Sharing an email.
I don’t really know where to start. Your last post on the Arrange Marriage Market got me into a rebellious mode yet again. The story of the email writer is somewhat my story too. Add to it that I am not living in NY but New Delhi.
A 28 year old, independent woman who dreams big does not really fit the definition of an ideal Indian DIL. We say that people have changed and become open minded today. But whatever I have observed is that the average Indians have not changed much for their DILs. Sure , they accept all the whims of fantasies of their daughters (which , by the way is commendable growth, if we compare to the scene two decades back) But when it comes to accepting things about the DIL like the way she dresses, the nature of her job, the way she cooks(or not) etc, they still lag far behind.
Arranged Marriage business is out of my scope of understanding. It all started two years back with a profile on the popular matrimonial site. I refused to get myself clicked by a professional who could make me two shades lighter. I still stand by that rule and have’t got those pictures done, much to the dismay of my parents. Facebook came as an easy solution and they picked up my better looking pictures from there. The pictures were put in place, and the profile was managed by my parents. ‘Rishtey’ started pouring in. It has been 2 years since and I have met innumerable number of guys. I have had my own set of misadventures with these prospective grooms.
I don’t stay with my parents because I work in another city. So, most of the times I meet the guys by my own, at a cafe or a crowded restaurant. I make sure I bring a male friend or cousin along, who has to wait patiently till the meeting is over and I come out, fuming (most of the times) My parents always offer to come and be with me and meet the guy, but I feel it is shear wastage of time and resources, coming down every time, for some loser who wants to “see” me. Plus, they are both working, and I don’t want to un-necessarily bother them, every single time.
I have met guys who tell me I am a bit too independent to be ‘tamed’ as a wife. My parents have always believed in me, and they are the reason why I am a successful, independent woman today. I am as proud of them, as they are of me. Not every small town girl gets, what I have. How can I give up this independence for someone who thinks women needs to be tamed.
Since I live alone, many of the perspective grooms think it is okay to tell me that instead of meeting at a cafe, they wouldn’t mind coming down to my place for brunch and I can serve them home made delicacies on a Saturday afternoon.Then, if things go well, they might just say yes, after testing if I can really cook.
I have talked to the kind of guys who have asked me to accompany them for road-trips the next weekend, where we can get to know each other.Also, mentioning subtly that their parents are big shots, so they could get away with anything.
Here is an excerpt from a conversation I had, with a guy, educated from a premium institute, working in a big MNC.
He- Do you know how to cook?
Me – Yes
He – Tumhe dekh ke to nahi lagta!
He – Do you have a boyfriend?
Me – No. Why would I be sitting with you here, If I had one.
He – You’re hot. Tumhe dekh ke nahi lagta ki boy friend na ho.
He – Do you drink?
Me- No. I can’t stand the bitterness.
He- Tumhe dekh ke to nahi lagta.
He- Do you like pubs?
Me- No. If I have some time, I prefer movies or shopping.
He- Tumhe dekh ke to nahi lagta.
I don’t know how he came to all these conclusions and if this was an interview or a casual talk, which it was actually supposed to be. I got worse and gave the guy a piece of my mind as I had no intentions to listen to all the bullshit this guy was trying to give me. I walked away, because that was the only thing I could do to remain sane.
Another guy I met, came with his parents even though he told his parents don’t live in the city. What had to be a casual meeting became a drama. I had talked to this guy once, and to me he seemed to be mature and nice. His parents had told mine, not to come as they were not planning to come as well. Then they show up with the guy. Later, they openly told me that they had lied to my parents earlier about living in another city. The guy, who was 31 year old did not utter a word unless he was asked something. Then, the dad opens his question paper and bombs me with questions like -
1- How long have you been working?
2- Are you willing to give up your job , for your family?
3- What percentage you got in 10th and 12th Boards?
4- Do you have a passport?
5-What all can you cook?
6-What are your expectations from your life partner? – This was the shock of my life, coming not from the guy but his dad. Who was the groom, by the way?
Later, his mom told me that they have left their ancestral place and come to serve their son as he can’t have food from outside and is lonely in this city because he doesn’t have any friends. They even don’t allow the son to take a flight, because they get bothered when he is not reachable on the cellphone for some duration. The guy was not allowed to go to a distant, better college for education because terrorist attacks had become a common thing.
Then she asked me if I’ll voice my concern if I see that elders are doing something utterly wrong. When I replied with a Yes, with a creased brow she looked towards the son. With pride in her eyes, she then tells me that the son respects them so much that he won’t utter a word even if he is fuming from inside.
Do you think this guy is ready for marriage? He’ll only ruin another life if he is spoon fed with a wife.
These are some of the many losers I have met, and believe me I feel it is better to stay single than to fall for any of those guys just for the sake of getting married. Most men don’t appreciate a truly independent women. The men who do, their parents don’t.
I have been lucky, for my parents don’t force me into anything. They bear all the pressure, the society bestows on them. They get the question all the time, to which they don’t have an answer. They would be the happiest people, if I had brought a guy home, to meet them. But , sadly that is not the case.
I am an ordinary girl, who loves to dream and then tries to achieve them. I dream of getting married, like any other normal girl my age. I want to balance, both carrier and marriage giving them equal importance but shifting priorities as need be. I only want to be the decision maker , and don’t want to be forced with decisions about my career or my marriage. Is this too much to ask for, only because I am a woman?
Do guys get questions like – Are you willing to work after marriage? Then, in case average Indian has accepted working women as a part of his life, why are we asked such questions?
Relatives sure give my parents a tough time and but they don’t really tell me about it. I come to know from other sources. Recently, as a birthday party in the family, one of older cousins tried hard to console me that though it has got late, but she can surely find a 35 year old guy for me and insisted that I should meet her MIL right away, so she could forward the appropriate ‘Rishtey’ to my parents. I felt like I was on sale.
I think I should stop the rant here as this has become an unending source of pain.