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Alliance Syndrome
By Anil D'Souza, Halealve

October 9, 2011

An obnoxious, common condition, found among some parents when their children cross teenage is called "Alliance syndrome". It is commonly found among married adults with pretty daughters, who have attained "marriageable age (read 23)".This syndrome is rampant in India and research says it is the only condition which is common across all victims irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The condition is very grave as it has a special hidden consequence wherein the stress from the parents is transferred to the children and they automatically become victimized.

Every kind of relative Ė mummy, daddy, uncle, aunty, granny, grandpa, sister, brother, cousins get together and put in their best effort to find a suitable match for the "sacrificial lamb". An old aunt who has never seen the "victim" gives her opinion "Hmmm the guy should be very handsome like Salman Khan". The just married sister in law pokes her nose into the affair saying "It is very important that the guy should be in a very good position and earn loads of money". In a nutshell good looks, salary, no disabilities, fair/dark, good physique/figure etc rule todayís match making charts. No one bothers about qualities and yes they have a point.

Eddie uncle whom I usually meet after Sundays mass looked very happy today. "What uncle... Isnít Cecilia aunt at home? Huh". I casually asked him.

"You son of a gun. How do you know?" the reply was at the tip of his lips. "Anyways, your mummy was telling about the proposal which came for you the day before yesterday".

"What?? She did not tell me anything"

"Well. Donít worry. She has asked me to do a background search about the girlsí family and maybe we can go for a visit next week"

"You go yourself and what background search and all huh. Are they fugitives of some kind".

"Huh. You are naÔve. All these things are very important. You just come with me. Sit, relax, eat and drink whatever is offered without uttering a word. Alright". Eddie uncle gave me a piece of his mind.

"Uncle, I donít want to get married now. Why simply waste both ours and their time. I donít understand you". Somehow I was trying to get into Eddie uncles wily brain and find a way out of the trap.

"Shut up and come. Leave everything to me". He shot back.

On a bright Sunday morning, Eddie uncle and I reached Sasthan (a very important place for Christians. Just like how Hindustan is for Hindus, Pakistan for Muslims, We Christians have Sasthan).On the drive to Sasthan, Eddie uncle had given me strict orders "Donít try to impress people there by showing your beautiful 32 teeth. Just shut up and leave the rest to me".

"Alright and for your information I have only 28 teeth". I was just hovering around the thin line between staying calm and losing my patience. I was forced into this adventure by him and now he is giving me orders. "If I like the girl, then you should shut your motor mouth.  Deal?" I was blunt.

" Yeah. Deal."

As soon as we entered the beautiful mansion in Sastan, two buffalo sized dogs came to greet us with their ferocious teeth and a long saliva dripping tongue. One look at their large mouth, sent shivers down my spine and elsewhere. My newly rented suit was wet from top to bottom.

"Messy, Rooney. Keep quiet". A sweet voice came from one of the corners of the huge mansion. I started looking here and there to find the origins of this mesmerizing voice. Just then a pretty girl, who resembled Katrina Kaif, came to our rescue by pulling the leashes towards her. She was wearing a white top and a sexy grey skirt.

"Hi," the words came out of my mouth on their own effortlessly.

"Close your mouth son" Eddie uncle whispered into my ear, keeping his gracious smile intact.

"Oh Come in Come in, Sorry our dogs are a bit mischievous at times" owner of the house and my probable father in law came out to greet us. "I am Edward, this is my wife Suzanne. She loves dogs and sometimes loves me too." Mr. Edward guffawed at his own joke. Suzanne aunty wasnít amused at all.

"By the way. She is Megan" Edward continued. My heart was pumping at the rate of knots now. "She has just finished her tenth standard and is waiting for results. Her sister Maya has gone out and will be back soon".

I felt somewhat disappointed. But still there was a shimmer of light, thinking how pretty the sister would be, sampling from the younger one. But one look at Mr. Edward dashed all my hopes. What if the elder one has got her looks from this man? Shoot.

By then just like any other gracious Indian hostess, Suzanne aunt had brought tea, biscuits, Laddus and  jalebis. All my favorites. I could hear Eddie uncle fuming within his breath. He had so meticulously planned the meeting at 11 30 am, so that he would be offered a peg or two. But it was not to be.

"What are you doing Son"? Suzanne aunt started the conversation.

Before I could open my mouth to answer, Eddie uncle pushed two Laddus into my mouth and replied "Well he is in America, Almost 5 years now. Isnít it Anil?" I had no option but shake my head in an up and down motion.

" Nice Nice" Suzanne aunty was visibly excited. "Where do you live?"

"Washington". Again Eddie uncle had managed to keep my mouth shut. I just thanked God he did not say London and to cover the just in case mishap, I was ready with two more Laddus in my hand. To be frank I had never even been to the actual USA (Udyavara Sankada Aache- USA which means across the Udyavara Bridge)

"Oh you love Laddus I think" Megan was noticing from behind. Little did she know about my plight?

"Which company do you work for Son" Edward uncle was more interested in my job and bank balance.

"VIP".I answered.

"Oh my God. You sell Chaddis?" Suzanne aunty knew she had talked a bit too early.

"Oh no aunty. I work in their Suitcase section looking at the marketing campaign".

"Salary?" I wish I could thump Edward uncle for being so direct.

"Well he gets 25 lakhs now. In three months time his boss has said he will increase it to 75 lakhs. Isnít it good?" I have no idea from where Eddie uncle got his numbers.

I wanted to hide behind the curtain. Laddus had got over and I focused on biscuits now.

Suzanne aunty continued her interrogation "What happened to your hair".

Eddie uncle was quick on his feet "Tension you see. So young and so much responsibility. Itís much better now after Dr Batras treatment". It was as if I was a prisoner being dumped in the court and the prosecution questioning me. Thank god I had chosen Eddie uncle as my defense lawyer.

Eddie uncle was in full form. Half his answers were based out of anger of not being offered a drink on a ripe Sunday afternoon.

Cross examination by Eddie uncle began. "What is your daughter doing"?

"She was in Switzerland for a couple of years". Mr. Edward was proud.

"Oh nice. What does she do in Switzerland"? I was a bit enthusiastic now.

"Oh yeah yeah. She works with the UN" replied Aunt Suzanne. I did not take much time to realize that this girl was way out of my league.

Eddie uncle was all ears now and from no where he muttered this dialogue "Oh ho. Made for each other. After the wedding both can go to their honeymoon in Switzerland and settle down in America".

I just wanted to run. I did not mind being chased down by one of the dogs now, but the bloody beasts were looking at me with love in their eyes. I hoped the girl wouldnít be back anytime soon .

Just then Maya, my classmate in engineering reached. She wasnít wearing a helmet."  This girl na, never wears a helmet. I do not know what she does in Switzerland". Suzanne aunt murmured.

From what I knew, Maya was working in Bangalore in an IT firm and had never been to Switzerland. Well it kind of matched. Eddie uncle had found perfect partners in Suzanne and Edward.

"Hey Anil. Long time no see. How are you? How is Chennai? Hot I believe huh". Maya greeted me as she pulled the side stand out of her Activaís tummy.

"Good good. Pretty hot. How are you?" I reciprocated.

Surprisingly, when Eddie uncle and Mayaís parents realized we knew each other, no one broached about the topic of Switzerland and USA.

Feeling guilty about the past one hour I blurted out the truth and we all ended up laughing. Many families strengthen alliances with all kind of lies assuming that these lies will not be a big issue when they are uncovered. A marriage based on lies will not last long. Divorce rates in our very own diocese reflect upon this fact. I do not know the reasons behind such alarming statistics, but this might be one of the many.

Anyways, Maya and I got to talking about our engineering days, the semester tensions, the lecturers, couples who broke up and their present partners. Eddie uncle was served Scotch and we got a sumptuous lunch and I must say my "could have been" mother in law is an excellent cook. On our way back home I said to Eddie uncle "After all this drama which unfolded, do you think there is any chance I can marry her"

"I donít think so. Donít worry, next week we are going to Kulshekar. You are getting proposals way beyond our expectations" Eddie uncle already had a plan I suppose.

"Ok, but remember my class had 33 girls from Kulshekar alone. Your dirty tricks will not work here"

"Oh my God". For the first time in his life Eddie uncle was finding it hard to get words.
 


 

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Comments on this article
Hazel Machado , Kemmanu/Dubai Saturday, October 22, 2011
Hi Anil ,
Very well written .I really liked reading it .Keep going !
Comment on this message     

Rashmi Dsouza, Cardiff, United KingdomMonday, October 17, 2011
Anil you are brilliant as always! Great piece of work. Keep up the good work.
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Dianez, Mlore/MuscatSaturday, October 15, 2011
A very important stage in a youth's life very nicely narrated. The humour and wit used in the article made it even more interesting. I am of the opinion like most of the readers who have commented that marriage cannot be based on lies. Guys who lie and get married can they just imagine for a moment the pain - if (God forbid!!)their daughters, when are of marriageable age, may get duped by similar match makers or lying grooms?!!
Comment on this message     

Jacob j, manipalFriday, October 14, 2011
Hey dear Anil, good one, nice way of putting it, was curious till the end, keep writing.
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Olivia, DubaiThursday, October 13, 2011
Well written and really enjoyed reading it. These things happen. Like Anita from Kinnigoli my parents too were fooled by the so called match maker, quite a close relative of ours. The so called Sales Manager turned out to be an ordinary counter salesman but we found out too late. Marriage is indeed based on trust and when such things happen, it shakes the very base of the relationship and if children are involved then God help us. Ask me, I have been married for 23 years now. So parents please be careful. Of course my parents were careful but in vain.
Comment on this message     

meena, panglaThursday, October 13, 2011
now a day education useless, educated people only making problem . my sis studied M B A and she gt proposal frm qatar boy working in good company and he is also MBA.they spoke 4 months with telephone they saw each other.agreed foreverything and fixed the date for wedding .boy mother came appreciated the dau in law on first day of wedding started torturing andasked to bring dowry as v r poor v cannot afford 50 lks dowry and proceesing for divorse.thts wat now educated people are useless.
Comment on this message     

Joyer Noronha, KinnigoliWednesday, October 12, 2011
Well written.

It was very humorous, style is good too.
Comment on this message     

Anil Dsouza, HalealveWednesday, October 12, 2011
Hi,
Thank you all for the encouragement.

I am sorry, many readers did not like the "Hindustan- Pakistan-Sasthan" quip. I just found Sasthan matching with Hindustan and Pakistan and hence the line. No ill thoughts behind the line. Apologies for hurting some feelings there :)
Comment on this message     

C dsouza, BangaloreTuesday, October 11, 2011
A honest and a lucid reflection on the plight of the 'loopholes' of the matrimonial process and the insanity of 'Arranged Marriage' culture. The writer uses wit and humor in appropriate situations.

At the same breath, Mr Anil, you cannot use 'We' on the basis of any religious identity, except for ethnic & national identities. Moreover, 'Sasthan' for Christians? Hindus for India, pak for Muslims??? This is absolutely inarticulate and naive of your understanding of the world and the people. You need to make an rigorous in-depth study of Indian and world history. Anyways, keep writing.............
Comment on this message     

SANDRA DSOUZA, Bajjodi/israelTuesday, October 11, 2011
Hilarious article Anil...good luck in future.. enjoyed very much..
Comment on this message     

Sonia, Mangalore/ AustriaTuesday, October 11, 2011
Gud one.. enjoyed reading it.
Comment on this message     

Lavita D'souza, Mangalore/FujairahTuesday, October 11, 2011
I really liked the article , it was so humorous and also gave a good message at the end . Keep writing more...Good Luck!!
Comment on this message     

Lloyd D'Souza, Bajpe/Manchester UKTuesday, October 11, 2011
Nice article Anil, made me laugh ... keep up the good work
Comment on this message     

geoffrey, hathillTuesday, October 11, 2011
Reminded me of an old Kannada cinema 'Premayana' with Ananthnag and Aarthi in lead roles in which not the relatives but the boy and girl themselves lie about thier 'backgrounds'. Was a hilarious comedy.
Comment on this message     

Harold D'cunha, Mangalore, IndiaTuesday, October 11, 2011
Dear Anita, Kinnigoli. I felt very sad while reading your comments about your own life and my first reaction, this should not happen to any body. If the same would have happened to your husbandís sister, what would have been his/ his sisterís/ his parents reactions ?

If it was love marriage, as love has no barriers, then it is altogether different story.Being this is arranged marriage, here the boy's family has cheated you even though he is 12th, saying he has completed University and after 17 years the true story has come out. Hope your husband accepted his mistake by asking forgiveness and you will forgive yourself first for this blunder of your life and also your husband.

My prayers are with u always. I am sure God has blessed you with wonderful children and for their sake be united with your husband and your family.

Once again I fully sympathize with you for the injustice done by your own soul mate and pray that you will come back as a new, complete person overcoming from this emotional brokenness and pain. God bless u and your family.
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Regan Braganza, Hemmady/FujairahMonday, October 10, 2011
Nice article MR Anil. Enjoyed!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment on this message     

Katelyn, DubaiMonday, October 10, 2011
Hi Anil,

This is Katelyn from DXB.If I may ask, what took you so long to write? A long wait for all your avid readers. Nice story though. I agree with Sohail when he pointed out that the 'Hindustan-Pakistan-Sasthan' catch seemed a little out of place. Full scores to the story otherwise. I made it a point to read all your articles. And I must say all your stories and experiences exuded innocence making me wish the story never ended...whether "Me and my train", "Eddie, Women and I" or "Nature at its Best at Halealve Village, Kundapur". A small wish from your avid fan - KEEP WRITING OFTEN!

Here's wishing you loads of luck in your future endeavors. Thanks for keeping us thoroughly entertained. A quick question: " What's the next article gonna be about??" Awaiting your reply...
Comment on this message     

Jenifer, KarwarMonday, October 10, 2011
Nice one...i liked your article...should be careful in telling lies always atleast in this matter
Comment on this message     

Sheryl Sequeira, Mumbai/DubaiMonday, October 10, 2011
Hilarious article..had a nice laugh..but so true..
Comment on this message     

Diana Shilpa, PuneMonday, October 10, 2011
Hi Anil,

Very Good article.. enjoyed reading it. I like to read all your articles, you just express them in a great way.. Keep it up. All the best:)
Comment on this message     

marie, dubaiMonday, October 10, 2011
Good one! very much enjoy reading your articles.Keep up the good work.
God Bless you and hope you find a good life partner if you are not yet married.
Comment on this message     

vivian fernandes, dubaiMonday, October 10, 2011
wOW Nice Anil..very funny article...Thank you....keep writing....wish you all the best...
Comment on this message     

Rakesh Dsouza, Taccode, DubaiMonday, October 10, 2011
Nice article Anil...this is what happening....enjoyed reading your article, Thank you....keep writing....wish you all the best!!
Comment on this message     

Andrina, Bajpe/SingaporeSunday, October 09, 2011
That's a perfect artcile....right from the heart.Great going Anil..enjoyed every bit if it....
Comment on this message     

L Dsilva, Sunday, October 09, 2011
Brutally honest and entertaining article. It makes the reader emphasise with the main character, through his self-deprecating humour and the sense that he represents the situations and frustrations of many young men and women.

Comment on this message     

Anita, KinnigoliSunday, October 09, 2011
Very true Anil. This has happened in my life. My parents educated me with great difficulty and I passed B.E.

They arranged a match for me, my husband supposedly was a BBM. Recently after 17 years of marriage I have come to know he is never completed BBM. His qualification is 12th Std.

Marriage is built on trust.
How can we react in such a situation?

Parents and eligible bachelors and spinsters, check the details at the college/University if possible.
Comment on this message     

Anthony, BelmanSunday, October 09, 2011
Hi Anil
I liked this line in your article

"Many families strengthen alliances with all kind of lies assuming that these lies will not be a big issue when they are uncovered. A marriage based on lies will not last long". This is very true. I have seen so many marraiges breaking due to this. Presently, I am seeking a proposal. However, I make it a point to disclose everything to the girl and her family and then leave it unto them to decide. At the most I feel with this, two things can happen : a or a reject . If the girl s me, it is good for she has known everything and then made her decision. even if she would reject, its good for she has known everything and rejected me and from my end I left no stone unturned in disclosing true facts.
Comment on this message     

sohail, mangaloreSunday, October 09, 2011
Mr anil good article..i dinT get your point"Just like how Hindustan is for Hindus, Pakistan for Muslims, We Christians have Sasthan)".plz can u explain.
Comment on this message     

Carol Pereira, Udupi/Al AinSunday, October 09, 2011
Anil, who is Maya???!!
BTW, nice article... great going..
Comment on this message     

Jyothi Furtado, Barkur/USASunday, October 09, 2011
Enjoyed reading....
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