Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bride Seeing Part II

(Those of you who are reading this for the first time please read Bride Seeing Part I before continuing any further)


After the native detective service gives a clean chit to the prospective bride and groom the PKC ritual commences fuelling the economy of Kerala. This is why despite labor problems, every MNC worth its salt is setting up base in Kerala and diversifying into Black Halwa, Talcum powder, Jaggery production etc. I have heard that the Lipton jaggery is quite a hit in North Kerala while the Microsoft Talcum Powder (Version 1) is slowly being accepted in the State. Version 2 which will be an antidote for Version 1 will enter the market in December. Maggi Black Halwa and Intel Banana Chips now sit proudly on all supermarket and Chai Kada shelves and preparations are in full swing to market Honeywell Brandy before the Onam season. News has just come in that Dunlop Tyres have entered into a JV with a local Achchappam manufacturer. This is an unconfirmed report though. Please watch this space for further developments.

A word about the origin of PKC. PKC originated in 9th BC when nubile nymphets were sacrificed at the altar of the pre historic God Marriageappan. Now Marriageappan is an especially hard to please God. So the pick of the mallu gals namely in their twenties, with good educational qualifications and looks were chosen. The not so good-looking and not very well educated gals are also sacrificed although the sacrifice is accepted a bit reluctantly. Please don’t underestimate the powers of mallu parents while negotiating with God himself when it comes to sacrificing their daughters at the altar of Marriageappan. Now Marriagappan is the only God with a fierce Mom who makes life hell for him and so he makes life hell for PBs parents. It’s a vicious cycle!


Before the PBG’s entourage set out from home the PB’s friends gather excitedly to ‘dress her up’. A word on PBs friends. These nubile nymphets are also PBs much wont to merriment and excessive laughter at the sight of any member of the male species.

Now the most important step that a prospective mallu bride takes in her life is the one with a loaded tray in front of her prospective in-laws. She is thoroughly coached in this art by her mom from the day she turns 18. This gives her a training period of approximately three years. When she graduates with flying colors her father celebrates with Honeywell Brandy and Intel Banana Chips.(I have heard that Indian Airlines is tying up with the Kerala moms to provide training to their Air Hostesses in the art of serving beverages without spilling.)

The PB steps out smartly balancing the tray of hot steaming Kanan Devan Tea wearing the Jayashree silk saree ,Alapatt Jewelry and the now fast caking Cuticura Talc. But she does it bravely with a chaste Revlon Hot Babe smile on her face and a faint Lakme Summer Passion Blush spreading on her Lacto Calamined cheeks. (Please note male readers that the Revlon Hot Babe and Lakme Summer Passion are shades of cosmetics) Her graceful Bata steps tread silently on the Kerala Coir Board mats also bought specially for the occasion. As she walks into the living room she surreptitiously checks to see if her Baush and Lomb contact lenses are snugly in place (remember the detective service is unreliable at times).

The PBG looks up in anticipation his hernia belt forgotten (another intelligence failure). As he takes the proffered glass of Kanan Devan Tea he gets his ten seconds to make an informed and intelligent lifetime decision before she sashays back to her room. Nowadays the PBG and PB are allowed to meet for a few microseconds (do I hear gasps?) Yes the times they are a changing. A typical conversation between a PB and PBG when they are allowed to meet goes something like this:

PBG: er… what’s your name?
PB: tee hee ABC
PBG: My name is XYZ
PB: tee hee

And after that profound discussion on their likes and dislikes, hopes and aspiration, dreams and ambitions they decide to tie the knot or not.

The good news/bad news is broken to the respective parents and the entourage straining their ears behind the door and there is much merrymaking or much cursing of ancestors and talks of dubious family lineage according to the good/bad news. The thought of the impending marriage or another PKC puts the PB’s father in gloom. However a quick swig of Honeywell Brandy takes care of all mallu dad's problems till the bills arrive.
Honeywell Brandy and Intel Banana Chips and Microsoft Talcum Powder Version 1 are a lovely combination I hear (that is if you are an aspiring human bomb)

With that the PKC comes to an end for some lucky couple. Of course the PKC causes much heartburn, anxiety and anxious moments leading to much merrymaking in the marketing offices of Gelusil,Digene and hundred other products that are directly or indirectly involved in this ritual. However this exercise should be commended for its thoroughness in pre marital preparation.The PKC saga will definitely roll on for another hundred years but with changes I hope.

71 comments:

crossblade said...

I love the way u write...it really gave me a wonderful time
I put on something in my blog about the visit of Inian PM to the US..dont know if u are intersted in such suff..anyways do drop and lemme know wht u feel bout it
thomas :)

silverine said...

@crossblade:Thank you very much. I am glad u liked my rants :)

Jithu said...

i doubt u r the brand ambassador of many products! nice read!

Jake said...

LOL! somebody ought to make a movie out of this ...

monu said...

hehe ..adipoli :) ...

nice post :)

i think i should regularly visit u r blog :)

scorpigle said...

good one to follow up the first one :)

Praveen said...

Hmmm..... this is a great way to promote mallu traditions :). Well written.

Tell me, is the origin of "PKC" really correct or fictitious especially the 9th BC part :)

silverine said...

@ Praven : of course it is fictitious.:)) the 9th century part ie.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

great going lady .....

try reading " Ancient Promises " [ Jaisree Misra ] ... lotsa satirical experiences there too ....

ur posts are real interesting :)

Leon said...

Thoroughly entertaining..(both posts) satirical writing always interests me.. :-)

Anonymous said...

Boy you made me laugh so hard I almost fell off my chair. Enjoyed every minute of your description

Lost in trance... said...

can feel the anguish, but cant yet agree totally to the revolt...every culture has its reasons...this is one which has a lot of things we'd want to shout against at the first glance, but then when you have seen the other side as well, even if this aint a lot better, this aint a lot worse too.....

>|' ; '| said...

wow...kerala economy in a nut-shell.

i was literally ROTFL on reading the stuff on MARRIAGEAPPAN :D

Geo said...

Nice one ;_)

But then, all said and done, sometime in the near future, don’t u see urself doing a catwalk in front of a family, carrying that much talked abt tea tray, and with all those accessories you just finished describing ???

ps: i guess its time u upgrade from Honeywell brandy to Smirnoff or BlackLabel

DD said...

hehe...never seen any PKC in person but seen similar stuff in countless mallu movies...but this is the first time I am reading a full-fledged description about one ...
Awesome read! Especially loved the part where you had a paragraph full of branded stuff! Way to go...
But as geo said, I guess the day is not far when you will have to play the role of the PB ;-)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

cat poo ... huh ?? Well ... dont remind me ... [ rolling my eyes !! ]

arvin said...

awesome stuff. they say 60% of kerala's GDP comes from the gulf. i now see where the other 40% is from.

monu said...

hey, that was real nice...

Roshan said...

Absolutely hilarious! And very true.

kd said...

Amazing post(s). U wont leave our mallu secrets alone will u? Great writing. I loved the Dunlop "Achappam part" Absolutely hilarious

Matter of Choice said...

The other side of PKC

You have talked about the female side (and excellently too!!) But do think of the poor PBG’s side as well. His bad days start at least two days before the chadangu!. He has to get a hair cut (and that is a pain!!) suffer through the continued “lemme see the photo” demands from friends and cousins (and be neutral while they pass the judgment).

Then he has to go to a strange house full of strange people ogling him, he feels the lil cousins of the PB coming and surreptitiously feeling up his muscles before reporting back to PB. Slightly older cousins face him off with their wise questions such as do u like mohanlal or mammooty, who is ur fav heroine in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi English and so on.

A frightened soul a potential PBG sure is!! .

Add to that the misery of eating day old puffs, oily mixture and drinking copious amounts of over-sweet squash (the aunties filling up the glass as soon as u finish..and u don’t dare to offend ur mom-in-law by refusing more).

I once was persuaded by a friend of mine to accompany him on his PKC. I was very interested as that was the first time I was going for a PKC all alone with the PBG. Was a tough experience. The PBG, usually a very voluble character, closed his shutters as soon as he entered the house, and looked like he was about to have a heart attack (he was blushing that bad). So I was left to entertain the host family with my inane jokes. Suddenly PBG became very talkative; but only with the younger bro of PB. He was giving him hazar gyan about how to crack the “CAT” and I almost fell off the couch (yeah it was rexin!) laughing.

But the worst was yet to come, when the PB’s dad asked my friend to go and have a personal conversation with PB, my friend suddenly got very polite and even more shy. No uncle its ok: I have already talked to prabitha…so we don’t need to do this (the only question he asked her was “how do u like your job”!). Well finally me, PB’s parents, her younger bro and sister pushed both of them together into a room J. He came back after 15 minutes all sweating and the gal was blushing (don’t ask me why!!).

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for both of them and families decided to not continue with the proposal. I was heart-broken L, the younger sis was quite cute and I was almost in friendly terms with her!. I still blame my sweet friend for breaking up a budding romance!

Cheers
AM

Samudraa said...

good narrative.....good imagery........and 'chuckling" humor..:)

injinuity said...

Nicely put my silvery friend... nowadays wherever I look.. there is a marriage.. lord have mercy... and I who heartedly support what matter of choice just stated.. its a very harrowing ordeal for the male as well...

One More Reason said...

great great post!!. Cuticura is indeed a timeless classic. When my grandmother passed away, my mom kept all her belongings safely. One of them is a Cuticura bottle. The orange color on the bottle is a little faded now, but timeless nevertheless

flaashgordon said...

Hi Silverine

Real Class as is the norm for u !!
My Manager saw the grin on my face as i ws reading it again and asked me why i was so happy. I told her that i'm in love with my job!!If i get a good appraisal i owe it to u silverine!

Neway looks like my parents have not heard of Marriageappan yet. else they'dve prayed to him too long ago. Havent spared anyone else..Educated young men too are sacrificed at his alter...and i'm a candidate

btw i dont all think the MNCs are going for the right markets... Dunlop wouldve done better with black halwa; knowing how tough n jaw challenging they're usually..Neway Intel would do gr88 with Pentium banana chips !

Neway b4 each PKC (ok ok, i dd have 2 have a couple of formal ones despite all my rants and threats to run away from home); i pray like Christ did in Gethsmein "Kazhiyumenkil ee kaasa ennil ninnu maati tharenamey !!"
But then Marriageappan has to be pleased; the dynasty has to go on.
Keep writing Silverine

For more insights on my experience click on my name and follow the link
cheers
flaash

hope and love said...

excellent..! you said it..!!

Jiby said...

i feel sorry for ppl who got to go thru the PKC more than once...especially for the gals side who got to play host on every such occasion. neways attending pkc's is fun that is if ur not the PB or the PBG...there is this custom that the PBG party has to go for pkc's in even or odd numbers...dunno which exactly and so to make the numbers i got taken for 2 pkc's and at one got mistaken for the PBG...still laugh thinking abt my cousin pushing me out of the way! the two parts made excellent reading...lookin forward to more.

Densel Mayor said...

very funny and enjoyable :)... methinks you will be giving the same 'teehee' dialog sometime, mm?

Naresh Krishnan said...

hi,
Is there a Part 3 to the twin PKC episodes, or am I just speculating?
On the lines of Bride Taken..

Good work.

Sushil said...

Loved your posts about the PKC. I do not want to go to any PKCs as a PBG to interview a PB. All I want now is just a simple PB&J ;-). The PKC will be faced if and when it is pushed upon me.

Parna said...

excellant :) was chortling all the way through. you should write more. humour ie. :)

tcr_79 said...

Well written...

I guess the flurry of comments above say much more...

The article was funnily true - exaggerations which made the scenes hilarious :)

And PKC will go on and on!!...

silverine said...

@jithu:Hope the mallu brand of PKC was highlighted here albeit with a lot of exaggeration
@Jake,Monu, scorpigle and anonymous:Thanks:)
@ Deepa,Leon:Glad to know that my attempt at satire did not backfire ;)

silverine said...

@lostintrance:The PKC can be a humiliating experience for some gals especially when they have to go through it so many times.
@Poison:Well said!!
@Geo and DD:Hopefully I will survive another few years without a PKC.And in those few years I am praying it will be banned by the Indian Govt. :))
@Arvin:Yeah Kerala does have it own homegrown economy.
@Monu and Roshan: Thank you so much
@KD:I am doing my bit for the tourism industry of Gods Own Country. Maybe the KTDC can organise conducted PKC tours :))

silverine said...

@matterofchoice: Can feel your anguish at the extinguishing of a budding romance. My condolences :)I can only talk about PKC from a girls perspective. But thank you for enlightening us on the torment guys also go through at a PKC. btw great narrative.
@samudra: Thank you very much
@Injinuity:I stand corrected by matterofchoice. Guess guys too have a tough time too at a PKC.
@Flaash: Best of luck buddy on your PKC.From your descriptions I guess I should have taken the hint that it is no cakewalk for the guys too.
@onemorereason:I just couldnt help taking a jibe at Cuticura even though now it is replaced by numerous other brands. At one time heard it was a great leveller.

silverine said...

@hopeandlove:Thank you.
@Jiby:I have been banned from PKCs after me too got mistaken for a PB.Guess confusion reigns at most PKCs.
@Densel: tee hee dont remind me please :(
@Naresh:Thank you
@Sushil:Well you dont have a choice. You will have to be a PBG at a PKC if you wanna marry a mallu gal :))
@parna and TCR: I decided to look at the funny side of the PKC.Because it is so serious a ritual. Thanks for your comments.

Lost in trance... said...

oh pls dont get me wrong...i was just trying to say its not a totally hopeless cause....the last thing i'd b is a bloody MCP :)

Jake said...

oh my. this one touched a nerve did it not ? look at the number of comments. :-p

crossblade said...

so whts the next one..
waiting..
thomas :)

puddlefrog said...

Fantastic post this! I was in splits for a while -then sent to all the mallu friends that i have. A female amongst them replied that this is 90% correct ( she's from a syrian catholic family). All i can say is that the part of the country i hail from is going to the other extreme. These kind of meets do happen in more traditional places up north too .. but most of the places its changed completely and upto a few hours may be allowed with only the guy and the girl in that room !!
In in several cases the girls just want to meet the guy alone and not his family !! The girls' families seem to be towing their darling daughter's line on this.
In western india (bom/pune especially) nowadays, dates are arranged between young people by their parents and the parents usually dont show up - only the guy and the girl meet ...
funny isnt it ? so many extremes - this country should be a continent .. not a country ... !!

Alexis Leon said...

Excellent piece of writing. I like the way you blends the disparate feelings and moods of the different people in a disdainfully humorous style which you have perfected. You should definitely think of writing a book on the various rituals like this. I often felt I was reading God of Small Things - Part II. Keep writing...
Alexis

crossblade said...

July is supposed to be the most pleasant month of the year but was this so this time...I've put a post on my blog on this...its may sound a little too absurd..but please do visit and let me know ur thoughts...

- thomas

pallavi said...

If you ever get a chance to be witness to a punjabi family's version of the PKC, you should!! Except for the 'achappam' and the banana chips which are replaced by their north indian counterparts, the cermonial happenings will make u feel right at home up here. Except, you might emerge feeling like you've spent the day with a bunch of ostentacious hill-billies!!
but honestly, after all(!!!) those comments, there really is very little left to say in praise...
except, i'm hooked!

vijyan said...

hilarious and refreshing post, enjoyed re-reading it

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hey ...

i used to I.G.N.O.R.E and it used to be my general trait
but I.G.N.O.R.E seems to be bringing its own share of misunderstandings these days ....

pls put up ur next post ....

manu said...

nice post silverine. soory for making this late comment. but i thought i should finish reading the whole stuff before commenting. and you dont have to be apologetic when you conclude. it's your blog and your style of writing. it's your space and you are the master. keep posting.

Anonymous said...

@Silverline, Your intension may be right, but I felt it was a bit boorish on PKC( as you call it). I think you got a bit wildish in your search to bring humour. Anyways, looking forward to other posts!

silverine said...

@anonymous: The name is 'silverine'. Thank you for your comment. My first brickbat. Wish you wud leave a name. Cause that would make me take your comments at face value.But i think I know who you are.

My intention was not to be boorish.And neither did I search for humor. Humor cannot be forced, it has to come naturally.My future posts will be on the same as this is the way I write. So it's your call to come back and read them or not.Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Yikes!, sorry for the wrong name. I will make sure I get it right hereafter.

Honestly, I didn’t mean to ask you to change your style neither did I mean to convey that your posts will not be read unless you change your style...sheesh how did you get into that conclusion!!. I was just putting forward my views.Every reader has his viewpoints. Please take it in the right sense.Infact, I logged in now to check out your new posts.. none available though???

And regarding my name, I am sure you don’t know me, neither do I know you. In this case does my name matter anyways?. I was reading through my best buddy’s blog and I got a link to your blog from there…Anyways, if still my name is the obstacle from taking my comments at face value, I would like to break that….I am “Shan”.

Keep writing young lady! ( Waiting for your next post)

Jake said...

did you hear about the guy who got stepped on, but had to somehow justify himself ?

pssshhaaw.

silverine said...

@ Shan: Thanks for giving your name. Sorry I mistook you for someone who spells my name the same way! Apologies.btw the new post was up four days before your return comment. Funny you didnt notice it.
Anyways I understood the fact that you are not asking me to change my style of writing and that you found the humor forced. Well what can I say, thats the way I write. Thank you for putting forward your view points.I think you will agree that I have taken it in the right sense from my reply.Thanks for the return comment.

Do you blog?

Cheerio

Kiran said...

mukha stuti parayukayaanennu vicharikkarutue...

But,i simply cant help admiring oyour way of writing. You have not left any thing. The girls feelings , her mind,the parents..the guy...each and every word is simply wonderful.The best part i loved was...the girl thinking about her future...in canada or austrailiar or i donno what...depending on the guy who says "yes"

CHEERS.
100 POINTS!!!

AND ITS A PLEASURE TO GET A COMPLEMENT FROM SOME ONE LIKE YOU WHO WRITES SOO WELL.
[NOT KIDDING,I MEAN IT]

rosie said...

Hey...
I see what you mean... followed ur blog after ur comment at mine...
Interesting. There's more of me in the world!

Enjoy it while it lasts cos we dont know whats coming after this!!

Anonymous said...

@silverine : -Yikes, I had typed "silverline" initlally( it goto do with the recruitment company named silverline we have out here) .

Yes young lady, this time I sure am sure that you have taken it in the right sense.:-).

To be frank, I had noticed the post "Miss Communication" when I replied. It didnt suit my taste, so didn't go ahead reading that. I was infact talking about the next post.

No way, I am not a blogger my any means.. Not part of my game... Its for people like you.. You can rather call me a "blog reader" :-)

Cheers!

Shan

megha said...

Hi i am megha. I have visited ur blog. i want to be ur friend.

quills said...

Hey silverline, this is the funniest most accurate description of PKC in Kerala. I have never laughed so much in my life and I had to share it with all my friends too. You are a genius! :)

silverine said...

@Megha: So sweet of you :)
@Quills: A mallu? fellow sufferer? Let's unite an make a Anti PKC Front lol :))

quills said...

Yeah, have to confess....a Mallu and fellow sufferer. I like the idea of Mallu women up in arms.Perhaps we can save some of our hapless sisters out there who are currently counting the mins to the big event.:)

wynad said...

i am smiling ... and it makes me wonder...

Shalom said...

First off, brilliantly written!!!

Secondly, times aren't changing, they're bloody well being changed! Example of my one & only 'PKC': wore my fave tee & jeans, my glasses firmly on my nose, chatted with my then-prospective-now-future hubby about anything & everything and generally had a good time. Yeah, it was only one meeting & I had to decide in a day, but it was done on my terms and on the basis of criteria that matter to me, not what's deemed important by "society".

I think Gandhi's words (or at least my paraphrasing) are apt here "you be the change you want to see".

malaika said...

Brilliant writer

Indian Home Maker said...

Fabulous.Sending part I and II to friends. You should write a book. I have attended an aunt's PKC, I thought it was humiliating. .. But times are a-changing, I met my husband of nineteen years in a restaurant -alone. We strolled, bought a book (I still have it), and talked about this and that. We met a few more times after that, before taking any decision.

shail said...

"...he gets his ten seconds to make an informed and intelligent lifetime decision before she sashays back to her room."

"...And after that profound discussion on their likes and dislikes, hopes and aspiration, dreams and ambitions they decide to tie the knot or not."

Hilarious read but hidden in the posts are truths like these sentences that makes one think. Excellent!!

Usha Pisharody said...

Silverine... you shine, truly you do!!

Hats off for the sustained narrative.. with ne'er a dull moment!!

What can I say? Loved this.. and the best part of it all is that most of it is rather rather true..hehehe:)

Thanks!! Made my day to read three on the same lines... all of them ever so entertaining!! [2 of urs and 1 from Shail, from whence I reached here, lol!]

Ritu said...

Awesome. I love your sense of humour. I think I should make a habit of dropping by. Cuticura ROFL

silverine said...

@all: Thank you so much! :)

monu joy said...

Saw this link in a similar post by Shail...while that was nostalgic in essence, this was a complete rib tickler...a bit scary too considering that in a year or two i too will be on the other side of the tea tray anxious not to waste my allotted precious 10 seconds...

lafemmereva said...

i came across this site for the first time. Must say u have a very interesting narrative style!! :)

gkam said...

Just too good a post!!
Rollicking with laughter here. Cuticura cake!.. bwhahahahahha :P

susan said...

you rock!nice post

Ashwathy said...

I definitely hope it is with changes alright...no matter how many years it rolls! Or ceases to exist altogether...but that's a vain hope...