A lot of women feel why do educated urban women go for arranged marriages, but the truth is as single women we have all been there. According to professional matchmakers, parents should start looking for a husband for their daughters as soon as they turn 22 because they may lose their innocent looks once they hit the mature age of 25. Men often get more time to play, but not much more. They are expected to marry by their late twenties.
Recently I met a very close cousin of mine, who is officially a divorcee. Working for a very reputed private firm I saw her very much content and happy. After sipping a cup of coffee, we then devoured at 16 Anna Bangali. Moments later I asked about her future plans, although knowing that she was being targeted with so many marriage offers, all over again. Opting for an arranged marriage this time, she said that she had no practical interest in this second attempt, but it was her parents who thought of giving it a second chance.
‘My status is a 29 year old divorcee. I myself wanted to find a partner who would love me for who I was, stupidly enough I said yes to newspaper ads and Bharatmatrimony services. I met in total of 17-18 guys during this period, and not to forget I was a 29 year old divorcee, so something must be wrong with me!!!! Some of the weird questions I got were
* Can you open your hair? Is it your real hair?!!!!
• Apart from cooking, what are your hobbies? (Why would someone automatically assume cooking was my hobby? Simply because I am a woman?)
• Why didn’t I have children from my first marriage? Did that mean I was unable to bear children, which resulted in my divorce?
• Do you plan to wear Western clothes after you get married?
• Would you take care of your parents after you get married? Wouldn’t that be difficult when you get married and have your own family? (I could have killed this guy! WTF did he mean by ‘own family’ my parents are my own family! Arrgghh)’
‘A guy seemed perfectly decent and well qualified too. We were having decent conversations when I thought I should tell him about my PCOD problems casually, saying I could have some trouble conceiving. I thought I was sharing my life with him since this was about our marriage, but he simply disappeared saying he needed time and finally surfaced only to tell me that having a family was priority and he wasn’t comfortable knowing I could need assisted fertility. As a girl gets into her late 30’s, it’s harder to find a guy through an arranged marriage route since a man who’s 35 will prefer a woman in her 20’s any day – they want the full package – femininity, fertility, family values, figure, working… most guys have a list of standard sample questions – like what if my friends drop in, will you entertain them? Will you cook after work or prefer a maid? What are your working hours? How much do you spend on make-up? You live with a room-mate, do men come in after evening? Are you a virgin? It’s like you are a case study! I am on Shaadi. Jeevan sathi and Bharat matrimony.’
‘Once the kundli match was done, the family insisted I needed a manglik correction. We spent a lot on traveling to a mandir of their choice. I fasted all day. Finally, they called off the wedding saying our horoscopes were ill fated. And even after all this puja path, the astrologer wasn’t satisfied. Was I marrying the pundit!!!’
It’s true, every single woman at some point has tried the arranged marriage route, either independently to find a life partner/thanks to family pressure. According to a survey conducted by the Taj Group of Hotels, which hosts a lot of lavish weddings, 75 % of Indians prefer arranged marriages. The survey, based on interviews with more than 1,000 people aged 18-35 in 10 cities, claimed that nearly 82 % of women prefer an arranged marriage. In such marriages, a partner is usually chosen by parents and is from the same religion, caste or community.
Is it true most Indian men prefer younger women in an arranged marriage set up? Isn’t it the most bizarre or embarrassing or infuriating, fraudulent experience when they ask you such baseless questions in a marriage route? Is it harder as a woman gets older? What about the interview kind of questions? The nosy prospective in-laws? The tiresome kundli checks?
And what about the predictable repugnant aftermaths? Marital rapes! Dowry horror??
Don’t you think women really tend to exterminate their own lives lampooning with these assorted oafs and thickwits? India got its independence long back but we women are still trapped under the shackles of hypocrisy, even in this Gen Y period.