Not many people would have noticed this but marriage is pretty much like a milk production business. Right from milking the cows to getting the end product off the shelves, marriage resembles milk in many ways.
Let’s look at the base product for starters. Pure white, wholesome and delicious! A person with the milk business would start with finding the right cows to provide this nutritious treat. Once the best breed is selected, he would either go large scale or have a smaller business range. The cows are groomed and taken care of quite well. Little do the poor cows realize that they would soon be sold for milk or meat!
It goes the same route in families. The best amongst the children (esp the eldest girl) is always well groomed and taken care of, she’s shown off to everyone and praises heaped upon her. The parents make sure that this gorgeous cow…erm…girl stays gorgeous! But what about the children who aren’t as fortunate looks wise? Well…more business for Fair and lovely, beauty parlors and fitness centers without a doubt (I’ve been there done that folks!)
Let’s just stick to the gorgeous girl/cow for the time being; makes life a little simpler! So this girl becomes the crème de la crème amongst the relatives, neighbors, friends and community.
The parents would have started plotting a while back you see as to when she should be “handed over” in holy matrimony to the most eligible guy in the world!
The moment the girl age hits double digits the multiples of 2 the market place is open for an splendid sale! The only difference between a market place for cattle and a market place for eligible girls is that the former happens in the open with a lot of hollering: “jersey cow!” “Best breed!” “30 L of milk” and so forth and the latter happens inside closed doors with the aid of virtual markets (Jsathi, Bmatrimony and others-I’m a member in each one mind you! ;)) with “subtle” hints like “beautiful girl!”, “Milk Fair!”, “Cooks well!” and so much more!
The selection of the girl is most hilarious! Buyers physically examine each…erm…part…of the cow and that is possibly the only thing that is missing in the marriage system; because save for the groping hands, the girl is examined up and down through the would be family’s scrutinizing eyes!
Here are a few lines that are common place in the wedding scenario that transports me to the perfect setting for a cattle farm:
“Your daughter is not too fair huh?”
“My son is in the US, will your daughter be able to adjust?”
“Oh! So that’s the only dowry you will be giving?”
“She’s a little fat isn’t she?”
Trust me the list never ends!
Incase a buyer rejects a cow saying that it was too skinny, the seller would fatten it up with a lot more nutritious food to better his chance at a sale the next time around.
Mostly the opposite happens in marriages, a lot of girls are rejected with chubbiness given as the reason. (That’s mine for most of the proposals!) Then comes a barrage of diet tips, exercises and food deprival that would in the short term aid a sale but in the long term also aid in various health related issues.
Then of course milking the deal for all it is worth! Right from the money given as “gifts” to the daughter to the venue of the wedding, amount of jewelry the bride has to wear till the make of the car to transport the bride and groom to the reception hall is discussed and finalized and of course everything is expensive and the gal’s poor dad would have bust a lung by the time he blows air into the demand balloons from the would bes!
The girl quietly falls into the gentle lull of pre wedding and first few weeks of post-wedding sweetness and these days would be the happiest in a girl’s life! Post the sweetness comes the bitter aftertaste…reality strikes and the only image the girl sees while looking at her reflection in the mirror every morning is a cow gazing back with mournful eyes!
I for one wish my parents would stop treating me like a cow well over the sale period just because I am 26 years old! Infact they treat me so like a cow…instead of saying NOOOOOOOO to a stupid proposal I sometimes mouth a MOOOOOOOOO!!! God help us women!