My friends Geeta and Ravi Patel, a talented brother and sister team based here in Los Angeles, are working on a comedy documentary titled, “One in A Billion.” The documentary follows Ravi’s quest for a wife and explains the odds stacked against him all along the way. Geeta previously co-directed the film Project Kashmir in 2008. Ravi has appeared in a few recent shows as touched on by Taz here. Here is the synopsis of the documentary:
So, my parents, who are totally, sickly, exuberantly in love- they had a traditional Hindu arranged marriage. Naturally, they want me to marry an Indian girl. Let’s say I want that too. India has a population of over a billion people. Easy, right? But I live in America, where Indians only make up one percent of the general population. My odds of finding this person are one in a hundred. But now let’s say I want this person to be a woman (fifty percent): make that one in two hundred. Now let’s say, I want this woman to be unmarried and over the age of seventeen (fifty percent): one in four hundred. Now, actually, this girl is supposed to be Hindu and her family has to originate from a specific 50-square mile radius in the State of Gujarat, India): one in two thousand. Okay, so now let’s say I have to like her, she has to like me, and we have to actually find each other…what are the chances?
ONE IN A BILLION
p>This equation, or close versions of it, have been around for a long time in the American desi community. My undergrad buddies at Michigan and I ran through this equation back in the late 90s trying to explain our failed (alright, my failed) love lives. The funny thing is the math is very similar to the Drake Equation which attempts to approximate the number of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy. The final odds all depend on the probability you assign to each variable.
Ravi Patel is approaching age thirty and still single – a cataclysm in his culture. After breaking up with Audrey, his secret white girlfriend of two years, Ravi goes to India for his annual family trip. As usual, the pressure to get married is heavy, only this time Ravi succumbs; he agrees to try things their way: the semi-arranged marriage system. He comes back to America having no idea what he just agreed to. Blind dates with Indian girls introduced to him via biodatas – matrimonial resumes passed amongst the parents. Indian dating websites. Indian weddings. And matrimonial conventions for people all descending from a small group of villages in India – all with the same last name: Patel. Meanwhile, Ravi can’t stop thinking about Audrey. Ravi Patel has one year to find a girl, or next year he tries things the way his parents did it: the arranged marriage.
p>Because this is a documentary (i.e., things need to be serious) Geeta and Ravi are going to be interviewing a panel of all kinds of desi experts, including couples with interesting stories, as part of this PBS documentary. That is where you readers potentially come in. Got a good story about your relationship?
SEARCHING FOR INTERESTING PERSONALITY WITH GREAT DATING STORIES!!!
A PBS Documentary about Indian dating and marriage in America is searching for everyday people to appear as guests for a filmed radio talk show in conjunction with the film.
The talk show panel will include academics from around the world, celebrities, and everyday people. We are searching for the following:
Indian Americans who are currently dating people through biodatas/parents, marriage conventions, the internet, and other methods. We are searching for someone who might have faced a great deal of pressure/conflict from their family regarding love and marriage, and someone who has grappled with the question: “Do I need to marry an Indian to be happy?’ Must be dynamic, interesting personality. Shoot is Los Angeles in early July.
If you would like to share thoughts, have any further questions, or are interested in a preliminary interview, please email: tsbillion [at] gmail.com.
Since relationship posts on SM are always the most commented upon, I am sure some of you will be jumping at this opportunity.