Disclaimer: The following entry may be perceived as insulting, rude or an outright slap in the face (borrowing FreeWilly’s favourite expression, who incidentally has revamped his blog) of half the people in this world, so let me reiterate rather strongly the triviality and the frivolity of it all.
A friend had recently handed me an extremely challenging consulting project – Yes, I do moonlight as a work-from-home consultant, one of my earlier successes had involved correcting the spelling mistake in Goldman Sachs’ economic grouping BRIC. It should actually be BRICK (Brazil – Russia – India – China – Kerala, the 5 global champions of the 21st century) and that gives it a nice symmetry.
This friend in need belonged to the SING socio-economic category (Single Income No Girlfriend) and was rather keen on up(?)grading to the more recognized DINK (Double Income No Kids). Being the product of a b-school, he wanted to go about the task in a very focused and concerted manner and therefore asked me to deliver a comprehensive report, complete with segmentation and all that sort of rubbish. Which led to this letter –
In response to your letter titled December 13, 2009, I have done some groundwork isolating certain characteristics and subsequently building certain prototypes of women you might be interested in. These prototypes are mentioned below and cover a substantial chunk of the population under discussion. The rest of the population is better left alone.
Prototype 1 – The Tweety Bird – The defining characteristic of this category of women is that they keep on chirping. They just can’t seem to stop talking and often its about mundane things like a TV show, a gift to be purchased, what happened in the office etc.. Since tweety birds in general aren’t exceptionally intelligent, most of this chatter makes you wince. You must be prepared for that.
Now, their redeeming quality (for even tweety birds have them) is that they are very kind and large-hearted. They are ready to go out of their way to do you a favour, and if you are the mate of a T.Bird, need I say more about the affection they would bestow upon you!
Most T.Birds turn out to be reasonably hawt as well. ‘Hawt’ incidentally is a term which girls use to describe other girls.
Hawt (Adjective, origin: the internet, early 21st century) – The state of being of a girl when other girls think she’s hot and attractive to men. This does not imply that the girl in question is actually considered ‘hot’ by men.
Pooja 1 to Neha 1: “Wow Neha, you look totally hawt with your new hairstyle!”
Neha 1 to Pooja 1: “Thanks! You are as hawt as always, dear.”
Pooja 2 to Neha 1 and Pooja 1 – “Awwww, you two are so hawwwt!”
Neha 2 to Pooja 1, Pooja 2 and Neha 1 – “Yay, let me give you a hug, hawties!”
Oh yes, T.Birds are generally named Pooja or Neha, I must reference the fabulous movie “99” for pointing out this fact to me.
Bottomline – You’ll feel good due to the love and affection they shower on you, but you are probably prone to extramarital affairs when you meet a super-intelligent colleague at work. T.Birds can rarely keep a man interested for more than a year or two.
Prototype 2 – The Spectacled Band – This category is called thus since they almost always wear spectacles (though largely being replaced by contact lens nowadays) and have a fascination for hairbands as well. A spectacled band girl likes to read a lot and can often be found at bookstores and similar places. She considers herself superior to a Tweety Bird, even though one is bound to be surprised on occasions by the similarity of a Spectacled Band to a T.Bird. But she does looks more intelligent. Probably the glasses.
One can have good conversations with her on most issues and she might even consider herself obliged to feign interest in the irrelevant, geeky stuff which geeks like us love to talk about. Of course, there are S.Bands who are in reality geeks with genuine interest in geeky stuff, but they are surely in the minority.
Negatives are there, which should not be ignored. A Spectacled Band is always in a heightened state of mental activity and this often results in a permanent frown upon her countenance. Since she is always worried about how intelligent she comes across, that carries a fragile ego with her. You might be forced to very carefully choose your words while talking to her. This can be mentally taxing at times.
Bottomline – Certainly an option, and certainly getting more and more common in Indian cities. One can definitely locate Spectacled Bands in bookshops.
Prototype 3 – Mama’s Delight – This prototype is named so since they are guaranteed to delight thy mama (not thy uncle, but thy mother). She is tall, thin, conventionally pretty and looks great in a Saree. She cooks, she knows the right way to talk to your maid, she maintains a list of your monthly household expenditure and she wakes you up with a cup of coffee (or tea. or juice. whatever.) every morning.
“She’s perfect!”, did I hear you say? Right, old chap, there’s no such thing as a perfect woman. When you turn to a Mama’s Delight girl with a smile and start talking about the 1969 Woodstock concert or the Rings around Saturn, she would give you a charming smile and gently steer the conversation back to more mundane, but to her more important things such as the groceries you require for the following week. She is not dumb, but disinterested and a bit too domestic.
Bottomline – Most arranged marriages unearth Mama’s Delights (obviously, because Mama picks them). But there is a sporting chance of you being able to mould a Mama’s Delight to have some of the qualities (interest, pique) of a Spectacled Band if you are lucky enough to find one yourself a year or two before marriage.
Prototype 4 – Northern Lites – This genre is found exclusively in the northern parts of the country, and occasionally in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Believed to have originated in the wheatlands of Punjab (the irony is about to come), Northern Lites are characterized by their extraordinarily slim figure which defies all known laws of Newton (the irony cameth – Punjab – wheatlands – big, strong sardars – getit?). Scientists have spent countless hours studying Northern Lites to figure out how they succeed in walking and indeed staying up without falling down. The answer continues to elude them.
When posed this conundrum, a well-known Northern Lite, Kareena had attributed the feat to a copious diet of Dal-Chawal, but the author has his doubts on this (tried it. didn’t work out. and dal-chawal is yucky).
A complete cultural mismatch could be a sad consequence of a union between a person from another part of the country and a Northern Lite, and this is something we cannot ignore. How long can a gentleman born and bred on, say, wholesome Masala Dosa or Aviyal survive with the yellowish goop that is Dal-Chawal and the even more terrifying Rajma Chawal?! Cultural mismatches continue when a Northern Lite (who wept for joy when Rakhi chose Elesh in ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar’) mentions a heartfelt desire to watch ‘Veer – an Anil Sharma movie’, while you would rather spend your money on the poignant and thought-provoking romantic epic ‘Avatar’ (Yes, sarcasm).
Strangely, most Northern Lites have been documented to lose their gravity-defying skinniness and become er….healthy, wholesome ladies who wear brightly patterned floral suits (Salwar, not Saville Row) when they turn 30. This has to be borne in mind when your focus is long-term.
Bottomline – Go for the Northern Lites if you want to form a truly modernized Indian family, mixing the South and the North. Or if you are one of the aforementioned scientists perplexed at how Northern Lites defy gravity. For further reading, consult ‘2 States’ by Chetan Bhagat.
We shall explore ways to form a successful JV with any of these prototypes once I get your feedback on whether we are going in the right direction.
Yours in love and war
Thus ended my first letter. There were further correspondences on merger strategies, roadmaps, and several aspects of a tactical nature. But that’s for another rainy day.