I got married the traditional way as they do in India – Arranged Marriage. We met at my house. She walked in and I was enamored. Only thing I could not show it because I had taken a deep breath and was afraid to let it out. My friends had told me that the best way to impress a girl is to have broad shoulders and chest. I forgot to stand in the line when God was distributing those.
She asked me “how are you” and I nodded. I thought I was giving the impression that I belong to the category of strong silent types. Radhika later told me that I looked like a constipated geek. As is the tradition in South Indian families the girl was requested to sing. I was wondering about the root of the tradition; which I am sure came from our movies. The guy looks at the girl and she bursts in song roughly indicating that she will be his soul mate and will allow him to hang out with his buddies at least once a week. The second part is not true but when you meet for the first time it is all music to ears. May be the female species also sing to ward off the males from flirting. I read this piece of news after reading the last page in a leading English daily; Wife of an English footballer settled in US is only going to hire male baby sitters only.
My Human resources experience has specifically trained me for instances such as this. I got in to the interview mode and asked a stupid question “Tell me about yourself”. When I am asked the question it puts me in a quandary and am tempted to answer; "I brush and floss my teeth regularly. I liked the movie Reader not for the steamy scenes but for the story. I dream of getting a six pack. The only way it comes true is when I buy a six pack of beer cans”.
So when I asked the question she acted coy and said something. I do not remember what she said because I was not listening. She then asked me to tell about myself. Tell me about yourself style of questioning is contagious. The flood gates opened....... I told her that one day I am going to write a book. She asked me the subject and nature of book. I looked at her with disdainful eyes and replied that that those are small petty things to worry about. The only thing we need to know that, it is going to be a best seller. I also mentioned about my dream of running a marathon (I did complete partially what I had promised by running half marathons)
I spoke for 30 minutes which was a mix of truth, fiction and dreams. Believe me that was the only 30 minute stretch ever I spoke to her. After that I have been only listening. It definitely lead me to become an effective HR person and got my colleagues to say “Jai is a great listener”. Marriage is not that bad at all.