Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting married to adjectives

The dehumanisation of the matrimonial profile

It's a preposterous title, I know. But, here's the thing – I blame this on the existence and proliferation of the 30-word matrimonial profile. Thanks to an entire segment in the daily classifieds dedicated to them, these brief, uninformative biographies have come to stand as an indicator of the kind of person you were going to marry, if you chose from a newspaper ad that is.

Here's my problem with those fucking ads. They've over-simplified the whole process to the point that some entrepreneur made an algorithm off it and started the hellhole of matrimonial process that is shaadi.com / bharatmatrimony.com and other such choice centres.

Despite my contractual obligations to be nice about online matchmaking / matchfinding, these sites are the root cause of my problems in life today. You have read, at length, the drama that my family has been putting me through in order to get me married.

As of 2011, things have become absurd. You know, where I go to temples and pray (I try to!) and my mother looks suitably anxious, my father feigns concern, my aunts chide my “negativity”, and other assorted nonsense.

This morning, it got epic. My father tells me

“A proposal's come. The boy is from Canada. His brother in America called. What do I tell them.”

I was drinking something at the time, so I couldn't do much. I didn't want to choke or anything. So I calmly gulped down my Horlicks and told my father

“Canada is too cold.”

Dad : “Even that skinny Mini survives Canada. You don't want London, you don't want Canada, you don't want Kerala, you don't want Dubai, what do you want?”

I was tempted to say – I want to marry a human being not a place or a social status, but he's my father and he's rude when he's defied. I don't have to deal with it at 27.

I just left for work.

Apparently – Engineer, MNC, Canada, and “they called me, I didn't call them” is enough of a basis for marriage.



  1. happens babe! Been there, done that!

  2. http://blog.partidulpirat.ro/index.php/2012/01/india-back-to-medieval-age-with-censorship


  3. Shruthi ,

    I am sorry to ask you this. Will you marry a peon who is very good at heart, but cannot full fill your basic needs. your father knows what you want and is looking for the same.

    There are several parents who do not wish to get their daughter married for the sake of paycheck she brings .Thankfully , you father is not in that category.

    We cannot change the fact that woman are more inclined to marry a person who has some social status, Men are more inclined to marry a beauty. Arranged marriages are some sort of business deals. So , why not look out for the best.

  4. @ Shruthi, are u against Arranged marriage or Marriage ???????

    I agree with Rama what he said about arranged marriages and your Father .... Atleast he is proposing and waiting for your decision.

    Now as we have agreed with or left with Arranged Marriage option, I appreciate the "fucking ads" & "Matchmaking or matchfinding sites". It is a great deal for the Older Parents in this Highly networked but less connected World.....

    Also wanted to make a point - the Engineer, MNC, Canada (someone like me) would also been feeling the same as u do and hoping for the BEST.

    Good luck in your Groom Hunt :-)

  5. Hahaha!! All of your posts have that touch of sarcasm. Very good! inspiring for a budding blogger like me!
    Do check once in a while.

    Plus, my fav. line-
    "Apparently – Engineer, MNC, Canada, and “they called me, I didn't call them” is enough of a basis for marriage."

    Hahaha..India! -_-

  6. Sharada - So many more stories to share! where are you these days? we have to catch up...

    Vrinda - I saw that. It's just tragic that a so-called free country is going to go through with this

    Rama - I do agree with the point you're making, but I don't think asking a woman to agree to marry somebody based on a few indicative words is a good thing. I'm sure you agree with that opinion!

    Dino - I'm not against marriage, but I do think it needs to be approached differently. Yes, I have asked my dear father to think about these things, but for him, my being 27 and a little particular about the kind of life I want is appalling. Apparently, people don't get married in their 30s or even 40s. I don't like that I'm on some sort of deadline. So what if I get married late?

    Prerna - thanks for your comments. And yeah, our country is just one of the reasons why this system prevails and traumatises us! :D

  7. The problem with people like you (and me) is that we are neither here nor there. Couldn't find someone on our own and yet expect our parents to find someone who matches our expecations completely. For the deadline thing, we have to live with it unfortunately. e.g We cannot compare our situation with the western world where it is so easy to remain single for as long as you like and parents don't force their grown up children to marry within a deadline. There is stark difference. The children live independently and are under his/her own roof. You are responsible for yourself. No interference. Unfortunately, our cultural set up doesn't permit us to be completely independent and move away from family. In fact our cultural set up permits parents to interfere with our lives. If you don't like that, you will have to embrace the independent life. That's the truth

    Just a question - have you outsourced the groom hunt completely to your parents? I hope not.

    Good luck with your hunt :)


  8. Anonymous/Anand - so here's the thing, I'm ultra super annoyed that my parents (read father) is behaving this way. Even if I have a point to make, for some strange reason I come across as the lunatic person. This whole gig is more about everyone else than about me. I don't get it.

    As for groom-hunting, yes I do want to get married, but I'm sad that I've been reduced to thinking about it this much, under such circumstances. It's extremely painful.

  9. Shruthi - What I have noticed is that if you really give an impression to your parents that you are also genuinely interested in finding someone, you will have peace at home. Ok, sometimes an alliance comes where you can't even find a fault with but you know something is not right and something inside you says "not this one". Well that's the tricky part. You will have to convince your folks that marriages are most importantly "a matter of choice". You just don't like some people in a particular way. It's nothing wrong, it just shows that you are a human being not a machine. Tough one to explain to parents. But I am sure you can. After all you are a writer. Use your biggest weapon ! :D