Marry a Girl of Your Caste

Inspired by the series of blogposts/articles which are titled “Date a girl who…”. Reading all these beautiful articles I thought there ought to be one that rings closer home, to the average Indian chap’s life. And I also tweeted about it a few days back. So here it is.

Marry a girl of your your parents’ caste.

What is caste you asked? What are you? An Englishman? A hippie? An eskimo? Only foreigners don’t worry about caste. They don’t even have caste. Arrey they don’t even have culture, how will they have caste?

You know how glorious our culture is, right? Haven’t you seen the forward which tells you how many Indians work at Microsoft, and how we gave the world the zero, and how we have never invaded anyone ever? Do you want me to invade my foot into your ass?

No, no, no. Won’t do if you choose an Indian girl also, if she is not of same caste. Caste is important. Because culture is important. No, you can’t marry a Madrasi girl. We can’t even understand their language, how she will understand your culture? Yes, her parents are right in not letting her marry you. We hate them. But we also agree with them. And no, a Gujarati/Marathi/Punjabi girl won’t do either. And none of those fish-eating Bengali girls!

What? Girl from our state? What is her caste? What is the gotra? No no no, different gotra won’t do. We don’t even touch water they drink. Oh, they said they don’t touch water we drink? They maybe right, as long as what they imply is what we imply.

Tell me this: what will happen when you have children? What caste would they belong to? What will their identity be? Your name? That’s hardly identity. Indians? Ha ha ha. One Indian in one billion Indians. What an identity! No, no, caste identity must be preserved!

And why are we discussing all these girls anyway? It is not your job to look for the girl you would spend the rest of your life with! It is the job of your parents, their relatives, distant relatives, cousins of aunts of sister-in-laws, matrimony portal wallahs, pundits, matchmakers, neighbours, dhobis (washermen), naais (barbers)… anyone but you. You may think you know what you want. But that is not the same as what is good for you. You understand? It’s like the time you wanted to eat chocolate ice-cream, but we knew that two-in-one was good for you. Remember? Did you fall sick that time? No na! So you agree that what you want is not what is good for you. These people who have no idea about who you are, can select better girl for you, because they are not blinded by your prejudices and tastes. They will find a girl who is right for you, because she belongs to your your parents’ caste, and is homely. That is important. It’s not like you want to have a conversation with her about Murakami or jazz. Why would anyone have a conversation with his wife about anything but the price of potatoes and what time to leave for the neighbour’s daughter’s engagement party? You want your wife to revolt?

Sports? What you want to send her to play for India, or what? You know what happens to husbands whose wives become more famous? Husbands should always have more power, more smartness, and more fame than their wives. Because wives’ minds become unruly when they get more power. You want her to take decisions in your life? What is this nonsense about education, exposure, job? You know what they call men who let their wives work? Modern. Do you want to be called that?

What? No no, don’t give me all this hocus-pocus about film stories. That is film. This is life. You are not Dilip Kumar, nor are you Salman Khan. And don’t expect your parents to behave like Nirupa Rai and Nazir Hussain ok? Saying “jismein tum khush raho usi mein humaari khushi hai“, or “aajkal woh zamaana toh raha nahi, ki bacche maa-baap ki pasand se shaadi karein“. All this nonsense is against our culture. Don’t you know our culture is coming back? And these films are spoiling our culture. So don’t expect all this filmy dialoguebaazi ok? Expect your parents to ask what the caste of the girl is. And expect them to act hurt when you say you don’t care about caste. Who are you to not care about your caste?

And, do you know caste is scientific? In the Vedic times it was based on the profession of the person. What? This girl works in your department in office? No, no. That was Vedic times. Today caste is based on what caste your parents belong to, don’t you know? Now if the system was so good thousands of years ago, it is good today also. As we want to impose it on you. You want to oppose something scientific?

Ok stop all that discussion. Look, this nice homely same-caste girl is also adept at making round-round rotis. And she has never lived away from her parents. Don’t you know what that means? wink wink. And look, her bio-data says she likes embroidery! Don’t you want those lettered handkerchiefs to show off when you go to office?

Disclaimer: Total work of fiction, I swear! No Queens of England were harmed during writing of this post. All similarities to people or incidents or communities totally unintentional.

The 16-step Quick Guide to Becoming a Photographer!

This is a list I started writing a few years ago. Finally I realised that “ship it” is the best policy in such posts. So here goes. Last few points added today itself. To keep the post up-to-date. You’re welcome to add more in the comments.

  1. Step 1: Buy a camera.
    SLR. Instant professional!
    If not an SLR, then any prosumer bridge. Because it’s so good (read smart purchase), who needs an SLR?
    If not these, then a Point & Shoot. Instant road to underprivileged artist-dom.
    If not a P&S, then use your mobile phone. Ditto.
  2. Post all your pictures, either never opened in any software at all, or post-processed with heavy Warhol-like effects, or heavy faux HDR effects, into an album called ‘random’, ‘the world thru ma eyez’, ‘ma work’.
  3. Big copyright marks are a must. Your name, logo or URL should be very small. The © should be taking up the maximum area. How else would the image thief know that he should not ©opy it?
  4. Thick borders. Extra points for double borders. Bonus points for a thick white border around the black border. Anything to make it look like an old-style wood-framed picture.
  5. And the image title, and your copyright mark just outside the frame, in Comic Sans Papyrus Monotype Corsiva.
  6. Visit all major online photography forums, and create a new discussion thread entitled ‘Please take a look’. You lose points if you give away what kind of photography you are showcasing.
  7. Post a link to your entire album(s). Make sure the album(s) do not adhere to any one or two genres. They must contain everything from a street dog, to a barber in his shop, to a closeup macro of a petunia, to a lit cigarette.
  8. Don’t ask for feedback on any particular picture. Superspecialization is for insects, remember?
  9. Ask them to ‘go thru your work’ and give feedback (read ‘appreciate my inborn talent to the moon’).
  10. If you’ve ‘snapped’ your ‘work’ using a mobile phone camera, mention that with an apology, expecting sympathetic comments. After all, poor you are fighting all those rich mofos with expensive SLRs and still clicking such ‘ossum work’. Two more points on your report card for showcasing poverty.
  11. But the moment someone offers a suggestion get defensive. Your work is ‘ossum’ by itself. You don’t need to improve. Or get a better camera or lens. It’s the world that needs to wrap its heads around your talent. Because you’re ‘ossum’. Your college friends said it.
  12. Either describe the ‘thot’ behind the picture in a paragraph that’s longer than War & Peace, or don’t say anything. Let the viewer wonder if it’s a single shoe flowing in the river or a crow. Because either you want the viewer to appreciate all the thoughts you made up when you sat down to look through the pictures and found this half-decent shot, or your art must be that brilliant that it defies explanation.
  13. Mobile phones > SLR. Anyday.
  14. Emulate the French photographers from 50 years ago with Leicas. Using your smartphone. Same size, almost. Same weight, almost. And there are apps that can make your pics look like they’re 50 years old.
  15. Hipstamatic! Instagram!
  16. Filters! Filters!! Some more Filters!!!


सुबह-सुबह चायवाले को आवाज़ देने निकला तो देखा सामने दुबे जी के मकान के आगे पुलिस खड़ी है. होगा कोई चक्कर. ये प्रेस वाले तो ऐसे लफड़ों में फंसते ही रहते हैं.
“इ धरिये चाय. और कल तक का दू सौ बीस रुपिया हुआ है.”
“अच्छा. शाम को दे दूंगा.”

“अरे भाई मुझे भी देता जा, ये ले एक चाय के पाँच रुपये”, मेरे पड़ोस की खोली के मिस्टर मदन बोल पड़े. “सुबह-सुबह बवाल हो गया दुबे जी के घर, पता है आपको?”, मुझसे मुखातिब होकर वे बोले.

“कैसा बवाल भई?”
“अरे उनके अखबार में कल एक चुटकुला छपा था. उसी को लेके कुछ लोगों का एक झुण्ड आया था सफाई मांगने.”
“कोई धार्मिक माइनोरिटी थी?”
“किसी जाति-विशेष के उपर कुछ उल्टा-सीधा लिख दिया?”
“नहीं साहब.”
“कोई राज्य… शहर वाले. ताल्लुके.”
मदन बाबू सिर्फ ना में सर हिलाते रहे, मानों मैं कोई मज़ेदार पहेली बूझ नहीं पा रहा.

“अच्छा, अपंग? कैंसर पीड़ित? छि:-छि: ऐसे अभागों पे चुटकुले कोई छापता है अखबार में?”

“अरे नहीं साहब, ऐसा कोई नहीं था.”

“फिर कौन हो सकते हैं भाई? मुझे और कुछ नहीं सूझता.”

“हरी कार चलाने वाले लोग आये थे. चुटकुले में एक हरी कार के मालिक को थोड़ा बेवकूफ-सा बताया गया था. बोल रहे थे, हम पर कटाक्ष करके अच्छा नहीं किया. दुबे जी बेचारे को माफी मांगनी पड़ी”, चाय पी चुके मदन बाबू मंद-मंद मुस्कराते हुए अपने कमरे में तशरीफ ले गये.