Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bengali Matrimony: A misplaced email leads to a conversation on marriage!


Today I received my first mail from a matrimonial site. And not just any matrimonial site, the Bengali Matrimony dot com. I almost died of shock. I thought it was a prank my parents were playing on me. But when I asked them they firmly denied it.
It came from a woman who had mistaken me for someone else. So I decided to write back to the lady and let her know that the email had been sent to the wrong address because otherwise she would have felt that the Madhuri Banerjee she had written to had rejected her proposal. And I could never let my namesake get such a reputation!
Suddenly I found myself trying to explain what marriage was for me. It was a lovely experience discussing this with an elderly lady and a complete stranger. I’m sure the letters haven’t stopped with this exchange. I’m sure there is a bond that we are forming and I’m soon going to be travelling to attend a wedding! ;)
Here are the exchange of letters: (Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved)

Dear Mrs Banerjee,
By way of introduction, I am G. Chatterjee. A few days earlier, my sister had spoken to you from Kanpur with regards to marriage alliance for your daughter Kaveri and my son Projol.
 
Unfortunately, I am have not been well, and have not been able to connect with you. My sons is currently in Sydney Australia and would be coming to India during Durga Pujo. He is working as a Project Manager with ABCD.

My sons profile id is Bxxxx on Bengali Matrimony. Please do have a look and let me know if you would like to take this forward. If you could also share your contact number.

Regards

Smt G. Chatterjee

My reply:
Dear Ms. Chatterjee,
Pronam!
I hope you are feeling better now. Health is wealth and you must not worry and ruin it.

This mail has been confused with someone else. Your sister has not spoken to me and my daughter is not the person who she or you have in mind for your son. Please recheck the email Id and send the mail again.

However, on a separate note - Your son sounds quite the catch! Which girl wouldn't want to move to Sydney? After all it has The Sydney Opera House! What more could anyone want?!

Please do not worry if your son takes time to settle down. I'm sure he will find the perfect match and have lovely children one day. In the meantime, do know that marriage is perceived differently for youngsters. It is highly overrated. Pray that he finds love, happiness, success, and peace in his life rather than just a wife. Who might actually take away the other things!

Aapni bhalo theko.

All the best.
Regards,
The Wrong Madhuri.

Her reply back:

Dear Madhuri,

Thank you for your lovely email. My apologies, it seems the new age technology and emails are indeed going to take some time for me to figure out.I am sure I might have got the email id wrong.

It was wonderful reading your email and you have rightly mentioned about how important it is to get the right girl for my son. I am having an interesting journey these days, as times have changed. Gone are the days when we were married and all it mattered was if the boy was well mannered, cultured and settled.

Unfortunately, it does seem times have changed and now girls and their families have a much more complex and stringent checklist for a boys family. Mix it with the modernization transition which our society is going through, it some times leaves me gaping at the kind of things sometimes I do come across. I have stayed in Australia, and trust me sometimes, I find things are simpler and better there than in India.

Anyways, thanks for your well wishes and hopefully we find a girl who brings happiness to our family and above all leads a peaceful and happy life with the family. 

Until next time
Regards
G Chatterjee

My reply:
Dear Maam,
Please do not worry. There are far more important things you should be doing than worrying about your son!

Revel in the journey you are in right now. The time won't come again. And you deserve time for yourself as well.

I'm surprised how we gauge each other in matters of love and relationships. Ultimately the man should just be well mannered, cultured and settled but even these three words have such deep connotations. Nowadays everyone wants someone who understands them, can communicate with them, support them, make them laugh and respect them. Their work is as important as the marriage. Individuality is placed higher than companionship. Sacrifice is underestimated. And compromise non negotiable.

Please also know that marriage as an institution seems to be fading away. A simple piece of paper that keeps two people together even if they are unhappy.

I hope you find a girl who realises the value of your son. And I hope your son puts her on a pedestal always. It's the only way a marriage will be about love and not about the piece of paper. Then it won't matter if she's Indian, Bengali, Brahmin, Dark, Fair, Short, fat, tall, loud, or otherwise. the couple will have found the one thing that will always keep them together and you will never need to worry about your son again.

 Yes, you're right. It is simpler abroad than here in India. Doesn't make us less Indian if we imbibe the traditions of something simpler if they are not from our land.

Take care.
Regards,
Madhuri


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My 3rd Book: My Yummy Mummy Guide with Karisma Kapoor



Bombay TImes 17.9.2013
The day of my 1st book Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas launch in March 2011, an editor for Penguin approached me to write a book with Karisma Kapoor. I thought it would be a great opportunity to write more books and attempt a non fiction. Also I thought I would get to run some screenplays of mine to her and her sister Kareena Kapoor. Easy. I would finish this book in a few months and move on to other projects.
I signed on the dotted line not knowing what it would entail. No royalty. Minimum pay. But I was excited.
My Yummy Mummy Guide was a difficult book to write. It took 2 years and a deep commitment from me.  
LMV and its sequel Mistakes Like Love And Sex came from my heart. They were autobiographical somewhere. A journey that was both fun and philosophical. Something I wanted to write for everyone to identify with. Something I wanted to publish so people would know who I was.
I admire Karisma for juggling so many things and still giving me time. While I was writing it, I saw so many similarities between her and me.

She lost 24 kilos in 9 months, and I put on 9 kilos in 24 months.

She puts her kids to bed at sharp 7 o clock. If it’s 7 o clock and my kid is still alive, I’ve done my job!

She’s so pretty and her kids look exactly like her. My child also looks like me – blank!

She can coordinate 2 children’s activities like the back of her hand. I’ve put a gps on the back of my child’s hand so I can locate her when she’s somewhere doing something.

She got pregnant on her first try like that (snap). I had to do it 33 times before I could conceive. It was a weekend I will never forget! ;)

So I’m truly happy for Karisma. She’s a great mom. And I hope this book is a bestseller as well.
For all the moms out there, I know how hard it is to juggle a career, children, a house, and still try and look semi decent. There are days when we forget to hit the parlour and look like Rana Rathor Singh with a moustache. There are days when we don't want to cook and Dominoes is our best friend and guilt our worst enemy. There are days when we are dying to go back to work just to get relief from our children but when we do, we miss them terribly. I completely sympathize with all women who just want one hour to themselves in a day. We would exchange our husbands for a perfect maid. Without a doubt!
I'm looking forward to writing fiction from now on for my books and leave the non fiction truth to my blog here. I am truly happy with the Gitanjali Group who covered the one book launch I was invited for and put my photo in the papers. I'm gonna save up money and buy my jewellery only from them now. Cos they showed me how important I was in front of Shobhaa De and Karisma Kapoor. Made me feel so special.

I hope all my friends will buy all the books and let me know which part they liked the most. Fiction or non fiction, we should be inspired through books and hope they help us in our daily life.

Midday Mumbai 17.9.2013

Letter from a Hogwarts Teacher to Hermione

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