‘All this stuff is written for those of you who harbor hopes of acquiring a beautiful arranged bride.’

Edited to add: I should change the post title to “This is what happens when men and women are not allowed to interact with the ‘opposite sex’.”

Arranged Marriage: The Search For Beauty‘: Gyaan for young Indian, engineers to find ‘wedded bliss’, by marrying beautiful women, was shared on a notice board in the engineering college of the blogger who posted it.  Thanks for the link Anon1.

The only reason given for wanting to get married seems to be, ‘the only chance you have to indulge in wedded bliss, lies in the hallowed institution of the “Arranged Marriage”… ‘. Many Indians would see this as good values and honorable, but does this lead to happier marriages?

How informed do you think is the person who shared this gyaan?  Does he sound like he has had much interaction with women, even before being “out of touch with the general Indian female population for more than four years” in the engineering college.

Do read the post and share your reactions. How much of these views are his own and how much a result of social conditioning? Where and when do you think did he have the opportunity to get this and such information? What do you think of his expectations form his future life with his life partner? Do you think he has really had a chance to find out…? Do also consider how the ad discussed in the last post would affect the possessor of this gyaan.

Here are some of the points he has made. Do you think this information will help a man find ‘wedded bliss’?

1. Your mother will not want you to marry someone too beautiful, your mother knows that a beautiful wife will tilt the scales against her as far as you are concerned.

2. Since women are extremely conscious of their looks and tend to rate themselves accordingly, a beautiful woman has a psychological advantage over a less attractive one in an argument.

3. Rest assured that your looks would be the last thing on a girl’s mind when she rates you as a prospective husband. (I am limiting myself to arranged marriages here). She will be weighing your earning potential, green-card potential etc. Even in this land of feminism, “Cosmopolitan” has articles on “How to hook a rich husband” and “The ten best places to meet successful men”.

4. You have worked hard, and wasted four of the most wonderful years of your life over where you are. You deserve to get something out of it. Do not squander your bargaining position. In other words, do not be ashamed to make your preference for beauty known.

5 .A beautiful woman “will be much easier to forgive after a fight.”

6. … a young man owes it to his “unborn children”, “to them to give them a beautiful mother.” (So that the children are good looking)

7. A beautiful wife enhances social stature.

8. And most importantly, sex will be much better if your wife is good-looking. (Doesn’t consider the chance of the wife finding him unattractive, and hence a lack of chemistry.)

9. A good-looking woman …will twist you around her little finger and make you jump through hoops. A homely woman will usually be so grateful to you for marrying her that she will treat you like a king.

10. Beautiful women are invariably very street-smart.

11. A beautiful woman is unlikely to be particularly virtuous or righteous.

12. A beautiful woman is more likely to “stray” after marriage too. The more lovely a woman is, the more likely is she to be propositioned by her male colleagues or friends. Ergo, she is subject to much more temptation than her homely counterparts. Think about this… how would it be if women kept asking you, a man, to make love to them? How many times would you refuse?

13. Do not ever think, “But I am not so good-looking anyway, what right have I to demand a lovely girl?” Since Man started walking the earth, it has been the man’s wealth that has been traded off for the woman’s beauty.

156 thoughts on “‘All this stuff is written for those of you who harbor hopes of acquiring a beautiful arranged bride.’

  1. //”And most importantly, sex will be much better if your wife is good-looking”//

    I had to stop reading at this point to laugh my head off. Great sex is linked to beauty now? Such ignorance.

      • I think we should dismiss most of his crap – thinking he is in college.. typical rant.. as if he knows so much about girls types! And I do think the largely the stuff he talks about is lot in the social conditioning, typical friend banter & all that.

    • The issue with guys seeking brides in arranged marriages is they believe in a world their parents have built for them, in this case a not so good looking bride with her tongue in her mouth would make an ideal match for her son as per “mummy ji”.! So beta ji after all his romps in college and after that is ready to hold the family honour in high esteem and braid a noose for this unassuming young lady.! This young lady who will soon be a scapegoat has to be the kind mummy ji can flaunt around like a silk sari in all her kitty parties and other social functions.! Mommas boys I say with missing bibs and diapers.! :P :P :P Marriages aren’t an institution as these mummy jis and beta jis have made, its putting at stake the life of two people, especially the bride since she leaves her everything to with a stranger, as in in arranged marriages the guy is mostly a stranger.! Hadh hai, we haven’t moved beyond the Sat yuga.!

      • oh yes!.. Very much!! My mom for e.g for my younger brother (who was dark) would worry.. that if he marry a dark girl all this kids will be dark! ..This is very very typical !

      • You are right.. I know a lady who actually harbored the fear that her grand children would take after the not-so-good-looking D-I-L.. and it was a ‘reject’ criteria.. Sadly, the couple is now married for 7 yrs, and childless -another crime for which only SHE is responsible.. And that too in a loveless marriage! Well of course, ‘staying-married’ is the main agenda! Tell our bharatheeya nari about ‘adjusting’. Holy shit is what I call it!

  2. Utter sexist crap, but I really wouldn’t give this too much attention – To me it looks like some dumb college kid’s lame attempt to be funny.

    • I think the person who wrote the ‘gyaan’ wrote it seriously. More of ignorance, less of sexism. Consider the fact that the guy never had any interactions with women – all he has is ads, movies, hear say and fairy tales.

  3. “A good-looking woman …will twist you around her little finger and make you jump through hoops. A homely woman will usually be so grateful to you for marrying her that she will treat you like a king.”

    At 19, my mother considered marrying me off to her friend’s son who SHE thought was suitable for me. She tried to quell my hesitation by saying something similar, “It is always better to be more good-looking than the husband. (So accept him) You will have control over him and can have your own way in life always.”

    I wonder at the stupidly simplistic ideas entertained by some people as gospel truth. And children are supposed to accept such imbecile reasoning as “wisdom” from elders! I am amazed that it never crossed her mind that the possibility existed of the man’s insecurity complex putting her daughter in trouble? I was too afraid to ask her that at 19. But thankfully, the proposal fell through.

    • I have heard this too. Also, good looks are seen as threatening. Imagine the plight of someone who has a crush on a good looking person, and expects to be twisted around their finger.

      • No I dont think so. I know of women who insist on a gori chitti bahu so that the kids are born fair – even if the family is dark skinned. I also know of girls with specs being rejected because future generations may have an eye defect.

        It was the tone of the writing – the “see I am so smart and cocky” tone which made me think the boy (he is not a mature man) is very young and clueless

        • genetics 101 : skin tone is polygenic inheritence … in layman terms it means ur skin tone will lie somewhere between your parents with the odd ones going to parental extremes (if they exist ) … besides environmental factors such as health, fat, nutrition and exposure to sun also effect .

      • If you go through the arranged marriage route, you will find that most men want fair (= beautiful) wives even though they themselves are dark because they want fair (= beautiful) kids…

        • If that is true, then urgent lessons in basic genetics are required. :)

          While the son may inherit more genes from the mother, daughters may take after either parent because both bequeath an X-chromosome to her.

          So fair-skinned mothers may have dark-skinned daughters and vice-versa.

          There is also a popular old wives tale in my community that holds that women who take after their fathers get more loving husbands. :)

          I was very worried as a child because I am the spitting image of my mother. Ergo no loving husband, I thought.

        • @ biwo:
          Women who take after their fathers get WHAT??? :shock:

          And I thought I had heard it all!!! :roll: :-| Sheesh!

        • I have heard this too – I think it is a very common belief. Another one is about dimples, those who have dimples are loved by their in-laws (men and women both).

        • @IHM, yes I’ve heard that said about dimples too. In fact, they said that two dimples mean that both parents-in-law will love you and one dimple means that only the FIL will love you. This caused me some worry as a child, since I had ‘only’ one dimple!!! But then I figured that since most people are dimple-less and seem to be doing just fine, it could only mean that it wasn’t all that important to be loved by your in-laws ;-)

  4. Arranged marriage is about two things – The beauty/attraction of the opposite sex, which is used as a bait and the ‘social status (richness)’ of the spouse’s family. Horoscopes were earlier used to check the compatibility between the bride and the groom, but these days its used more as an influencing factor as any type of reading can be bought for a few hundred rupees.

    I don’t exactly have a high opinion of love marriages or people selecting their own partners either as there is a lot of innocence/ignorance among that crowd.

    Destination Infinity

    • //I don’t exactly have a high opinion of love marriages or people selecting their own partners either as there is a lot of innocence/ignorance among that crowd.//

      Pray what kind of ignorance? They would know each other better, have more realistic expectations from the relationship. Innocence? About what? So far I have heard that lovers are not “innocent” because they lost their innocence by proclaiming their attraction towards the opposite sex. First time I am hearing otherwise.

      • I think what she’s trying to say is that often in the throes of love and passion, people often lose sight of the practical side of things…Dating and living together are two different things…

  5. WTF!? Is this guy even serious? I think this is sarcasm right? No? I’m confused! How can an intelligent male think like this about women and marriage. I know guys fantasize about beautiful females but then so do girls about handsome hunks. But I never knew they advocated all this shit to juniors in college. What a great tradition to carry forward. I did a good thing by not choosing a guy who had to sacrifice his 4yrs just to get where he is. Rest, I think I’ll comment on his blog. I’ll need a while to gather my thoughts.

      • This is definitely older than 2005. I was forwarded this when i was in college, and that was around 2002-03. Couldn’t get past the first few paras then, couldn’t now.

      • He did not write this gyaan in the post – he shared what he found on the notice board. I feel young men who are not allowed to have any interaction with women, and have a natural curiosity about women, they have to depend on whatever they hear from friends and media etc.

      • IHM, this will be relevant in the year 2200 as well (hopefully). This is how 99% of the marriages happen in India. I was wondering if the post will turn sarcstic in the end but it didn’t. The guy has written the reality. Tell me, when we go to a matrimonial site to search for a girl, what is the first thing we see?
        //Your mother will not want you to marry someone too beautiful, your mother knows that a beautiful wife will tilt the scales against her as far as you are concerned.
        This one cracked me up. We have seen this in so many movies and this is the bitter truth.
        We are changing but at a snail’s pace. In fact I think 2200 is too early as a target date.

  6. At this point, you are twenty-one or older, and have been out of touch with the general Indian female population for more than four years.

    This one sentence explains the rest of the post, doesn’t it?

    Unless if this is satire. Even then it is in really bad taste.

      • I agree Ashwathy. I think this is someone who has no understanding that women are people – with feelings, aspirations, fears, ‘flaws’ etc – so probably someone who has not had much interaction with women.

        • absolutely right. I have seen this ‘trophy wife’ obsession in men who have had minimum interaction with women on a daily basis, like guys from all boys schools etc. A beautiful wife is a scoring point for him, to show off in his friend circle … like an expensive car.
          They are attracted to opp. sex, but have minimum interaction.. so they also end up considering women as ‘enigmas’ or ‘mysteries';These are also the men who think women are just after money. Seeing them from afar ..all they can evaluate is homely (read ugly) or hot/beautiful. I am sorry to say but they do not really see women as individuals or people just like them.

        • And still I feel Bjigya, they can’t really be blamed because they had no choice in this lack of interaction. :( They are victims too I think…

        • I agree IHM they are victims too of this gender bases segregation. And seeing all comments from those who think this is satire, let me assure you it is not. It is the bare truth of how most men in segregated institutions end up thinking…. ..the article is commendable for its honesty though.
          I know boys in my own family who went to all boys schools and thus hold ideas close to these. They have struggled in their lives to understand women. They got trophy wives and ended up getting divorced… so now they believe even worse of women. It is not easy being their sister past their bitter experiences . I wish their fate on none.

        • I agree and I also say this from having seen boys who have studied in all boys institutes all their lives, including engineering colleges, where most of the students were boys (while we were growing up).

          I had this (male) cousin who had studied in boys schools throughout and he said, “We have had an education that gives us the intelligence to see it’s illogical that we should marry someone we don’t know and an upbringing that says we must marry a total stranger, chosen by our parents.”

          Also take a look at anIITan’s comment.

  7. What is this, I don’t even…agh!

    Okay, I don’t have a girlfriend, I don’t look like Adonis reborn, my sex drive is as good as my classmates’ and I admit I’ve been out of touch with the, uhm, general female population for a while now, but DUDE.

    If and when I do decide to get married (which is very unlikely to be anytime soon), it’s going to be with someone who’s a lot like me. No way I’m tying the knot with some well-proportioned ultra-femme bharatiya nari who I can’t even communicate with.

    College humour can be weird but this was just completely WTF.

  8. WTF!!!…..the first thing which came out of my mouth as I read this…

    apologize for the language though :-)

    but coming back to ground reality…while searching for a bride in arranged marriage people do ask shamelessly on face about how beautiful and fair is the girl even in first interaction with her family members…you know they want a pretty whitewashed damsel to carry forward their ‘vansh’…

    Yucks…..when I read the ‘darshan’ part in that ‘gyaan’ …

    but still this write up made me laugh…good to know about these species through your blog :-)

  9. //A beautiful woman “will be much easier to forgive after a fight.”//
    Haha, this made me fall off my chair laughing. By the same token, the beautiful wife should find it more difficult to forgive her (ugly) husband after a fight. But why should that bother this chap’s swollen head–the wife can stew in her own juices, right?

  10. A beautiful woman is unlikely to be particularly virtuous or righteous

    ROFL.

    This guy is beyond satire. What satirist could come up with something this good?

    As for the point about wealth-in-exchange-for-beauty, with all due respect I say, eff you.

    I’d have married my guy even if he was on the streets, not just because he looks like Adonis reborn, but because there exists such a thing as love which goes beyond some BS checklist from a college boy who’s never talked to an adult woman in his life.

  11. I read the whole piece. I will probably be the only one on your blog to say I was amused and not majorly offended. I think a lot of it was tongue-in-cheek and I didn’t get the impression he was some innocent who has not been exposed to women. He repeatedly mentions the relative physical charms of women abroad.

    I don’t even disagree with a lot of what he says except that I think that it can be applied to both genders. (I do disagree with some stuff however).

    I think this kind of writing was common in the 90s and has gone out of style. So it all feels a bit dated and a little immature to me. Kind of like someone incessantly telling knock-knock jokes. But this sentence did make me laugh out loud: “Does she walk slowly and sedately, like an Old Spanish galleon making its way across the seas? She is probably holding her paunch in.”

    In some way, I think he is trying to be subversive. In stressing his outrageous goal, he is urging guys to – 1. don’t let your parents choose your partner for you without going along yourself 2. Don’t let them get away with photographs 3. Don’t insist on the girl wearing traditional Indian clothes.

    Finally, I don’t think it was meant to be serious advice for anyone though, of course, there is a bit of engineering school arrogance and chauvinism there.

      • Haha I learnt something new for today.

        Though I don’t think it’s that hard, generally speaking, to distinguish parody from extremism. In this case, I don’t think it’s outright parody. But there’s definitely some exaggeration and sarcasm at work there.

        • Thanks to Natasha I too learned something new (Poe’s Law) today.

          Further to Poe’s Law:

          Even with all these emoticons, a writer communicating with his readers is handicapped when compared to a speaker talking to his listeners.

          A speaker’s tone, when he communicates cannot be reproduced by a writer when he writes.

          I realized this fully when I read plays and then watched them being enacted on the stage. The written words did not have the same punch that the dialogue delivery had..

          It was further driven home when I read Yes Minister, the book, and later watched that memorable TV serial.

          Regards
          GV

    • I didn’t find it annoying, only immature and ignorant.

      What do you think of the willingness to be manipulated by a beautiful wife and finding it easier to forgive a beautiful wife?

      • Um I think he’s somewhat right there. Beautiful people do get away with a lot. Even research has shown that beautiful people get hired more, even get more raises, and probably get away with minor infractions at work. It works that way for both men and women. Babies also tend to be more attracted to symmetrical faces and this is before social conditioning kicks in.

        I would object to it in the workplace but in personal relationships, if an attribute of someone makes it easier for you to live with them…Like, I might find it easier to forgive tantrummy people if they’re extremely creative.

        • ” I think he’s somewhat right there. Beautiful people do get away with a lot”

          It works just the opposite way too (whatever research says). Beautiful people don’t get away with things because they are beautiful. They are branded as ‘arrogant’ and are harassed more, looked at with suspicion/envy. For no fault of theirs, they are put down a lot due only to the inferiority complex of the persons dealing with them..

        • You know, what ticked me off was not that he wanted a beautiful bride but his idea that somehow he deserved one with zero effort on his part and that all women were out to dupe him and marry him because he is oh-so-awesome.

        • @Shail Yes, I suppose so. But he acknowledges those too – that a beautiful woman would make the MIl feel threatened, that a very beautiful spouse might make her husband insecure. He categorises these under the ‘disadvantages’ in the post. And overall, his conclusion seems to be that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

          I’m not agreeing with his thesis that beauty should be the only criteria in a marriage. Though I won’t disregard its power either.

          Moreover, he is speaking to an audience which he assumes will largely have an arranged marriage. In such a scenario, where women are necessarily being judged by superficialities anyway, it makes some kind of sense to at least hinge your choice on the superficiality that is most evident.

        • @ cluelesschick

          “You know, what ticked me off was not that he wanted a beautiful bride but his idea that somehow he deserved one with zero effort on his part…” Yeah, that rankled me too. I think Engineering Girl gave him a fitting reply. But I think this cocksureness is a symptom of the IIM/IITs (maybe other engineering colleges) that convince their students they are God’s gift to the world. That arrogance permeates their attitude to their prospects in the world at large, not just marriage. I have been here, made such an effort, now the way should be smooth hereafter.

          I didn’t get a sense that he thought all women are out to dupe him though but I think he does sort of correctly sense that with this degree, in the arranged marriage market, his stakes have shot through the roof.

    • Of all the reactions to this post, I think mine aligns completely with yours Bride! I was wondering, if its just me who is finding this most hilarious!

      In pockets, I thought this piece was a good attempt at satire, exposing the sad double standards of our society and the ironies of the arranged marriage market. I still don’t think he is seriously advocating all this. For example his statement where the guys know that looks wise, they are not exactly the prettiest people around (conventionally) but ironically still wanting to have a “good looking wife”. It is like showing a mirror to our dysfunctional social system and pointing to its ugliness. And, you like it or not – it is the bitter truth! That is how majority used to think in that period. I don’t know if that has changed drastically this past decade.

      And yes, boys of that decade did harbor such naive thoughts on beauty and great sex. And the only objective of marriage being “wedded bliss”. Sad. But true. I am sure the writer or consumers of this piece at that time have all awakened to a truthful realization by now.

    • Ditto@the Bride! I think it was meant to be a “funny” and “clever” bit of “college coolness”. Even the most sensitive of my friends back in college didn’t advertise their nature, made jokes in bad taste, and got louder and way more profane when the male population in group >> female population in group. I think it’s part of the bro code or something that they come across as insensitive, chauvinistic boors.

  12. That was hilarious!

    The sad thing is that it would still seem quite reasonable to people who have been brought up without much interaction with the opposite sex. I actually remember a colleague of mine saying that in an arranged marriage, looks are bound to be the most important criteria because that is all you can be sure about!

    • Ruchira, the point I was making was, (quoting poetmama from above) – “boys of that decade did harbor such naive thoughts on beauty and great sex. And the only objective of marriage being “wedded bliss”. Sad. But true. I am sure the writer or consumers of this piece at that time have all awakened to a truthful realization by now.”

  13. I think I was a real innocent guy (seriously, very academic type also) when I joined IITK, and for me beautiful girl only meant skin deep, and I use to probably like only the fairest of the lot (don’t judge me on lot of what I’m going to say, but that was then :)) and it didn’t matter or I didn’t understand really much about being plump or skinny etc. And then my friends would tell me – what you care about the face? In a gross language (which i found really offensive at the first time – but got used to it down the line) they would tell me- who cares about the face, you can cover with a hanky & do it ! ..and then kind of over the time impressed on me that Figure was everything ! And most of them, thought that beautiful girl could be dominating (although secretly everyone would want one) and also they understood that beauty & brains don’t go together – so in IIT, you are unlikely to find a match! So having very little or almost no exposure to interact with females (80 girls in IITk, versus some 1500 boys) – most of the boys would have spent their entire 4 years – not even talking to a girl. And some who did were the cynosures and got lot of peer value – and most of them were the frustoo bit & only talk ill about the girls (easy target) rather than the boys!

    I find the rantings – of a similar frustoo guy who seems to know a lot, but in utter naivety actually doesn’t know anything. Except for the social stuff he talks about – like 10 years of hardwork – should encash it, or you should see a girl properly (she might be hiding – very common, they would make the girl change dresses/ jeans/saree/salwar, etc & carefully observe about some scar etc) – most of what he talks about relationships -vis a vis women is bogus! Sex with beautiful women is good? Mom don’t want beautiful women? Easy to forgive beautiful women?

    .. anyway..but my serious takeaway from my stint at IIT, Kanpur was – how everyone out there (boys folk) really talked very lightly of girls- as if they are just body parts & nothing else!.. (you know what I mean) and I never so any respect among anyone.. the only place they seems to care – was their own sister ! Weird!!

    • Don’t worry (or worry?) IITian, it’s not just at IIT that guys reduce women to just body parts. It’s an international attitude; something of a male-bonding, show of machismo thing and reinforced through every fashion magazine that even we women consume. Just like women are uncomfortable wearing high heels but then they keep doing it and after a point it becomes an extention of their legs, and voila, they’re a real woman.

    • I totally agree with you, anIITan. These are the rantings of a frustoo guy. It wasn’t surprising for me at all, when I read this. When the ratio between gals and boys is not 1:1, guys go crazy. In computers and electronics, there were 50% girls, so my interaction with guys in my class was human-like. We were project-mates, we used to share assignments and have witty reviews on teachers. But my interaction with the boys of Mech and Prod that did not have a single girl in their class was screwed.

      I was considered a traditional-looking, girl-next-door (a borderline behenjee, by the hot crowd) till standard 12. As soon as I entered the Engineering college, I got outrageous attention. I was considered hot. When I interacted with multiple groups of guys: Here are some characteristics:
      1. A groups of guys considered my talking to them was like getting a “Mr. Personality” award.
      2. Another group of guys intereacted with me because one of the guys was interested in me.
      3. Another group of guys interacted with me because they had a reputation of knowing and being friends with all popular girls in college. They wanted to keep that reputation
      4. Another group of guys hung out with me because they never had a group of gals to hang out with and wanted change it.
      5. Then there were verbal Eve-teasers who had no intent of interaction with me. Staring and passing comments on me when I passed became a habit for them.
      6. Then there was also a group of guys that was hostile towards me because according to them, I led guys on, by talking to them.
      7. Then there was also a group of guys that I liked to show, they even know who I was because they were so geeky.

      Under these circumstances, I don’t think anybody even considered me a person, even though I interacted with many of them. I was always a girl. I can actually visualise them agreeing to all what is said by the frustoo guy.

      • I’ve experienced that too though I did not attend an engineering college.

        All my life, I’ve found that men slot me in pre-existing categories based on their own experiences, prejudices and insecurities (and my clothing, of course).

        So I’ve been the sweet girl-next-door, the raging bitch-on-wheels, a repressed behenji, a a man-hungry sexpot, and a dull, boring feminazi.

        Sometimes I’ve been all these in the course of just ONE day. :)

  14. This is quite an old article and I have read it before.

    The writer attempts to be funny and sarcastic but you can clearly see it is someone who has no idea absolutely no idea of women.

    All I can say is lame

  15. hehehehehe.. I followed the link and it seriously cracked me up! BTW, why is he reading “Cosmopolitan”? what is his other source for all this gyaan – “Playboy”? He seems to know an awful lot about female body without actually knowing anybody is person..
    But sadly, I have come across many such specimens..

    PS – In my head why am I linking this post to Henpecked Husband’s post?

  16. I read the original blog.
    It’s not worth all this attention.
    I think the fellow was merely being facetious.
    Some may find it funny.
    I found it mildly amusing and nothing more.
    Regards
    GV

  17. IHM post seems hilarious but this is the case in most of the arranged marriage.
    Matrimonial sites and advertisement are full of these types of statements. People want good heighted, fair and slim girls. In search of outer beauty people totally neglect compatibility and inner beauty. They fail to see what a beautiful heart can do a beautiful face may not do that.

  18. People are crazy for beautiful people, they look for beautiful faces always. Not only when they have to marry, but everywhere, friends, neighbours etc.; I discovered it some days ago. We just moved last month to a new house and one day a neighbour came to meet the new neighbours (us), my mother wasn’t at home so my elder sister sat with her, while my younger sister was getting ready for college and I was in other room. So this lady, after enquiring what each family member does and all that stuff, she told my elder sister that she’s really beautiful and told her to visit her place sometime, just then my younger sister came into that room and the lady was happy that girl #3 is also beautiful and she was invited to visit her place too. Now she demanded to see me, so that she can know whether or not am I beautiful. And she literally said it, “arrey vo 2nd number wali kahan hai? dekhu to k vo bhi sunder hai ya nahi hai!!” Then she entered the room I was in, though her face changed several colours after seeing me, a 4 and a half feet, fat girl doesn’t stand eligible in her beauty scale, then she just went back to her place. I wasn’t even invited to he place, obviously. LOL But we had a good laugh after she went. She’s the latest prey at the claws of my younger sister’s jokes now!

    My father said world is full of such ‘samples’. :D LOL

  19. You are not alone, The Bride. After reading the responses I am convinced, beyond a shred of doubt that a lot of people here don’t get satire or irony; and take tongue-in-cheek articles way too seriously. Maybe this type of humour is way too subtle and mature for people who have been culturally conditioned to find Bollywood style slapstick comedies and in-your-face punchlines funny. I’ve observed that this is a pervasive thing in the Hindi belt. My Bengali friends get it.

    The author of the article satirises the Indian arranged marriage culture, making it look like a game of culturally sanctioned deciet. Which actually is how it is in the Indian arranged marriage ‘market’. Given the limited choices and cultural restrictions against ‘getting to know each other’, the guys go looking for the closest Aishwarya Rai look alike they could ‘afford’ while the girls go for the least repulsive Mr. Moneypenny they could ensnare. It is a trade, more than anything and in a very desi style game of bribery, deceit and deception using lowest common denominators as bargaining chips.

    I also don’t see why the author’s preference for good looks should be shamed. He does not put down guys who value personality over looks, but he admits, he is a ‘mere mortal’ who values good looks and figure in a woman. People like what they like. And frankly, Indians need to start appreciating honestly and directness rather than using the “If it is not nice and socially accepted, don’t say it” attitude.

    • Atheist Indian – This post is about what creates the circumstances that make such gyaan-manuals popular, basically about segregation, where men and women are not allowed to interact and where young men hope to find ‘wedded bliss’ by marrying beautiful women (not considering that the women may or may not be attracted to them).

      • I am not sure how much gender segregation plays in this. Some of the points he made were rather astute and observant, especially for an engineering guy who doesn’t socialise much with women. While the others were more on subjective and cultural territory.

        And besides, gender segregation is the foundation of an arranged marriage culture. One can’t survive very long without the other. It is like polygamy and a warrior culture.

    • Hey, Atheist Indian, I don’t know about way too subtle or mature, I didn’t think it was that good actually. Just that I didn’t think it was that bad. I thought it was sort of meh. I wouldn’t have even read the whole thing if it wasn’t linked on this blog.

      Don’t think it was an all-out satire there though there were definitely elements where I felt he was taking the piss. The off-notes were the cockiness but I think that is more an IIT-I’m-so-wonderful thing and I’ve seen so much worse so didn’t react that badly to that either.

      @IHM I get your larger point about segregation just felt this piece was not the apt piece to make it with because this writer doesn’t seem like one of the segregated. Nor do I think IIT is that bad in terms of segregation, though there may be lots of “frustoo” (such a cute term) men there as IITian above said.

    • Yeah, because it’s totally fine to be a shallow a**hole as long as you’re honest about it.

      Specially if you can claim that your BS was really ‘satire’ which others just aren’t smart enough to get.

      This Bengali demands a BREAK.

      • @ Natasha S
        So this guy wants a good looking woman, which of course, is such a perverted thing because ALL men are invariably supposed to find personality attractive and not care all that much about looks. Chi chi, what a dirty, shallow asshole!
         
        Face it, a lot of men care about looks in a mate. So do a lot of women. It is an primeval, involuntary preference for a lot of people.
         
        It is not ‘my BS’. I didn’t write it. I just found it hilarious, thats all.

    • You are so right. Most of us are a bunch of humourless old hags and we love to get offended at the drop of a hat ;) The only thing that can crack us up is a constipated Johnny Lever. Maybe a daily dose of cha-biscoot, macher jhol, cartoons and didi should replenish our severely depleted sense of humour.

      Pardon my serious, sombre, bleak, dull, grey outlook – but most of us are concerned that his blog truly represents the way the entire mechanism works. nobody is cursing him for preferring a beautiful wife – but we are shaking our dull heads in all the seriousness about his assumptions of such a woman (low moral value, domineering, infidelity) vs. ‘plain women’ – which sadly, IS the way millions of families think.

    • Okay, so a lot of people here have been culturally conditioned to find Bollywood style slapstick comedies and in-your-face punchlines funny. Hahaha, for once I do get the humour in your comment, but then I guess it was pretty in-your-face, so not really a big deal !

      • SH, it’s been empirically established that feminist-minded women have NO sense of humour and go about life glaring and fuming at the opposite sex.

        When we’re not watching Bollywood style slapstick comedies, we can be found pouring vitriol on elegantly-crafted satirical writing because of course, clever satire cannot be grasped by angry, middle-class feminists. :)

    • @ biwo
      Oh thank you for bringing up The Onion and Suchi Govardhan’s article. Being the Neanderthal that I am, who learnt English from a ‘Rapidex’ course, I had absolutely no idea that such works of art in the world of satire existed. You opened my eyes, fair lady, I bow to thee. After all, what is a twenty something IITian blogger’s attempt at satire, compared to journalistic brilliance? I take back everything I said. League changes everything, just like a not having a Prada handbag makes a pretty woman quite ugly.
       
      @ Sumana
      I expected anything but a confession! Quips apart, I see your point and I still think it is some kind of witchunt to take a twentysomething IIT wise-man’s gyaan too seriously. It makes it no different from patriotard ‘think tanks’ in India who visit Chinese forums and use random comments there to justify their Sinophobia. Or men who take isolated examples of a bad woman pilot to decide that a woman who flies a plane is a risk to their lives.

      • ooh we humourless ones are tactlessly honest…there was nothing hidden to confess :)

        ‘too seriously’…funny or not, he’s described the truth…period. hence the clamorous discussion.

    • Most of the commentators have made the point and you will know which side I’m taking when I say that- the article is definitely not a SATIRE! Yes, he does try to make it interesting for the reader, but he definitely means business albeit the stuff he talks is obviously crude and without deep understanding. But then that he all his understanding is! Gr8 engineering & gr8 human don’t necessarily go together..

      In my stint at IITs most of the boys where talking about encashing their hard work! I din’t get the girls’ (at IIT) side of the picture though

  20. Its nothing more than locker room talk. There’s nothing much to ponder over men discussing T and A. Its plain and simple locker room talk between males. The jokes etc etc. I do it, everybody does it. I am sure a girl version of this would certainly exist and they do exist. If this becomes a post, how about all the jokes and puns that wives crack at the expense of their husbands/bfs. Women compare notes about their husbands, joke about them etc etc. Wives tell how their lives have become worse ever since they married. Ha Ha Ha, Hee Hee Hee. Sigh, there’s nothing more to it, IHM. Men making fun of women and women making fun of men. That’s how it should be. There are thousands of articles printed on how to land a rich husband, how to make your husband obey you etc etc. If we men started pondering over each and every article and went through them with a comb, we would have nothing else to do. You should bring out a list of jokes and satire penned by women on men to compensate. KC

  21. First time in my life, I snorted oatmeal. LMFAO! hoooohaaaahhhaaaa ***wiping tears***. I largely attribute this ‘knowledge’ of women to a very, very delayed onset of puberty in the author: a knowledge acquired by detailed study of savitha bhabi type websites.

    nonetheless, I would hold him up as a shining example of ‘How Not To Bring Up Your Son’. Agreed most of the stuff is laughable and immature – but his pointers on sarees and salwaars and underlying ‘figures’ had me squirming – he sounded like a pervert who feels entitled to grope a woman.

    • also the opposition he sets up between beautiful and homely. One can NOT equal the other.

      “If your wife is homely too, your child will probably look like the Swamp Thing, or the Blob.”
      “Conversely, if your wife is homely, you will be rather embarrassed to take her to gatherings of your friends, especially if they are all married to knockouts.”

      Also:
      “If you are one of those for whom innocence, virtue, and chastity are important, beautiful women are not for you.”
      “As I mentioned before, a beautiful woman is unlikely to be particularly virtuous or righteous. But that is okay, since too much virtue often goes hand-in-hand with rather undesirable traits. A virtuous woman may also be ugly, weird, boring, hyper-religious or frigid.”
      “A beautiful woman is more likely to “stray” after marriage too….”

      —-This is the sort of perception that leads to stereotyping of physical ‘types’ and then behaving according to the type that the girl is slotted in. For example: a girl from Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya etc, who wear western clothes, may be physically fit etc are seen as “not particularly virtuous” leading to sexual harassment and worse.

      “Do not ever think, “But I am not so good-looking anyway, what right have I to demand a lovely girl?” Since Man started walking the earth, it has been the man’s wealth that has been traded off for the woman’s beauty. ”
      —This unfortunately rings very, very true even today. I think he has something here when he says beauty has been traded for wealth. 99% of matrimonial ads will speak of the physcial attributes of a girl(either offering or demanding)- slim, beautiful, tall, FAIR etc. Usually, along with a close up photograph, a full shot is also asked for. When a guy is being advertised, it is the 5/6 figure income, house in a particular locality etc etc

      What particularly disgusts me about the post is the manner in which women have been written of only as body parts. And no, I do not think this is sarcasm or satire.
      He writes, “A large percentage of women in India have huge hips and very heavy thighs. This is mainly due to lack of exercise…. One way to check for obesity under a sari or salwar is to note the relative positions of her bosom and midriff. For a woman with a good figure, the bosom should be at a considerably higher level. Let me reiterate, if a girl has something to show, she will make sure that you will see it.”

      A recent comment on the post- “Let me remind you that you came from the womb of a woman, YOUR MOTHER, atleast have some iota of respect for the sake of your mother.” hmm, I’m always a bit uncertain about invoking the mother figure to drive home the point about respecting women.
      Another side of the same coin is how the worse abuses (that men hurl at each other) again have to do with violating the female body(in terms that are unacceptable within the norms of that society) or referring to female sexual parts in gross terms – so the usual ones are sisterf…/ motherf…./ ch….ya.

      • Mokapot – yes yes yes and yes and some more yes. Boys do grow up with an understanding that certain type of women are morally chaste, while others are not – purely based on appearance. i’ve written about this so many times – the representation is so replete in all our visual mediums.

      • In fact “ch*&^” is such a common Hindi cuss word that many people do not know that it refers to a female body part.

        Of course, the implication of calling someone a female body part is that nothing is more contemptible or abominable than female private parts.

        I quite like my “ch&*^” thank you very much. It’s a source of great pleasure and comfort.

  22. this is funny but let me tell you from personal experiences that color of skin does make a lot of difference!!! many guys who are fair in color demand fairer wives….color is somehow linked to beauty in India which is quite a racist thing.

  23. I think this guy wrote this as a joke, he is probably trying to write things which plp want to hear. but if he is really serious about this then:
    This guy really needs a taste of reality. A beautiful wife doesn’t mean good marriage. AFter couple of years of marriage, you start to see the real person. it doesn’t matter how beautiful the girl is, if she is not good at heart, I can guarantee you, after few years u will start hating her. I have seen it happen all around me. Also I have seen that sometimes the wife is not beautiful physically but she is really understanding and the husband loves her more than anything. The physical beauty part only matters for few initial meetings, after that the only thing that matters is the understanding between two plp.

    I hope this guy was really joking, otherwise he is in for a big surprise.

    • Here it is, thanks for sharing Bjigya.

      4. Marry someone smarter than you are. When I was getting a Ph.D., my wife Leah had a steady income. When she wanted to start a software company, I had a job with health benefits. (To clarify, having a “spouse with benefits” is different from having a “friend with benefits.”) You will do better in life if you have a second economic oar in the water.

      And some more,

      7. Your parents don’t want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn’t always the same thing.

  24. “And most importantly, sex will be much better if your wife is good-looking” — ohh to be young and stupid !!!!
    reminds me of a saying my mother used ALL the time, “it is better to marry someone who loves you rather than whom you love ” ehhh WTH how about waiting for a person where it’s reciprocated both ways !!!!

  25. Seems like our feminist ideologues do not like fun being poked at stiff upper lip women, who do no wrong, see no wrong and hear no wrong. Seems like many here are more into “feminist theory” and what not. I do not know, but it seems like women do not appreciate gallow’s humour or black comedy. And for the record, I do like David Dhawan, Govinda slapstick comedy. They are not highbrow but they do make me laugh. Guilty as charged by the Femsheviks. KC.

    • Its an old saw you know — feminists have no sense of humour and are dried up old hags. Come up with something more original the next time.

    • A wise person once said “Feminism is the radical idea that women are people”

      And if you are such a good judge of all kind of humor, why are you not taking the virginity jokes about the guy in question in your stride? Oh, I get it…you laugh only when women are made fun of.

  26. I could not resist not commenting on this one. Though how much ever we would like to think that this is just a funny rant by a young person, I think the stereotypes he talks about are so deep-seated in the minds of even the so called “educated” people in our society. It sometimes irks me to hear comments like “we always wanted a fair bride , or one with dimples” and see we now have her! What is intended as a compliment(or a self-congratulatory remark) also come of as objectification of a person, as if the only way in which she brings happiness is through how she looks and that sets her “rating” in the marriage market. Sadly, even education and exposure to the media has failed to change this mindset and though we might want to believe otherwise, being brainwashed by such a “marriage-view” and pleasing one’s parents seem to overshadow the very basic sense of logic and judgement you would expect from a 22 or so adult. This is the silly but sad reality which seizes to be funny after a while, this guy needs to retype the stereotype :)

  27. IHM, your blog is my daily haunt. I read all your posts with interest and nod along on everything you say because I agree with your views. But this is a very old post IHM! Was written in 2005. And other posts on his blog indicate that this might have been written in jest or as a satire. Yes, many men/boys do think this way and that is sad, but tearing this post apart seems like an overreaction to me. Sorry, couldn’t stop myself from commenting :(

    • StrangerInTheMirror, it has not been written by the blogger – he found it on his college noticeboard and shared it on his blog, I have mentioned it in the post. It is possible that it is a satire – but doesn’t that show the issues are there?
      I did not find the manual/gyaan offensive, what I thought was, it was written by someone young, who has not met many women, for others who have not known any women (besides their mothers and sisters), and that segregation was not a good idea – if young men have opportunities to meet and interact with women, they are more likely to see them as real people with real feelings.

  28. I did not read all of it. The first few paragraphs were enough. Seems to be written by an idiot for other idiots.

  29. ***Found somewhere on the labyrinthine PMAIL notice boards of first year (“Pegasus Mail” for final years who remember). Was posted by some arbit thambi who claimed that his senior had passed on the gyaan to him. I faithfully saved it for the future, so that the gyaan may be used by others. Maybe even I could use it..

    The kid has just shared it as a joke…. IHM.

    • Anonymous, read your comment. I have clearly mentioned that the post has been shared by the blogger from his noticeboard. (The manual it seems has been around since 2003).

      Also you will find a lot of comments found the gyaan inoffensive, well written and funny, some even thought it was a satire at the attitudes prevalent (which indicates that the issues were (are) all there). If it was a joke, then don’t you think it was a very sexist joke?

  30. http://alpha.dateiitians.com/about

    USP for the site is “It is an endeavour to make it easier for the geeks out there in finding their perfect life partner. Moreover, everybody knows that good relationships begin with friendship only, so when you first become friends and then gradually start liking each other, then only the you can say that your relationship is developing and getting meaningful.”

  31. I have met so many Indian students in the US while I was studying and later working. The attitude of the bride hunting “gyaan” is so prevalent it is scary. These guys don’t bother to express interest in girls they are attracted to because, in their own words, “dating is too much effort”. And also, with their foreign degrees, they can land “prettier” girls in India through arranged marriage. Also arranged marriage exalts them to demi god status with their ILs and they can expect royal treatment !?!

    And oh, they are very particular that the person they marry should be living in India because us women in the US are sluts (as if we get our degrees by partying while they have to slog at it ) and innocent girls from India can be “molded” to their needs. Yup, one guy actually told this to my face and did not get why I would find it offensive.

  32. i want to first ask him to define what beauty is to him?? is he talking only about skin and no relationship??
    may be needs to talk to women around him .i cant believe that it is being called as Gyaan and is ready to passed on.. :(

  33. I’m probably in the minority here, but I think that the original article is a satire – I did read it when it first made the email rounds. I don’t really think the writer is serious!

  34. The thing that stands out to me is that when people do not actually know eachother they are forced to focus on the stuff that’s immediately visible rather than what actually matters. This makes them seem extremely shallow.

    If you know eachother before marriage, you don’t have to guess based on external characteristics, instead you will *know*. And no, neither street-smarts nor the ease of staying constructive in an argument or the compatibility to your sexuality is visible on the surface of a person.

  35. Ok. People here are ranting against arranged marriage. But, please tell me how can a guy like me(and a majority of guys) escape it? My only option is going through the matrimonial sites, but the kind of people you get there can’t match what you get through references from relatives.

  36. Ah.. to find out first hand how an old blog post can come back to haunt you! :) It’s been a while since I saw these comments, mostly because my blog is largely defunct and hasn’t been updated in a while. But this delay has given me a chance to read through all the comments… and the IHM blog in general.

    First things first… I would like to reiterate something that the Indian Homemaker has mentioned and has been highlighted by Anonymous (many thanks to you sir/ma’am) — I did not write that piece. As with all things copied, I have cited my sources right in the beginning :). I guess that somewhere along the way this fact was lost. I hope (sigh!), as with all things viral and inflammatory on the internet, that the larger populace resorts to open defamation AFTER complete reading and holistic analysis with a clear mind.

    While I cannot guess what was going on in the mind of my senior while he wrote it, it does seem to me that it is largely satire. That said, the Indian Homemaker is right – the issues stand, but you just have dig through the wildly apparent humour of this article to actually see it.

    I do hope that the effort to highlight issues on this blog makes it into the real world in terms of serious/actual change. In the mean time, I shall retire back to my blissful married life [who would have imagined that after this blog, eh ;) !!?] and only indulge in the occasional Jon Stewart-ish commentary of our lives and times.

    PS: The wife read the post before she married me. She found it funny.

    PPS: She did give me one hard look and said “So this is what you boys think, huh?”. Very solemnly I replied “Do you think I think that?”. We got married soon after ;)

    Cheers,
    Aashish

  37. Dear IHM.

    Sorry to comment on an old post, but I really think that the original article was satire. I studied in a different country, but these kinds of tongue-in-cheek, apparently misogynist humour is extremely familiar to me from engineering circles. Engineering students are predominantly male even today, and the sense of humour reflects that. The jokes oscillate between two extremes – either projecting engineers as nerdy unsocial beings with no knowledge of the oppposite sex, or else as supremely virile alpha males.

    I should confess that I am neither a man nor an engineer but I used to spend most of the waking hours of my undergraduate years in their company. It was an interesting anthropological experience.

      • Ha ha, of course many do! But those men wouldn’t write this article – that was my point.
        The part about women being trained only for marriage has struck a chord with me, because I have indeed heard “educated” and “enlightened” men speak in those terms.

        For example, many years back, a family friend (engineer, ironically) claimed that I could pursue academia instead of going into industry because I was a girl and so, obviously, did not have to worry about money. Would it be immodest of me to point out here that my parents did not pay a penny for my education whereas his was in fact partially funded by his family?

        I also had a “communist/socialist” and “progressive” relative who thought gender roles were perfectly acceptable since women are naturally “domestic”. “Why is it a big deal if the wife always makes tea for the husband?” – he would say. “No one forces her, she does it because she wants to.”

        What can you say to people like that? Do we as women have some sort of tea-making gene that they lack?

        • I have read through the post and all the comments here and while many are very amusing – I feel the thread fails to appreciate the true problem here – that of gender segregation and the gradual manner in which it impacts the whole gender equation and perception.

          Many commentators have written that many guys are screwed because they have never interacted with girls outside their family. True but who really is responsible for such cases? I do not think that young man refuse to talk to women. it is the society which impose these limits. At an age where they are simply incapable of working against these.

          One note mentions iitk having 1500 men and 80 girls. Can you even expect normal gender relations here? Can you even start to blame the 1500 men ? Why Would these men not see having a girl to talk to as an achievement , after all they have to compete with 20 men on an average to talk to the girl.

          Men women relationship works best in a 1:1 scenario with freedom to interact. Where you can have relationships, both platonic and romantic, with geniune but reasonable effort.
          Anything else and women become objects of sex for men to possess, use for their gratification and to be seen and boasted as a conquest.

          What this post and comments has made me realise is that gender segregation is the first step to gender discrimination

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