My previous note on the topic seems to have touched a common chord with my peers everywhere. This, combined with the fact that I have been cooped up at home due to an unexpected extension of my joining date (apparently my company decided that the later they allowed me to join, lesser the damage I could do) prompted me to think of something which I do not normally think about. Girls. Ha.
My train of thought ran somewhat like this. Since the ratio of girls to boys in Kerala is slightly greater than 1 (yeah, that’s right. Read it and weep, you ArjunPandeys and Aditya Kashyaps) it stands to reason that a typical mallu wedding could and should consist of a few PYTs of my age group. Following that train of thought, it is only reasonable that such PYTs be subjected to the same treatment at the hands of saree clad assassins from Palakkad as would the poor guys. After all, Kerala, under communism, achieved gender equality much before the rest of India did. So, a set of guidelines for PYTs to counter such attacks (in the same vein as the original post) should be of a great help. After all, I am nobody if not someone who likes to devote every waking hour to the aid of PYTs.
Girls attending mallu weddings are mostly subjected to questions regarding marriage, health or children. If you are above the age of 20, you will be immediately categorized into one of three possible slots.
- Educated – This means you are still studying and as such, can be marked down for a possible future match. If you have taken up MBBS however, you can be hunted down without mercy anytime.
- Employed – This apparently means that you are desperate to settle into married life. Any employed girl who wants to remain single for some time is looked upon with deep suspicion. “Avalkku affair kaanum” (She must be seeing someone) will be the universal chant.
- Married – Married girls have it tough in a different fashion. Any girl married for over a year is expected to have produced one child and be planning for the next.
Irrespective of your slot, these guidelines should come in handy.
- Faced with any question, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be held against you. You have the right to speak to your mom. If you cannot find your mom, God save you.
- Try not to wear a saree. Handling its myriad folds and making sure that you do not trip over yourself as you walk is a major distraction when you are trying to fend off the questions and remarks of aunties. In fact, this is a secret weapon which mallu women have developed over the decades to ‘distract and conquer’ young ladies whom they want to interrogate. If you have ever attended a wedding sans saree, one of the first questions would be, “Ohh, why didn’t you wear a saree? You are old enough now, you know.” The auntie is actually thinking, “Shit, she is going to be a tough one to break.”
- If you belong to the “Educated” category, you will be quizzed about the course and college. Always reply “Engineering” and follow it up with the name of the closest engineering college. This will buy you time (the 4 years until you get the B.Tech degree) and save you from having to explain why you thought going to NIT Suratkal was better than going to Ponnani. Never say that you are a medical student. Since it takes nearly 6 years or more to become an established doctor, you could be poached any day starting tomorrow.
- If you belong to the “Employed” category, you will be asked about the company and location. Thankfully, girls do not have to field “salary” questions. In response, you can name any company under the sun except Infosys (in which case, you will immediately be referred to Girija for further consideration), but the location has to be Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram. Any employed single girl working in Noida or Bangalore is automatically assumed to have a boyfriend. And an employed single girl working overseas must surely be in a live-in relationship. “Ithu Kali kaalam alle?” (Isn’t this KalYug?)
- Never allow the ladies to hold your wrist. Over the years, hardened veterans develop an amazing ability to predict vitals such as body fat content, haemoglobin level, bone density and even menstrual cycle just by holding your wrist. Worse still, they will then proceed to give you a detailed diagnosis of your problem and how the same symptoms resulted in health complications for Mrs. Kurian’s daughter.
- If you are married, tell them your husband recently had a vasectomy. Trust me; it is far better to shock them than to have them plan your family over the wedding lunch.
If you get the chance, tell everyone (including the bride, God knows she needs some relief) the story of how Girija’s son was caught for watching porn while in school. Every victory, however small, counts.
Note: My good friend Yazhini Chandrasekharan recently took the trouble to contact me all the way from wherever she happened to be when she contacted me. A travel aficionado, she keeps changing her Facebook “Location” tag several times a day. Google has given up searching for her. So has Vodafone. Apparently gypsies do not have to pay bills. But I digress. The reason she messaged was to remind me that girls in Tamil Nadu have to face the very same problems that mallu girls do. I don’t disagree.