Married Mondays

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Habibi and I recently watched a Telugu movie called Pelli Choopulu that we thoroughly enjoyed. Seriously, I haven't laughed that hard for a telugu movie in a long ass time.  I really really liked it and it brought back memories of my very own pelli choopulu.





For the readers out there that aren't Telugu, let me give you a little background. 

I'm sure you are aware that many Indian parents still practice a certain form of torture called arranged marriage and while it has definitely gotten better amongst the more modern sects of society, some poor  girls (and boys for that matter)  are still being forced to marry against their wishes. 






Usually the first step in the process starts when a matchmaker or meddling aunty ( i lie, there is no and, if , but, or :  all indian aunties consider themselves to be matchmakers)  tell your  parents that they have the perfect spouse in mind for their kid i.e. you.   

The parents will respond with a 'Oh?! Is it?! Send me the details.' 
To which they will be sent a photo or two of the unsuspecting victim, along with a biodata form i.e. personal resume ie make sure you know how to cook so that they can put it on the form. 

Don't want this to happen now do we. 




Most families check the couples horoscopes at this point and if all works out they proceed to  background checks  i.e. more calls to mutual aunties and uncles to make the sure the girl is not 'psycho' and the boy is not a 'druggist.' Yes. Druggist. 

At which point they will either send your information to the middleman to be forwarded OR you will be sat down and talked to. If your parents are especially trying to get on your good side, usually a compliment or gift or favorite food will be presented with a flourish to soften you up. 

Every Indian boy or girl of a certain marriageable age knows to brace for impact if your parents are exceptionally nice to you one fine morning. 

Expect a photo to be thrust in your face, or if your parents are especially wily/desperate the emotionally charged line of, ' you know amma, we are getting old.....'  




If you fall for it or fall for the picture,  #winkwink #noshame 



 Then the next step is....... 

*cue dramatic music 

The Pelli Choopulu!! 
There isn't a direct translation for it that makes sense, 

Pelli - wedding 
Choopulu - seeing 

Basically you see each other for the first time with marriage to each other on the mind.

This is important so pay attention. 

They are not introducing you because they think that boy/girl is cool and you ll have fun hanging out together or to make 'frandchip'.  Please do not make that mistake. Your parents aren't that cool. Repeat. Your parents aren't that cool.
 Don't be fooled. 

If your parents are kinda cool, they will let you guys meet alone for dinner or lunch so you can actually talk and figure out in the span of a few short awkward hours if you like this person and could maybe possibly spend your life with them. 






If your parents think your chastity will be called into question if you meet a complete stranger for a few hours in a public place to determine whether you eventually do want to boink them, then they will insist on traditional pelli choopulu. Which means their family and your family ( and all of the extended families) meet and everyone watches you as you try to sneak glances at each other so that they can use it against you for the rest of your miserable life. 



If you truly hit the parent jackpot, they will make you wear indian clothes and carry in the snacks or coffee, which they will advertise as being made by you.  




If you are a good indian girl like Ms. Amrita Rao was in the clip above, then you only have to go through the trauma once... because congratulations you are getting married! 

If you were a bad indian girl like Katrina Kaif and are the bane of you parents' existence, then you will have to endure this over and over... and over again. 






Aah. Don't you just love how parents can bring the 19th century so effortlessly into the 21st century and how well emotional blackmail still works? 

Next week I'll tell you all about my pelli choopulu with Habibi! 

~Rumi




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