In India, we are usually in a hurry to get our daughters married early and most prefer the old fashioned ‘arranged marriage’ style wherein parents,grandmas,neighbors, sister-in -law’s aunt’s sister play an important role in the match making process.
It is a long process and it’s prudent to start early.
So our high school girl, starts wearing ‘Sari’ the traditional six yard wonder on special occasions – Durga Puja or family celebrations like ‘ bhai ki shaadi’ ( brother’s wedding). She looks picture perfect the epitome of grace, elegance and poise.
Aunts and Grandmas are quick to notice. ‘ Look at you, you look so pretty in a sari’, they say with a chuckle as they add the young girl’s name in their memory’s ‘suitable match’ list. The girl blushes,Mum beams with pride.
By the time, our girl is in her final year of college,discussions about marriage and settling down in life starts mushrooming now and then. The girl resists saying she wants to continue her studies or wants to work for a while. ‘Of course’, elders say, but do they really care ?
College over. First job,new city,our girl is over the moon. She is full of dreams. She loves her independence. But soon she gets an email from her Dad:
Sending you pictures of eight eligible bachelors. They are all well educated, well settled. Your cousin, Shelly getting married this month end. You must attend the wedding.
When our girl comes home for a work break, Mum and Dad have different plans. They tell her one of the ‘eligible boy”s family will come over to meet the girl. She is furious but her parents play the ‘ we are getting old, you can’t do this to us’ or ‘ after your marriage we have to think about your younger sisters’ marriage too’.
The blackmail works. Our girl agrees. Families meet, boy meets girl, boy rejects,girl rejects. The circus continues until a perfect match is found. A painful, at times humiliating experience for the girl, I’m afraid.
I went through the same process but with a difference.
During this phase of my life, I was lucky to meet some wonderful people. They were my colleagues, fresh out of college, full of life and dreams, so much like me. Most were men though ( about a decade ago, in Indian steel industry the women to men employee ratio was pathetic).I often shared my ongoing sometimes hilarious, sometimes humiliating roller-coaster ‘ matchmaking’ experience with them.
Time flew by.
I grew close to one of my friends. So,when he proposed over breakfast one morning, I realized ,”Yes ! he is the one ! We understand each other so well, have similar aspirations in life and both lovvvvve ice creams.Our match is ‘just right'”
We talked to our parents, families met and the rest is history 🙂
What’s your story ?