June 24, 2005

?!?

As I laze around an afternoon, I suddenly see a parchment fluttering within a book. With high hopes of it being an ‘owl-post’ from our very Hogwarts and dreams of being a witch, I hastily explored its contents only to find…

Weird letters filling weirder boxes, innumerable numbers decorating the sides on a faded parchment. Faint ink filling the rest of the pages with a language as twisted as the one spoken by the cast of Junoon.

Little known words like Gothram, Brihacharanam, Bagam, etc pop up now and then……

WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!?

HORRORSCOPE, I discover! No…no, that wasn’t a spelling mistake! What else will you call it if all it does is seal your fate, curb your ambitions and puts a fullstop to all that is desired?

Well, well, now that they are looking out for a ‘suitable groom’ (I hate this word… I hate it!!!)for my cousin, all sorts of questions run through my mind…

I agree that to a certain extent horoscopes do havesome scientific validity. But beyond that, its all rubbish,I say! Horoscopes are devised based on the time of birth. Based on planetary positions, they devise your chart. And I hate this match-making process based on this. Just because you were born at 11:59, your life with this person would be a joy filled one and had you been born at 12:00, woe be upon you!!!

What crap, I say!

Now leave alone horoscopes, come to the demands that these groom’s family makes. While scanning a newspaper under the ‘Brides Wanted’ column, my periamma saw this ad:
“Wanted: Fair, Beautiful, Tall, Domestically trained(Cooking, must), Well educated, Well trained in Music, Dance, Drama, Should get along well with family, Working bride for…..”

As my cousin remarked, “Even Brahma wouldn’t know such perfection!”
What the hell do they think? Are women some commodities? And the questions these people ask when they call up is so nigh irritating!!!
“ Ponnodu passport size photo-onnu, stamp size photo-rendu, aprom one more copy of jaadagam!” they demand.
(Send one passport size photograph and two stamp size photographsalong withone more copy of the horoscope!)

This, they ask, when they don’t send the boy’s photo or horoscope.

With all this to face already, the horoscope poses more problems. The Gothram or the sect tops my list of ‘MOST IDIOTIC THINGS IN THE WORLD’.
When a woman gets married, her gothram changes from her father’s to her husband’s, which is crap no 1.
Crap no 2: when a girl gets married, she shouldn’t marry a boy of the same gothram as they are considered brother-sister. As Vani and I discovered, if the girl gets married into the Gothram which once was her mother’s, won’t she be a sister/ cousin of that boy? Ah… there you got it.

Once, I was entrusted the task of marking out suitable matches for my cousin from this horoscope chart. Initially all I did was look at the qualification and saw a crore and one Software professionals that made my stomach somersault. ARE THERE NO OTHER PROFESSIONS???
Then forgetting this, I moved on to delect the suitable matches. Then ‘asareri’(some divine voice) maathri, I heard “Sandhya, look at the names of the boys too… What if one happened to be a Sansiyan or a Sanklipan(these names, being my little sister’s characters in her story and being names I love much more than Abithakujalambal and BalathirupuraSundari.But having forgotten to include them in my tag, I’m adding them here… Ok…Track Change…). Yeah, so what if the guys had weirdo names? It wouldn’t go well with my cousin’s… So I began to scan the name column…
Imagine my horror when I found my periappa pointing to one of the boys I had marked saying this seems to match and to my utter disbelief, the name alongside was ‘Koundinya’! I yelled, at the top of my voice with an exaggeratedly dramatic movement with my hands-“NO!!! I will not have akka married off to a guy with an awful name like Koundinya!”
“Idiot! That’s not his name. That’s the Gothram,”my mother said and all of them laughed, while I sat their like a silly goose!

Koundinya, Shoundilya, Bharadwaj, Kousika, Kapi, Shadamarshana, Kaashyapa Gothrams with mine being Sankrithi gothram, are few of the gothrams I found out from my thatha.( A request, I’m making a ‘Gothram Database’ to record the most different names in the planet. Please contribute to in by commenting and addingthe names you know. If you don’t, do ask and add. It is very interesting and funny)

But when I did find out that these Gothrams were sort of the priciples followed by Munis and rishis of that name, I quite liked the concept. But why bring in all these in a marriage, I still find no reason.
Idhukku mela, there is the sub sect… what it is, I don’t know and didn’t bother to enquire…. But the other day when Vani’s mother enquired me about it for giving some horoscopes for my cousin, I was stumped. “Eh, aunty… I don’t know. You give me some examples, I’ll pick from them…” I blabbered like an idiot. But try as she might, I really couldn’t find out what it was. Coming home I discovered it was Brihacharanam.
Sect tho, I knew because, I’ve heard the priests in the temples go “:Sankrithi Gothra na na na naaaa…” and so on…

Well its sooooo confusing an very stupid. In an age where inter-caste, inter-race marriages are a common occurrence, I think marriages stopped because of a clash in gothrams and sub-sects are highly stupid. I do believe that marrying out of caste, may lead to some adjustment problems, but within the caste, bringing in these obsolete things is really dumb.

I might have hurt religious sentiment through this. But it was unintentional. I’m proud of my religion and for being what I am. But if there is something within it, that I oppose, I WILL say so!

And hey, don’t forget to add on to my ‘Gothram Database’!!! : )

19 comments

Harish said...

Mostly Greek! :)

mine's Athreya Gothram, btw.

Vani Viswanathan said...

sandhya...
if you can wait for some more time, i'll help you make the complete database! :P
anyways, why should we be really bothered about all these sub and sub-sub and ultimate, penultimate, (hmm...thinking of more words in the same genre) castes and stuff??

JD said...

Couple of interesting thoughts...

Are you really a Hindu because you choose to be one? Most of the time, it isn't... You're parents are Hindu, and you're simply Hindu because you haven't even thought about anything otherwise... It's all inertia... The laziness to change from constancy... I'm not saying that you should consider all other religions and then convert to the one you think is the best, all I'm saying is that the world is full of people who blindly follow their religion because they haven't thought otherwise, that the whole thing really becomes irrelevant... God, if He exists, I'm sure didn't intend man to divide himself on the basis of religion, caste or whatever anyway...

And yes, the whole horoscope thing is bullshit. Just promise yourself that when you look for a bride/groom for YOUR kid, you won't tolerate the horoscope thing... I'm definitely going to ask my kids to find themselves their spouses...

Sorry... Didn't intend to be this serious, but feelings aiduchu...

ada-paavi!!!! said...

for ghotram database simple idea, just go to a temple and ask the bhattar, avarukku ella ghotramum terium,
ps my name is a gothram!!,
inda kaalathuilla yaru gotram ellam pakkara? ponnu ada community (nethilla stump illati kodu) irunda porumnu nenikaranga, illati ada caste

ada-paavi!!!! said...

by the way religion is not by choice, i din choose to be a stumped weilding crossbelt (can u decode tat?), but nevertheless a proud of being one!

Krithiga said...

"seal your fate, curb your ambitions and puts a fullstop to all that is desired?"

I know, I know, I know. This is the height of Kodumai. Sects ans Subs ---> with names like Vadama and Dosama(I made that up) what else can one do but laugh at the whole idea? This whole Gothram concept can simplified as follows:

(1) Every person is a descendant of some Rishi. And so the people with the same Gothram are brothers and sisters.

(2) The Rishis in turn are Children of the Gods. So each Rishi is the brother of another one.

(3) From (1) and (2) every person is related to the other as "Periyappa's son" or "chittapa's daughter" i.e. they are first, second, or even third cousins.

(4) From, (1), (2) and (3), and also from the scientific fact that one shouldn't marry with any relative of theirs, it can be concluded that one shouldn't marrry at all.

(5) (4), I believe, is the solution to all the problems in the world. :)

I forgot, the Database idea: Add one more, Srivatsa

* said...

ha, nice post :)
A pakistani astrologer has predicted that Sachin's cricketing career will end in 2005. 6 months to go! Well, if it doesnt happen, the astro wont kill himself like Jodhidar Thilagam parthasarathi, Shoaib Akhtar will do that ;)

The man in the box said...

Hmm...this is sort of a coincidence. I was talking about kundli and stuff...although not such a serious discussion!

Praveen said...

Astrology is true if u have a proper astrologer do the calculations or watv...discovered that recently when a guy predicted my cousin would marry somebody from TCS, Mumbai by just seeing seeing her "horrorscope" or watv :)

Kaashyapa gothram maadhiri Naithurva Kashyapa Gothram-nu onnu irukku :)

Edhavathu oru Sandhyavandha book eduthu paaru di, full-a list poattu irupaan under the Abivaathaye section.

And same gothram-na kooda people do marry it seems...niraya matters irukku andha calculations-la...adhu puriyaathu vittudu!

And there is this other category as u said...Brihacharanam, Vadama watv...two more irukku andha category-la...orey confusions :)

Speech is Golden said...

Pls don't tell me only guys make outrageous demands like "Wanted: Fair, Beautiful, Tall, Domestically trained(Cooking, must), Well educated, Well trained in Music, Dance, Drama, Should get along well with family, Working bride for…..”I was helping my athai find a groom for my cousin and her ad. went like "Software professional, atleast Masters, preferably settled in the US, tall, fair, handsome".

This isn't immoderately desirous, but the proposals that she rejected were
1. Not settled in US (when the guy was earning well in Singapore)
2. Not from top ranking university (he did his masters in Oklahoma or Arkansas or some god forsaken place like that)
3. From IIT (she had this impression that all IITians were geeks who found immense pleasure in belittling others by asking Castigliano's theorem everytime u opened ur mouth)
4. MCA - MCA was inferior to other masters (she, btw was only B.E.)
4b. If MBA, only from IIMs.
5. Has two brothers and three sisters (too big a family)
6. Has no siblings (only child - so will be spoilt)

ad infinitum

Not all girls wud be so picky, I reckon. For all I know, she might be the only one who thinks she is SO good that Prince Charming wud walk out of Shrek 2 and marry her. Still! ppl and their extortionate demands do exasperate ordinary (not in the market yet) folks like us. Maybe we'll also behave in a similar gross manner when we marry, God forbid.

Funny! I was jus trying to make an Australian friend(staunch catholic) understand the Hindu Horoscopical chart and the issues involved in a marriage and he was like... Oh! My God!

I tell you, ppl have a very difficult time accepting that marriages can be arranged purely on the basis of ur time of birth. But ofcourse, given our better performance in the marriage arena (lower divorce rate when i last saw), they r keen to see if the horoscope thing really works. He even asked me to chk his compatibility with his wife, giving me info. abt time of birth, latitiude, longitude, etc. etc.

Am thinking, just for the heck of it, I'll tell him I checked their horoscopes and found that they r gonna be divorced within a year. What say?

neoronin said...

When will you ever understand human relations can never be determined by when and where and which caste or f****n gothram's you are from.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Gothram is about, it must be there for a reason. While in this age I personally would find it "sufficient" match if from within the same community or in some cases, same religion would be "sufficient".

Karthek said...

When it comes to matrimonial adds, gender does not matter… the expectations are too high and some time ridiculous. Couple of cousins of mine had some funny reasons to reject ppl. It’s pretty scary for soon to be in the hunt group…

Sandhya Ramachandran said...

Harish
Thanks for adding to my Gothram Database

Vani
Yes di… you better help me complete it… with the way responses have been coming, I think we’ll almost be done with it… :)

Deepak JD
Well, very different and innovative thought… I agree that none of us chose our religion but I personally believe that the basic underlying tenets of all religion are the same and whichever be the religion, I for one, follow the good thoughts and principles of any religion. One does not need to change religions to follow the universal language of faith, hope, peace and love (which every religion preaches).

Srivatsan
Sorry, couldn’t decode that… mind has begun to be numbed by the beginning of college.. he he… Religion is not by choice and religion is not of scriptures and mantras alone,its more like a feeling, a divine connection and a spiritual tryst!

Krithika…
Enga irukkeenga? Vandhu apdiye kaalla vizhanum pola irukku! Sandhya-Vani intellectual establishment odu codesa perfecta purinjundrukkeenga!
Hats off…

*
But if the jothigar was a good one, he would have to forsee his own death in Akhtar’s hands… :D

Silent assassin…
Well, ore research pannerrukka! Danks danks!!! Idhu thaane oru nalla friendukku ariguri…

Speech is golden
Well, what your athai did for your cousin was hilarious… This is what I call the demand for Brahma’s Perfection!!!
And yeah, do tell me about the outcome of your Aus friend’s research on Indian mariiages.
And abt telling him that his marriage is heaing for the rocks, er… wat if your words create that effect???

Sandhya Ramachandran said...

neoronin..
totally agree wid u!
anon...
yes, as long as u just use gothrams for your principles, its ok. bvringing it to marraiges, RIDICULUS!
karthek...
yeah yeah... ellarukkum boologathla bride/groom pakkakoodadhu. Direct heavenla order place pannanum! :D

Sandhya Ramachandran said...

neoronin..
totally agree wid u!
anon...
yes, as long as u just use gothrams for your principles, its ok. bvringing it to marraiges, RIDICULUS!
karthek...
yeah yeah... ellarukkum boologathla bride/groom pakkakoodadhu. Direct heavenla order place pannanum! :D

Vinesh said...

Abhishtoo!
Enna pechu pesarel neengellaam.
Bagawan pannra couplings-kkaga thaan indha gothram m******m idhellaam..
Periyavaa sonnadhellaam kaathule vittuteenga...

Kali muthiduthoooooo....

(hehe, sathyama i rolled with laughter on reading this post Sandhya, too good!! and that too on one of my favourite topics, Indian marriages LOLZ)

Vivhyd said...

hey sandhya I am late to read this.. but very nice one.. it intrigues me as well that we look into gothrams etc.. I can understand religion and caste even though thats not good either but so far.. hmm.. u just brought out what I was wondering...

the ads for girls containing all those u specified.. dance, music etc.. as if after marriage.. the girl has to perform everyday or something .. ridiculous,,,

but guy's name isn't his fault.. obviously he too isn't pleased abt tht.. :)) ..

lots of software professionals.. hmm.. u r rite!! .. but there are differences.. :))

overall a gr8 post..

Anand said...

I just happened to visit this blog when searching for a specific sect called kandramanicka brahacharanam as specifically asked by the parents of one of my prospective bride...:)
of course i am kandramanicka brahacharanam...my mother told me that...but she doesn't know what is really meant by that...
i really want to comment a lot abt Sandhya's remarks abt our gothrams and other horrorscopical stuff...but i will make it short and simple...

1. the gothram concept is purely based on genetics...brothers and sisters are all our own defined relationships in this world(if your father or mother hasn't told you that so and so is your brother/sister we won't really know)... generally if a boy and girl belong to the same gothram there is a very high prospect that they wud have a similar genetic config and diseases and the offsprings of them wud also get passed the same...so our parents discourage marrying from the same gothra...and for your kind info even the most developed country US disallows marrying cousins, athai/mama paiyan/ponnu(its illegal to marry) just bcoz of the same genetic reasons...
the most developed countries also have some kind of rishi concept with their surnames...for example when u say Tom's family they wud understand who u are...
if you don't know what is happening around the world don't just blame our religion and its well proposed theories...

2. if you don't believe astrology thats fine but defining horoscope as horrorscope is not good...
we have so much scientifically designed in our religion but we/our parents are the dumb ones who doesn't know abt all that well and worse still blame all them as bullshit...
we just get some BE or BTech, get paid 30000 per month, speak in american/british english in our everyday life and think that we are the Gods in this world...this is exactly what the westerners want us to do and we are right on track in that...
The only problem with our religion/religious rites is that nothing is documented well for their reasons...which precisely all the new religions have addressed...

and regarding matrimony, i am looking out for brides for an year and i know how the trend is...you shud accept the fact that girls are really demanding tooo much...
and to top all, just for info...the divorce % in tamilnadu for the year 2005 was 48%... roughly equivalent to US...and the best of all roughly 35% of them were initiated by girls...
i hope we as Indians have lost the tolerance and adaptability and embraced the stinking western civilization...
i feel its all brought out by the great economic independence and urbanization...
Anyway i am sorry if i have hurt anybody with my opinions...but i felt like replying to this post...

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