>Finding a title for this post is as difficult as finding a suitable boy. Or girl.

>To marry, that is. I may regret having met The Guy when I was barely 18, but I do not regret having found husband material so soon. On the contrary, I think I’ve been lucky when I compare myself to friends who’ve been there, done that but still can’t find themselves the kind of person they would like to marry. And no, I’m not talking about the kind of people who do not believe in marriage. I’m talking about the kind of people who want to marry, who’ve not found love yet, would be okay with an arranged match except that this whole arranging a match has turned out to be quite an ordeal.

So my 27-year old, successful lawyer friend’s fretful mother is spending sleepless nights over her marital status. And the friend’s quite tired of her single status too. But where’s the boy who’ll be her match? The successful boys have been too stingy (one refused to even share the bill at Barista!), the generous ones too ugly, others too conservative. The interrogations and telephonic interviews can get quite exasperating, I am asked to believe. And I believe it.

For the story for my 30-year-old bachelor friend who has finally sown his wild oats isn’t too different. He’s looking for a career-oriented girl now who’ll fit into the family as well as take care of his business. Of course, the stapes stay: compatibility and looks. The almost-perfect-for-him girl’s family turned out to be totally weird, another was too orthodox, still another not ambitious enough. He goes so far as to make a comparison chart of the suitable girls on Excel sheets. And all the analysing has been of no help till now! He’s still single, still wants to get married and still has no idea how he’s supposed to know a girl in one look, one meeting, one conversation!

And then there’s my dapper 27-year-old cousin who still can’t imagine himself living with a girl whom he won’t get bored of! He’s officially “settled” – roti, kapda aur makaan all taken care of – and promises to work on his commitment phobia as his family goes hunting for his life partner. His mum is sweet enough to say she doesn’t care for the girl’s complexion, age or height for her good-looking, fair and tall son. But despite those concessions, the prospective brides are conspicuous by their absence.

And you would think marriages could be arranged overnight by overexcited relatives, matrimonial ads and websites, all the networking – social and otherwise that goes around us and what have you!

I remember the snide remarks that my parents had to hear when my sister announced her decision to marry the man of her choice not of our caste in 1999. A few years hence, my “love marriage” raised no eyebrows because by then people around us had understood the judiciousness in letting your adult children choose their own partner in life. Some of that understanding may have to do with their inability to find a suitable match for their children in arranged marriages.

Gone are the days when the girl and boy would meet once, talk for five minutes and make up their minds. Gone also are the days when the parents’ word could be taken as final while looking for your prospective spouse.

These are times of great expectations. Everybody seems to be rich and successful, almost everybody is presentable. And there’s no way you can really know anything else about a person in two, even three or four meetings even though you so want toe. So how do you narrow down on the right person?

The expectations are also different now. For one, the rich NRI guy is no longer so wanted. Neither is the “fair, homely, convented girl”. As if the boys’ wish lists weren’t long enough, now girls have theirs too: a career after marriage, their surname too, a nuclear family and lots of space. Marriages must be made in Heaven, especially these days, because down here, things are getting pretty tough on that front.

And I ask, what’s the world coming to if the convenience of an arranged marriage is also no longer to be had?
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20 responses »

  1. >Oh Blimey!It’s that bad, is it?”Ha ha, straight people!”But no, honestly, I’m not one to advocate arranged marriage. I take my parents’ case as an example. A mismatch made in heaven. What I don’t understand, though, is why they’re so adamant on sticking with each other. I must be the first kid to say, “If you guys cannot stand each other to this extent, then why stay together at all?”

  2. >I have been through this charade of finding a girl for my son, and this was the most difficult task of my life, till i asked him to choose himself keeping in mind certain things.Becuase whenever we zeroed in on a girl,he didnt gel , or vice versa.In today’s times I find that self chosen partners are better.

  3. >@Vinz: Nice one! Thank you.@Unsung: I guess it’s like that with most people our parents’ age. The problem with them is despite all the years of incompatibility, they still do not contemplate going separate ways.@Monika: You have to be blinded by that kind of thing to go ahead with it. No?@Renu: And now that comes right from the horse’s mouth! Q.E.D.

  4. >Hehehe people are marrying or hiring? 😛 couldn’t help but wonder.But i think both are for long term investment hehe 😀

  5. >Suggestion for the title : Ties that bind…and gag! :)Yeah arranged marriage isnt really a marriage b/w two people. Its a collaboration b/w two families. An endless list of demands to be fulfilled by one party before the contract can be signed. And hence all the complications. As for single people still on the hunt, their time will come. Trust me,it will. I`m a strong believer of the “wookie” concept(if you`ve read Richard Bach) and strongly believe that there`s a special someone for every person. Only some take a hell lot of a time getting to you. That`s ok. He eventually always gets there,i`m guessing :-)) Like mine did.. :-))

  6. >so so true. how much I relate ! I got married at 25 and at 26 my cousin realised now she can take up marriage !! And it has been 3 years and still unable to find a suitable guy. that too when we are nt fussy of cast and community thing. It is very very difficult this marriage thing; arranged by parents or self …it drills down to same level of difficulty !!

  7. >aaaah good one!!!I am glad if the choice of arranged marriage is no longer an option, hopefully people will start marrying for the right reasons.LIke love, and like wanting to stay together and not becuase one has to.

  8. >@bloggingknight: I wonder that too sometimes!@Piper: That’s what I tell my friends – hang in there!@bluemist: Another reason to do away with this whole marriage thing.@chandni: True. But not everybody who wants to marry gets lucky in love.

  9. >I’ve realised this:1. I don’t know who the perfect match is; and2. Whoever she is, I seriously doubt my parents’ abilities to hunt her down :PErgo, No Arranged Marriages Here, thanks. 🙂 Being single isn’t a lot of fun, but considering the arranged alternative. Natch.

  10. >Loved your post and the title works because it spells the vulnerability that you talk of. The arranged marriage concept does not suit me but I dont think its that bad a thing. Shaadidotcoms and bharatmatris are just another form of it- call it self arranged or whatever. One meeting or life time that discussion can go on for ever. As for those list and excelsheets – they dont work. When that person comes you will know it. Just keep making eye contacts and the sparks will come alive.

  11. >seriously! i thank my stars for making sure that i didnt have to go through the whole arranged marriage thing!and in all the constraints, we dont forget about the awesome, horoscope matching thing!! in marathi they have a saying “dushkaalat terava mahina”, thats 13th month in famine ridden year!great post!cheers!abha

  12. >Title suggestion: In search of Ms/Mr Perfect!When people are successful, when have have a well-paid job, high education, looks and good family background, they see perfection in everything and wouldn’t prefer to compromise in life’s biggest decision. PS: A matrimonial website: simplymarry.com ; name itself sounds weird. You can’t marry simply without a reason!Just my 2 cents.

  13. >@Mini: I don’t think arranged marriaged are good or bad. But the arranging the marriage isn’t good at all!@Abha: I know. I thought about adding the kundli bit, but that’s a different story altogether!@Manasa: I wanted to include that misnomer – simplymarry – but you did that for me. Thanks 🙂

  14. >my single friends are frustrated due to the same thing!!its so hard to find a perfect match these days…even shaadi.com doesnt work.and orkut, facebook, etc make it more complicated. You know, since we google the name and see all nasty things about the other person!

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