week. Nasty incident. One half of the car was crushed under the weight of the tree to a flat sheet. He just got done paying off the debt for the car too, so he was really upset about the situation. The situation had happened on university premises though, so in addition to filing an insurance claim, he got in touch with a university official to find out if the university could help make amends. I did not expect the university to pick any tabs but what caught my attention was the email response from the official. It was god's will, he said. My friend thanked him for his empathy and ended the dialogue.

Of course I have heard stories of people talking like this, just never seen it happen this close. Peace.