Yeah…you read that right! The hunt begins. Actually, it began quite some time ago. I just haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet. Every month, the hunt goes something like this. Dad downloads an excel sheet with details of “boys” in it. Yeah! Once again, you read that right! Excel sheet. Easy to filter out you see? Tech-savvy IT professional that he is, he finds it the easiest way to weed out those he considers unsuitable for his darling daughter!
Before you ask me, caste criterion is already fulfilled. The list downloaded only contains details of Iyer/Iyengar/Madhwa Brahmin boys. Other castes are filtered at that stage. At this point, the excel sheet contains roughly 950 entries. The first filter to be applied is gothram. Don’t get me wrong. Not the gothram of those famed caste-based khap panchayat-ordered honour killings. This has something to do with which cowshed my ancestors belong to. Don’t ask me the logic. I fail to understand and will not argue the point. Frankly, it’s a waste of time. Anyways, to get back to the point, after filtering the inappropriate gothram, he is left with roughly 800 entries.
Next is age. Those younger than me and more than 5 years older are automatically disqualified. I am not a cradle-snatcher and don’t fancy younger men you see. And, the five-year limit is decided in consultation with parents for reasons ranging from financial to balding before I do! Again…waste of time to argue! This filter brings the number down further from 800 to roughly 550. Then comes income. While I am not a gold-digger and am not looking for someone with a six-figure monthly salary, the idea of not being able to afford my monthly beauty parlour pampering routine due to financial issues is rather off-putting! So, someone with appropriate salary levels is required. This filter narrows the choice from 550 to roughly 250.
At this point, you begin to think that finding a “suitable boy” is more difficult than going to the moon for a weekend away. But, it’s not over yet! Appropriate salary levels do not guarantee education. And most men are put off by my multiple postgraduate degrees, or intimidated by it. You see, not everyone is jobless enough to do the same thing twice! For a man to be ok with my education, he himself must have been jobless enough to take up graduate study at least once in this life, if not twice. This filter reduces the sample size from 250 to roughly 200. That’s not bad actually, given that an MBA is rather easy to get nowadays and people seem to think of it as an essential rather than as an added qualification. So far so good!
If you are thinking that it shouldn’t be difficult for me to find one of 200 people, wait till you hear the rest. At 5 feet and 9 inches, I tower over most Indian men. This implies than only men who are taller than 5’9” are eligible. This is where most of the filtering occurs. The sample size that was previously a decent 200 comes down to a rather difficult-to-choose-from 40. Of the 40 left, Dad allows me to look at each of the individual profiles to decide if they must call. Now, I must admit I have expectations that are not easy to match. To know more, you should probably click to read this! While that post was a bit of an exaggeration, it’s true that my expectations are quite high! This translates to 3 shortlisted candidates out of 40. 5 if it’s a particularly good month. Of the 3, one only wants a Vadama Iyer, another wants his wife to quit her job after marriage and the third has just found a soulmate 30 seconds before mom’s call! So…that leaves me with zero!
This drama repeats month after month. Sometimes, twice in the last year, there is one soul who is brave enough to actually agree to meet me! Heaven help him! Any wonder then that a year on, I am still single? Mom says there is an “Aayirathil Oruvan” waiting somewhere for me. I am thinking it’s closer to being roughly 1: 10826! 😛