A Suitable Boy.

A suitable boy – now we know what defines a boy, but what defines suitable exactly? A boy who loves you passionately but is from another religion by birth is unsuitable? A boy who believes in pursuing his passion for writing over his profession of law is unsuitable? Or a boy with whom none of the girl’s choices, views, and even interests match while also being torn over another female whom he couldn’t marry is suitable? And why?

Well, for starters, no, I am not getting married or being appraised by future mother-in-laws. This is the result of reading the book which shares the same title as my post.


I don’t know about the world in general, because no one can claim to know or speak on behalf of the world, considering we are a big, fat group of 7 billion people and counting steadily every second. But I can speak for what I have seen. Why try and define suitable? Why put people in boxes and categorize them away like they are files to be indexed and filed away? Why can’t we invest time in building relationships and understanding people rather than checking off their ‘suitable’-ness off a checklist? Why do parents feel the need to thrust their opinions on us all the while expecting us to listen and abide by it because we were borne into this world by them? Now, now. Don’t get me wrong. The opinion and blessings of parents are an absolute must – because they have seen your faults and frailties and still accept you lovingly.

To quote John Green, ” Whenever you’re furious with your parents or you think they’re terrible, just remember, you vomited on them and they kept you”.

John’s right. But I am concerned when parents who are generally free-spirited, open minded and modern turn into society-fearing, tradition-abiding and decision-thrusting parents – and that generally happens when it comes to marrying off their offspring. Of course, you want the best and the most suitable boy for us, but what scales are you using to weigh ‘best’ and ‘suitable’?

I doubt anyone’s getting answers to these questions any time soon. But if someone does, please let me in!

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Without any disrespect to Mr. Vikram Seth, I am quite disappointed with how his story turned out to be. Or maybe he meant to write it as a satire. Then it would make more sense, yes. Because when he’s casting a web of love, passion, lies, deception, extra-marital affairs, incest, prostitutes, (along with politics, religion, cricket, shoe-making and poetry) and then telling me that an arranged marriage of a bold, talented, intelligent and strongly opinionated young lady with a man who’s heart lies with someone else but a steady job and good management skills make him a suitable boy, then I’m mighty disappointed. Because your web has a lot of loose ends that need tying up.

Oh and let’s not discuss the length. A mere one thousand four hundred and something pages. With possibly as many characters and plot points. Beautiful but a tad unnecessary. Enriching but not satisfying.

P.P.S. : The P.S. seems to be half as long as the post! Vikram Seth after effects! 😉

Published by AditiChandak

Writing is the passion... Thoughts arise, words flow and the excitement never subsides!

16 thoughts on “A Suitable Boy.

  1. I agree with your perspective, but have a problem with John Green’s quote! That we should consider our parents on the basis of all they did for us is flawed. That is no different from helping out a friend, and then expecting something in return. True giving (and child raising) should be unconditional. The child did not ask to be born. The parents, by having a child, are expected to accept all the inherent responsibilities and if that includes changing diapers, being vomited on, and various other unpleasantness…. that is part of the responsibility of raising a child and should not dictate anything more than simple acknowledgement.

    In the parents favor, of course, is the fact they have so much more world and life experience which should be considered. Having said that, one must decide whether their life experiences over the years are totally relevant to your life today. Some will be, and some will not.

    From my perspective as a parent, my role is to educate and advise as necessary so that they can make intelligent and informed decisions. It is not my role to dictate what they should/should not do. I firmly believe that if my children make bad decisions out of ignorance, then I have to take the responsibility. If however, they make a bad decision out of stupidity, then they take full responsibility. To use an analogy, it is my job to see that they are playing with a full deck of cards. How they play those cards is entirely up to them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, John’s quote when heard in the context is quite funny but maybe it didn’t fit in well here. No, you don’t need to respect or love your parents because they brought you up but because of the simple reason that they love you unconditionally.

      I applaud your perspective as a parent and when my time comes, I hope I can see my life and my children in that very same light! You should guide your children but not take decisions on their behalf. That is something they need to learn to do on their own.

      Thanks for taking the time out to read and comment! I really appreciate your efforts and respect your opinions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been told “If you are not liberal when you are young, then you have no heart. If you do not become conservative when you are old, then you have no brain.” I’m not sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that our parents once felt the same as we do, but after they had children establishing a place in society became increasingly important…they changed. “Suitable” became a checklist of hope to sway their children’s futures into ‘safer’ more ‘suitable’ waters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Considering you have much more life experience than I have lived, and also because you put things so eloquently into words, I will agree to what you said.
      But sometimes, parents can be wrong too, can’t they?
      Do the children always have to be better safe than sorry?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aha! Read the book ages but love it. I think that the narration is heart pounding. I agree with you on what makes a suitable boy or perfect girl and blame it on ego ridden and selfishness of many parents who expect their children to be exactly their replica.Let them be their own person and fly to conquer dreams and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the support! Actually, I was very impressed with the character build up for Lata and I could relate to her in a lot of ways. But as the story progressed further, things became regressive and a lot of ends needed tying up.
      But one thing he needs to be credited for is that he hasn’t sugar-coated reality and has portrayed our society like it is. Though it isn’t the best of places to be in, it is the one place we have.

      Anyways, welcome to my little place! 🙂 See you here more often!


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