Tag Archives: summer

In Perfect eHarmony

An edited version was published by SouthAsianParent.Com on 1st December 2010.

“You are not getting any younger,” my mother reminded me for the—I’ve actually lost count—umpteenth time in my life. “Don’t I know,” I wanted to retort. But well-brought up Indian girls don’t shoot questions back at their parents. Apparently, I had only one choice now. Shaadi.com. I couldn’t imagine the horror of explaining to my feminist friends in the future that I had found my husband on an online wedding bureau.

So what did I do? I turned to eHarmony. A dating site that boasts of matching individuals based on 26 personality factors. Twenty-six! I would be lucky if I found someone who matched me on three or four.

It was last summer. I had plenty of free time on my hands. So I signed up. The process took me three hours. I had to answer ten questionnaires that would pin down my 26 personality factors. Then I had to cut down my matches by other factors: religion, ethnicity, education, height, weight, food/lifestyle habits, and so on. All this narrowing of search didn’t leave me with a lot of choices. I was matched with quite a few individuals but they were all situated miles away.

An interesting part about communicating over eHarmony is that you have a guided communication process. And it is just that. A long process. You generally start off with five close-ended questions: “What would you do on a Saturday night?” types. Then you graduate to 10 must-haves and can’t-stands in a partner. I find this part very helpful. It exposes a person’s inner insecurities.

The third part is about answering three open-ended questions: “What is your greatest fear?” types. This part is great for assessing a potential partner’s writing skills. And if ‘bad grammar’ is one of your pet peeves (like it is mine), you will probably end up eliminating communication at this point. The last part of the process is open communication via emails.

Most of my contact with eligible bachelors lasted up to step three. It’s not only bad grammar that did the trick but also the kind of questions that were posed to me. You would think in the 21st century Indian men would have matured beyond clichéd traditional patriarchal views. Apparently samples such as these, who cannot score in real life, somehow end up at eHarmony too.

However, after a month of being on the website, I found someone in Kansas City. He was an IT professional with a keen interest in photography. Before long, we were chatting on gtalk for hours.

Before you start sighing, and imagining a beautiful ending to a possible Bollywood-style love story, let me warn you it lasted only a week. He realised after hours of exchanging our deepest fears and desires, that Toronto was really far away from Kansas City. He was deeply apologetic for wasting my time. And I was deeply apologetic for putting so much faith into a website. Let me also add, he is still single. But so am I, and what does that say?

Luckily, I had a back up plan. I got into graduate school. Miraculously, my family backed off for a while. I got off the Internet and decided to meet people the natural way: by socialising. I haven’t met him yet, but I am not giving up. If nothing works out by the time I am 30, shaadi.com is still out there. Meanwhile, I have to keep reminding myself that even though I am not getting any younger, I am at least getting a little wiser.

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West Coast Tales: An Introduction

You shake your head in disbelief and stare at the ticket. Somehow that elusive holiday that you have been chasing all summer is finally within your grasps.

You look at your packed bags, mentally checking to see whether you have taken everything. Suddenly, you remember that you have forgotten your iPod and rush upstairs to get it. It will be a long flight and you don’t want to be stuck listening to crying babies.

As the cab pulls away from your house, you let out a little sigh, pinpricks of excitement finally flooding your senses. It had begun. You can’t believe this was finally happening!

You are at the airport. Your bags have been checked in. You have been through the security, and now it was just waiting for the call to board. You tap your foot in beat to “Suno Aisha”, feeling almost as confident and beautiful as Sonam Kapoor in Aisha.

You spy your fellow passengers around you through languorous eyes. The middle aged man in the red tee holding his wife’s hand. The little boy tugging at his sister’s hair, making her cry and his mother yell. The newlywed couple, with the shy wife too abashed to look at her husband directly. You smile, lost in your Aisha world.

Finally, you are on the plane. You have the aisle seat, just the way you like it. Your companion is a tiny old lady who you know will fall asleep as soon as the plane takes off. You are happy as you are not good at small talk, especially with strangers.

As the plane rushes down the runway, with the increasing roar in your ears, you are teetering on the edge of slumber. And, as Abhijit Pohankar comes on with his “Piya Bavari”, you have fallen off the edge, blissfully unaware of the baby that begins to cry.

The following blog posts titled, “West Coast Tales”, will trace my 8 day trip to Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle (in that order). This is my first attempt at travel writing. So, bear with me. Please.

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Filed under Travel, West Coast Tales