Recently, courtesy of my ’70s hairstyle and familiarity with the kajol, I have come across innumerable friend requests and personal messages on Facebook from a variety of old men. It’s not like this didn’t happen before. Being a young girl with an online account in Bangladesh pretty much puts you under the spotlight of ravenous ‘friend-seeking’ men who have a lot of time in their hands. However, the recent burgeoning of their numbers is quite alarming and I have resigned to changing my Facebook status (although they will never get to read it, thanks to privacy options).
So, a couple of weeks back, I received a message at my Inbox from a guy, who by the looks of his passport-sized photo was above 30, tried to appear handsome but failed miserably and has resigned to technology to find his life partner. He writes (and I quote):
“Hi, I am the Asst Manager in one of the largest group in BD. I am moderately pious and of a good family – all the members of my family (including both grand father’s family) are educated and gentle. Currently I am looking for an adorning life partner (22-25 & 5ft2inch-5ft4inch, decent, good looking, moderately pious with good education and of good family). I want her as my best friend also. That’s why I am seeking her through friendship. Consequence of that I would like to know whether there is any probability among us to enter in such relation or not.”
In a nutshell, as the long message proceeded, he was asking whether I was moderately religious (not a punk with scanty blue highlights on my hair, sighs) and of a family background decent enough so he could marry me. Excuse me?
Zabir and I were wondering whether we should set up a meeting with this over-enthusiastic ‘young’ man, make him pay for our date and then, Zabir would go up to him and ask him some questions and end the session saying that our ‘desperate seeker’ needed further improvement in character to be the best match for his girl aka me. Imagine a lover searching for a mate for his beloved and interviewing the guy – I could only imagine the expressions and choke with laughter.
Call me cruel, but I cannot help its facetiousness. Months back, I received another message from a dude living in Riyadh. He asked me whether I was interested to share my life with him. He mentioned he had a good salary, could provide love and guarantee a secured life for me. When I shared the experience with my boss – who btw, is known for his obnoxious sense of humour – he said I should write back to the guy, asking him whether he would provide oil to my country. With the recent rise in petrol prices and my boss’ obsession with cars, I suppose it would have benefited all three unconnected parties – my boss, my country and me. If the guy from Riyadh agreed to our proposal, I might reconsider his interest in ‘sharing my life with him’.
The more laconic messages that come attached to friend requests usually follow a basic pattern. It’s something like this:
“Hi. I good man. You look good girl. You want friendship? Come to me.”
The ones who’re a bit straightforward and don’t want to spend too much time ‘getting to know the chic’ would normally write:
“I great man. Call me now!! 01234567790!”
There are, of course, some men who try to look young. They’d have the first 4 buttons of their shirts undone and wear GayBan sunglasses with an eyebrow raised. If you’ve got patience and an experience of 10 years with friends who possess outright disgorge senses of humour, you’d have a guts to take a better look at the photo. You can see a small bit of the bhuri sticking out, desperately trying to be flattened and hidden using a tight belt and a mixture of grey-and-white curled chest hair. If you’ve ever watched a Dhaliwood blockbuster, this would clearly remind you of all the supposedly ‘powerful’ villains who would have call girls on their laps and rub their clean-shaved chins, saying:
“Eh heh he shundori.. tor eto shundor shorir’e toh kapor manaye na…”
Note the background echoing of a collective shrill of female voices chanting, “Mon chaile mon, deho chaile deho; shobi paabe tumi, jaanbe na keho!”
At this point, you’d switch off your brain and vision, and roll on bed either laughing hysterically or chocking on saliva because you want to throw up. For the more concerned viewers, well, they might roll on bed in despair and write heart-rendering protests on the ‘censored’ vulgarity of our film industry.
Nonetheless, I don’t understand why someone needs to resort to a virtual world to find their love partners. Has the real world gone so void of pretty women? I doubt. When clueless boys with spiked hair and bling bling want to be your friend, you can conclude he’s either homosexual or is extremely bored. You can blame his generation. But when a man with a bhuri as round as a football and aged as old as your uncle seeks your ‘hand in marriage’, the world indeed seems a very strange place. Like these men who’ve been trying to add me recently. Most of them have a medium-sized, serious-looking passport photos wearing formal shirts in a variety of colours and neatly pressed ties. I swear – if a guy with a bow tie adds me, I’m definitely sending him a reply message! It’s hard to imagine none of these men are married, and I’m sure almost 99% of them are sitting in their offices, posting messages to girls on Facebook while their wives are at home, cooking daal and wondering whether her coveted child will get 0.01% marks more than paasher-baari’r bhabi’s son with a baseball head. Some of the more daring stereotypes asked for my CV and whether I came from a particular region in Bangladesh, in tandem to their preferences. Dude, get a life!
In conclusion, I do not want to marry you, creepy old man. I am taken, I have a life and you are a freak of nature. Please go back to your home, put dye on your bald head and see if you could somehow manage to dress like Charlie Chaplin. That way, you might make a more productive career out of joining a circus. You’ve proven to be quite ludicrous already – so I don’t think making people laugh will be much of a problem for you.