Five questions to choose a lifepartner ;)

A young blogger wants to know what to say to the girl his parents introduce him to… for five minutes with a tray of tea or orange juice.

Sandy says, “Well, the discussion can be both ways, wat to talk when u meet a potential spouse.”

The boy and the girl will have to decide if they have met “the one”, in that one, very brief meeting. If one has just enough time to ask five questions, what should those five questions be?

Would you ask about their interests? What books they read, what music they love, what kind of food they like to eat?

Their ambition, how important is their career to them?

What are their expectations from you, and from marriage?

What did you ask? Or what would you ask?

Five questions please!

Edited to add: And here’s a post by Unmana I found any young men (and even women) would benefit from, IN LAWS ADVISE WHAT HUSBANDS SHOULD DO.

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109 thoughts on “Five questions to choose a lifepartner ;)

  1. I wouldn’t go by any questions or answers. When I got married, I wasn’t too keen about the US, gave up my career without thinking, resigned from my job a month before it was actually needed much to the surprise of my MIL. And today, I love the US much more than the husband and giving up my job would be one of the hardest decisions of my life. Back then the husband told me the place doesn’t matter for him and he will go by what ever makes me happy. Today I see that he wants to go back much more than I want to stay here. Our initial positions have gone for a toss. I think you can tell more about a person by his family. See how they talk to each other. Do the women speak their minds? What do they talk about. Okay here are five things, I would look for if I had to find a match for a girl I care about.

    1)Go by how the women in the family dress up. They will expect you to follow the same rules for the most part. This was the first thing that I noticed abt my in-laws, they were not dressed conservatively.
    2) I attended an NSD play with my FIL. My MIL and SIL were acting in it and as I saw my MIL dressed up in tights and a top, doing a play that had a romantic angle involving her, I was sure I will always have freedom to do my own thing. So ask your inlaws what their hobbies are. If your MIL says, I don’t get time because of the chores, run away because, she is waiting for you to come and take over the kitchen so that she can finally have some time.
    3) When I met my inlaws for the first time, the question of cooking never came up. In fact there were no other questions either. Just chit-chat. So if the meeting feels like an interview, your cue to pick up your things and run.
    4)If you get a chance, see if the men help around. My FIL beats most men including my husband at how much work he does around the house.
    5) Ask your MIL what her favorite TV serial is. if it is one of those KKKK soaps run without looking back
    I know these things revolve around family but you can’t go wrong with a man brought up with the right values.

    Your comment moved me almost to tears! I saw the same things, and can’t thank my stars enough! I agree we can judge a guy by his family.

    • I agree with you too……a person’s family is very important in determining how the guy would be for the most part, exceptions of course are not considered. When I got married, I too was concerned about the family first. Talks with the guy happened later. Sure I’m happy about the decision. :)

    • @tearsndreams

      I was trying to get a score for myself based on ur criteria.

      1) My family does dresses up conservatively.

      2) My mothers hobby is actually cooking. She watches all the cookery shows that come on Television and I have been really lucky to have her and the food cooked by her.

      3) NA

      4) I score heavily here. My mom is a working woman and father helps hers a lot. Infact he cooks decently.

      5) My mom does watch a couple of Soaps

      I scored only 1/4.
      I think it is difficult to judge someone so quickly. Nevertheless, ur comment gave me a gud direction to think. Thanks.

      Sandy it’s good to hear some frank opinion… “If your MIL says, I don’t get time because of the chores, “, having no time for recreation and pleasure is something that would bother me too. Because then the girl too would be expected to keep busy all the time.

      • My MIL spends her days in the kitchen and has no time for hobbies. But I must be super lucky for she has no such expectations from me. Or probably, that I did not give in to any such expectations.

        She dresses up very conservatively: only suits and sarees. I still have all the freedom in the world to wear what I want to.

        My MIL also watches saas-bahu serials. And I don’t catch a glimpse of them.

        And the bottom line is my MIL is a very nice person. I would hate someone to judge her for any of those things! So I don’t really know how true those parameters are.

        D you are right, one cannot generalise of course :) The idea of judging a boy by his family is just that there is no room for doubt about some basic things, like if a mother in law wears western clothes, there is little chance that she will stop her daughter in law from doing the same. My mother wears saris too, and watched all these serials, but we all hate KKKK serials :)

        • My SIL was older than D, unmarried, wore skirts, jeans, went to gym etc. Which gave me and everyone the impression that they are forward thinking people and treat women equally. You will think that, aye ? I mean not putting pressure on your eldest unmarried daughter to get married – pretty cool, eh ? BUT, what no body knew was that they were a sick bunch of people ( except D offcourse) who made different set of rules the moment their DIL ( thats me ) stepped into that house. While my SIL wore short skirts and went to gym, I was supposed to wear sarees, cover my head with the ‘pallu’ and stay in kitchen cooking all day,even though I didn’t know how to cook. And then the moment D would walk in, they would complain that I don’t interact with them and spend all day in kitchen !!

          So, in my experience you can’t really assume that if a MIL or SIL look or behave open minded or forward thinking people, they would actually want their DIL to be that way too. Its sick how some people treat their own daughter completely different to how they treat their DILs. I would be wary even if I see a MIL wearing western clothes.

          You are probably right IHM, but this was just my experience :-(

        • Yes, I agree with this. I have seen this happening. One set of rules for the daughter and set for the DIL. I know somebody whose SIL is unmarried at 30( while she is around 28), works and is allowed every possible freedom. But when it comes to her, the DIL, she is expected to not work, stay at home and ‘look after’ her in-laws. A lot of families have different rules for daughters and daughter-in-laws.

          Yes Smitha, in fact I have heard someone say, “One should be able to make out who is who…” (between daughter and daughter in law) I think this is simply a matter of my child can, somebody else’s child can’t.

        • My MIL is also a lot different from me and a lot similar too in many ways. None of that has affected me because she always supports me. She respects my views just as I respect hers. That is why I can be myself in my in laws house just like I was in my parents’ house.

          She is non-religious, dislikes any kind of rituals, a staunch communist, doesn’t like cooking (she has a cook), loves shopping. She loves yoga, going for a walk in the morning.

          I mean isn’t she a dream MIL? She even promised me to take me to meet Tharoor next time I visit TVM. ;)

          I became religious after marriage by my choice, I dislike communists, I love trying new stuff in cooking and there was a time when I hated shopping. I skip exercise whenever I can. :D

          But yes! the family is important and I am blessed there.

    • Hey there, all I am saying is if the family dresses up conservatively, you will be expected to do the same. Now I am sure there will be women who themselves are not comfortable wearing shorts (my sister) and won’t mind it. But how about someone who likes to wear shorts and jeans on a daily basis. If they assume that a family who dresses up conservatively would be happy to see them in shorts, they are in a for a disappointment, aren’t they?
      Likes to cook is very different from ‘beta, do you know how to cook? Will you learn because my son needs hot chapatis with every meal’. I hadn’t entered the kitchen before marriage and I am a decent cook now. Everything can be learned. But the expectation from women to know it before they enter matrimony just says that the household believes in traditional roles set by the society. And it also says that you still value cooking as the most important skill in your daughter in law because thats what they are supposed to do.

      and KKK serials….I am not saying everyone who watches them is regressive, for there is hardly anything else to watch on TV. Yet for someone I care about I would rather be safe than sorry. There are a lots of regressive elements in these soaps. And if you watch them and get involved in them, it could in some cases depict a regressive side that is not shown in any thing else you do…things such as a male grand child is better than a female one, married women should see their parents for 2-3 days in 2 years after marriage…the guy’s family’s rights and the girl’s families duties…do you think people who have such thinking say it out in the open?They don’t. Do they look any different. They don’t. Then how do you tell. By how seriously they take these soaps upholding Indian culture.

      Okay, I can replace this with inlaws having a daughter who lives in a similar arrangement that you would be living in. So if you are going to live with them, see if they have a daughter who lives with her inlaws. If you are going to move abroad, it helps if there is a daughter abroad who they get to see after 2-3 years as well.

      Anyways, please don’t take offence. My own mom won’t do well either. If I can’t make it to India for the meeting with my future bhabi, both my sister and mom dress up conservatively. Dad does not help around at all. She has no life.
      The only thing where she will score is she doesn’t like to watch TV. And yet I know (will make sure) she will treat my bhabi, the way she treats me. So I over generalized but as I said, better safe than sorry :-)

      • But is the concentration not shifting completely to the in-laws here? You marry the guy/gal not the in-laws right? They come with the package, but are not the main item, atleast not if you don’t go about making them that. The concentration has to be on the person you are marrying not his father, mother, uncle, aunt, sister, etc etc etc. Just because some people are leading a modern lifestyle, does not make them good people and vice versa. There are many ‘traditional’ in-laws who actually love their daughter-in-laws like their own daughters, so that is just a nonsensical criteria believe me. Look at the people, not the clothes. Don’t judge a book by its cover, please, and not in such an important case.

        You are right passionate Goof. …but in laws, and how they treat the women in the family, how much freedom their other daughters in law have.. don’t you think these count? Wearing western clothes in middle class just means this is one restriction less ;)

    • I agree too – one can judge a person more by his family and how they talk to each other…I’m not sure if one will get ‘correct’ answers if questions like “What do you expect out of marriage” etc. are asked…

      I met my FIL and his sister first (my MIL had passed away)…Since my FIL had known my parents long time ago, he told them not to tell me that they were coming to ‘see’ me but just to meet up with them so that he could see me they way I usually am and not dressed up… Of course I knew what the real purpose of the visit was although I didn’t dress up and was in jeans…After the ‘approval’ my husband started calling me (he was in the US) and then after a few months came to meet me…We went out a few times and then decided to get married…That’s how my arranged marriage happened and I am happy…

      We did the same thing Sraboney, went out a few times before saying ‘yes’ :)

      P.S. My FIL even sent me jeans as a part of the trousseau that comes from the guy’s side…

  2. Uff, Yeh kya yad dila diya zalim.
    I would just tell what I had asked, rather told.

    1. I do not like the men who drink. Do you drink?
    2. People in your profession are known to be abusive. Do you abuse?
    3. Men in your profession are known to beat their wives. I do not like wife-beaters and would not like to get married to one.
    4. Of course you are ambitious, aren’t you?
    5. I wear spectacles. Right now I am in lenses.

    I also told him I wear lenses :)

  3. As a woman I can think only from a girl’s perspective.
    The first thing that would come to my mind would be- can I communicate with him? Is he a good listener?
    What are his expectations from his wife?
    I need space and some time for myself.
    I am a feminist and MCPs are an absolute no.
    I will respect your family, and you are expected to reciprocate.

    Prerna I would recommend each of these!

  4. I totally agree with tearsndreams. Observations are more effective than five questions.

    This discussion has turned out to be an eye opener of sorts for me Reema !

  5. tearndreams comment is bang on though if u ask me personally I would put my foot down and insist that NO i cant marry or decide to marry by meeting them once, no 5 questions can do a justice to that decision

    Monika I agree :) But if one had to name five things that matter the most… not just five questions, but five issues that matter…

  6. Well this is what my five questions could be…

    1. How important money is to you ?
    2. I drink occasionally, do you mind?
    3. What you want to achieve in your career?( since i had decided to marry a career oriented girl)
    4. Are you open to move from place to place? i dont mind moving if your job demands?
    5. i expect the girl to marry me, because she likes …not because parents like…so is it the case?

    well in reality…i somehow forgot to mention that i am suffering from red – green syndrome…my wife conveyed, had you mentioned this at the proposal stage, i would not have married you…..that is destiny i think…..

    Those were really nice questions :) I am sure she was pleased that you cared to ask the 5th one!! Our questions say much about us too… this one showed you to be considerate and also fair!

  7. I dont know what 5 question I will ask, if I have to, but for sure I will ask this…
    whether she is happy to marry me? after a lil talk… :-)

    I think that is an important question Kanagu!

  8. I’ve never been married, and am exactly two decades old, but here are my Five Issues That Matter:

    1. His views on how women should spend their time. If he has any such views, it’s a straight no. If he says “Yeah, whatever they like”, I’ll probe further.
    2. Finances. Anyone who thinks my income is theirs is MUCH mistaken.
    3. Food habits. Are we compatible in food choices, OR do we agree to eat different things and even at different times?
    4. What do I have to gain by being with this person? Is it going to be worth the loss of liberty and the imposition of a social code?
    5. The sounds of the house. I’d keep tabs on how the person behaves in certain situations – any signs of frequent loud, aggressive behavior and he’s out of contention. And if he constantly listens to music I don’t like, it had better be on headphones.

    Tearsndreams’ comment really made me think, too. But I wouldn’t judge a man totally based on his family either. If I was judged according to the people I live with, that would only show certain hidden facets of my character that I have complex responses to – NOT the values I stand for and live by.

    I agree Suki. But generally how women are treated in a family dos give an indication… there are strong chances that a guy would follow his family’s example here…

  9. Ok…at first I asked if K liked Gobi Manchuri and then…some more time later I pointed out to a hole in his T-shirt! At the end of the day, we both were looking back at a date that went so horribly wrong and laughing till tears rolled down our eyes. I guess I had all my answers!

    Aww … that was really sweet :)

  10. not really experienced in this one…i am more interested in reading the comments here…. quite a lot of interesting ones here so far…
    i may pick up a few pointers for my own future :-) kya pata?

  11. My husand & I met the first time,for just 1/2 hour and honestly we couldnt decide in that meeting if we really were’the one’ for each other. We surely did feel we had to meet again to be surer :) .And that was one sure shot question we asked each other,should we meet again?and that we felt we needed to to take things forward.
    So I feel you really cant decide in one brief meeting how right the person is for you and vice-versa. :)

  12. Assuming that there will be honest answers, and I have absolutely no better way of going about this, this is what I would ask.

    1. How do you define love, and connect that to marriage? This is to understand how well your idea matches with this persons. Love IS important in a marriage right?

    2. How much commitment do you bring to the table, marriage means starting a new family circle, can you keep that as your first priority? Again compatability test, there is no right or wrong answer here, but a need to understand , how similair or not you are.

    3. Do you prefer spending time in a group with friends/family or alone with just your partner? This one definitely needs to be same for both of you, else there be conflicts galore. And there are plenty of happy couples in both kinds.

    4. What aspect of you defines you the best, your sex ie male/female, religion, social standing, academic qualifications, family or whatever else?Better understanding of the person, and also understanding how much you relate to him/her.

    5. What is completely unacceptable to you in a marriage? Better safe than sorry, what if it is something that you cannot do without.

    True! 3 and 5 would be crucial to peace in the family!

  13. Would you believe this, if I told you that I got married within 3 days of meeting The G? :) We had decided on the date long before we actually met in person. It was an online romance for more than a year and a half! Well, its not as dramatic as it sounds. Its a long story though.Maybe some other day..
    Share your story Piper please! On your blog as a post if you wish! :)

    But yes, one thing was very important to me – I wanted to check out his mom before I got married and I did. Sadly I misjudged ;)
    No regrets though! Just utter relief(on my knees thanking God) that The G is nothing like any of the rest of his family ;) :)

    Again shows generalisations just don’t work!

  14. No set questions. But I would see how the conversation flows when we are in this unique situation together. I’d probably kick start the conversation with, “Isn’t this a funny situation we’re in…what do you think?” And if it flows and we can have a laugh together during the five minutes, then the match has potential!
    I really agree with tearsndreams though – your potential partner’s family will impact on your life forever – even if you live in different countries…so check them out well and how they interact. and for men…look at the girl’s mother closely…that is what your wife will turn into in the next 20-30 years. Can you live with that?? :D

    I agree sioneve, it’s a generalisation, I know, but it helps… !

  15. I have a question that I asked my husband on the phone before I met him “I’ve had boyfriends – does it matter to you?”
    His answer “No, why should it? You are 28 – I would have been worried if you told me that you’ve never had boyfriends…I’ve had girlfriends – does it matter to you?”

  16. there is always a liberal, openminded, adventurous, out of the box thinking , forward thinking guy in the most conservative, orthodox family. will you say NO because the family is ultra conservative ? i didn’t.

    actions speak louder than words . i would say – what are the 5 actions that one must notice than asking questions :)

  17. Hmmm, I didn’t ask any questions but I had given minimum basic requirements to my dad to look for in my husband which I wasn’t ready to compromise on.
    The person should be
    -non-smoker ( D is )
    -vegetarian ( D like nonveg occasionally but never had at home – which was fine by me),
    -educated with some professional degree ( he is a computer engineer ),
    -Not depend on other family members for income ( he had his own computer related business) and
    -he shouldn’t ask for dowry ( which he didn’t – I could never respect a man who would ask for dowry).

    Since I wasn’t even interested in getting married at that time, I told them if they bring anyone who meets above requirements, I will marry that person. Love was the most important requirement for me in a marriage but that didn’t work out, thats a story for some other day. Since it was arranged marriage ( after me bowing to the pressure from family), I skipped the love part ( but how very much my husband loves me is another story too !)

    I didn’t specify another requirement and that was that he should be from a decent family who respect women, but I thought that would be my parents priority too. That’s the part that went horribly wrong. ( just to clarify, that I am happily married to the same person but the reason could be that we moved overseas soon) I don’t blame my parents for that because it wasn’t their fault, the family did look pretty good in the way the women were treated in their house and were also against dowry !

    So I would suggest that in case of arranged marriage where you hardly know the person you are looking to get married to, lay some ground rules right at the start. And that should be in front of the whole family, so that everyone is on the same page, not just the girl/boy. I have observed that the family on either side can sometimes make or break a marriage. So communicate very clearly with them about the things you won’t compromise on and then see how it goes from there.

    We did get a chance to talk to each other before making a decision, but I can’t remember what we talked about. I didn’t ask him anything since he had already passed the criteria I had set :D I only remember that he asked me if I would mind moving overseas with him as he was planning to. But I knew that already !

  18. this post made me realize how lucky I have been to be in courtship period for 10 years before getting married to my man!

    :) Yes you were very fortunate Sands :)

    • and that period was full of questions and answers and observations. My brothers did have arrange marriage and my bhabhi asked my brother if he will be ready to live separate from the parents and that was her only question. My mom was offended initially but we all helped her understand that eventually this needs to be done and how nice that this girl is not setting up a false picture. My brother liked her for her honesty and courage that she risked losing him by asking this question as she had fallen for him at first sight :-)
      I don;t know what questions he asked though!

      My sister asked this question. My parents were clear about this one thing, they did not think we were suited to live in joint families, but she had some romantic notions about joint families from Bollywood movies …

  19. For me it was attraction at first sight turning into love, but I was shy and could express it only after few years leading on to marriage. I never knew much about the family and it did not matter. The farce of a 5 question interview I will not recommend to anyone including my kids.

    Then how does one in such a situation decide if this is a right or wrong decision? This can change one’s life completely Charakan!
    Are you against arranged marriages?

    • I think I made it clear in my comment IHM . Arranged marriages are a part of feudal social system where family and lineage were more important than individual likes or dislikes . Living in that system most ppl never had a choice. We were or are in a period of transition so that there is a scope for debate between arranged and love marriages. Similarly after a period of time arranged marriages will become obsolete and people will stop debating which is better even in India

      Yes I think this will eventually happen :) For the best.

      • I more than agree with you Charakan. I think arranged marriages are unduly romanticized. For me the very concept of having my family determine who I would marry was anathema from the beginning. My parents married for love, notwithstanding , my mother did try to sound me out on a few prospects- but I told her, I would prefer to remain single rather than get weighed down by something I considered wrong, immoral even. She respected the decision (or had to considering I was no longer financially dependent on her). When K and I decided to marry, thats when I told her( My father passed on a long while back- and I do not have siblings, so she is all my family) and he his folks. They had several issues- made clear during our wedding trip to India. So I do not see any reason to remain in contact with them ( he is in touch with his folks), while we both remain close to my mother- there is no point pretending to be happy families when one side cannot respect the other. Of course it helps that we are here in the US, but frankly the huge big family clan traditions are not something I could have tolerated in India either- not in relationships of pretense. I gave up catering to the whims of society and social expectations a long while ago- not even bothering to communicate with close relatives with whom I do not get along.

        Sorry for the rant IHM, but you have such thought provoking posts.

        Thanks for sharing this Allytude. I agree with you about how much hypocricy we have and unlimited expectations from someone who is not even treated well… it takes strength to put an end to this once for all. This will take a long time to change… :(

      • Yes i completly agree with Charakan even though i have to go for an arranged marriage. I would make clear to my children that they only have to find their partner. I was looking for some questions to ask a girl that i am gonna meet next month, i am here at right time and i guess i got some clues. Thanx.

        Welcome Siva :)

  20. :P :P
    I seriously dont know IHM………… I dont even want to think about this thing……. till I reach the bridge………………... coz in 5 questions, I could never hope to understand another person…… but yes, I would probably ask her if she is okay with the marriage…… :P or she has doubts…………

    I agree that it is difficult to understand a person in five question… so how does one decide? Let the parents decide?… or are you against arranged marriages?

  21. “When asked how long have you known her?” my guy said “6 years”… “then both of you will live long to celebrate 50 years together” he said…”touch wood” I say!

    Family background is very important, so I would say is communication. My theory: If one can talk to somebody without boredom creeping into a conversation, it will definitely work… b/c everything else we look for initally is ephemeral

    Tk IHM
    Ash

  22. And no idea about those 5 Qs….one more point: but we do get vibes, which is important I think (in any relationship).

    With Sand on this totally…. and nothing like marrying your best friend...

    Lucky us, I say!

    Ash:))))))

  23. 5 qs! Well, nt sure if 5 qs r really enuf to know a person ;) I knew the man for yrs before we took the plunge and so cud say he ws the one I cud live my life with! Wonder hw it wud hv been otherwise?

    Well, if given a chance, I wud hv had 5 qs each for the MIL, SIL, FIL n finally the husband ;)

    Swaram you are being given a finger, you want the entire arm? ;)

    • But if I hd to meet any boy this way,

      I think 5 things which wud hv been imp for me wud be!

      1) He hs to believe in the equality of sexes - wonder hw I cud hv been sure of this one though!
      2) He hs to hv a zest for life .. his hobbies, interests I think cn let us get an idea atleast!
      3) He shud respect my career as much as he wants me to respect his!
      4) He shud be independent enough in taking decisions! Ofcourse, his parents wishes matter but he shud have a say too .. esp when he is choosing a life partner!
      5) He shud be able to stand for the girl when situation demands!

  24. Err.. difficult one!
    Why IHM have you put up such a difficult post for me to read so early in the morning?!! :D :D :P

    All for a good cause Pixie ;)

    Anyways, since I have gone thru this whole “boy-seeing” thing before happily marrying K, here are a few of my observations about why to say NO:

    1. He asks you about your income and asks, “is there a need to work when I can support you”

    2. He talks about sacrificing and staying home to take care of HIS parents. He doesn’t mention anything about yours.

    3. He smells weird. This means that he is not worried about his personal hygiene and needs someone to tell him to wash behind his ears!

    4. He doesn’t do eye-contact hroughout the time you are tlaking to him and sneaks in a glance to check the time.

    5. He doesn’t talk at all and says his parents need to decide, but repeatedly touches his belt!! (yewwwwwww!!)

    6. He is fat, short and ugly. Expects you to look like Aishwarya Rai and his family makes condescending remarks about how the elder bro’s wife is so beautiful and over flowing with “sanskar”

    7. When the boy himself says his mother is a bit dominating and irritable and only YOU are expected to “adjust”!!

    Run Girls!! If you encounter any of the above questions in any format pick up those dupattas, sarees (since you have to be at your traditional best!) and run!! :D :D :D

    Seriously though, remember one thing – a place where there is no indication that you will be valued, loved and respected is NOT a place for you to be in

    • Love No.6!
      Someone said once that women will never truly be equal until a fat balding woman can stand in the middle of the street and seriously give a critical analysis of all the random men passing by, and give them a rating out of 10! So true!

  25. I am always a listener when it comes such meetings. I can judge anyone easily if I listen first. If I like the guy, I would surely date him for at least a month before marriage.

    I agree, makes a lot of sense.

  26. Hmm I just realised that I have been very lucky in this context since I dated my husband for 5 years before marriage.

    But I think it is very critical to observe how a man behaves with people around him especially with his mother and sisters. If he disrespects them, then be sure that the same treatment will be metted out to you. Though one can’t generalise but ya maybe if I had a arranged marriage I would look out for this aspect.

    Another aspect which is very critical as many above have mentioned is the family and the kind of background they come from. But I don’t know if it is possible to guage a person or his background in just 5 questions. A 10-12 month courtship is a must. I think the gujjus deal with this very well. There is a tradition in gujaratis (I dont know if people still follow it) that before marriage the girl comes and stays in the boy’s house for a few days and vice-a-versa. This gives both sides to understand families, cultures and the individual better. I had seen this happening in Gujarat around 12-15 years back.

    • It was there even about 5 years ago I can vouch for that…infact the gujjus I knew had set dating patterns too…the girl and the boy would go out with parents permission to movies, garbas and the like on their own…how cool I think :-)

  27. just 5 questions ?

    you gotta be kidding me…

    It took me 10 years to realise that the girl I thought was my best friend was also my love…

    so this post doesnt apply to me.. never mind… never understood the concept of arrange marriage :(

    Hitchwriter all I ask is what are the five things that really matter to you. :roll: :twisted: :lol:

    • 5 things ?????

      I married my best friend coz I was used to her and didnt want to go away from my life… and that was only possible if i married her so i married her…

      frankly no other reason… everyone has to have their own reasons… and for me this was the only reason…

      • okay let me try… harder…

        5 things…

        1. sense of humour ( most important for me )

        2. Independent ( I would want my spouse to be able to take care of herself… I dont like sissies and I cant pamper… at all )

        3. sensibility & openness ( give space and have space if you get what i mean.. )

        4. smartness ( sorry but I cant marry a dumbo, a certain level of intelligence is required )

        5. bus… 4 are enough… Love is obviously given… above and before the 4 already listed…

        seriously IHM the concept of arranged marriage is beyond me… i would never understand it… but what i woudl advise is in an arrange marriage always ensure the people marrying each other get to know each other a lot more… give them more time and more space together so they can know what they are opting for…

        I am go glad you tried harder :lol: We had so much, and such sensible advise for girls, and hardly anything for men… your contribution is much appreciated! Thanks Dhiren :)

      • I married my best friend too. The result is that after 12 years of marriage, we can still talk for hours about very little. That we can argue without fighting. That we love to be together and just hang out. That our children are growing up in a friendly and relaxed home. More power to marrying your best friend!!

  28. My friend is going through the ordeal of finding an arranged match. Ordeal, because she hasn’t found any worthy suitor. She recounted one incident to me where she was interviewed by the boy in question and interviewed like grilled. Now my friend is a smart girl and very patient. She answered all the sundry questions during which time she made up her mind that this guy wasn’t her type. At the end of it, she asked him just one question: What do you do when you have nothing to do? The guy had no answer; he was a control freak.

    OMG! I feel bad for the girl he eventually marries… and it is very important to know that a man can live and let live and has some interests besides controlling how other people live their lives :(

  29. IHM, This is a tough one. I was lucky to not have to go through it all. But if I had to, today, the things that would matter to me are.

    1. Be very sure of your priorities and what you deem as essential. For some women working after getting married may not be a priority, while for some, it might be absolutely essential. So it is necessary to understand if one’s priorites would get impacted by marrying into a family and also how much one would be ready to compromise. While something may be easy to commit to – it might not be so easy to follow through. The reason, I say this is because one of my friends got married recently. She was asked if she was alright to live in a joint family and she readily agreed at that time. It was only after the wedding that she realised the full scale of issues that she faced. She was expected to come home and cook and they even refused to keep a cook.

    2. If the boy has a married brother – it is worth trying to figure out how well that relationship works with the family. While this cannot be generalized – but it could give you an insight to what your life might be..

    3. The boy’s attitude towards you. If he seems disinterested and clueless about things that are close to your heart – then it might not be such a great idea.

    4. Some one who does not ask about your views or aspirations, and instead talks of everything he expects – is a total no no.

    5. For me, I think, being able to converse with the person, comfortably would have been essential. Just by talking on various things, it is possible to figure out how the person thinks and get to understand if it makes sense to take the plunge.

    It is essential to get to know the person, before getting into a marriage. A long enough courtship period to get to know each other is essential. There are so many things that cannot be figured out in 5 minutes.

    One more thing I would like to add is that both the girl and boy, need to be given the time to think over it and then decide rather than being pushed into a relationship just because their families think it is perfect. If I were the mother of the girl, I would give her the time to sort out her thoughts, sleep over it and decide without the pressure of making the decision soon.

    I agree Smitha. This is important, five questions or one meeting may not be enough…

  30. I can’t think of any question, IHM. I am blank. :D

    Reminds me of a matrimonial advt. that friends and I read and laughed where the guy asked ‘for a fair girl who is proficient in VC ++ and Java’. We wondered if he wanted a girl or programmer. Ha..ha..ha..

    I am not at all surprised! This is the done thing Solilo! :(

  31. Not sure if one can judge a person with 5 questions.. but I guess family background matters a lot.. but then things are different now than before..

    could sense that my Hubby is a kind and down to earth kind while talking to him the first time…. nd since he had come all alone without his family, I knew he had a mind of his own….

    We are in our 17th year of marriage and we still fight :) but I am glad we chose each other.

    Kindness and being down to earth matters to me too Happy Kitten!! I would be suspicious of someone who was nice to me but mean to another person….

  32. IHM, I love this header too! It is so gorgeous and vibrant!

    Thank You Smitha :) I am finally getting the hang of it :) I still feel lost on WordPress… specially without a blogroll :(

  33. well to be frank i always wondered about it IHM..
    what to ask that person? is it interests? dont they keep changing over the time? and even if they don’t interests are what we pursue for 1or 2 hours per day..
    Or should i ask more important questions like what do u think about gender discrimination/working women or the like.. but then even if the other person doesnt actually feel that women are as good as men, he would not tell it openly in the first instance as he would project a rosy picture..

    I am not sure about the questions IHM..will come back and read all the comments at leisure..

  34. one question which i think was missing in the entire discussion was the issue of children…i think its very important to ask the person whether he/she wants to have children or not? whats the time frame they are looking at before they start a family? i dont know how many would agree but i really think its something which is imperative to know. the other question which should be asked is are you ready for marriage and the committment that follows.

    I agree Gunmeen, in fact they should also discuss if they are determined to have only male children, not sure if it would be answered honestly though :(

  35. 5 questions to potential spouse!!!

    1. What music do u like?

    I can’t live without it, and would love for the guy to share that passion with me!!!

    2. What books do you read?

    They say na…tell me what u read, and i’ll tell you who you are!!

    3. What do you think of pets?

    I cannot for the life of me have tolearnce with ppl who “hate” animals.
    scared…ok. indifferent…their choice really. But hate??!!
    goodbye!!!

    4. Do you blog?

    if not… koi nahi…we’ll get him to! if yes…and on blogspot…then we have a “convert to WP” candidate on hands! :P

    5. Are you ok with spending some time knowing each other better, before any commitment is made?

    Seriously! how can one decide??????

    I am really glad i do not have to do this, coz i am paranoid! i can’t just trust!!! in few meetings…. a bit my thinking and fear comes from the situations at home… and i don;t want to repeat mistakes!!!

    If i had to pick 5 things that are important:

    1. He shud treat me as an individual, not a subset of his life

    2. He shud sing to me every single day… not a joke! i need it!!

    3. I wud love to be comfortable in his presence even without words being spoken….esp when i am upset and am not looking for solutions, just company….

    4. It wud be great if he shared my love for animals

    5. I’d be really proud if he put humanity above other society conditioning!!

    this was fun! and deeply satifyng!! BF qualifies with flying colours on all five!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    tee hee hee!!! *crafty dialling bf to shock him with unsuspecting “I Love U”* :lol:

    i dunno IHM, my friends have had arranged marraiges and thankfully it has been so beautiful to see them grow closer! i personally cannot connect with the concept…
    we tend to be “on the nice behaviour”…
    :)

    this post was a refresher!!!!!!!!
    {{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}

    You know Crafty people talk about opposites attract, but I find some basics values one has to share… I know I couldn’t respect someone who was cruel to animals too….

    • when the “interviewing” ( lack of a better word ) starts get your siblings to walk in and out of the room.

      even if you have 5 minutes – the time gets multiplied and once they leave they will definitely tell you, ” tera dhimag teek hai ya nahi”.

      siblings know us better than our parents do. – No offence to any parent

      LOL Anrosh I agree!! It’s true that siblings know us better than parents do :) And that’s a brilliant idea :)

  36. family background does matter, but only to an extent. it helps in deciding whether the values are right and in their proper place. attitude towards life and the way you live can be worlds apart. my husband is the mutation in their famaily, and boy, am I glad he is the way that he is!
    i guess one most important thing is whether you are able to laugh at the same things, whether your interests at least match and whether he is willing to accept you as an individual and not merely as his wife. i guess one question girls could ask is whether he expects you to change your surname. the answer to this could bring out a lot of other hidden answers :-)

  37. Nice header IHM.Happy ganesh charuthi

    My marriage was fixed in a weeks time and what my mom told me is that she enquired abt my hubby and came to know that he is good guy,earns well,big family and has property.I think these are the things which a parent sees before getting a girl married and girl doesn’t have a say in that.Me and my sister are married this way but my younger sis selected her hubby and got married.

    I met my future husband a week before my marriage and was for just 10 minutes and it was he who spoke to me without me asking anything.

    1.I don’t smoke (i hate smoking)
    2.I drink occassionally (no problem)
    3.Since i am earing more than my brothers,i have to support them.(It’s ok)
    4.I don’t like english songs. (even i dont like)
    5.You are not required to change ur name after marriage,it is upto you.
    6.If you want to study further it is your wish.

    Usually arranged marrige girls or boys don’t have choice.

    True Saritha! Generally they do not have any choice :( It’s not right because they should have a choice… we are wrong to think that the elders/parents cannot make a mistake!

  38. IHM, This topic is so interesting and has such interesting comments – I refresh every time I am near the laptop to see what else has come in :)

    Smitha I hope this is of some help to Sandy! And the answers are something I am going to ask anybody about to get married to take a look at!

  39. 1. Like an earlier commentor, I agree – how the women in the family act, dress, workshare etc. is VERY important. Tells you all about the family.

    2. Out of my own experience, I’ve learnt that marraige in India is between families. So making sure they’re from a similar school of thought is important.

    3. In my next life (smile), I’ll ask if the mother-in-law is educated and if she works. Makes a difference!

    4. Will we live with your family? I’ve come to believe that no matter how nice people are, space and a little distance comes a long way in keeping sanity and peace in the house.

    5. What would keep you happy at the end of the day? A book? Money? Success at work? Social work? Some kind of combination of the above? What, what what? :)

  40. I haven’t read all the questions and there’s still AGES till I even have to even think of getting married, but there are some things I’d like to find out even if i went on a date.

    Does the person hold dear the same things (or at least some of the same things) I hold dear? Like, does he or she love animals? Or mind adopting kids?

    Does the person smoke or drink or, for that matter, mind if I smoke or drink?

    lol, and for testing if some basic principles are intact, I wouldn’t mind trying out the basic ‘see how he calls the waiter’ check. Or in case it’s a girl, see how she behaves around someone dresses worse than she is. ;P i stereotype, i know, but it’s one way i can think of!

    I’m sure I’ll think of more, I’ll just add them as I remember!! :D

  41. Woww.. this is a super interesting post.. I keep wondering what to ask a guy when i meet him for matri purposes… but then at the end of the day realised there are way too many factors involved in that ….

    Shall keep these questions in mind next time a meet happens..[hopefully never!!:D]

    I agree there are way too many factors involves… What would matter the most to YOU Aaarti? :)

    • the one thing that would matter to me-

      The guy needs to respect me for what i am and what i do.. he says one word against it and he is out the door.. buhbyeee.. nice meeting you !@$%#!! :)

  42. Thanks for the link! I’m also thinking of doing a post on what wives should do… though that probably won’t be as long!

    Do that Unmana, it will of help, and support to many women and even men! I LOVED your post.

  43. 5 questions huh? :D :D :D Here goes :

    1. Do you blog ?

    2. Are you sure your born to those people (pointing at her parents? You dont look like any of them !

    3. Do you want me to work or can I sit at home and look after the house and children ? like a house husband ???

    4. How scary are you without makeup ?

    5. and my all time fav quest. – hows the weather here ?

    Im not kidding, I had asked all the above questions to my fiance before getting engaged :D :D :D yes, including the second one ! and two of them were asked on the first day itself ! :D :D

    First day itself? So you met her more than once?
    Vimmmuu these are such sensible and helpful questions, I am sure any young guy would be eternally grateful to you for these pointers ;) Who would want to marry without knowing the answers to these questions?!

    • @ vimmuuu and his questions!!!

      Good lord!!! and u still managed to get her to choose u????
      u ar lucky u sing well!!!
      :lol:

      those questions ar suicidal!!!

      @ IHM:
      i am wondering if sandy will attempt any of the questions!! why, even that weather one seems insane!!!! :roll:

      blog question is good… if they do blog, u must never confess that u do too! :lol:

      Craft Shines ha ha I agree :lol:

    • I agree with few observation here. But like to add more which would help both men and women(based on advices I have received from whom trust)
      1. Family background matters a lot.
      2. Initial days of marriage is critical. So absence of third person involvement is better. So (girls) try to find men who live away from family. It might be uncomfortable initially as both will be trying to impress each other. But this phase will also give good amount of time to accept each other good/bad qualities.
      3. Education background.
      4. You will know somehow(uppar waala ishaara degha…he he he…)when you talk to her/him if the proposal needs to be taken further.
      5. I honestly feel no set of question exists here. Just go with the flow.
      6. Frankness to some extent is important.
      7. Don’t forget that talking is totally different from living together. One day you will get up in the Moring and realize your privacy is GONE……!!!!!
      8. Don’t prioritize looks. Beauty is only skin deep and fades with time.

      Some friends of mine spoke a lot before marriage and got into married life with excitement and now paying price for it. Some spoke no more than “hi…how r u….blah blah..” and are living happily.
      According to them ..”Marriage is a sheer luck..”

      I come from a educated family background . Being away from home and with the constraint attached , its best if I could judge talking over phone. I spoke to few girls whom my parents suggested who according them match our family status. But in 3-4 minutes , I could make out its worth not taking further. I later was directed to a girl whose family is financially NOT equivalent but girl is educated and works for number 1 company in India. But trust me, girl is very comfortable to talk to. I don’t need to think of topics to speak when I call her.It just comes up…!!!! I can’t wait to get her imported to US of A’s. So bottom line……it’s all fate…!!!!!

      Thanks for your input Raj!I also agree about the couple staying away from interferences.

  44. This post made me return more than once. Actually this is a question that intrigues everyone, especially foreigners who are fascinated by the concept of arranged marriages. After 18 years of marriage, i was wondering, just what did I ask? I have no real clue, except that the basics were already vetted out by the parents. everyone knew the levels of education, family, lifestyle. I guess what really clinched the deal was what we laughed at. Slapstick and the crude was not my sensiblity and I saw that he was quick on the uptake even with the subtle stuff. We had read similar books… he was pretty open about his life so far.
    Other than that, there is a bit of luck, love and adjustment that makes a marriage work..

    Yes some luck too :)

  45. Thanks IHM for giving space to my post on your blog. Many of the suggestions were very interesting and it surely has given me a direction.

    WELCOME SANDY :)

  46. Aah… the big discussion… I love having this with dad and love it even more when I laugh aloud on the prospect of having my profile being put up on Shaadi.com… He laughs with me sometimes too… but mostly he thinks I’m losing my mind… now that’s another story all together… ;)

    So well, for someone who perfectly fits into the criteria of the eligibility here… let me think…
    I would love to scandalise him a little bit, just to see… if he can handle an open minded discussion… may be about ‘sex’ :P… this will also help me discover if he is very ‘judgemental’ or has a sense of humour (VERY IMPORTANT!!!)…. But that will definitely be my last question on the list!

    Maybe I can ask him what he does, what are his interests and goals in life… I kno life doesn’t always functiona according to a plan… And I have in fact always taken life as it comes… but it’s important for me to know if he can make a living out of anything, his idea of ‘ambition’ and whether he has a cynical o a positive view of life…

    Then, maybe I can just ask him random things… like do you know about this new software for the iPhones or what do you think of the state of our country… that would help me find out whether he is even aware of all that is happening in the world and for a curious soul like me… I would love to have someone by my side with whom i can talk just about anything… coz I think that’s the most important part of any relationship!… COMMUNICATION!!

    Then, maybe I’ll ask him what he’s passionate about… and what is the craziest thing he’s done till date…

    And of course the golden ones… his idea of marriage, wife, life after matrimony… etc…

    Makes me want to try one of these now… just for kicks!! ;)

    Do that and blog about it withinaninchoflife!

  47. what would i expect to be asked IHM if i ever were to be in this situation…

    what are my interests and basic values in life? where do i stand vis a vis religion and rituals? what are my priorities in life? what is my idea of work/life balance? if i even want to / not want to work.

    knowing me, i would also love to see the guy open up equally where in it doesnt become a monologue. i also score sense of humour very high and if he can make me smile / laugh, Bingo!

    frankly all interests dont even have to match. i mean the kinda movies i now watch and enjoy thanks to M, i couldnt have imagined before. or the fact that M takes equal interest in shopping at handicraft exhibitions is something he would have never thought of!

    what i would expect is open ended questions without too much thrusting of his opinion of me!

    you know i always say i missed on doing at least one kaande pohe programme. it would have been an interesting exercise perhaps?! ;)

    cheers!

  48. hmmmm…..

    my in-laws (MIL) dress up conservatively, and i am expected the same
    . (jeans, pants are ok, capris is the limit, can;t wear sleveless)

    My MIL’s only hobby is cooking, i think she used to have lots of other hobbies in her young age, based on what she talks to me about. I never saw her doign anything but keeping herself busy with householde chores. I am expected to do the same and i can get away 70% of the time because I am a working woman….and because of my husband’s and partly my FIL’s support. My FIL always has a complaint that MIL does not have any hobby.

    I agree, marriage is between two families for us Indians, specially if we are gonna live together. But it matters a lot to figure out how the guy/gal is you are meeting. In-laws issues can be adjusted if two get alogn well.
    anyways, I would just focus on following…..

    try to find what the other person can NOT compromise on, and what you can NOT comprise about. If any of those exists at either end, start looking for matrimonials again!

  49. i am glad i stumbled on to your blog. In the arngd mrg guy search phase myself…and reading all these experiences has helped me get a few ideas on wat to do the next time i meet a ‘prospect’. Being a chatterbox I usually end up talkin nonsense only to realize later that kam ka bat toh kiya hi nahi!

  50. One should start with a compliment about house or the person’s looks or something comman to make the other one comfortable.
    after that first question can be “what do you do” or “what are you hobbies” type…again just to start with an easy conversation …then comes the ‘important’ questions…

    # What are his/ her future plans… specially regarding career
    # If he/she is ready to get married… and why?
    # What is the expectation from marriage life and spouse ?
    # What all he/she wants to know about you
    # If there is anything else that he/she thinks that you should know before taking any decision.

    I think its very important that both of them feels comfortable enough to talk honestly.

  51. 5 questions? I need more. I am a guy so these questions are for a girl

    1. What price is not to be paid for love
    2. How strong a person you are? And I am not talking about personality, but the person herself.
    3. Why did you made the career choice you have made(working /non working doesnt matter). Only the reason and who made the decision.
    4. If working, will you like to study further to move forward in your career.
    5. Can we agree to disagree.
    6. Do you mind if I drink sometime?
    7. Are you ready to love someone more than you love yourself in return for the same.

  52. One of the person on the comments wrote, she will say no if
    . He asks you about your income and asks, “is there a need to work when I can support you

    I could not understand why. Is there anything wrong about this? This seemed to be perfectly valid point/question to me. If my wife were to earn 3-4 times me I would rather be happy to not work. Why is this so wrong

  53. It seems when I look at the post and the comments, most people who comment are the usual people who hang around this blog and most of them are feminists, not that there is something wrong with that.

    I had been always been a feminist before , but of late after being in Bangalore for a year, I have been thinking, if I was always wrong.

    The first thing I had believed was that women should also work. But, after coming to bangalore and working for a year as an engineer here, I have begun to reconsider my beliefs. My mother is a working woman and took care of me very well though. But, we lived in a small town.

    The women engineers who work here have to come to Office by 9 am and go home at avg 6-7 pm. If you have to go to office at 9 am, you have to get up early, and you have no time to prepare breakfast. In the night when you come home, you are tired. So, my point is, most of the couples eat outside, and most children of such couples don’t get to spend time with their own parents. Most of such couples usually get their parents to look after their children. These are the very couples who want to live separately, but now have no qualms to get their parents when required.

    You are assuming that women in our traditional system have not worked… the fact is even today a huge percentage of women are working, just like they have been working for ages in the fields, they have no pay, no property, no rights.
    This modern objection to working women is only for those women who have started earning, and have also acquired some employee benefits, some rights against sexual harassment etc

    What I am saying is , being blind feminsits => Makes health of family + welfare of children to go for a toss.

    Take a look,
    http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/feminism-is-good-for-society/

    You might tell that , why do you think only females should cook?. I say, because they are better at it, and are as genetically more indisposed towards cooking as they are at being more emotional and being better at multi-tasking. They are feminine for God’s sake.

    Cooking is feminine? Women are better at multitasking? Multitasking is a feminine quality? Women are more emotional? These are generalisations. Men need to be liberated from traditional roles too. Please do take a look at this post, http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/mip-men-in-pink/

    At the same time, if females do feminine stuff, males should masculine stuff, like going and hunting or farming. But, in this modern economic and technological system, the only work men do is sitting in front of a pc and typing away. No wonder so many of them have pot-bellies.

    In summary : The modern economic system is making females not to do feminine work , and males not to do masculine work, no wonder there is so much obesity, breast cancer, cervical cancer, infertility in cities. You have to only come to Bangalore to see how many medical shops and hospitals are there.

    The point is:

    Can any feminist explain how a couple(especially engineer couples and without help of their parents) can both be working and still keep good health themselves and take care of their children well.

    So you think the solution to this is that parents… no only women who have children should stop working?

    And to other points:

    I have always believed that arranged marriages are a sham because they are against nature. Wherever the society is liberal(more natural), the people chose their own partners. Getting married by arranged marriage is like accepting defeat. What is natural is males showing their qualities, and females choosing their mates. This happens in birds, where females come and inspect the nest that the males have built and then choose accordingly.

    And,
    the source of dowry is the convention of females coming to husband’s house and the females no longer being able to contribute to their parents either financially or through labour. But, the male does contribute to his family.

    Previously, this problem was not there because they had large families(or joint families or clan), so by probability, one would be male, so there would be one person at least one person to look after them.

    So, now that we have small families, we should stop the convention of females going to house of their husbands, or both the parents of husband and wife should live along with the couple.

    But, if the couple live alone, then who will look after the children? Don’t tell day-care centres as no one can replace parents.

    As you can see, we are confusing the problems created by the modern economic and technological society as conflict between males and females.

    Got to rush Rakesh, but I will be responding …

  54. Great writeup in todays context, about the questions to be asked, Crucially its the frequency and the understanding capacity that matters in the end, which we at abppatropatri firmly believe in.

  55. I dont know about 5 questions, because even before I met my husband’s family, and he met mine, we had decided to get married :D after being friends for a couple of years. However, the first time we met each other families, it was an “interview” in both case. Both our families come from very very different cultural backgrounds. He is a bengali, and I am a maharashtrian. His family is very religious and conservative. And their questions to me naturally revolved around cooking, puja path etc. But I did make clear to them on the first meeting that I am neither a good cook, nor do i like to cookk. I just cook on and off because I have to survive. Neither do I believe that doing puja path is necessary for believing in god. My in laws did have trouble accepting my views, and i have trouble accepting theirs, but as long as we dont impose each others views on one another, we should be fine. Was the conclusion!! :D

  56. I read this blog at the rite time… Im about to encounter such a situation in a month… And I ve rehearsed that many times. I imagine this is how it would go (assuming Im allowed only five questions)

    I firstly tell a gist about myself, how much I earn and what kinda person I am (shy reserved limited frnds much caring etc) etc…
    Then I will ask her to ask if she wanna know something else about me…
    Then I will ask the following:
    1. What du expect from you career (I should find some other innovative line, so that I wudnt sound like a job interviewer)

    2. What do you think are the qualities of a good husband? Lemme check if I can make one….

    3. I told things about me… May I know about you? I know its difficult to explain about oneself so suddenly… But a few words will do… Actually I tried finding your profile on FB and Orkut to know more about you before this meeting… But couldnt locate…

    4. Having met, you know me now… Think about it and decide and convey your decision to your parents. You wanna know more about me you can call me at (my phone num)

    5. Can i have your phone number? (She blinks and utters ‘uhm’… I dont get what she thinks)… If you are uncomfortable your mail id will do… We ll talk more and know more before deciding… Keep in touch…

    By the way you look great in this dress (Hopefully)

  57. Yet choosing the life partner is one of the most neglected pieces of the process of meeting, bonding, marrying, living life together.Take the time to choose your life partner carefully and the 5 questions mentioned in this article are need to be asked while choosing a life partner.

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