All my friends who are girls ( notice the conscious avoidance of the word “girlfriend” 😀 ) are now 24 and above, and that makes them eligible for the ‘M’ event. So whenever we meet, the only topic they all love to discuss amongst themselves is groom hunting.
So what’s this ‘arranged marriage’ process? First you have to scan through the numerous marriage bureaus and enlist in them. Ok!! hold on a minute!!! I don’t know all this because I am groom hunting ( For the Love of God, I’m straight!!!! )… I know this coz my uncle is groom hunting for his daughter…
So, you have to enlist in all these marriage bureaus and matrimony sites. Then the initiations of contacts starts. Now this is a real funny thing to do. Some of the profiles on the Internet are just plain hilarious… read on…
‘He is an ambitious girl with respect towards indian traditions. He is good care taker, he know how to give respect to the other ,having own office at m.g.road,secunderabad…’ ( Don’t be fooled by the gender used, this is what is written in a GUY’s profile!!! )
Once there is a suitable profile match, the family is contacted on email or phone, and the astrological and other details are exchanged. Once everyone is satisfied with that, then a convenient time and place is decided and the families meet. Usually the guy’s family goes to the girl’s house, and what happens next is sheer madness.
So the girl brings a tray of tea cups and some snacks for everyone, and the questioning starts. The interviewers are usually the guy’s parents and any other member of their family they care to tag along. The guy himself is sitting there like a mice among cats…
Father of the boy: So you know dancing?
Girl : ( in her mind) kyu??? mujra karvaoge kya???
Mother: so can you cook a meal for 5-6 people?
Girl: Say!!! You don’t mean you have such an appetite!!!
Guy( he’s out of his wits there, and holding on by the skin of his teeth, when suddenly someone from his family suggests he should ask a question. Believe me, he’s cursing that person with the finest slangs you’ll ever come across!!!): So when is your lunch time in office?
Girl: Please tell me my marriage doesn’t depend on my answer to this fuckin’ stupid question!!!
The girl’s father is the only one who has ‘some’ say in all this, and someone, not the one who said let the boy ask questions, suggests he ask questions to the boy. Now the poor man is trying to know their opinion about his dear li’l princess, so he asks, “So what is your idea of a wife?” (Big mistake, and the girl casts a momentary sideways glance at her father. If looks could kill…)
Guy: Well uncle, I need someone who shares all my stress and the responsiblities of my family, is dedicated to my parents and is professionally settled but at the same time is the homemaker, and raise my kids the way an ideal mother would raise, should follow…
Girl: Goes to her room, comes back with a fully loaded AK-47 and riddles the guy with bullets…
So after all this horseshit, the guy gathers his family and leaves, and the girl just heaves a sigh of relief. She’s just happy she can now change back from the stiffling salwar-kameez or saree to her jeans and tee. I remember being in one such meeting, when a guy came with 7-8 relatives asking for my cousin’s hand in marriage, and after they left, she asked my my opinion about the guy. “What guy?”, I retorted, ” There were 3 men of the same age sitting next to each other on the couch, and none of them spoke for the whole part of an hour that they spent. How the hell am I supposed to know who was the one?”
Between carving her own identity and trying to please her parents and family, who act like they’re from a century past, the typical Indian middle class girl treads on a tight rope. I don’t know if arranged marriage is better than love marriage, because marriage is too individualistic a thing to generalize, but I do know this whole process is a harassment she has to go through. I read somewhere that the road to heaven goes through hell, and I can just pray that the outcome of all this ragging is a marriage others can be jealous of. But one thing’s for sure, marriages are made in homes, coffee shops, Macs… everywhere BUT heaven.