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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

Have High Standards? Read On.

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know that till about two years ago, I was quite definitively single. This meant that in the grand tradition of Indian singles, I was being punished for it by being made to register on matrimonial websites. And by having to meet and greet the wonderful examples of humanity those sites threw up for me. Now while I’d love to pretend that all of those guys were unequivocal geeks, creeps, Neanderthals and complete and total Orkutiyas (I ADORE that phrase, don’t you?), fact is, they weren’t. And yet, a lot of them went down the crapper for me because of things they did, said or said they liked to do. At some point, in a very woman-like fashion, I began to wonder if I was asking for too much when it came to men. Others clearly thought so. One colleague even asked me, “But why does he have to be interesting? If he’s well-to-do, good-looking and you two get along, why does he need to be good to talk to?” To which there was no sensible reply except, “Because I can’t keep having sex every time there’s a lull in the conversation, what am I, Paris Hilton?” But I didn’t say that. I thought, maybe I should open up my mind a smidgen, see how that goes. It didn’t go well.

Once, because we had no similar interests. I liked trying new things like white water rafting, he liked trying new vegetarian restaurants. I liked reading books, he liked collecting pens. I liked coffee, he rarely set foot in a Barista. It... just wasn't going to happen.

The other time, it was because of Thomas Hardy*. The writer, yes. The guy I was meeting was into him big time. Hardy was his favourite author, in fact. Him and Kafka. And in his free time he liked to sit at home and think about Nietzsche and existentialism. Which basically made me amend my list to 'Good conversationalist, decent-looking, must read books, must have sense of humour, MUST BE CHEERFUL'.

Anyway, here's the burn:

Rook lurrrves to sit and think. About Gaudi's architecture and the capital of Argentina and the per capita income of the average Guatemalan greengrocer and whether or not he should buy a BlackBerry (the last one has been on his ponder-list for the past three months). If you gave him a choice between an hour with Katrina Kaif and an hour spent just thinking about stuff, he'd have to think really, really hard about it.

He'd never heard of Terry Pratchett before we met and prefers to read the works of John LaCarre (whom I'd never heard of before we met).

He doesn't talk much in the presence of humans. But if you coax him into a conversation about, say, the gardens in Venice, he'll wax eloquent as long a

s you don't bring his attention to the fact that he's talking.

And he never, ever, ever, on the pain of death, ever, has coffee.

So us being together makes no logical sense whatsoever. But we are and it’s all hugely amusing in many ways to people who know us. And to us too, mostly. Which finally, brings me to the much-delayed point of this post: If, like my friend PurpleJeans, you’re being shoved into the arranged marriage race with a shaky ounce of sanity as your only weapon, consider this: you don’t have to adjust for someone who doesn’t meet your standards. But you may want to give a chance to someone who doesn’t have all the requisites. Because it might just turn out to be something you didn’t expect at all. And pretty damn amazing all the same.

*(To the uninitiated, a typical Hardy novel stars a protagonist who has a giant KICK ME IN THE NUTS, UNIVERSE sign on his or her head. S/he gets fucked by destiny and fate and luck at every turn in life. Then s/he dies and everybody goes home relieved. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, for instance, is born poor, accidentally kills a horse, is raped by her employer, gives birth to a bastard child who dies shortly after, gets dumped after being married to the man she loves, is evicted from her house after her father dies, becomes the mistress of her rapist, kills him to join her husband when he returns for her and is arrested for murder and executed, while her husband marries her sister. They should sell special editions with a free strip of Prozac inside.) 

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