Monday, October 24, 2011

Enjoy a Café Latte

A few days back, a dear friend of mine called me up really late at night. Worried, I picked up and became more worried when I realized he was all panicky. But when he told me the reason of his panic, I was amused. His parents wanted him to meet some girl for ‘matrimonial cause’. I told him to meet the girl with an open mind as all it was just a meeting.

Then he confided to me about the emotional turmoil he has been going through. He is supposedly ‘in love’. But he is confused because the object of his affection has not actually committed to him. She is in a relationship with someone for nearly 10 years. At the same time, as she confided to my friend, she has been two-timing her boyfriend with someone in her office! And now she has been telling my friend that she would eventually break-up with both and come to him. In the meantime, she seeks support of my pal as she is often emotionally distraught due to this tug-of-war between the two men (and now she has the nerve to involve my friend!).

Any sane mind would warn my friend that this girl spells TROUBLE! But my friend feels emotionally connected her (damn these ‘emotions’!!!) In his words, “I feel she is getting trapped in an emotional quick-sand”. I curse the word ‘emotion’!

Now, this friend of mine has also recently broken up with his long-time girlfriend. So he has also been feeling a bit vulnerable and in the process of offering his shoulder to the cry-baby, he is slowly getting hooked to her. He thinks their stories of heart-break are somewhat similar and, thus, they are soul mates.

He is today confused regarding two aspects: firstly, whether she is the right one for him and secondly, what if she is the rebound for him?

So, around 3.30 am, I was attempting to play agony aunt to my dear friend. Although I am not an authority on affairs of human heart, I tried to reason with him. Betraying the trust of my sisterhood, I told him how we girls are really good or rather, brilliant in faking everything. I humbly requested him to let that girl take her decisions herself. He should strictly tell the girl to handle the two affairs herself and come to him only after the mess is sorted. It’s a mess created by her and should be ended on her own. Why should my friend bear the brunt of two jilted lovers or for that matter, a bad Karma of being the ‘home-wrecker’? I told him if the girl has genuine feelings for him, she will take the necessary steps herself.  Rest things will take shape themselves. Thank god, he understood my point.

Now coming to his second apprehension, well, only time will tell if she is the rebound (all depends if it ever happens between them). Thus, he should wait and watch. Once the girl comes out clean and strong and commits to him, he would eventually know it himself. Then I gave him an amusing lesson on matters of heart.

‘The Rebound’ is something that’s pretty interesting. Many would view such a ‘relationship’ with curious thoughts. But I see it in a ‘fun’ light.

I am a Cappuccino girl.  But an occasional Café Latte breaks the monotony and rejuvenates you. To move on from a failed relationship in which you had invested so much emotions and time, the rebound works like the Café Latte. Having a fling with someone, who is so not your type, can work like magic. You risk your feelings, you tread an unknown ground and it gives you a high. And this high feeling heals the wounds of the broken relationship. You feel rejuvenated, all set for a new love chapter in your life-story.

Thus, I advised my friend to take one step at a time. If and when the girl commits to him, he should let actions speak louder than any forced emotions. If there is any sign of it being a rebound for both of them, then he should simply enjoy the moment and let go once he feels he is ready for the next story. ‘The Rebound' does help you to bounce back into lively life!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Manipulating.... Scripting.... So You Mean Your Life is Not Yours!!!

No one can manipulate anyone else. In any relationship, both parties know what they are doing, even if one of them complains later on that they were used.

-The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coelho

Can a relationship be fabricated? Can a girl really manipulate the thoughts and emotion of the guy whom she likes? Can a guy strategize to make his dream-girl to fall for him? Do emotions really make you so blind? Does a person’s brain stop functioning on its own due to ‘manipulation’ of someone else?

First of all, what can be defined as ‘manipulating a relationship’? Secondly, who decides who manipulated whom?

Let’s see two sides of the coin.

One of the oldest tricks in every man’s book to hook the girl – talk badly about the ex-girlfriend, how much of an ugly bitch she was and how she was possessive and obsessive about him.

The girls can also give a worthy competition to men in this game. Tell him a sob story, with all those rain-drop sized tears, about the ex who never gave her the time and the dignity she deserves and how he had clipped the wings of her dreams.

Sounds familiar? It is actually that easy to snatch the attention and affection of the opposite sex with such ancient ploys. But is there any scheme to retain and extend the attention span? Flirting and engaging in a fling with all these plots is easy, and is acceptable to a certain extent. I think there is also some kind of kick in the chase. But ‘scripting’ a love story, a sustaining relationship?! Is it that convenient?

Come on, is an individual, especially an adult, so dumb that he or she can be manipulated to ‘fall in love’? If I am able to achieve that feat then I will for sure lose interest in that man very soon for one simple reason – the man must be really spineless for not able to recognize and follow his own emotions. I don’t need such an emotionally immature person who doesn’t know what does his heart desire.

It’s just a matter of blame game. Two consenting adults can never put into action a strategy to lure each other into a committed relationship. If someone does, well… according to me, that’s not a relationship but only a fling. The one who is manipulating is doing so for momentary pleasure, while the other who is being manipulated is the victim of confused feelings which would eventually die a silent death. Fact is, none is in love. And the fact is, even if this ‘relationship’ starts, well, the future will always remain bleak. The very foundation is set by a web of lies. How could it blossom into a ‘Happily Ever After’? It is and will always be a ‘At the Moment’.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Marriage & Its Brand Equity

As I have mentioned on several occasions, ‘Marriage’ has been the phrase and flavor in my life since some time now. Every now and then, I am bombarded with news of friends and acquaintances getting married or getting ready for the huge step. Then there is the dreadful question that’s often thrown at me, “When are you getting married?”  Getting hitched and making me settle down suddenly seem to be the priorities everywhere! The age of getting married, oops… sorry, the ripe age of getting married is torturous. There are enormous rounds of drama and trauma involved, courtesy the two involved parties – the prospect and her family. Well, I guess everyone stands right at one’s own place.

I am never against marriage. It is a sacred institution. But somewhere down the line, I feel this sacred institution is losing a certain amount of sheen off its Brand Equity. If I am allowed to use a marketing jargon, ‘Marriage’ today has turned into a ‘Cash cow’. All the pros and cons of this establishment have been analyzed and comprehended in our mature market, oops, society. The businesses of wedding planning, hotels, resorts or banquet halls and fashion are leaving no stone unturned to milk this fat cow. Ironically, we often use the term ‘The Big Fat Indian Wedding’ (without a doubt, inspired by the cute movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. We are so good in copying!)

But biggest reason for comparing marriage with Cash cow is simple. Consider this situation: when you are planning to buy a car, you get numerous suggestions. But if you state that you want to buy a just launched vehicle, people will advise you to opt for a safe option and buy an already popular car. So, you are directed to the most popular car of a particular brand, the cash cow of the brand. “If nothing works out, lets get a Maruti 800, Santro or I10!”

The logic usually given is: you can’t stay alone forever. You are required to blend in the society. So even if you wish to swim against the tide, others try to ensure you don’t break the convention. We still look at couples in live-in relationship with curious eyes, if not scandalous manner. Marriage is the safest and the best investment in your life. You won’t be at a loss if you get married! In terms of the BCG Matrix, your personal growth (market growth rate) might be low, but you enjoy a strong social position (market share). Hence, I am calling ‘Marriage’ a ‘Cash cow’.

You can choose to differ. And I will state again, I am certainly not anti-marriage!!! It is just that I don’t understand the rush people and their families exhibit once they reach that ‘marriageable age’. Any investment in life requires lots of thought and marriage IS THE BIGGEST INVESTMENT OF LIFE. After all, you are going to spend of your whole life with that person, get tied down with each other’s families as well as with biggest responsibilities, including giving birth to a new generation! So, why the rush?! How in an arranged marriage, families can try to seal the fate of the persons involved? Even in love marriage, how much time is enough to understand the gravity of the future responsibilities? Are a few days of courtship sufficient to take the big decision?

‘To be or not to be’ is the trick question. And I am not the right person to opine. But I know for a fact, marriage is definitely not dolls play. Even if you want to buy a popular brand of car, you are usually spoilt for choices. So, you should do proper research, give deeper thought and take the biggest decision. Marriage is not an impulse buying decision!!!