The marriage saga

When my parents began to look out for a match for me, we decided to go online. My parents were keen on getting the horoscopes matched and I was keen that I should have a major role in deciding who I should spend the rest of my life with. Hence the decision was a favored one for both parties. This was the easy part. I was not in anyway prepared for the rickety ride I was to embark upon.

With tingling excitement and dreams of a young bride-to-be in the quest of her dream man, I went about setting up my profile on one of the leading portals. I carefully worded the “About me” and “Looking for” columns. Then, I began to sift through profiles to shortlist the ones that interested me. One way to get an insight into a person’s personality is through the way he or she writes. I cannot say it’s foolproof. Yet it is a beginning nevertheless. Soon, I began to see a common factor in most of the profiles. The “looking for” column more often than not resembled one another. Tall, fair, slim, good-looking, professionally qualified, career-oriented at the same time domestically-trained (I thought they were talking about dogs), fun-loving, interest in music an added advantage, adjustable (a belt would have been a more appropriate choice I thought), needs to be working (what if she quit after marriage I wondered).

One look at these ads and my initial enthusiasm plummeted. I was a total no-no in the marriage market I understood. To begin with, I am dark as per Indian standards. Secondly, having a master’s degree in commerce and a being a German language expert, I realized sadly, did not amount to professional qualification with some ads going one step even further as to list out the degrees acceptable to them. BEs, MBAs, CAs ruled the charts. At first I was furious that in this era one could have such chauvinistic expectations. The men that posted such criteria were quite ordinary in terms of education and looks. Such double standards! My anger slowly gave way to resentment and cynicism. Not to mention the corrosion of my self-esteem which took a beating each time I encountered one of these prospects.

Some of the men I interacted with over email seemed fine till the time I mentioned the words horoscope and parents. They disappeared from the face of the earth the very next instant. Most of these were NRIs who I presumed were just having their share of fun. Some were downright MCPs who believed that the wife’s place is just to “manage” the house with no say in whatsoever more significant in life. I too had certain expectations of my future husband and rejected many on various grounds (some flimsy but mostly valid) but as time passed and I grew older, “well-wishers” around advised me (some subtly, others bluntly) to lower my standards or risk the chance of spinsterhood.

I slowly realized that the marriage market is just that- a market where you need to market/sell yourself properly. No room for reason or emotions. How ironical! I thought marriage is about emotional bonding amongst other things. To cut an already long story short, before I got drowned into a whirlpool of cynicism and negativity towards marriages and particularly arranged ones, I met my husband who thankfully is not one of the jerks mentioned above. Nope, I did not compromise and “settle down”. All’s well that ends well but I sure hope the scenario changes. I’m already noticing that the tables are turning in favour of women. Jai ho!


  1. Interesting! I have been married for close to two decades, and have been lucky to have been 'found' by my husband. I, did, however, WRITE these ads as part of Class XII Eng Core curriculum! (Ugh!) And remember that the teachers also gave bigger credits to the conformist and stereotypical ads. I am glad you did not lower your standards. Welcome to the world of Happy doubles! (NOT COUPLES.. Doubles!)

  2. it is so muuuch like my story, Uma! With Diploma in French, DBM and Bcom, I knew my market value was depleting by tons everyday! :)

    But even I did not have to compromise and settle down... I found my man (online matri site introduced us.. a lot happened in between like hindi movie.. then we came bk together) and here we are... recently celebrated blissful completion of one year!

  3. Purnima: really??!!! and.. you too are a foreign language I say. well, people really narrow down their choices when they specify the degree they want to marry. More often I think its the double income criteria they are looking to match. hmm, cannot blame them what with rising inflation.
    We got lucky in not having to compromise on our lives biggest decision. cheers!
    congrats on ur first anniversary..wishing you many more blissful ones...and thanks for being here..:-)

  4. Hi Uma,
    Thanks for stopping by. I can see you have gone through the depressing task I am currently going through. Can't agree with you more. Guys are guys though the age changes. A chauvinism is a in-born trait to most of them. I can only hope I find someone nice among all these fake people. Good to know you find a good person. Congrats and I wish you both all happiness in life.

  5. Hey Anusha, don't know how I missed replying to your comment here.
    Very sorry for the late reply.
    Thanks for the wishes and hope you too find success in your search!


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