It’s all Evelyn’s fault

Her words from the most recent post have been haunting me since I read them a few days ago, I know those words, here they are,

The story of my journey is no more or less important than anyone
else’s. It is simply the best source of data I have on a subject where
generalizations often fail but truth may be found in the details. I
want to rehearse a few details of my travels, and travails, extracting
some insights about vocation as I go. I do so partly as an offering of honesty to
the young and partly as a reminder to anyone who needs it that the
nuances of personal experience contain much guidance toward self-hood
and vocation.

Evelyn, you have no idea what you are asking me to do here in response to your post. I can only say to anyone reading it, that it’s all Evelyn’s fault.

My journey began in the Fall of 1997, when I was thirty one and a half years old and my family was despairing of my ever getting married and settling down like a good indian girl should have, by now. Why, cousins nine years younger than myself were expecting their first borns while I was gallivanting around in the design, advertising and marketing industries having way too much fun to want to get married and settle down. One day after an acrimonious breakup from a guy who wanted to get married, I sat down on a Friday night to check email. My father had sent me an email from Singapore with a password to a database of shortlisted marital prospects on a now defunct website. The database had been filtered to my father’s criteria by age, qualifications, professional standing, height, weight et al. And then matched to the profile, i.e. my design criteria that he had created for me.

It smelled like conjoint analysis to me. And on a lark, started off by responding to five tall likely looking candidates. Then this other profile caught my eye, he didn’t fit any of my criteria. After all, I had decided to myself, that if I’m too old in India for anything other than an arranged marriage, why then, I’m going to find me a tall handsome prince charming. Wouldn’t you? πŸ™‚ Let’s just say, that in the 7 years since then I’ve learnt to be a little more risk averse and far more adequately planned for an uncertain future. Caveat Emptor and all that rot. My exhusband, when I saw him in person for the first time in New Delhi, two weeks before the wedding, was short, out of shape, with a strange looking patch of skin on his neck and a geek. I kinda liked him. He, though, didn’t quite like himself. Pity. He wrote lovely emails and I had them all bound, the first month of ravenous emailing we did until he proposed on  30th October 1997.

Mad_1Long story short, I was treated for short term or "acute" post traumatic stress disorder after my seperation in the middle of my 11 month fulltime MBA program in Pittsburgh. This is similar to the trauma or aftershocks of having faced death such as in the tsunami, or in London, minutes from being in front of the exploding red double decker bus. I get occasional flashbacks but have been proud to say that the fear has gone. Or in the immortal words of Alfred E. Neuman "What, me worry?".  After all, my divorce decree had his birthdate on it, not mine. – True and crazy factoid, folks. Happy Birthday with a bang.

β€œLive as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~Gandhi

It was reading this quotation today in a book I purchased recently,

β€œLife is a verb.” ~Charlotte Perkins Gilman

that made me come here to the puter and sit down and write a response to this post.

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3 Responses to It’s all Evelyn’s fault

  1. Ralf Beuker says:

    Hi Niti, thanks for sharing these personal story with us … while I haven’t read Evelyn’s post yet may I direct you to Alex’s post (http://business-model-design.blogspot.com/2005/11/20th-century-business-model-design.html) pointing to an Economist article on e-marriage in India πŸ˜‰ Seems you’ve been years ahead, somehow πŸ˜‰ I don’t know if it means something to you, but as written in an earlier email: You’re definitively on my postergirl list πŸ˜‰

  2. Niti Bhan says:

    Ralf!
    *blushes prettily behind the TAN* πŸ˜›

  3. Thank you for the privilege of being an accomplice in your pilgrimage sharing. “No matter what form the dragon make take, it is the mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will bee concerned to tell.” – Flannery O’Connor
    A pilgrim’s cycle replays nature’s – that of regeneration: a journey consisting of separation, initiation, return. Or I like how counselor Alexandra Kennedy words it: shock, descent, emergence. The emergence, return, reintegration part of the story is critical to putting point C into a larger transformative context.

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