Thursday, 5 April 2012

Arranged Marriage or a Blind Date Set up

Arrange marriage which means the marriage is arranged by family members of the boy and girl who are to be wed. I am not against arranged marriage. Many of my friends and relatives are happy after getting hooked in an arranged manner. It’s just that I can’t help looking at the funny side of the whole process of an arranged marriage and how this process has evolved in course of time.

In good olden days (I am talking about 40’s and 50’s), when my grandparents got married, there was a strong belief in Kundllis and Gotras, almost every family belonging to the older generation had a family Purohit (priest). Besides their regular prayers and havens, the main task of these priests was to suggest prospective matches for the children when they reached marriageable age (at that time it was 16 -17 years was the perfect marriage bale age). As the Purohits had a wide base in a number of families, they fixed a meet between the prospective in-law families, after pronouncing the kundlis satisfactory. Another way through which marriages were fixed up was through the Nai and Nain (erstwhile beauticians), who also acted as mediators. Bride and bridegroom hardly use to meet or see each other. The consent of boy & girl involved was not at all taken into account.

In 21st Century, from parent’s perspective arrange marriage is like a market research project. While arranged marriages have become more of a dating thing from boys and girls perspective. Before starting their search for a suitable match, both the boy and the girl have their list of likes and dislikes for their future partner. Just like the way we think before shopping as to which brand of jeans we would like and which we wouldn’t, which pattern and color for the top, type of footwear we would like to have, etc.

Must have lists of Girl & boy looks more like a menu card:
• Job- Must be in MNCs so that girl can move to aboard.
• Salary- A good 6 figure salary, so that they can afford luxurious honeymoon trip in Europe or  Australia.
• Educational qualifications- Must be B.Tech or MBA from IIT or IIM. MBA should not be done in HR as they don't move higher in career ladder. 
• Appearance – Boys should be clone of either Ranbir kapoor, Shaihd Kapoor or Imran Khan no matter how girl looks like. Similarly in boy’s case, girl should be copy of either Kareena or Katrina.
• Family background- In girl case, it’s preferred if they do not have any MIL or SIL.

After getting the must have lists from children, parents do the primary search on bride and grooms through matrimonial advertisements in newspapers and sites. First of all, pre-filtration is done based on must have lists like religion, caste, family background, number of siblings, number of degrees, education of parents, family wealth etc. Than parents shows the Gantt chart of the selected potentials profiles to boys and girls to do the first screening. After first screening, potential bride and groom are set into an artificial setting of a date wherein they are supposed to ask each other questions like in an interview to decide whether they can be good marital partners or not.  The scenario is more like a shopping when the girl and the boy’s family meet each other. The party which starts asking questions first is the buyer while the other is the seller.

For example, the boy’s family will start listing all good qualities of the boy just like a salesman tries to portray his product in a must-buy manner. On the other hand, the girl’s family will try to figure out the percent of truth in their claims, just like the buyers do to make sure the salesman isn’t lying. After the first round, the tables are turned. Buyers become sellers and vice-versa. Now, the girl’s family will start proving how perfect to-be bahu she is while the boy’s family will have some brain-work to do to guess the authenticity in their claims. Most importantly, both of them (girl and boy) check mentally whether the list of qualities in the opposite person matches with their list of shopping!

If the answers are satisfactory, first interviews are quickly followed up by a second round of interviews.  Once those interviews are cleared as well, there might be a third final interview. After the final interview, date for the wedding is set and the interviewer and the interviewee officially become ‘lovebirds’ for 3-4 months before they are made to live with each other and produce children.

In my words - the deal is finalized with both parties getting benefit both as a buyer as well as a seller. In this way, a total stranger becomes the most important person of your life. Wow!

But wait a minute! Where the heck does love figure in this which is the most important ingredient for marriage?


  1. Yes love is not a priority in an arranged marriage...just came across your blog and loved it!

  2. very true...LOVE can't b ARRANGED...:)


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