The Kalyanam Chronicles: Meet the Family

In this section of our single urban girl’s diaries, we meet the family. A unit that fulfills the “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” adage to perfection.

An “eligible” girl. If you were to go by the classified ads, I am tall, fair, educated and family-oriented. In other matrimonial forums, I’m “a modern girl who believes in tradition and family”.  Samosapedia has this down pat under “Traditional with modern outlook“.  I’m not quoting verbatim, of course, but that is the gist of what’s on there. Who is responsible for these labels? Who are the people behind the creation of this public image? My family.

I come from a close-knit unit and we live in close proximity of one another. Ever since the wedding/marriage topic became as commonplace as Sunday biryani, we attained a whole new level of close-knit. A circle of trust was quickly established. Let’s examine some of the main characters in such circles.

That great/grand aunt who has married off her daughters – she’s a veteran in the kalyanam game. Her daughters are happily married. They are settled with their husbands, have families, and this particular mother has been through the same trials and travails as my own mother and is often a sounding board. This aunt is also someone who takes an active interest in finding young men for her great/grand niece and will of course make the decisions, because, her niece—my mother—trusts her judgement.

The aunts and uncles – they have children your own age and are all possibly spouse-hunting for their children, or they’ve married their children off. Be warned: Aunts and uncles who have married children can be especially dangerous – they will direct your parents to a host of astrologers, predictors and matrimonial forums, they will advise your parents on how to talk you into getting married, and they will instruct parents on how to approach angsty daughters. Advise, advise, strategize, strategize. It’s an old game siblings play.

Grandparents – if you’re lucky, you will never get emotionally blackmailed into marrying someone because your grandmother or grandfather is dying and it is their dying wish that you at least get married. Never realizing that they probably have a good twenty years and two great grandchildren before the cataclysmic event even occurs. But who are we to argue these things, huh?

Siblings – sometimes siblings can be the best support system you have. At other times, they are married and have a smug look about them because they are glad to have the family off their backs.

So there you have it, a context and a familial structure. Next up?


[To be continued]


Image courtesy of Childrens Book Review via Creative Commons.


Editor’s note:
For other parts of this six-part Kalyanam Chronicles series, click on the links below.



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About the author

Shruthi Padmanabhan

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