Hi All,

This weekend's column comes from another talented young Oriya engineer Sanujit Senapati from Cary, North Carolina. An interesting article by all means, Sanujit talks about getting married. When I first received the article, it reminded me of another article titled ARRANGED MARRIAGE. Don't worry, these two have nothing in common. Sanujit narrates the society from his eligible bachelor status point of view. I am sure there are others who share these views (including myself and Sidhartha). Are these the big issues in a bachelor's life ? No! but nonethless, author's observations are very candid and pretty unique. Check it for yourself. And please read the concluding note. Enjoy.

Thank you

surjit (11/10/95)


Sanujit Senapati

106-3B Hidden Oaks Drive
Cary, NC 27513
E-Mail: senapati@vnet.ibm.com /senapati@acm.org

Born and brought up in Bhubaneswar.
My parents and my younger brother live in Calcutta.
My ancestral home is in Puri (the land of Lord Jagannath).

Stewart School, Bhubaneswar, ICSE 1985
BJB College, Bhubaneswar, +2 1987
REC Rourkela, B.E. (Comp. Sc. & Engg.) 1991
Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, M.S. Comp. Sc. 1994

Currently employed at IBM PC Company, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, as a Software Engineer.
Previous employment: SHL Systemhouse & IBM, Boca Raton, Florida

Getting Married

I browsed through the earlier Weekend Thoughts columns from the Oriya Homepage archive and noticed that my predecessors have discussed a number of interesting issues/topics. The topic which I would like to discuss is very relevant to a few of us who are in the mid-twenties and are in the search of their "significant other" half. This may be a sensitive issue to many of us but the intent is to have a casual discussion. I claim this "with malice towards one and all" or as an "equal opportunity offender" in the era of political correctness.

Like many of us here, I came to the US in the Fall of 1991 after completing my Bachelors. HBO on cable and Coke were a major hit for me at that time. My roomies would comment that I had register- ed for three credits of HBO beyond the nine credits at school. One of the things, I can never forget is the first time I tried my culinary skills. My first experiment with some gourmet cooking was a disaster, I burnt and overcooked shrimp to an extent that it looked like salted/dried fish (tampeda sukhua in Oriya). After all these years of experimenting and learning the hard way, I can claim that I have graduated with honors to a much better cook. One of my favorite pastimes during grad school was the Internet and spending Friday evenings at Church Street in Orlando (people in Florida know it better). Two memorable years of grad school just passed by till I joined IBM Boca Raton in Aug. 1993. I used to drive 200 miles to Orlando every weekend primarily because I missed by student life and second, I was working on my thesis. I eventually graduated in Spring of 1994. After getting out of school, the average age of people I associated with has increased and the nature of interaction has also changed. This is the phase of life when you are in the initial stages of your professional career and want to strike a balance between work and personal life.

One of the major interest of most of the people I meet these days, is my marriage than anything else. I have had many interesting encounters and interactions with friends, families and colleagues off late. During of the course of these, I have been able to find a surprisingly lot of similarities and stereotypes in the way most of the people think and act. I will try to group these similarities in attitude and psychological behavior of like minded people.

o The "cult" -
  the word "cult" here is just intended to mean a group of people
  with a strong feeling towards a "noble" cause. In my case, this
  group mainly consisted of friends who had been recently married.
  Their sole intention is to make you join their elite group, the
  "cult". One thing that beats me, is their rationale behind pros
  and cons of marriage. The rest of the members of this group are
  people who have some vested interest in getting you hooked. The
  cult is reasonably sized.

o The "confused" -
  the "immature" and "need to grow up" kind. It primarily consists
  of people in the same age group, mostly single, and a very
  distinguishable line of thinking. Here are few interesting
  exchanges you have with these folks,
  - I am not marrying till I'm thirty (the magical number)
  - I have not found the right match (do they really know
    what they want)
  - I have a lot of (...) problems otherwise (you guess it)
  You find this kind in abundance.

o The "polished" -
  these are people who are well-settled, possibly have vested
  interest (..), and want to be politically correct. They are very
  inquisitive and tend to ask questions in the most unassuming way
  but with a single most important motif concerning your personal
  life. Some of the questions are,
  - Have you called home off late (do they really care so much!)
  - How are your parents doing ? Are they busy ?
  - Are you planning to go to India any time soon ?
    (one of the most frequently asked questions)
  You meet a lot of this kind at social occasions.

o The "never understood the culture" -
  these are folks who join you for coffee or lunch at the
  cafeteria. The questions, most of them invariably have are,
  - Are you going to have an "arranged marriage",
  - Have you ever met the person you are going to marry
    your parents decided ?
  - One of my Indian friend went to India for two weeks to
    "visit" his family but came back married, are you planning
    the same ?
  You spend hours explaining the differences in culture and reason
  out with them without success. Finally the only thing that works
  is Murphy's Law, which states "never teach a pig to sing, it does
  not solve the purpose and the pig gets irritated".

o The "scared" -
  this group mainly constitutes of parents and family members.
  They are so scared of losing their boy to some chalu "gori"
  that from the day you start work they keep nagging you all
  the time. Approximately, twenty-five minutes out of the half
  hour weekend phone conversation revolves around marriage and
  at end of it you promise never to initiate that topic again.
  But you still are their "good son" and you call the next
  weekend to do it over again.

Enough said. The essence is that marriage is a phase of life nearly everyone goes through but have unique experiences. It means different to each of us but one thing that true in this world is, without the institution of marriage there would not be four billion people on Earth.

Review by Purna Mohanty, California

This week's weekend thought makes an interesting reading. I believe most of us, who land in USA after our studies back home, go through these phenomena. The author has lucidly stated his experience of his schooldays here and his years of work at IBM. He has openly brought out the trends by classifying the different kinds of people, who are good to a bachelor(who is almost well-settled for marriage). The author has stated the fact that, marriage is an institution. I believe it would have been better if the author would have explained more his concluding remarks "marriage is an institution". Also, the last part of the last sentence a kind of out of context, what the author has so vividly described in the article.

Above all, the article needs appreciation from all of us who have gone through the same situation as the author.

At the end ...

By the way, Purna-bhai himself belongs to "the cult" :-)
So, do you know of another category from your experience!
Do you, yourself, are member of one of the above groups !!
If so, here is your chance to say anything in your defense.
Write to one of us -

	OrNet: ornet@cs.columbia.edu
	Debasmita: misra@maroon.tc.umn.edu
	Surjit: ssahoo@ingr.com
	Sidhartha: sid@aluxs.att.com

Hope you enjoyed this week's presentation. Ciao. Surjit

Your comments are always welcome...

Sanujit Senapati

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