To continue from where I left off, I now come to the thrust of the post.
On Monday, The Times Of India carried an article which was quite interesting.
I was chuckling to myself relating this story to that of the young lady whose prospective husband wanted a servant and not a wife, when a friend from Tamil Nadu, also from my community came to visit me. He is a traditional farmer from a very conservative background. He visits Pune twice a year to visit his two sons who work and have settled here. Since I am from the same community and the same district in Tamil Nadu, we have become friends. When I told him about the newspaper article and the story about the lady and her telephone call, he shared some information with me that stumped me.
Before I proceed further, some background information. I have not lived on a permanent basis in Tamil Nadu since the early sixties of the last century. Many of the changes that have taken place to that state and our community there are at best vague bits of information that I gather from my family and friends when I visit Chennai occasionally. And as my readers would have gathered, my family and I are not typical specimens of our community having been exposed to many cultures other than our own traditional ones. My visitor on the other hand lives in the middle of our community’s roots though he too is now exposed to Pune because of his two sons having migrated to it.
My friend’s take is that there are plenty of young men from our community wanting to get married to women from it. They are all well educated and earning well either within India or overseas and by any standard, good matches for girls looking for stable life partners. And unlike some other communities in the Northern parts of our country, the gender ratios have not got skewed in favour of males either. Many women of marriageable age from our community however do not want to get married to these men. The women seem to prefer to marry outside our community and this is puzzling to parents of the bachelors in our community. Parents of such women are told in no uncertain terms that the women will find their own spouses and that the parents need not take the trouble to find mates for them.
I am as mystified about this phenomenon as my friend is and decided to post this blog and seek answers to this puzzle from my readers in Tamil Nadu more clued in to what is happening to our community there. I intend sending links to this post to some of them by mail soliciting their views. Some of them may choose to respond to me by mail and I may well come back with another post on this subject in due course.
For my Western readers, this may seem to be an unimportant matter, when there is more homogeneity in their own societies, but for us in India, with so many different communities, castes, languages and religions, this is a sociological development that needs to be understood by the older people within my community. And considering the survey’s results, I wonder if girls of our community have concluded that men from it cannot come up to their expectations and if this is so, why.
In the meanwhile, I hope all bachelors who read my blog, like Pravin understand that “The husband may feel he works 12 hours a day but the wife will say she works 14 doing household chores,” Fortunately, modern men do treat women as equals and are not averse to learning how to cook.