Tuesday, 12 April 2011

What's your genetic kundali?

Syed Akbar
What's your genetic kundali? Don't be surprised if a girl asks you before the betrothal ceremony. She is just insisting that the children should be fair complexioned and good looking.

With many young Hyderabadis, particularly girls, preferring handsome and beautiful life partners, star charts have taken a back seat. "Fair looks" is the `in' thing now, say pre-marriage counsellors. Earlier, it was the boy, who used to insist on a beautiful bride. The girl too now wants a handsome groom, thanks to the "fairness mantra".

Youngsters now believe that while the astro charts may decide their fate, it's the gene chart that will definitely decide their offspring and how they look. They have the best and ready examples in star children.  If Abhishekh Bachchan is tall like his father Big B, Saif Ali Khan and Soha have "borrowed" the looks of their mother Sharmila Tagore, rather than from the Nawab of Pataudi. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka inherited the facial features of Rajiv Gandhi.

"If your spouse is beautiful or handsome, your children will be attractive with good genetic features," is the new funda among college students, says astro-psychologist SV Nagnath. And their preference is not without any basis, supports senior geneticist Dr MN Khaja.

"Every person carries genes with characters called dominant and recessive. Dominant characters like dimples, full hair head, tallness, curly hair, and normal vision over take recessive characters, which are quite opposite to dominant features. So if your husband or wife has one or some dominant features, they are passed on to the children," adds Dr Khaja.

Pre-marriage counsellors like Nagnath point out that apart from the star chart and kundali, youngsters these days are particular about their would be spouse.

Seven out of ten youngsters planning to marry think of their offspring and future generations. This was not the case earlier. With education levels and beauty consciousness growing fast even in rural areas, many want their children to look more beautiful and handsome than they are.

Because of this "beautiful child concern", particularly among girls, children are turning out to be more intelligent and even stronger in body features than their parents. A recent study by the city-based National Institute of Nutrition confirms that present generation girls are taller than their mothers.

"Almost two-thirds of youngsters, who visit us for pre-marital counselling, do not hide their plans about having fair complexioned and good-looking babies. Even in arranged matches, both boys and girls now insist that the would-be spouse should have strong body physique and good facial features", points our Nagnath.

Parents feel proud when their relatives or friends praise their children. "It is a source of contention for many. Certain body features like baldness, dark complexion and short-sightedness are to genetics what Manglik dosham is to astro-charts," says CV Subbaiah, a marriage counsellor. According to him, more than half of his clients give preference to beauty and looks, rather than money and family background.
Like Manglik dosham can be over come through special poojas and rituals, genetic defects can be manipulated by choosing a spouse with strong and dominant genetic characters, adds Nagnath, who is attached to a corporate hospital in the city.
According to Dr Khwaja, if a girl, for instance, has night blindness, she can avoid the problem in her children by marrying a boy with normal vision. Night blindness is a recessive character while normal vision is dominant. Similarly, curly hair, dark hair, dimples, broad lips and normal hearing are dominant features over normal hair, no dimples, blonde or red hair, thin lips and congenital deafness.

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