My parents had an arranged marriage ; they met once before their marriage and were introduced by a distant relative of both. That was 1969. Circa 2001, and I had an arranged marriage. I met my wife through a newspaper, we met only twice before saying yes, even if we spent 7-8 hours together in our second meeting. Thats how marriages happened in India. Infact, the majority of marriages in 2019 are also ‘fixed’ in a similar manner.
Some things never change, or so I thought….till I spoke to a few nieces of mine in the past one week.
A niece of mine, 28, succesful in the tech world in San Francisco is single and dating, but is in a dilemma. She knows a guy, she likes him but is not sure if he is “the one”. She is not sure she wants to commit at this stage. I suggest that she should take the relationship forward. Invest time and emotional energy in it, and in 6 months, she would know. But my niece is not sure. Is this too much to invest ? Another relative makes a bold suggestion…. “why don’t you live-in and decide after that ?” I wondered whether my parents would have ever given this advise to me. Not sure if I am ready to give this advise to my son either. Maybe she could look at his horoscope. Isnt that what our parents did !
But, her dilemma is that her “excel” is not throwing up an answer. Hey, whats’ this excel ? She has created a scoring model with criteria, weightages and scores to give the guy a number. She is stuck because she does not know whether the number he has got makes the cut ! This is like a non-validated psychometric tool. Every HR person wants to use it, and every business leader understands the futility of it.
I laugh, and I say that a relationship can’t be built on an excel. But a friend tells me this is not a relationship, but an arranged marriage. The girl is arranging it for herself ! And she is actually quite kicked about the fact that men are getting “objectified”…..after all, they have done it to women for centuries !
But jokes apart, for a minute, if we were to put the wise cracks on men, HR and excel aside, what have we come to ?
I see similar challenges at the work place today. Money drives us more than passion. Intelligence is valued more than empathy. Emotional intelligence has become an oxymoron for most. We rule by excel, powerpoint and email. Mann ki baat tho ho thi nahin !
Somewhere, we are losing our ability to trust our gut. We are losing our ability to let the heart rule the mind. Consultants with powerful excel models and fancy powerpoint slides never made great companies. A dream, passion, luck and a willingness to fail are what greatness has been built upon.
The original business plans of Apple, Google or Amazon were no more detailed than a 1 page horoscope. Maybe the horoscope does indeed deserve a second chance !