Love don’t come easy

When our parents ask “Beta/i, why aren’t you settled yet?” We like to respond that it’s just much harder to find somebody in American than it was back in the desh. Well, it seems that men and women in India don’t have it so easy either.

Consider the eligible bachelors of Barwaan Kala who remain unmarried because the ladeez (and their parents) consider the village a tad too rustic:

Some 121 villagers aged between 16 and 80 remain bachelors, they say, because of the remoteness of the village. The last wedding in the village was reportedly 50 years ago… the reason for the high number of bachelors is not because they lack eligibility but because there is no approach road to the village. [link]

After 100 50 years of solitude, they were given hope that the government would listen to their pleas when a politician asked for their votes and promised that he wouldn’t get married either unless he could get them a road. Unfortunately, that hope was cruelly dashed the next year:

But, after winning, the new Member of the Legislative Assembly not only got married the next year but, in the villagers’ eyes, added insult to injury by making the event a gala affair. He is now the proud father of a two-year-old daughter. When the villagers approached him to remind him of his promise to them, they say he asked them if they really believed that he too should remain a bachelor forever. [link]

<

p>So now the villagers have decided to take the grasp the problem firmly with their own two hands, and are laboring furiously to produce a solution. In the past six weeks half the road has gotten laid, with an equivalent amount of laying still to be done.

“Who among you,” she asked “will donate to me your sperm?”The story is pure Bolly. You have desperate villagers, a perfidious politician, and an epic effort by the men to build a bridge to romance, much like Rama building a bridge to Lanka to rescue Sita.

There’s even a Jindalesque moment in the plot where the villagers are told that they cannot build the road themselves, because they are in a protected wildlife area and they have to satisfy the red tape! (We’re currently at the cliffhanger moment right now … )

<

p>There’s one problem – I don’t believe it. If nobody has gotten married in 50 years, then how are there 16 year old boys in the village?

<

p> They do admit that a few members of the 1,500 person village have gotten married by sneaking into other villages and pretending to live there, but honestly this whole nobody has gotten married in 50 years thing is a wee bit of exaggeration, much like when your best friend claims that s/he hasn’t gotten any …. (dramatic pause) in decades.

Once they can leave their village, I’d like to introduce them to a bunch of women on the other side of India who have the opposite problem:

With all the thirtysomething women on the prowl –in chic sandals–Mumbai is starting to feel more like Sex and the City. I was at a cocktail party two weeks ago, when, after a series of vodka Diet Cokes, my friend Sameera Buxani piped up. “Who among you,” she asked in her smoke-thrashed voice and lilting accent, “will donate to me your sperm?”

It was the kind of brassy, provocative statement you might expect to hear from a single woman in New York, or Los Angeles, or London. But I was at Sameera’s family’s home in Mumbai, India, and the inquiry was met with an awkward silence. Except for me and another woman, the guests were men: an economist, a writer, and an architect. All Indian. Sameera, 37, is a Mumbai-based publicist. The silence continued, but she persisted: “Boys, did you hear my question?” [link]

And if Sameera isn’t interested in any of the fine fellows on the other side of this road, she might look to the vessels full of seamen that arrive in Bombay daily. (One if by land and two if by sea) Now that India has embraced free trade, any domestic issue can be solved by recourse to international affairs, and the solution to domestic scarcity can be found in trading a broad.

39 thoughts on “Love don’t come easy

  1. If nobody has gotten married in 50 years, then how are there 16 year old boys in the village?

    Beta, babies aren’t produced by the act of… marriage.

  2. Then you have women having children 34 years after they got married. Even if they were married at 16, they would have been having kids at 50 in order for this to be true …

  3. 2 · Ennis said

    Then you have women having children 34 years after they got married.

    arre beta, i know mummy daddy told you that when a man loves a woman very much, they have to get married before doing durtty durtty things to each other. sorry though, they lied.

  4. Ha! who says gays can’t have kids?? ask proposition-8ers…. A country with no women…. sounds interesting…

  5. And if Sameera isn’t interested in any of the fine fellows on the other side of this road, she might look to the ships full of seamen arriving in Bombay daily. Now that India has embraced free trade, any domestic issue can be solved by recourse to international affairs, and the solution to domestic scarcity can be found in trading a broad.

    Nicely done.

    “Who among you,” she asked in her smoke-thrashed voice and lilting accent, “will donate to me your sperm?”

    But will protectionists and erection (of) barriers make it more difficult to stimulate growth?

  6. Lol!! Great article. Great material for the next bolly/danny movie. In the picture, the posture of the guy in the extreme left (in while and blue) reminds me of Obelix.

    But seriously, now the women should be impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of these guys :) .

  7. As one group of them shoves big boulders aside, another group hammers them into small stone chips to lay the road.

    i am glad to see that these young men getting their rocks off.

  8. 1 · agni aunt said

    If nobody has gotten married in 50 years, then how are there 16 year old boys in the village?
    Beta, babies aren’t produced by the act of… marriage.

    Lemurians reproduced asexually. Also, DIYers in bronze age Gangetic plain had created a tecnhique requiring only a clay pot and the male gamete

  9. Consider the eligible bachelors of Barwaan Kala who remain unmarried because the ladeez (and their parents) consider the village a tad too rustic:

    Though never married for 50 yrs is prob. an exaggeration but there were reports in the media this is a growing social problem in Haryana - Haryana boys heading south in search of brides

  10. It had to come to this before they moved their butts to build a road. Reminds me of my mother and her friends organizing villagers to build toilets–for themselves. My question then was, if they were waiting for the government to build toilets all that time were they also expecting the government to wipe their ass?

  11. The article forgets to mention declining sex ratio. Things are apparently so bad that even in prosperous states like Punjab and Haryana, women are being brought/bought? from poorer but more gender equitable areas like Bengal and Nepal to marry their men. The declining sex ratio is not a natural phenomenon, it largely arises because of female foeticide! So instead of building roads maybe they should stop murdering their daughters.

  12. On Kerala Haryana Marriages

    “Tere poverty is driving many girls into such alliances. Also, a better educational background of Malayalee girls and their ability to adapt to different environments put them in good stead,” Vinod said. Haryanvi youth do not find brides in their home because of fewer women and a new found empowerment — forcing them to look for brides in down south.”

    Haryana Sex Ratio: it had declined from 865 females per 1000 males in 1991 to 861 females per 1000 males in 2001.I Kerala Sex Ratio: According to the 2001 census there are 1058 females per 1000 males.

  13. onsider the eligible bachelors of Barwaan Kala who remain unmarried because the ladeez (and their parents) consider the village a tad too rustic:
    There’s even a Jindalesque moment in the plot

    What? Did somebody suggest chemical castration?

  14. I’d like to introduce them to a bunch of women on the other side of India who have the opposite problem
    “Who among you,� she asked in her smoke-thrashed voice and lilting accent, “will donate to me your sperm?�

    Donate? Now that the road is laid, don’t you think these hardworking men deserve to get laid too?

  15. writing from India. I have been to two weddings in the last few years here in Bangalore, where the bridegroom is an American born Desi who had an arranged marriage from India. A third one is on the way, but he is 1.5 Desi. Interestingly, I haven’t heard of any where an American born Desi is the bride.

  16. I have known couple of cases where the bride was American born, but the commonality was that the guys were doctors in India and the girls were going to med school. It is a different matter that both the couples separated within 2 years their marriages.

  17.     These people may build roads but that does not mean the problems will be resolved. 
    
          In quite a few places, the bride's family really wants the girl to marry up into a city or at least a bigger town with more facilities.The hope is her life will be better and if that is not possible, she may as well stay unmarried rather than move to another place with a similar lifestyle. And the girl is more vocal in demanding a guy who can provide a house with appliances and make her life easier even though she may have little job skills once she moves to a city and will remain a housewife.
    
    
     A nice lady we know was distraught when a prospective bride's family visited their house to meet the groom and never called back. I guess the old tv, the tiny house scared them off not to mention the groom owns a tiny cornershop. Another family friend who owns a hotel had to pay a substantial amount to get his son married off, the poor son had just an Arts degree which is about as low you can go on the totem pole of college education. 
    
  18. 19 · Ennis said

    Agni Aunt – nicely done.

    in her time, aunty’s done plenty of the nasty too.

    Khoofia – brilliantly penetrating insights

    oh, but those are not the sort Ms. Buxani is looking for.

  19. The last wedding in the village was reportedly 50 years ago
    If nobody has gotten married in 50 years, then how are there 16 year old boys in the village?

    They got married outside the village and moved back in with their spouse?

  20. 24 · pingpong said

    They got married outside the village and moved back in with their spouse?

    or they adopted a few*? maybe the swish set of Bombay might consider it too :)

    *informal adoptions among relatives are not so rare in India, right?

  21. Most of the roads in rural Kerala were laid by ordinary people with no assistance from government (In pre-60s for cart travel and post 70s for car travel). Road building in Kerala is tedious for the terrain and the rain. The road building was a part of voluntary community projects. I dont thik road building played any role in the higher female ratio in Kerala. But the higher female ratio will certainly make men get off their butts and make more roads. More female kids are answers to most problem areas of the world.

  22. if they were married at 16
    working flat out to build a 6km (3.7-mile) road to help their efforts to get married. The village of Barwaan Kala, in the west of Bihar, is located high in the Kaimur hills
    There’s even a Jindalesque moment in the plot

    Pregnant 16 year olds and a road to nowhere? That sounds more like a Palinesque moment to me!

  23. It’s funny that people haven’t really had much to say about the second story … the one I put second b/c I was afraid it was too senationalistic ;)

  24. Hmm.. I recall reading in the last(?) book by Crichton’s “Next” that sperm donors can be asked to pay child support for any children reared with their hard nights work.

    Also do sperm banks get bailouts?

  25. It’s funny that people haven’t really had much to say about the second story … the one I put second b/c I was afraid it was too senationalistic

    probably coz the second is so rare and the first one is more common. No road villages are very common / women wanting a sperm donor in india are “crazy”

  26. This answers the question-

    “How many roads should a man build before you can call him a man?”

  27. On the other hand: More than 250 men put their private parts under the surgeons knife through 2008; this, in a place where the male sterilisation figure had never reached double figures in the past 20 years. They had an incentive: the government, in the form of Shivpuri District Collector Manish Shrivastava, had promised them an arms licence each if they underwent the operation. They did so in family planning camps where forms for gun licences were made available.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=eb828493-4161-41f0-91fd-fe111cbb0f49&Headline=Vasectomy+for+gun+licence+deal+sours

  28. 28 · Ennis said

    It’s funny that people haven’t really had much to say about the second story … the one I put second b/c I was afraid it was too senationalistic ;)

    Somehow, that doesn’t even sound like Ennis.

  29. The girls marry and leave, so they’re not as constrained by how remote it is. No family wants to send their daughters here.

  30. Ennis said It’s funny that people haven’t really had much to say about the second story … the one I put second b/c I was afraid it was too senationalistic ;) Somehow, that doesn’t even sound like Ennis.

    It’s not. It’s Ms.U-know-who.

    She seems to be back in action the past few days.

  31. Brown, I appreciate that eternal vigilance is the cost of freedom and all, but you’re tripping. I can see the IP addresses, that’s not PG.

  32. Brown, I appreciate that eternal vigilance is the cost of freedom and all, but you’re tripping. I can see the IP addresses, that’s not PG.

    Yeah but didn’t she/he/it change her IP addresses, like, daily?