My Big Fat Indian Documentary

Day 108

RULE #2

THE UNIVERSE ALWAYS DELIVERS

“I came seriously close to getting married four times, and each time I backed off in fear or for one reason or another. Each occasion was different, but in hindsight…it wasn’t a bad thing.”

– Ratan Tata

Yesterday’s post reminded me of something my parents once said to me about my pursuit for Mr. Right. After I’d been looking unsuccessfully for a couple of years, and was ready to throw in the towel, they told me to keep on looking, that eventually I’d find him, but I had to keep doing what I was doing, and trust the process.

Although I did keep looking for a while, eventually I got fed up and stopped. The thing is, I never really did take their advice; I never trusted the process. I was doubtful that I’d meet Mr. Right through an arranged process, and I had all kinds of subconscious limiting beliefs that I wasn’t aware of at the time – all the things I talked about in the Diamond Girl post.

Now, as I sit here trying to write this post, I’m struggling to put my thoughts together. I’ve been trying to write this post for about a month, but I’m never able to formulate my thoughts, and every time I go back to it, I hit a wall. That’s a sure sign that I’m holding on to something, but I don’t know what it is. Maybe once I am able to write this post, it will shed light on what’s blocking me.

I’m determined to get this out once and for all, so I’m just going to write my random thoughts and let the keyboard do the talking. As I write these words, I realize that maybe it’s so hard for me to get this post out not because of the topic, but because this was the most pivotal time period of my adult life – it’s when I decided to make a major change that would inform all of my life experiences from that point onward. I decided to move clear across the continent to a new city and country, where I knew no one, and uproot myself from everything I had ever known.

It was 1997, Indian culture was taking it’s place on the main stream stage with Madonna wearing mehndi tattoos on MTV, Deepak Chopra had become a household name, yoga classes were popping up in every fitness club across the continent, Bhangra was being played in main stream dance clubs, and Bollywood was blowing up the scene with a fresh new approach to the typical boy meets girl story.

I had a vision of the life I wanted – I wanted the whole fairytale, complete with the house, adorable kids, fairytale romance, amazing family and friends, successful careers – the power couple with the perfect blend of east meets west, who had it all from the boardroom to the bedroom and everything in between.

Internet dating sites weren’t really a thing yet, we were still meeting old school via matrimonial classifieds. I had been corresponding with someone from California for a couple of months. We had great conversations and there seemed to be some chemistry, and his picture wasn’t bad either. We finally decided to meet, and I chose to go out to California to meet him because, well, it was California. Of course, we had a stellar time, we got along great, there was chemistry and everything seemed perfect. He even checked off almost everything on my list. And the amazing backdrop of the San Francisco bay area didn’t hurt either. I fell in love, head over heels…with California. And I really liked the guy too.

Silicon Valley was on fire, the economy was booming, and every tech company in the valley was looking for qualified IT professionals. On a whim, I decided to move to California, and with the blink of an eye, two weeks later, I found myself with a new job, a new apartment, and a new life right in the heart of it all.

It was an exciting time for me – Silicon Valley was on the cusp of the tech bubble, and I was about to hit the airwaves in Some Kind of Arrangement – a documentary on arranged marriage that I was one of three subjects in.

I decided to participate in this ground breaking documentary on what arranged marriage looked like in modern Indian society because I was passionate about letting the next generation know that you could hold on to your cultural roots and thrive in the larger community too. I wanted the second and third generation kids to know that “arranged marriage” wasn’t some archaic process where the couple in question had no say in their own futures. So, I spent the summer before I moved to California filming the documentary, but it wasn’t scheduled to air until about a month after I moved, so I missed the nation-wide broadcast from coast to coast on CBC of my television debut.

I found out later that I did succeed in my mission to show the younger generation the advantages of “some kind of arrangement” because the documentary had become part of the high school curriculum in social studies courses across Canada. And to my amazement, just a couple of years ago, a sociology student from one of Canada’s best universities contacted me on social media to ask my thoughts on arranged marriage for an essay she had to write on the documentary as part of her university course curriculum. They are using this documentary to teach culture at the university level. OMG. Mission accomplished. Not only did the documentary reach young Indians, but it has helped inform young Canadians about Indian culture. I did my thing, and the Universe delivered even more than I expected.

Of course, I still hadn’t found Mr. Right, and it turned out that Mr. Seemed Perfect was more interested in a drinking buddy than a life partner. So, there I was, 3,000 miles away from home, back to the drawing board. By now internet dating was becoming more popular, so I created a profile and began my search online. That’s a book in and of itself – one many of my friends told me to write at the time since I was the pioneer, helping all the single people I knew to navigate this new frontier, cautioning them on the do’s and don’t’s of online dating, and pointing out the warning signs of the “flakes” and players.

But I still didn’t trust the process. By now, I actually had a firm belief that this “arranged method of meeting” was just not meant for me, and that I’d have to meet someone on my own if it was going to work.

About a year later, I did meet someone on my own, and he checked off everything on my list. It didn’t work out romantically, but eventually, he became my best friend. Today, eighteen years later, that person is still my BFF and I can’t imagine how my life would have been without him in it. If I hadn’t moved to California on a whim, I would never have met him.

“The real magic lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

Now that I’ve written this, I wonder, maybe the process worked after all – I had my doubts about finding my life partner, and I never did get married, but I did find someone who has shared my life with me, maybe not the way I thought it would be, but I’m not sure I’d change a thing.

Hindsight.

The Universe ALWAYS delivers. You just have to look.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

3 Replies to “My Big Fat Indian Documentary”

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