Everybody is sitting around evaluating every person from the other side. The looks travel as if they were arrows to an enemy side with no consideration to the possibility that they may end up as one single happy family a few days later.
The conversation happens across multiple channels among multiple people at the same time. The elderly men are discussing their professions, the women are talking weather. The children are staring at the boy. The boy is not allowed to or supposed to or expected to feel overawed by the situation. Because he is the one who has asked to see the girl. That he has been told that this is the only respectable way to get married is conveniently sidelined by all concerned parties.“Hey you know, that couple had a love marriage” is actually a statement conveying social stigma and not a casual remark.
The girl feels like a film at the Cannes Film Festival. She has to win the award. Can a film go and tell the judges that I don’t like the award? Ha ha ha… You must be out of your head to have thought that way. Everybody is trying to critic the film from all angles. Afterall, it was nominated after a rigorous shortlisting process based on the visual competence [and supposedly accurate astological calculations] of its competitors.
The judge of the awards function is not a single person. If you thought it was the boy alone, then please pinch yourself. You must be sleeping. Let me call him the PJ [Pseudo Judge] So, we are clear that we are dealing with a panel. The composition of the panel is dynamic. Whoever walks into the awards function on that day at that time is allowed to voice their opinion. India is a democratic country except for stray incidents like the Khushboo ones.
The members of this panel are involved right from the stage of shortlisting and nominating the film. The PJ is kept out of the pre-nomination process and it [Let's not call it "He" for literary effect] is supposed to be out of it. Mind you. So, can you now relate to the first statement that, “he is the one who has asked to see the girl”?
Well, we haven’t delved into the psychology of the film under the lens. The film is definitely not comfortable with the process. It has never seen its judges before. Neither does it know the parameters that will be applied to give it an award. Since the PJ and the film have only a few minutes [How many ever minutes you want as long as it's not too long!] together, they talk about various aspects. Well, yeah, now the film is allowed to talk.
More often that not it’s the PJ who is asked whether the film can be selected or not. Yeah, the film is back into “Mute” mode now. When the PJ decides against selecting the film for award immediately the PJ is exposed to a barrage of questions.
Was the cinematography all wrong?
Did you decide only based on how the film looks?
Did you try to know the film?
And now welcome to the best question:
How did you decide all that within that much time? [Accompanied with popping eyes and wide open mouth!]
The best question often comes from a female member of the Panel. [Okay. Cool. That's just an observation. Let me be entitled for such small things] This member would be under the impression that since she received the award without speaking a word after going through so many festivals, how can you decide on Not giving an award?
Cut from the Film festival scenario to the real world
I don’t have answers to any of the questions. Spending a lifetime is sometimes not sufficient to know a person. To decide whether to spend the rest of your life with someone you saw for half an hour sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But that’s how it works. As any elder would tell you that’s how it’s been working and it works bloody well.Like some other practical & realistic people would tell you, that people of the current generation are too much into their work and get exposed only to colleagues so they have no time to meet other folks hence this is an easy way out – you don’t even have to think or make a decision!
Looks like you don’t have an option. But when you are saying “No”, whether you are the PJ or the film, it is something that’s not easily accepted by people around you. You immediately become someone who has a nose-in-the-air attitude. Finally, whether you marry based on this process or some process that you found on your own, the people are not going to stop talking and building their own image of what you are. Don’t care about them as long as you are sure you are doing the right thing.