I was watching the Indian Matchmaking series on Netflix. It follows an Indian Matchmaker – Seema, who trots around the world setting up people. In some ways, she is arranging marriages by setting up people. How she works is she visits the boy or girl – gets their requirements and scans them against her database, and sets up a first meeting. This is precisely how arranged marriages work in India, with a few add-ons. For example, instead of a database, you may register your daughter/son in the temple book. In some cases, you may submit a horoscope, and there is always this one aunty who seems to be born to do this sort of matchmaking. And like reel life – weddings are an excellent way to look at all the eligible men and women out there.

It was nice to see people meet for the first time and figure themselves out. What I loved the most about the series was that at the beginning of each episode, they would interview a married couple. Some had been married for six months, and some for decades. One thing that stood out about the couples who had been married for a while was that they had their lingo. They were speaking English, but the subtext was more critical. For them, they may have been speaking Latin or Greek and still understood the conversation.

One of the husbands said, ‘We have gotten to know each other over time, and I wouldn’t change a thing. And he paused and gave his wife a knowing look before saying – At least I wouldn’t.’ And they looked at each other and laughed. And in that simple laughter, you can see all the experiences they have bundled up.’

Another couple, when asked how did they meet. The husband said – well, I had gone to see her, we talked for thirty minutes, and I asked her if she was ready, and she said yes. And the wife smiled with the memories passing through in her eyes.

When Adam and I got married – we both spoke English but did not understand each other. For example, Adam’s way of saying no was ‘Maybe Later or not now’. And how I would oppose every idea at first before warming up to it. Over the years, we have built our vocabulary on all the experiences and memories we have shared. You may say something, but there is a lot of context in there. And as you grow more in the relationship, the vocabulary continues to grow.

It was fascinating to watch this bonding come through on screen. And the couples who had just got married – their comments were more about looks etc. When you start a relationship, it is a book of blank pages, and it is up to the couple to fill it up and make it their own. And having gone through the phase where I was happily single for a while – and having observed my single friends, I can say that the book can also be for a solo traveller. You don’t always need a constant partner to fill the book. Whether you are single, just married or married for a while or divorced, you are the writer of your own stories.

What are you writing?

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