I have no experience in the so-called ‘girl seeing’ event in arranged marriages. On the other hand, I have plenty of experience in appearing for interviews. But I have a strong feeling that the two completely different episodes are really pretty much alike.
1. The role of the mediator/broker: This is the third party, which is responsible for initiating it all: doing a due diligence on both parties, matching the requirements of both parties and accordingly customizing the CVs to ensure a perfect ‘profile fit’, and finally introducing the parties to one another. In the case of a marriage, it’s usually an over-enthusiastic, bored, jobless relative while in case of a job, it’s an efficient, no-nonsense, greedy placement consultant. However, the common thread is that this third party seems to be more excited about this ‘match’ than either parties.
2. Embellishments: This is the part where you develop new ‘interests and skills’ which you never knew you possessed, so that your CV can ‘stand out’ among hundreds of other similar CVs. For instance, you know you were doing cut-copy-paste in your last job, entering data in a pre-set model to get results, and apart from the office-boy nobody of importance was aware of your existence. So how can you portray this seemingly useless experience as something which is significant, tangible and ‘makes a difference’? So you start LYING, or in more polite terms, EMBELLISHING.
In the area of key skills, you write, ‘industry knowledge’, ‘financial modeling’, and ‘business process re-engineering’ while in the work experience you come up with, ‘Responsible for providing intelligence and insights for client engagement teams. Part of the high-visibility team to develop strategic roadmaps for clients. Demonstrated strong leadership and mentoring skills to proactively generate new business opportunities for the company.’ How or when you did all that, you don’t know, neither is it significant. Your short term goal is to get shortlisted for an interview and long term goal is to acquire all the skills already mentioned as your key skills. Similar is the situation for an arranged marriage. Boy gets introduced to prospective girl by virtue of the tall claims made in his CV: a seven-figure salary (which includes salary of boy, brother, father, and mother: nobody mentioned it has to be boy’s salary ONLY), a degree from IIM (well, they can always clarify later that it was an online certificate course), and a photograph which is most probably borrowed from a decent looking friend. But girl is equally efficient: her photo is thoroughly airbrushed by a professional, her ‘accomplishments’ in the kitchen are exaggerated (by the time they find out that her cooking skills are limited to Maggie and dal-chawal it will be too late), and her ‘trained classical dancer’ claim really stands for dancing to remixes in college fests (nobody wants a classical dancer wife anyway).
3. The Grand Finale: So your broker got your CV to the target audience, your embellishments ensured that you reach interview stage, and finally you are there: at the hot seat, salivating for holy matrimony or the MNC job. You have memorized the ‘right’ responses, you have developed the right ‘values’, and since childhood you have been taught the art of rote learning and vomiting it out on the exam paper. So you are prepared, confident, and ready to take it on. The VP asks, “So why do you want to join our organization?”, you think, “yippie. I know this answer”, and you smile and reply, “it fits in well with my personal and professional goals. I identify with the company’s values which are aligned to my personal and professional values, and I think I am a perfect fit for the profile and for the organization.” Score!! Similarly, girl asks boy, “Why do you think we shall be a good match?”, boy thinks, “Because I am 28, I have a job, I have saved enough for the wedding, so I think finally my parents will let me have free and legitimate sex”, and boy replies, “Because I think we are fundamentally compatible, we have similar values, and we come from similar cultural backgrounds.”
Game, Set, Match… (both in the corporate world as well as in the matrimonial world)
….. Simanti Talukdar