Gone are the days when two young people, whose marriage was arranged, sized each other up over samosas and garma garam chai. Now you’re expected to suss out a partner over a coffee-shop date.
Can you read the clues your potential spouse is giving out with their choice of coffee?
A typical arranged marriage meeting in my mother’s time included a thoroughly cleaned home with lace doilies adorning every inch of the house that cannot be walked upon and some chairs borrowed from the neighbours. Along with that, there’d be two sets of well-scrubbed, well-presented families trying to make it about love – but actually gunning for the best deal in the market.
Two young people, sizing each other up from the corner of their eyes between a wave of imitated niceties would sign and seal their lives with samosas and garma garam chai (allegedly made by the bride-to-be).
The rituals around this let’s-kumbaya-around-the-bonfire situation have changed now. An arranged marriage means that rejections have to be backed with “I don’t feel any spark between us” and a lot more. We have all the information we need about someone, and yet know the futility of believing everything that Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter tell us. #LifeGoals or #Wanderlust are good to see on someone’s feed; #CoupleGoals in real life is what counts. In the age of instant right and left swipes, the Shaadi.com zone is not only overwhelming, but will leave you with disturbed hormones.
Potential couples now meet for coffee-shop dates, minus the pretty home set up to understand the reason they must take the plunge. Sharing their blanket, toothpaste, and surname (maybe), and yelling at the rat in the room together is a big decision anyway. But how will you ever know if you’ve found your Mr Darcy/Ms Bridget Jones in this mad mix of socially acceptable behaviour? Here’s a list of clues that your potential spouse is leaving at your date.
Better Never Than Latte
This is an individual who is confused about life. They have no idea what they want to stick with, just like their coffee. Every dash of coffee is layered with milk and cream, like their efforts at progressing in life; an intention, backed by excuses. They will spend a lifetime looking for their comfort zone and will refuse to break the monotony no matter what.
They are lovers of well-beaten coffee that is traditionally achieved by long brews, exotic beans, and expensive coffee-making techniques. These folk learnt to drink their cappuccinos from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and later solidified that habit at the nondescript business school in the UK or US, where they achieved their MBA degree. Despite the generic degree, they might espouse a disdain for everything mainstream like Starbucks, but when no one is watching they will reach for the sachet of Nescafé Cappuccino. To show their love for coffee, they will even name their pug Cappuccino.
The only person more insufferable than a cappuccino snob, is a Kopi Luwak snob. Drinkers of the costliest coffee on earth, these individuals are right at the top of the coffee pyramid. A Kopi Luwak drinker’s love is conditional: Everything they love has to be costly and exclusive, like caviar or foie gras. Basically, Kopi Luwak drinkers are like Kareena’s fiancé, Mr Price Tag in 3 Idiots.
Also ask yourself: Would you marry someone who is ready to drink coffee made from coffee beans sorted out of animal poo? Yeah, me neither. To get out of the proposition, just ask them to accompany you on a chaat crawl through Chandni Chowk.
BDSM alert. This person might appear austere and severe, and their preference in coffee – an earthly reminder of what hell tastes like – is a signal to everyone. These are the folks who ensure that even their pet food is organic and ethically sourced. They’re the ones who jump into a semi-academic internet discussion between conservatives and left-liberals, and point out a spelling error. In other words, killjoys. They take life as it comes – bitter yet digestible. Life with an espresso-drinker is going to be fun only if you are an Americano drinker.
If there isn’t sugar worth 20 Éclairs in your coffee, is it even coffee? Delusional lovers of mocha and frappe believe life is a box of chocolate with no bitter options. This needy bunch looks for constant validation and a lot of pampering. You’d find them wearing singing “Chocolate, limejuice, ice cream, toffiyan…” like Madhuri Dixit on their building terrace, wearing satin pyjamas. If your idea of romance is babysitting your better half who gets high on sugar not single malt, this is your person. Look on the brighter side, at least the mocha-drinker is not the one ordering chai-tea at Starbucks.