“A 28 year old, independent woman who dreams big does not really fit the definition of an ideal Indian DIL.”

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.
Thanks
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131 thoughts on ““A 28 year old, independent woman who dreams big does not really fit the definition of an ideal Indian DIL.”

  1. Ok.! I was reminded of the few times I was asked to meet dodos of these kinds while I was reading this.! While we girls work as hard as the guys or maybe even more why is it expected of us to give up on our careers after marriage.!? Why does it get unthinkable for the parents of the prospective groom to accept the fact that the girls in question is as good as their son.! This “sacrificial scapegoat” theory doesn’t work well any day if equality in marriages is sought.! Please have a mind of your own. Don’t fall for traps.!

    • Rinzu, I am coming to the painful conclusion that women who genuinely believe in egaliatarian marriages are a minority in the marriage market, arranged or otherwise. We are an evolutionary minorty; finding like-minded partners will always be a struggle for women who believe in gender equity.

      For some unfathomable reason, the marriage market in India is hopelessly skewed towards men (like everything else). I use the word “market” consciously. Marriage is indeed a market in India. I know men who are physically disabled who refuse to marry women with similar disabilities. They want to marry “normal” women to prove they are “no less”. Disabled women, quite realistically, expect not to ever marry. :(

      Centuries of social conditioning will not disappear in a few decades. If
      we women truly value their independence and are willing to walk the talk, we must be willing to stay single if we do not meet men who genuinely respect or value us.

      It’s unlikely that Indian men will suddenly metamorphosise into caring, respectful partners given centuries of relentless social and familial conditioning. It’s easy to cast of a dhoti and don a pair of jeans. It’s much more difficult to adopt and cultivate “modern” attitudes.

      • Good reply Biwo.! You know my own cousin brother got divorced and the very first thing he wanted was an unmarried woman in re-marriage.! Yes of course, it is a market where much of the worth of a woman is attached to her womb and her home making skills.! Wearing branded clothes and using branded accessories wont make a person modern.! As for staying singl,e oh yes I know of so many women who are kicking it in the mud sling to stay single until a man who doesn’t expect them to be baby machines and just caring partners with care given back walk in.! That including me.! Else single is way too good for us rather than getting stuck in this hell hole or arranged traditional marriages.! :)

      • asha karata hu aplog mera bato ko bura nahi maniyega. mujhe 5 years lag gaye life partner dhundhane me. bahut lamba kahani hai bata nahi paunga. bas conclusion bata deta hu aplogo ko.
        sabaka nahi bata sakata lekin apana bata deta hu: mujhe life partner chahiye tha
        well educated
        5’2 min
        indian with heart and western with life style
        wife come friend and down to earth :) mujhe do profession ke job ki ladkio ke bare me mera bahut bura opinion hai Btech + jobs
        aur MBA
        es dono categories ke ladkia brainless hojati hai particularly about way of talking with the guy in the context of marriage.
        experence 1:
        ladaki mai kaha fit hoti hu apake life me : maine bola tum kya gadi ka parts ko ki tumako fit kar lu wahi pe bat ruk gaya :)
        usake bad … I am very much westernized as I am living abroad for more tha 3 years…… do you think you can manage with me…….. maine bola mai 7 years Munich me raha hu mujhase jyada westernized ho, kitana pub/nightclubs janati ho Singapore me :)
        socha bahut hogaya ab stop karate hai
        experence 2:
        Ladaki bolati hai Mujhe USA jana hai kiuki mujhe acha lagata hai USA maine bola mujhe to INDIA jana kiuki mujhe acha lagata hai India…. wahi bat ruk gaya
        Experence 3:
        i want to have financial security you say that you support your family, I am bit confused: I replied confused ho to yahi bat stop karate hai confusion me kuch nahi karana chahiye ensan ko

        ap ladkio ko ek bat yad rachani chahiye ki koi bhi ladaka 1-2 h me tumako kuch nahi batayega, you need to his friend then he will open up and then you will know that person believe me that person will be completely different :)

    • You know, as a man, I can give you the show you women who asked the same kind of questions like, “what was your score in the 12th std board exams?”

      It is not about men or women.. It is the mindset of people! They have to grow up to understand what a marriage is all about, and it does not have to do anything with how much your scored in your 12th standard board exams!

  2. ‘I felt like I was on sale’…I am going to turn 24 in few months so I can totally empathise with the writer. It feels horrible when EVERYTIME i am asked ‘do you know how to cook?’ PEOPLE, have you come to interview for a cook or for a wife/DIL? And being one of those ‘independent’ women who believe in equal marriage, I also make it a point to ask the same to the guy in question. To which I face such horrible looks and am often rejected for asking this same question! (Not that I mind getting rejected AT ALL! I would have done it if he hadn”t but then in our great indian culture a girl can reject only so many boys before tounges start wagging!

  3. Its a really sorry state. I really dont understand how we manage to raise men whose only expectations from a marriage are home food , decorated clean home, money ( if she is earning) , sex and sons!!!! I mean why settle for that when you can have love , companionship, laughter, bonding over shared experiences and mis experiences and lots of memories to think about when they are old and grey???

    And there is absolutely no giving anything back to the wife!!! She can slave for him but if she falls sick or is pregnant , she gets packed off to her parents place!!!

    I am living outside of India with my boyfriend , and we areaccquintedwith several desi couples . Or if they want the child to be born outside they bring along her parents. Now I understand that family support is great and can be helpful in times of need …. But to me most of it just seems like convenience for the husband. It’s like he doesn’t want to deal with extra burden of taking care of his wife and making her comfortable!!

    Sorry for going off track … But i am just pissed today!! I was recently diagnosed with a rather serious disease requiring a long treatment and recovery … And almost every desi man has asked my boyfriend why he doesn’t “send ” me to India and go out drinking with them on weekends instead of doing all the chores and taking care of me !!! UGH!!

    • Tanya, sorry to hear about your disease. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Yes, people are quick to offer free advice when they are better off keeping their mouth shut. My FIL took care of my MIL (who was ill for many years and was on heavy medication) until she passed away and it seems many people told my FIL (when they were middle aged) to admit my MIL in an nursing home so that he can live peacefully. His reply was “she is my wife, I have brought her to my home and I have to share my life with her. How can I send her somewhere else and escape from my responsibility?” I really hate people who without thinking what the other person might be going through offer free advice and worst pass sarcastic comments.

    • They are the Menz!! How can you not want to serve them and kiss the ground they walk upon? Be grateful that some wimpy mama’s boy has chosen to bestow his seed on/into you! :)

  4. I can understand your anger. My friend had a similar experience, in fact worse. Rishtey kept coming for about 4-5 years and unfortunately parents always liked the guys whom she rejected. She not only had to keep herself calm but also face her parents wrath.
    I’m glad she didn’t give up and patiently waited for the right one who would respect her for who she is. The parents did NOT like this guy! She had to convince the parents for a guy whom she had met just a couple of times. It was not easy, and I really salute her patience.

    I gave you this example because I feel that even though we have changed as a country, the mentality of certain sections remain the same. Guys admire independent women, but when it comes to marriage, the whims of the society confuses them. You just have to wait for someone who has his own mind and doesn’t get bothered by the crap people tell him.

    Please be patient like my friend and wait for the right guy. Don’t settle for anything less than what you truly deserve. It’s time we didn’t give up and showed some attitude as well!

  5. Dear lord!
    And here was my mom who went to see this girl whom she selected via a matrimonial website and almost begged her to marry me. She was sure I would die single.
    She went – Please marry my son! He is very very nice. Please! Please! Please!
    And the girl agreed and married me after throughly checking me ofcourse. :)

    On a serious note, I have heard of such horror stories from female friends. One of them was actually asked to sing a song on a mobile by her could be mother-in-law! What was she hiring her for? Indian Idol?

  6. “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.” I agree.
    God, I guess all the sweet guys are finding girls on their own and its the residue good-for-nothings who end up coming on the matrimonial websites and end up torturing souls like you. You should have asked him something really embarassing and added a ‘Tumhe dekke to nahin lagta’ !

  7. they accept all the whims of fantasies of their daughters

    Because it is viable socially, economically and personally. Daughters are not considered as a part of family they originate but they are part of family they get married with.

    Second daughter’s dreams don’t affect parents comfort directly. It Daughter -in- law who take care of every damn chores in house.

    I have a question for you IHM:

    As she (email sender) shared her experience about her misadventures. Its seems to be an stupid idea to even go for them.

    but in that case, how can I guy should look for right partner. If not with arrange marriage system or misadventures??

    Given the social restriction on limitation of interaction between guys and gals.

  8. i hate to be the voice of doom here, but I feel like women like these (including myself) are destined to be single their whole lives. The idea of settling for someone like the men mentioned above and in the previous post is ludicrous. But it’s a pity that we are the ones who have to suffer the immaturity and messed-upness of others

    • Such men were always there. In the past young women didn’t really have the option of refusing to marry them.
      For obvious reasons, their families were (still are) the in laws who dislike independent girls.

      • IHM : I know a whole bunch of such women , independent and single ..some like to get married but are not getting the right guy and some like me don’t want to get married but don’t mind falling in love and having a nice partner …
        And yes , there are some guys , but just a few ..and they are mostly married by the time they reach 30 .

        And there is this weird Indian mindset , if he loves you he will propose and marry you and women are so obsessed with this thought. I mean why can’t people be in a relationship for sometime , see how they are , do they want similar things from life and take next step when they are sure … You need to know a person and i don’t expect someone to meet me for 2 dates and share his future plans and dreams , so why should I . we need time to build relationships and its Ok if they don’t end up with marriage . For me this word ” Marriage ” has spoil all my relations . There are all kind of men just like all kind of women , but to find the right match is hell lot of work .

        • One reason people get married so quickly in India is that typically most men and women are not comfortable living together before marrying. One we break through that social norm, then I guess we’ll see couples slowing down on the marriage part of it.

        • but to find the right match is hell lot of work .

          this line line… it THE punch line for that matter. :)

          but how does any one can have experiments, when all expected is, settle down at any cost ASAP.

    • Why should these girls go for arranged marriage at all, if the “market” is full of these people who think they’re buying a servant instead of (as pro-arranged marriage people always say) helping in the process to choose their son a suitable life partner?

      I guess because then it’s the parents who suffer. Love marriage, it’s so scandalous. :(

      Is there an in-between? Someone should make an online marriage portal for educated, independent women and the men who love them! Like attracts like!

      • Because , you may or may or fall in love with someone who loves you back , even if you rule out caste , religion , regional barriers .Love or choice marriage need to have two people at sharing same feeling. Because of limited exposure to opp sex or just being busy with studies , jobs or family or by being shy / introvert some people don’t have love relationships. so , why can’t people just live them like that not making a big deal about it , either marry of your choice or do arrange marriage ..but marry anyhow after a certain age.

        I have many friends who are not having affairs nor they want to go arranged route .all they want is people to stop interfering in their lives .

        • Even the love marriage route is not without its hurdles. I was in a relation with this really sweet guy for past year who said he loved it that I have dreams and thoughts of my own! So now his parents wanted him to get married and started showing him girls.

          So, then he gives me a set of rules that i needed to follow given by his parents. I was told that if and only if i agree to those rules would they agree to MEET ME once! The rules included: Not wearing jeans, will be allowed to go out ONLY if accompained by husband….it was a LONG list. Oh and because they love their son so much they will CONSIDER to let me continue my business as long as there are no outstation trips (Its ok for son to go outstation, not me)

          I asked my guy that he said he liked my independence so why he is asking me to change and become one of those dependent soul that he had once told me he did not find attractive?

          To which he replied and i quote him ” YOU ARE A GIRL, ALL GIRLS HAVE TO CHANGE AND ADAPT TO THE FAMILY THEY GET MARRIED TO. I THOUGHT YOUR BEHAVIOUR WAS JUST TEMPORARY AND YOU WOULD BE LIKE ALL OTHER GIRLS ONCE WE GET MARRIED”

          I just wish he had gone for someone his family approved of rather then making me fall for him and then breaking my heart! :(

          I still wish he would have accepted me for who i was as he was also my best friend!

          Anyway just thanking god all this came out before i married him and saving both of us a LOT more drama!

        • @Dhwanis: So your boyfriend though that all girls have to change and adapt according to the wishes of the family they marry into? Umm, you’re better off without him.

          He seems to have a really shallow understanding of human nature and people. You have to either be a psychopath or an enlightened being to cast off core personality traits so easily, at will.

          it’s not easy to change one’s personality,lifestyle and emotional temperament — it certainly cannot be done overnight, on demand as he seems to believe.

          You should have asked him to fulfill your own set of equally unreasonable expectations. Such men deserve no better. :)

    • Is it too late to respond? Yes, I do think such women (me included as well) are destined to be single. By Indian standards I’m over not only the hill, but the valley below and yonder hill too. But y’know what? It’s not the end. It’s not even the worst thing. There’s life beyond the Great Marriage Gambit, ladies! :)

  9. Ok, I’m going to be quite blunt. You can’t just settle for local campus recruitment if you dream of working in Tokyo!

    If you are a 28 year old independent woman who likes to dream big, then why do you even want to be the ‘ideal Indian DIL’ as per the traditional arranged marriage market? It pains to me to see that all our independence still doesn’t break us from these shackles of societal expectations and pressure. It is totally upto you to refuse and I would only blame yourself if you willingly take part in it.

    It’s great that you’ve mentioned your parents are proud or and you and vice versa. So why are you trying to fit into the Indian arranged marriage set-up? Why do you, as an independent ambitious woman, need this facilitated hand-holding system to find a partner? A lot of Indians are still like stuck in the 50′s but there’s a load of them that also aren’t. It is not surprising that it’s the former that flood the arranged marriage bazaars.

    You are looking for oranges in a market that specialises in apples. You might find one hidden somewhere, but you’re clearly looking in the wrong place! Being independent and progressive as you are, do you really believe that meeting someone a few times in an ‘arranged’ setting is a good way to marry? Why not live your life and your dreams, be open to meeting men through work/ life/ Facebook/ your parent’s friend’s son/ whatever, get to know someone you like, fall in love and then marry? Why go to ‘see’ someone especially when you know nothing about them, and then be disappointed when they turn out to be idiots? It seems like you’re in some sort of pressure or rush to marry. If you don’t subscribe to being a traditional bhartiya nari, why subscribe to the Indian age bar for marriage?

    I really think it’s up to women to achieve equality and success for themselves in life. Especially someone like the OP who has full parental support. Just go about your life, achieve your dreams and let love and marriage happen when you meet the right person! A lot of this misery is self created because you are trying to fit into a place that you don’t even like.

    • 28 and still unmarried is a big thing outside of the norms in India. While trying to defy such crap rules, a girl has to bear a lot of criticisms for not fault of hers. Sooner or later, it all boils down to finding a guy and the process seems irrelevant. Only later one releases that the endless Arranged marriage myths come in the way. Sometimes, people just have to fall for the Arranged marriage syndrome, for the sake of settling down. Love, might or might not happen. So , at times it is worth to take that risk of meeting someone, by this mode and hoping, it would click!

      • “28 and still unmarried is a big thing outside of the norms in India. While trying to defy such crap rules, a girl has to bear a lot of criticisms for not fault of hers. ”
        Criticism from whom? Her parents are happy, she is happy. Does anyone else really matter?

        “Sometimes, people just have to fall for the Arranged marriage syndrome, for the sake of settling down. ”
        Parent’s of these moronic guys are banking on women marrying them for the sake of settling down. It’s the worst reason to marry someone! What do we even mean by settling down? She is working, independent and happy. I would say she’s pretty settled. Why put pressure on ourselves to rush into marriage as some rite of passage?

        “Love, might or might not happen.”
        Even if you meet someone through an arranged match, why would you marry them if love hasn’t already developed? In that case, love might or might not happen even after marriage. What do you do then?

        I think we’re much better off empowering ourselves to not be affected by some ‘norms’ of society rather than trying to fit into them.

    • “You are looking for oranges in a market that specialises in apples”.
      This.
      The arranged marriage market is outdated these days because, for the most part, it still seeks to use ancient criteria – like community, caste, salary and family ‘name’- and hence the bulk of the people in in it WILL be conservative.

      However, while oranges do exist in this ‘market’-they are definitely in the minority. Inspite of this, people stick with the arranged marriage system because it is convenient and easy to maneuvre- especially for people in places/jobs where meeting someone at work/through friends/randomly is going to be difficult.

      My only wish is that in a decade or two, matches would be arranged based on personality, mutual compatibility and lifestyle- if that happens, by sheer market force, the days of the rotten apples will be numbered.

    • Actually this advice will work for the email writer from NY, it may not always work for folks in India, because of the restrictions on guy-girl interactions. Even though i myself cannot stand this arranged marriage deal and never allowed my parents to create a profile for me on matrimonial sites, i know a lot of my friends who had to go create profiles and “see” boys, just coz there were no eligible bachelors(or guys whom they liked) at their work places or social circles and they were not the kind of girls to go hit the pubs and talk to starngers and make friends that way….so it seems like a vicious circle to me :(

      • My reply to this got eaten up by the internet (I think), so re-replying.

        I’m not convinced that it’s really impossible to meet men on your own in India. I lived in India for a long time and met my lovely egalitarian husband there. I know many other friends and cousins who have found their own partners and are in happy equal marriages. A lot of these found partners on the internet or through friends. In fact I personally know very few (only two) people amongst my friends who successfully found someone in the arranged marriage market! I would say the odds are better if you go on your own.

        Also, you are bound to meet some people you don’t click with in arranged settings as well as otherwise. That’s just natural given the number of people out there. But better to wait for the right person than rush into marriage due to social pressure. An independent woman with supportive parents has no reason to give in to this pressure if she doesn’t want to.

        • Actually problem is these girl are not ready to experiment and find our THE right thing for themselves.

          All they have are excuses for NOT doing anything.

          I really happy to see some one who is girl and really setting her own standards.

          Keep going.

    • You don’t get it. It’s not the arranged or love marriage thing. It’s the lack of men who think independently as well that is the problem.

      Forget HOW anyone chooses to get married… it’s the WHOM that matters.
      And love or arranged… these men just aren’t there.

    • I’m 28 myself. I like to think of myself as independent, in the sense that I speak my thoughts out loud and know what I ‘don’t want’ for sure.

      What you’ve written is what I think these days. I used to be one of those who went by the Indian rule book. I got married through the arranged marriage system, after meeting the guy and his family only twice before the wedding. We got divorced too (annulled actually).

      Even after the annulment, I’ve been subjected to ‘meeting’ and ‘checking out’ more profiles for a second marriage, the exact same way. A year after the separation and still going by the same drill, I told my parents that I wasn’t interested in marriage. I’m sure they’re not convinced owing to all the ‘parental’ concern and love.

      However, I have now met a man I like, who likes me back. We’ve been dating for a few months now and talking about the things that really matter to us. We’re now discussing the practical things like cooking, house-keeping, living (not living) with in-laws etc.

      I must say I agree that if you don’t like the arranged marriage set-up, just don’t do it. It’s not that easy for me, because I’m still staying at my parent’s house, harder to avoid and escape the recurring drama. But we’ve got the plan for the future – See how you gel with each other, and know the ‘real’ person you’re marrying, not the person you’d like them to be. It helps having the fights and negotiations now, before going through ugliness post-marriage.

      In short, if I’m not the type who can live with in-laws, I say it. If he’s not the type who can forego a full meal, he says it. That’s what we follow- our self-made rule book that’s just ours and not dictated by society or India or the gender commission. :) I’m hopeful this should work.

      • “our self-made rule book that’s just ours and not dictated by society or India or the gender commission.”

        This. All couples should be required to come up with their own one as a prerequisite to marriage. Kudos to you for standing up for yourself and doing things your way. :-)

  10. Also, the reason they ask whether you want to work after marriage is actually a good one. A lot women looking for arranged marriages (often young and just starting out in a job) actually don’t want to work after marriage.

    Of all my close friends and cousins, I know only two people that actually found partners through and arranged marriage set-up. Both those women made it clear that they didn’t want to work post-marriage. The guys didn’t have a preference one way or another but it was useful for them to know so they could plan their finances.

    One of my cousins actually looked in the arranged market for 7-8 years before she fell in love and married a great guy she met on her own. She also found plenty of morons in these 7-8 years. Thankfully she didn’t settle for one!

    Sorry for two long comments.. stepping off the soapbox now. :)

  11. i dont know, may be the not much talking guy is just an introvert who doesnt like to get into bakwas. And i do think the parents were asking normal questions, everyone asks that.. we all have to expect some level of stupidity from elders, they are like that only…

    • Its good to ask questions but it should be for both partners.I think women should also ask who is going to stay under same roof , who is going to cook and clean and they expect their men to clean their own mess and IL to mind their own business . DG has a good list of questions on her blog” what to ask before marriage ” .how will a guy feel if his MIL asks me ” so beta how many affairs you had in past ” ..and then remark ” tumhe dekh ke lagta to nhn hai “

      • And the fact that this ‘stupidity’ is accepted as part of our culture has given rise to parents of prospective grooms have an upper hand. Why is it wrong to question elders when we know what they are doing wrong? If we question we are ‘rebellious’ and our parents have not done a good job of raising a ‘sushil sankaari ladki’. If we keep quiet, then we are ‘bahut sushil sanskaari ladki.”.

  12. I feel bad for you situation and many others who go through this.Sorry to go a bit off topic but I couldn’t help notice you stressing that you are independent woman of today. Would just like to know why do u need a ‘male’ friend or a cousin to accompany you to these meetings. You might need some support but why only male?

    • Well, you never know what kind of jerk you’re about to encounter. And considering the fact that no matter how independent a woman is, she will (in most cases) be physically weaker than the man. Brining a male friend or cousin might be the best idea in case the person gets nasty. You never know what kind of perverts roam around in India. So, maybe for the sake of safety, it is necessary.

      • hmmn but she’s also mentined she meets them in crowded places and not secluded and dark places…so why would an independent woman require a male

  13. You know being divorced , independent Indian girl you end up hearing weirder questions

    Let me explain by example
    he : so , why you don’t believe in sporting signs of marriage / not even a ring huh!
    She : why should I if i am not !!
    He : How come a hot girl like you is still single !! dating someone
    she : Nopes , divorced , but single right now
    he : oh ! I am really sorry .
    she : don’t be .you are not the reason we got divorced
    He : Must be hard to be single , why don’t you try to re-marry
    she : No, I am loving my life right now and I don’t believe in marriage without love.
    He : you can’t fool me , I know you are lonely
    she : huh ! I dn’t have time to be lonely
    He : what keeps you busy …a bf
    She : work , friends , parties , hobbies , books , shopping.
    He : But what about physical needs ..you know what I mean
    she : Yes
    He : so what you do for that
    She ( by now cheesed off ) : I am really not interested in discussing my sex life with random people .
    He : oh sorry , if I offend you .lets meet up some time
    She : no thanks ! I avoid married men ! so much so that I din like my own husband when I was married !!

    He writes BRB and I take a break to breathe and cool down ..

    Has happened to me like N times .. and my single/ divorced friends post 30 also have faced similar issues ..I dono which one is worse , meeting idiots for matrimony or avoiding it and meeting idiots looking for quick sex or just some personal talk .
    As if its duty of whole world to remind you that you are SINGLE and it’s not allowed in the great Indian society unless ofcourse it’s you who has been rejected by men for XYZ reason . Its ok if you want to marry but no one marries you .BUT You as a woman has no right to say NO to marriage , you are not allowed to think this way .

      • IHM , it was never a easy choice , marrying or not marrying has its own pros and cons ..and we have to plan life accordingly …I have frends who want kids and in India they can’t have / even adoption is not easy if you are single and below 35 … They have money but people prefer giving houses for rent only to families ..at office functions its strictly spouse and kids ..we are told often enough that you don’t belong here if you are not married !! It’s a long battle .. Yes freedom to decide about your own life is everyone else’s biggest problem

        • I was in the divorced market looking for matrimony again bracket once. That is actually a weirder market. I had to scream at my folks to get off my back..moved away from their home and 2 yrs later got married to a guy of my choice – thats another story.

          So..the questions I got are :

          1. Would you call your marriage consummated? The guy says my marriage was technically not consummated. What on earth does that mean? He went up to second base and chickened out?
          2. How many times you think you would have done it in your 3 month old marriage? The more the times then more the probability you wont enjoy sexual life with me. Ok….WTH. I didn’t get any of it.
          3. Will you hate it if my mother sleeps between us for 20 days a month. For 10 days she will allow us to sleep alone and he said that he promises to satisfy me in those 10 days :) ( No points guessing when the 10 days are and the guy in question was a BITS grad and working in CTS) I just told him to go get married to his mother if he wanted to avoid another divorce and moved out of there asap.
          4. Would you be willing to have a baby immediately and conceive within 2 months of marriage?
          5. You are already 27 and a divorcee. I would love to give you a life. Let us get the apartment in which your parents are living – anyways you got it for them…and live our life in that place. This from a never married gem because he took pity on me – the divorcee.

          I had a bad bad showdown with my folks who thought I was spoiling their name in the good South Indian society despite making more than enough money and living independently.

    • This is the reason why I shy away from matrimonial sites. Many men on them think a divorced woman must be horny like a bitch in heat. One man even told me on Shaadi.com, “It must be difficult for you. You get used to “doing it in marriage.”

      He refused to believe that my marriage was never consummated and that celibacy wasn’t driving me off the wall. :)

      • @ preetid, that’s shocking about office functions. I hope they get sued for discrimination (and the case goes to a non-misogynistic judge)!

        @ biwo, eeeww.. I wonder if that was his idea of flirting? some Indian men are really creepy about sex! It seems that they have no idea how sex really works. Even some Indian women have strange ideas about sex. My very educated female cousins were convinced that a woman’s boobs and bum get bigger once she starts having sex. As a biologist, it was a real wtf moment for me! We could use a little less segregation, a little more sex education.

      • You see its always an issue whether you have done it or not. If you have then they think you are like some one else wrote ‘the bitch in heat’ and missing it badly and he can ‘help’ you with that. If you have not done it then you are labeled frigid and cold. I don’t know why somebody’s sex life of lack of it should be of immediate interest to them

  14. you have no idea how right a chord you have hit!!! my situation is too similar to you and the pressure is really getting more day by day….even i wanna get married but not to any random guy who happens to be the only choice left right now or something!!! most of the guys i have seen are so immature and the one i accidentally liked was so obsessive, it was good that i came to know about it after the first talk itself. and, obsessive not in personal kinda way wither but in health issues. he has thyroid and genetic arthritis and eye sight and still he made such a big issue of my eye sight issues!!! all educated and uneducated people are just the same.

  15. Don’t think of these things as a pain, Take it lightly, someone/your parents/whomever set you up with a blind date, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.

    my parents had me (long long ago) go meet a boy , I was not comitted to my husband then and we were frirnds so I went and the boy asked me weird questions and sounded really 15th century-ish… I couldn’t believe my ears. here I was working independently and he did too and out of his mouth came pure idiocy , towards the end i asked him if he had a GF and he sheepishly said yes, his parents were pressurising him to meet me since they were very good friends with my parents and he couldn’t refuse. So he hoped I’d reject him… ugggh what an idiot, could have been upfront and then we could have spent a nice 1 hr chatting and having good food and he had to ruin it all.

    As for parents asking questions… well my husband’s parents were no more when I met him but his aunt took it upon to ask me if I knew to cook, why for heavens sake, he has a fantastic cook!!! why on earth would he give that up to eat my crappy food. Well parents ask such dumb questions since they don’t know what else to ask. My parents rejected my choice because he lost his parents according to them an ‘Orphan doesn’t have sanskar ( no parents to guide you see) and won’t fit into a good family life’ !!!! How can anything top that stupidity …

    Don’t give up hope, you’ll find someone, there is someone for everyone. In the past you would have had no choice, now that you are independent you can pick and choose, trust me it’s way better nowadays… no matter how many donkeys you meet :-)

    • Love your comment Radha… specially – “In the past you would have had no choice, now that you are independent you can pick and choose, trust me it’s way better nowadays… no matter how many donkeys you meet”

    • “My parents rejected my choice because he lost his parents according to them an ‘Orphan doesn’t have sanskar ( no parents to guide you see) and won’t fit into a good family life’ !!!! How can anything top that stupidity …”

      oooo…i can top this! :)

      I was rejected once before even meeting a guy on phone because i am a Brahmin and the guy was from some other caste (I did not ask, as naive as I am, I thought it did not matter). His parents said she is a brahmin, we worship brahmins so marrying a brahmin girl would be a sin.

      huh????

      P.S. I am NOT even a Brahmin! Maybe they made an assumption based on my surname. I did not even clarify as my mind stopped working for few seconds listning to their ‘logic’

  16. Another one…Are you virgin??? What do you say to that damn if you are and damn if you are not. I have been asked this before I quit arranged marriage market. Believe me

  17. It’s easy to chalk everything to the arranged marriage market, but as a recent 22 yr old college graduate I can vouch for the fact that the dating scene for most part is also eerily like that. Dating and love marriage is also not as liberal and sensible as one expects them to be. Guys have a marked preference for dating docile and submissive girls, never independent and ambitious girls unless they are extremely good looking. In which case the guy is all modern, charming, liberal and supportive at the beginning. Few months into the relationship and then bam! Suddenly you have an obsessive control freak who wants a girl to be ‘decent’ and submissive. This is the case with most relationships I’ve seen in college and afterwards too. In an arranged marriage scenario, it might still be easier to say no to a guy like that since there is no emotional attachment. In dating, there is an added component of emotional blackmail by the guy (suicide threats etc.)
    Most independent, intelligent and ambitious girls I know are single, whereas the relatively meek, and docile girls I know have all been in relationships.

    The mentality and the relationship pattern is the same, whether its arranged, love marriage or the dating scene.

    • I don’t know what kind of social setting you are talking about here, but most of my peers in relationships are strong, independent girls with supportive, nice boyfriends who treat them like equals. I know some relationships which are like the ones you described, but they are definitely the minority.

      • Agree with blinkdot. If anything, the docile meek girls around me at college etc. had very few takers. Men seemed much more interested in bold confident girls and the resulting relationships were mostly mutually supportive. I knew only a few that ended up with ‘over-possesive’ misogynistic boyfriends but those relationships usually didn’t work (thankfully).

    • Exactly what I see around me, quarkle. The strong independent girls who won’t change their opinion/way of life for a guy have no hope in the dating market around here. Except, as you said, the super pretty ones.
      I think this is because the men in the dating market around here are younger, and become more liberal as they grow up, see the world and enter the arranged marriage market.

      Would like to hear your views on this though.

  18. I agree with your observation about dating. It is true.
    Men haven’t changed at all. Most people haven’t changed at all.
    And I was a victim of the kind of guy who pretended to be supportive and then a few months later I wasn’t “allowed” to talk to even my female friends. I mean, wow. I would be asked questions like- why do you talk to them? And I *had* to pick up his calls irrespective of how busy I was, unless he believed I was busy. College was busy. But me talking to a friend, or having some fun for a while, or reading a book meant I was free to entertain him.
    “Why do you need me time?” “I love you so much”

    UGH.. The bollywood dialogues creep me out. But the good thing that I have realised through me dating3 men is that I will kill myself if I have to live with somebody who is not correct for me.
    I am by nature very submissive. I don’t like talking about things, I avoid fights. Result is that I usually just keep giving and giving. So, I really need somebody who is a nice person. i really can’t compromise with a person’s morals and mindset.

    If you compromise, then after a while you will find that you love a guy you don’t respect as a person and that can be really tough. By then you are so emotionally attached too..

    Stay on. And you will find a guy, don’t worry.

    I am getting proposal already though I am only 20.

    • And everybody acts like I am dead.

      I am lucky here though because my parents for some reason don’t want me getting married. So, I get comments about not being “pretty” enough. i don’t dress up for marriages. I just get up and wear jeans and go..

      So, I get these comments. I am already avoiding marriage ceremonies.

    • Hmm — I am a lot like you though considerably older. I am, by temperament quiet, non-confrontational and soft-spoken and prefer traditional clothing (love traditional prints and fabrics)Many men misinterpret these traits as signs of a submissive, traditional and docile nature.

      I’ve realised that mild-mannered, gentle people (especially women) tend to attract predatory types, so be careful. Also, enduring love is always built on a solid foundation of respect. If a man cannot respect you, he cannot love you IMO.

  19. I am going to turn 31 in a few days and am happily single and living alone in the US. Not that I don’t wish to get married but I am not seeing anyone right now and have been meeting guys “introduced” to me by my family for a while. The pressure is immense from extended family and friends. People talk to my parents and tell them “don’t leave it to her or she will never get married, just find a guy for her and make the decision for her”, all while I am standing right there. I get so much sympathy and free advice from people “Oh I am so sorry, don’t worry you will find the right guy. You must be so lonely. You need to revisit your criteria and be a little less rigid”, etc. etc. It is hilarious. My parents are in general very nice about this whole thing. They will never pressure me to get married because “it is getting late”. But they are no doubt anxious. However, as a family we are all appalled by the mindset and expectations of the prospective grooms and their families. I won’t get into what some of the prospective grooms families’ have said and asked, but its the attitude of the guys themselves that I find most disgusting. Some of the gems I’ve heard:
    - “Oh I am a great guy..I don’t believe in treating my wife like a slave or servant. I will happily help around the house.”
    - During a first conversation – “When do you plan to start a family. Its getting late for you you know.” “A baby needs her mother biologically more than the father, so the mother should just stay at home once a child is born till the child is old enough”. When I ask how old is old enough for the child? And shouldn’t this be decided based on the circumstances at the time he says “You ask too many questions” !!!!
    - “Women shouldn’t drink. They cannot hold alcohol as well as men.” WTF??!!
    I can keep going, but I am going to stop. I know my parents will be extremely happy if I bring someone home that I want to marry, but there are conditions to that too. Working full time in the US where is the chance to socially meet eligible, non-regressive, Hindu, Indian boys?? So the “marriage market” escapades continue :-)… There are so many eligible women in this situation. The Indian women of this generation have indeed moved along much further than the men.

    • But why are you keen on meeting “eligible, non-regressive, Hindu, Indian boys” only? There are plenty of amazing men who are non-hindus and non-Indians who are more than eager to meet a smart, independent Indian girl! Atleast a couple of girls I know, have dated and married Caucasian Americans and they are really awesome !!!

        • One day in a conversation with my sons this came up. And I said something like — those Irish girls were sooo cute. My sons said ‘ they are not Hindu mom’. And I didn’t really care but apparently one of them is ok and the other is not — reason he wants a partner who has similarities in religion!!! So you never know. I don’t think I could have married a meat eating Caucasian. It’s personal belief and I would feel bad if he changed for me.

      • I think it’s perfectly fair for a person to have her own criteria – maybe she feels being Hindu and Indian would lead to better compatibility/ lesser conflicts. You/I may not agree, but her point is still valid – that she has no opportunity to meet guys she would be interested in having a relationship with. That doesn’t mean she should change her criteria – wouldn’t that sound eerily similar to the aunityjis/unclejis who advise her to be “more flexible” and “less rigid”?

        • Alright, I totally missed these responses to my comment. I was being sarcastic when I said “eligible, non-regressive, Hindu, Indian boys”. It is my parents criteria not mine. I have in fact been attracted to and dated some non-Indian boys, but it didn’t go anywhere. Besides I don’t know if my parents would ever be convinced and I am not going to go about fighting with them about this till a special guy comes along. I am not saying it wouldn’t be easier if I really met a nice progressive Hindu Indian guy, it is definitely nicer to have things in common. I am not an overly religious person, but I am very tolerant of other beliefs. I have seen that not everyone is the same, and yes even american christian guys. It takes two very special and open people, and a lot of maturity to make a huge cultural/religious difference like that to not matter.

        • I don’t think it’s quite the same as uncles and auntyjis asking her to be “more flexible.” I think people can look for qualities in their prospective spouses that people can actually HELP, like kindness, openness, generosity, etc and I will never expect them to compromise on those. But things like caste, colour, nationality and class are different and it is somewhat narrow minded when you choose to limit your human relationships based on those. It’s only one world, and we’re all humans, and thinking like this often means you miss out on a lot of loving amazing people you could have had in your life. Of course, I understand practical considerations like Radha’s. And good to know the original commenter was being sarcastic!

  20. Don’t you have occasions to meet guys outside of this rishta hunting scenarios? Just some guys who you could be friends with and like as people. How about considering them for marriage?

    • Its not easy to meet people once you start working. Not where most of you friends are either married or seriously dating or in their late 60s. There are meet ups, speed dating sites and other ways to meet people but most of these are similar to these dating/matrimonial websites. The challenge is to meet someone in a non-judging situation. The minute the two of you know you are meeting for a purpose – dating or marriage, its “Lights, camera, action!” – Some of us act weird under those lights, some in front of the camera and some are just plain brilliant actors. The question is: How do you know?!
      Its extremely awkward to go dates. Because you are evaluating while be evaluated. It doesnt really matter who set you up with that date (your friends, your parents or a computer). It would have been wonderful to have found “the one” while in school. School was so much easier to meet new people under an informal, non-judging settings.

  21. Reading the last two posts about pre-marriage interviews I was left wondering why these girls living in 21sr century NYC and Delhi had to put up with this sort of rubbish!

  22. Just a thought. Some of the stupid questions may be there not because the person is being mean but simply because he is plain stupid, as many many people have no experience on how to interact with the opposite sex.

  23. Wow…this is eerily similar to the stories my friends tell me of the creeps they meet through the arranged marriage market. It feels like a hopeless situation. All I can say is that these guys are not even worth your time. Please don’t get married because you have to,….marry only because you have met someone with whom you think you have a good shot at having a happy future together.

  24. @ blinkdot
    I agree. In my own circle, I know of a lot of independent, intelligent and ambitious girls who have healthy relationships with both Indian and foreign men; so its definitely a reality. Because of the cultural conditioning, gender roles with submissive women and dominating men exist even in love relationships, but I don’t think they are as prevalent as she claims them to be. At times, comments like this make me wonder if these so called independant women who can’t find men are victimised because of the law of average of if, they blame their own inability to form relationships on their supposed independance.
     
    Also, I can’t figure out why any 28 year olds who consider themselves independant would put themselves in the meat market of arranged marriage or value themselves on their worth as the ideal DIL. Even in my native culture, where men live with their wive’s parents do not give a donkey’s tail about trying to become the ‘perfect’ son-in-law. If they are, good for the in-laws, otherwise, let the devil be. I think this reflects the obvious – that the genders think differently. As much as I’d hate to perpetuate the stereotype, women, even in non-patriarchial societies, women tend to lean towards social conformism and blending in, rather than being mavericks.
     
    Even my Polish girlfriend, who founded and runs an adventure travel services setup in Delhi tells me of how desis are highly prone to complaining in shared misery about how unfair the ‘system’ is, rather than being proactive and doing something to change their situation. Expecting ALL Indian people to change their outlook towards life to suit your way is unrealistic; rather try to change the views of as many people as you can and hope for the best, while you maintain happy, healthy relationships with your friends, co-workers and those that matter.
     
    Carvaka’s posts here are excellent to help people bust out of this warped paradigm – it is YOU who are in control of your situation. Even when there are things in your culture, social setup and other areas beyond your control, YOU have to make the best of YOUR situation. Take help of others if you must.

      • Haha Atheist Indian, I am just-turned-20 last week and hence was talking about actual girls in my post. I hope I will never fall into that bizarre trend myself!

  25. To The Letter Writer,

    There is hope, you’ll have to go through some amount of rubbish like this, but there is hope , and the best part is that you and your parents, i.e the people whose opinion matters, are sensible enough to know better than to settle :D Your story sounds a lot like mine, only I went through very few of these “dodos” (as someone has rightly called them) and with IHM’s permission, I’d like to share a link to the post I wrote about it a few years ago

    http://minisblog.blogspot.in/2010/01/long-and-rambling-post-in-which-no.html

    PS : It’s been almost ten years since this took place, and for most of that period, I have been very happily married to GN3 :D

  26. duh- the regressive mindset of the society is still at large ! When will we learn ? and will we ever ??? the bogging down continues after marriage too- why no kids; and if you have a kid why don’t you try for a male child. the vicious trap of putting down the identity of a girl child is pathetic. Kudos to you gal for standing up and yes you are better single than marrying the miserable jerks ! By the way the dad had the guts to ask you the 10th/12th marks ? you should have retorted with “pity you must have got good marks but never learned anything”

    // I want to balance, both career 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 // – Kudos and amen to your thoughts

    That you are independent and in charge of your life makes you far better than anyone- so stay happy and yes that lucky someone is just around the corner. In the meanwhile grin and bear the dimwits !

  27. You are not alone in this sistah! I have my own sister who is undergoing this arranged marriage torture currently, and it is nothing less than a torture. Fortunately my parents are supportive and she does not have to explain to them her decisions of turning down a guy. I sickens me that the smartest thing they can come up with is “can you cook?! wow!!”. Again, I am not generalising and I am sure there are gems of guys out there, but whoever she has come across are nothing less than jokers.
    Just yester I was talking to a friend who was telling me about her roomate (who I know personally, as a confident person who is really very sensible). She is 30 and was talking to a guy for 3 months. He did seem like a decent guy, considering she was talking to him for 3 months. Until the time he asked her – what is the one thing that is and will always be very important to you in you life? And this girl replied that she believes strongly in social service and no matter what and where she makes sure she finds time for that. And that is something that means the most to her. Upon hearing this, the guy started complaining how family and her future kids should mean the most to her and they should be her priority. She tried to explain to him that these two things are not “either-or” things, and family will be important to her, but social service is something which she has always believed in since she was small and she associates that with being the most important thing to her. The guy continued to convince her that her priorities in life are all wrong. Needless to say, she dicontinued talking to him after that.
    I sometimes feel the condition of women has not really improved much over the past couple of decades. Now, women are expected to be independent and earning money to support the household. But along with this, they need to be good home-makers as well!! Oh, the pressure!! It sickens me so much..all these expectations to fit the stereotypes of a “good DIL”.
    Ah well, I hope you dont cave in to the pressure and continue to live your life happily- with or without a guy by your side!

  28. a similar experience here .. boy was not even present, he lives in the middle east, his parents and guy’s BIL had flown in. my mom had clearly instructed “Go and do a namaskaram, fall on their feet”, this pissed me off endlessly, i said “i’ll not” .. so went there and sat down. the groom’s parents did not speak at all. only the BIL was talking. he said “we want girl who is very good looking, should adangi poganum (roughly translates to “should obey us, no questions asked”)”, i interrupted him and asked him to clarify the statement. he immediately changed it to “adjustment” I told him then and there “i dont think i am the right girl for you, thanks for coming”, got up and went back to office.

    All this drama finished, they accused my parents that they have brought up an arrogant, independent daughter who will never get married. grapes gone sour ????

    my question, my parents know i dont follow many things in life, why do they expect me to mould myself when prospective grooms come. And why do the grooms family think they can rule over you when they give freedom to their own daughters (this grooms sec sister is living alone in US, pursueing Ph.D and aged 27, older than me but eligible for the freedom !!! but i cannot pursue higher education, should sit at home and take care of my family.. ) WTF!!!

    so now i talk to the grooms first, then i decide whether my family can go ahead with the rishta, and meeting will be in public places, no more ladki dekhna at my place.. !!

  29. Ihm,
    I have been quietly reading this post, the previous post and ALL the comments so far.
    It has been fascinating.
    Of course, I am permanently out of the marriage market and so I am not following this for myself.
    I am interested only because shortly my son who is now 26 is going to face this situation.

    Of course I have absolutely no intention of getting involved and even trying to arrange his marriage. My views on arranged marriages are well known to you and it worked fairly well during our time, for our community, when opportunities to meet persons of the opposite sex were limited and interaction between the sexes was also frowned upon.
    But I now agree it is now best to leave the next generation to their own devices.

    I will merely bless and support whoever my son chooses on his own.
    I am reading the writing on the wall.
    I am getting well educated on what modern young women are thinking and their needs and expectations as regards matrimony.
    Thank you for this blog and for the platform you have provided for these discussions.

    I have no advice to the writers of the emails (this one and the previous one) except to say, “Stand your ground. Never mind if you never get married but don’t marry till you are satisfied”

    Quote from Lavs comment
    ================
    3. Will you hate it if my mother sleeps between us for 20 days a month. For 10 days she will allow us to sleep alone and he said that he promises to satisfy me in those 10 days :) ( No points guessing when the 10 days are and the guy in question was a BITS grad and working in CTS) I just told him to go get married to his mother if he wanted to avoid another divorce and moved out of there asap.
    ===========================
    I winced as I read this.
    Hey, I studied at BITS Pilani.
    We never had such creeps there during my time!
    Does he have to spoil the name of this great Institute?

    Regards
    GV

    • Exactly GV. I was shocked that studying in such a cosmopolitan Uni did not have any effect on his weirdness.

      I almost rejected when my husband asked me out on a date because ironically he is a Bitsian too…but dating this bitsian turned out to be the best decision of my life. So..there you go. Your alma mater is great. I agree. :-)

      • You know what?
        It’s over 40 years since I graduated.
        On Oct 24 and 25 my batch (1967 to 1972) are meeting at Bits Pilani for a grand get-together with our spouses.
        About 100 of us are expected.
        We assemble at Faridabad and proceed together to Pilani
        I am looking forward to a great time.
        Glad to know your spouse is a Bitsian.
        Say Hi to him on my behalf
        Regards
        GV

    • I am not from BITS (nor am I from CTS), but you are and some of my friends are and I am going to stand up for you all (Oh. Today, I stand up for all those unfairly wounded. Did I mention I feel a decade younger today, like I was still in my twenties?). :-)

      First, we will assume that Lavs has unscrupulously distorted a humorous comment by our friend and further, with nothing less than malicious intent, positioned it in poor light by taking it entirely out of context. We will put our creativity to good use and imagine the real conversation went something along these lines:

      >>>
      ..Lavs: So, what do you think of long distance relationships?
      ..AllegedJerk: I would imagine that it is possible to make them work. Its not like regular people spend all their time poring over their spouses.
      ..Lavs: What do you mean?
      ..AllegedJerk: Let us imagine that I go thru a stressful period of work and am hardly home except for the weekends and one or two days a month. Scrap that. Lets give this hypothetical situation a filmy twist. Let us say, my mom is everyone’s favorite Bollywood vamp, making it hard for us to spend quality time together. She does not get out of our faces. She’s quite literally sleeping between us 20 days a month. And since I don’t want this to be a discussion about sexual satisfaction, let us say I am Superman and in the 10 days left I have with you, you are all satisfied. (smiles) Haha, like all Bollywood heroes, keeping with the Bollywood stereotype (smile fades to seriousness). I think we should still be able to manage it as long as its brief. I would of course dread not being able to spend enough time with my domestic partner like that, but work life balance tends to be unpredictable.
      >>>

      I know, the brand of humor needed to rescue this friend of ours is dreadful, but at least we get to cast seeds of doubt in our readers that the truth was not as one sided as it sounded. And you know what? In my mental image, after reading Lavs’ post, I think Lavs would have found this guy funny. If he looked good, that is (*).

      Btw, GVji, I adore your comments, and that’s one of the reasons I started following IHM. Of course, “A marriage decided by a monkey” is bound to be on anybody’s top ten list of blog threads. I must mention that *both* of you are traffic stoppers in that photograph. Regards.

      (*) Sorry, Lavs. If you are reading this, don’t mean to offend you at all. Quite the contrary. Just hoping to trigger that feeling of balance in each one of us. Ive found this happens best when we learn to laugh at ourselves after being critical of others.

    • Well, Study has hardly anything to do with this kind of MIND SET.

      because if this was the case, with rising level well educated people, this problem should have died by now.

      but on the other hand it has seen a new inception in terms to more complicated and sophisticated method to “Hire unpaid house maid cum Child bearing machines” who actually pay with her salary to do all that.

  30. you know what, though the number of such idiotic guys are far more.. a lot of women and their families are also equally idiotic and immature. My childhood friend is in search of a partner and all he asks for is an equal relationship ( his profile in matrimonial sites also state the same. He is very clear that he does not want a wife in the traditional sense ). He is considered quite a “catch” as he has the required educational tags , jobetc etc. But in the last 2 years he is extremely frustrated with the whole ” finding a bride” via site process. He has seen atleast 20 girls and barring a handful most were real gold diggers(sorry to typecast but after reading the below instance u will know what I mean). Will just put a couple of the extreme cases here. Others were also on similar lines

    Girl 1. ( b/g lower middle class, earns 4-6 lakhs a yr):- demand: my friend should
    1. own a car which costs atleast 17 lakhs +( she even specified the brand)
    2. stay in the toniest area of the city( rent for 2 bhk is couple of lakhs a month)
    3. One foreign 5 star holiday minimum in a year.

    My friend: Can understand if she was born and bought up like that. Can also understand if she was earning equally well that she wants that lifestyle. I understand if she wants a good house , car and good holidays. What beats me is that she does not want to work but expects me to provide all this from the beginning.

    Girl 2′s parents: We are very progressive and broad minded. We dont mind her settling anywhere.
    Friend: err… My next transfer will be to mumbai /delhi ( he was having his regional posting at tht time)
    Father: No No . are you nuts who will send their kid to mumbai n delhi. would have comsidered if it was US,Uk,Australia

    Girl 3′s parents: Oh, you earn so much!!!!!!!!! Looks like you are lying to us.Show us your Form 16 (My friend earns the median salary of his batch . It is not an outrageous number). Also the girl insisted tht he meets her parents asap but was least intrested to meet his parents whn they came to town after they were talking for 6 months…

    So I guess the coin flips both ways. And you never get wat you search for :). As someone commented it is a real case of hunting oranges among apples

    • IHM, why is this comment shown as being in moderation even now ?:( Addendum to above girl 1: I forgot to add. My friend has a good 2 bhk in a very good society though in the suburbs is planning to get a good car but in a more affordable range and has decent holidays ever year.

  31. IHM, I identify with the girl. The biggest culprit is society and its pressures and I salute her parents who have shielded her from all those pesky questions and have had the strength to endure the raised eyebrows of their relatives and society.
    One of the worst mistakes that parents do in arranged marriages is to marry their girl off under pressure that age is catching up – and so, they compromise on a lot of things. Girls should be like this lady, who has had the strength to stand up for herself and to assert her independence, also to wait for the right person.
    I hope she finds her better half.. and not like this… not by being on sale on a portal. :( That’s worse.

  32. If she is not interested, she should just say no to her parents. But there’s one thing that amuses me immensely. Many of the women here say the question ‘Can you cook?’ should be avoided/stupid etc etc. Its just a simple question. I don’t see anything wrong in a man asking this. A woman can certainly state that she does know it but cant do it because of her job or etc etc. There is nothing wrong in a man wanting to know about the home management skills of his future wife just like there is nothing wrong if a woman asks a man about his future plans. The thing that really gets my goat is the posturing of ‘modern’ by some women. A couple of years back, a modern, liberated career girl asked me right in the third e-mail about how much I would earn or my earning potential. She asked me this despite the fact that I had clearly stated as I was not much of a careerist, but rather a happy go lucky type. I was shocked. So, it didn’t take much for a woman to behave in a stereotyped manner. If woman complain that they are looked at as cooks, etc etc, I accuse women of looking at me as a walking ATM, handyman, porter, etc etc. I could go on and on.
    I disagree with a lot of what is said on this blog, but there’s one thing I strongly believe in, especially among the middle class and above — For Heaven’s sake, if your wife works as long as you do, brings home hefty bacon, either help her with the household work or better, hire a maid. Its just wrong to expect your wife to work long hours in the office and then again in the house.
    However, again let me reiterate — If your wife is a housewife or homemaker, I dont see any moral issues in asking her to work. Just don’t call her names. The only role I don’t like is sitting at home all day and watching TV or supervising maids. I know this would rattle some of the women here, but sitting at home and ordering maids or domestic help is not work. Please dont give the rationale that we men dont know how difficult it is etc etc. I dont know about the others, but I have done it for more than a decade.
    Regards, KC.

    • @KC – About women sitting at home all day and watching TV or supervising maids (etc). I feel people who feel this way must share how they feel with their future spouse. In fact it would be serious dishonesty to not let the prospective bride read views like those expressed in the comment above, if the prospective bridegroom subscribes to them.

  33. “Most men don’t appreciate a truly independent women. The men who do, their parents don’t.” couldnt agree more. If the guy is sane, the parents or not. If parents are, then the guy is not. Have met such psychos when my parents were hunting groom for me. The first question every guy asked a girl who had done post graduation and has a better paying job than he did was – “do you want to work after marriage?”. Why shouldnt I? When I have studied from a better college than he did and for all I know, earning more salary than he is?
    I met one guy who told – work if you want to, study if you want to – the choice is yours and I am married to him today. Wonder when India is going to change!

  34. I have been silently reading the posts in here, this one is remarkable; and the comments get even better! Riding the same tide, I’ve always summed it with just one thought: “Marriages may be made in heaven, but the process definitely comes from hell!”

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  36. While I generally empathize with topics and thoughts posted on this blog, and believe that women do have the rough deal; I sometimes do feel that at times the notes that to indulge in unnecessary and undeserved male bashing, riding on its wave of sympathetic commentators, mostly women. And this mail and the comments seems to go the same way

    I will contrast the experiences of this email writer, with mine, as an Indian Guy going through process of arranged marriage, to essentially highlight that guys have it equally tough too.

    // I refused to get myself clicked by a professional who could make me two shades lighter. I still stand by that rule and have not got those pictures done, much to the dismay of my parents.//

    You make it sound like a big deal, it really is not. Many people get clicked by a professional; many choose to give their best looking natural photos. Either ways, does not matter

    //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.//,

    2 years is pretty much an average time, nothing to complain about. I myself started in Jan 2010 and am still looking – longer time that yours.

    As for innumerable guys, you have not given specific number so I cannot compare, but I will be really surprised if its more than my count of 35-40 girls

    //I have met guys who tell me I am a bit too independent to be ‘tamed’ as a wife.//
    Did they actually use the word “tame” or something even similar? Stinking shit, if they did.

    You have recollected meeting many losers ( funny how only guys are called loser, never heard a girl being called loser ) and having weird experiences. Let me recollect some of mine

    Girl 1 – I want to marry you , but I cannot , since your place is too far from my office and I cannot commute that long daily. For the record the distance was 20-25 Km taking a little upwards of one hour oneway. My sister and father commute even further everyday.

    Girl 2- What car do you have
    Me – maruti Ritz
    Girl – Ooo………….. Small car Why ?

    Girl – Where do you see yourself in three years
    Me – Personally or Professionally
    Girl – Professionally – In 3 , 5 , and 7 Years ( yes she used that exact words )

    Girl – What if I want to study further ( she was already post-graduate )
    Me – What sort of study
    Girl – Answer for all – Certification , 6 month course , Phd – 2 year MBA

    At the end , Girl – I hope this did not sound like an HR interview. You bet it did

    Girl Family 3 – Went to their house. Wanted to meet the girls brother. They did not introduce him. We insisted, repeatedly. Finally they bought the brother out. He was mentally challenged. The family was trying to hide him. – A clear case of fraud

    Girl 4 – Met twice, everything good. Was waiting for my sister and brother to arrive from abroad to solemnize the marriage. Sister came first, wanted to see the bio-data, searched in the mail box. Reached an old copy instead of the one we were considering

    The new bio-data had birth of 1983, the old one of 1982. When confronted , girl’s family had no answer. – Another case of fraud

    Hope these cases convince you that guys do not have it easy too

    //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.//

    I agree, it is better to remain single that marry someone not suitable for you. It sometimes frighten me what if I had got married to the Girl 4 and than came to know of the birthdate case. I might have forgiven, but knowing my nature, it will probably have ruined the marriage.

    //Most men don’t appreciate a truly independent women. The men who do, their parents don’t.//

    And do not men not suffer , when they appreciate but their parents do not ?

    //I am an ordinary girl, who loves to dream … Is this too much to ask for, only because I am a woman?

    It is a worthy ask. But a tough ask. Not because you are a women, but because you do not fit the society stereotype. Men who do not fit the stereotype, either in what they offer or what they expect have it equally tough.

    //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?//

    Because for every one guy willing to give up his career , there are 1000 women willing to give up theirs.My circumstances have allowed me to come up across many such girls, who are more than inclined to give up jobs and career, if they can find a husband who can give them the goodlife. Many of these have really good positions in life, IIM educated , Manager in big corporation , earning 15LPA or more, but are ready to give up all to get a husband who earns “enough”, with no hesitation

    //Relatives sure give my parents a tough time and but they don’t really tell me about it.//

    One of my relatives told me that maybe the reason I was not getting married was because I wear glasses, and that I should get eye surgery done to get glasses removed, and then maybe I will have some luck. Trying matching this crap.

    //I felt like I was on sale.//

    I feel it too. In our community, first the girls family visit our place , to meet us , without the girl. If they like you , they invite you . If they do not, you do not hear from them. And then you wonder why they did not like you. When it happens multiple times, it can chip away at your self-esteem, you begin to wonder if there is something wrong with you. Not exactly a pleasant scenario.

    Please do not think that I am trying to trivialize your concerns. All I am trying to do it to tell you that you are neither alone in this ‘ mess of a system ‘ ; and nor is it messy only for the girls.

    Arranged marriage is easy when you fit the stereotypes in what you offer and what you want. A well-educated good salary guy looking for only a beautiful wife will have no trouble. A beautiful girl looking for a rich guy will have no trouble. A person, men or women, who just want to get married will have no trouble.

    It is when you demand/offer different, that the systems fails, making it difficult to for such people. Irrespective of their gender.

    Trust me, finding a women looking for an equal, egalitarian marriage in true sense, is also very difficult.

    PS

    // 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)//

    I simply cannot understand this behavior. As a guy I will be offended, if the girl I was meeting bought company for the reason of protection from me.

    I think this is an unhealthy behavior and wrong attitude towards men from the mail writer

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  38. I am thankful that my parents don’t even care if/when I am getting married at the moment and i am 27. I understand all parents go through the pressure and I really feel for yours cause they have made you a confident independent woman and are trying in their own way to help you… but reading about some of these guys is so alarming!! Good luck!!

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  40. I really Empathize with you..going through the same situation for 6 years now…now in depression.. Lost self esteem… feeling like loser.. I m 30 and trying to find love through arrange marriage.. facing this torture for many years now..I m bit sensitive so could not endure that pressure..Parents, society all blame u for not settling for less.. as in my society, gals are always taught to adjust.. but i could not. I could not marry a guy whom i dont like, respect I had also started feeling that may be i had some high standards or i shud hv settle for less,.. I was the one to blame.. Afraid that now i would have to leave all my expectations and compromise only or have to stay single throughout life.. it seems all my dreams are getting shattered in front of me.. but by reading all this,, feeling strong finding that i m not alone in this mental trauma..Understood now tht staying single is far better than being in wrong marriage…would be waiting for my dream mate now.. :).. thanks…

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  42. Finding love is not easy. lets just agree on that. Be it by ourselves or through arranged ones, its is going to be hard. As a open minded, ambitious, independent girl, I am yet to find a guy who comes up to me and says he wants to date me. I have seen my friends fall in love with guys who are total wackos. I have seen some independent strong women lose it all for the sake of love of a guy, who first on meeting her said,”I like you because you are strong’. Maybe that’s why I have grown weary of guys, who can act different for a few months and change as soon as the parents come in the picture. That is definitely part of the reason why I said yes to my parents to start looking for a guy. I have met some good men, but they seem to find my open-mindedness too open for them to share with. or in some cases my shyness too restricting for them. I realize that be it how I meet the guy, I am the one who gets to say yes, and by lord do I really hope that I meet that guy.

  43. hey! Loved your Blog… It is really sad that in spite of women having progressed at so many stages in her life is termed as unsuccessful only because she is unmarried and wants to live an independent life. It is a combination of typical male chauvinism, backwardness in the mindset of people, hypocrisy and double standards towards women from other women as well such as relatives, so called aunties… I really feel every woman must stand up for what she believes in. And men who treat women as a commodity or object just to fulfill their needs need to be shot in the head. It will take time but every woman must stand up for what she believes in and give it back to these men.

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