But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person… aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire?

Sharing an email from ‘a “not so young” (by marriageable age standards in my community), below average looking, well-educated male with a well-paying job in a metro city.’ 

“But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person and so little focus on understanding and exploring compatibility, attitudes, values and character, aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire?”

Dear IHM,

I stumbled upon your blog while surfing online in the context of a particular unhappy incident in my life. And since then, I have been hooked – going through posts after posts, and reading all comments therein. It has actually been shocking. I never imagined that even women in the upper echelons of the society – educated, upper middle class, career women were also victims of patriarchy in marriages. And in not even a subtle manner – from being dictated on what not to wear, to restricting their interaction with their families, to controlling their careers and their earnings, to occasional beatings – it was all blatant harassment happening to seemingly modern, educated women (writing emails to IHM in impeccable English itself was an indicator that these weren’t oppressed females from, small towns/villages). Perhaps, it is because I am surrounded by mostly happy marriages (or seemingly happy – who knows what’s the reality?) and hence this blog has been a revelation. And am glad I came across it now – I am not yet married but when (and if) I do, I would now be very conscious about any of my and my family’s behavior which may tantamount to abuse towards the wife.

Reading of all the stories here, I feel sad for the women who are suffering in the marriage system. It must feel pathetic when one realises that such a major decision in life has turned out to be a dud. But my personal experience of trying to get married through the “arranged” route over the last one year has made me feel that a lot of people are approaching marriages in such a manner that disasters may be inevitable.

As a background, I am a “not so young” (by marriageable age standards in my community), below average looking, well-educated male with a well-paying job in a metro city. To me, marriage is perhaps the single biggest decision which will tremendously impact the course my life takes from here on. The way I see it – I do love my parents but they are my past and will most likely not be around for too long now. I would love my kids but in a couple of decades they will grow independent, find their mates and fly away. The spouse is the one person who would be my closest companion, and with whom I will share all small and big things of life, till one of us meets the Creator. It will be the most important relationship of my life. And so, when I started my search, I was looking for compatibility, mutual attraction as well as somewhat of a similarity in interests and a broad agreement on long term goals and expectations from life. I had no other checkbox to be ticked, other than a certain minimum level of education. There was no magic wand to figure these things out and so I thought communication and instincts would be the key. But some of my experiences, with well educated women, have left me flabbergasted. I have summarized a few of them below:

– Prospect 1 (Dental surgeon)
After a day of brief WhatsApping on where we work, who else is in the family, what do we prefer to read, hobbies, general chit chat etc., on the second day I get asked “What car do you drive”. My response “XYZ” (a small car). Lady “But you said in your profile you earn “ABC” lakhs. Why do you drive a small car? You can certainly afford a better car”. I didn’t hear back from her thereafter.

– Prospect 2 (Entrepreneur)
After speaking on phone once and whatsapping for a few days, we meet for a coffee. After a few general conversations about each other’s work, Lady: “Do you drink?”. Me: “Yes. Occasionally”. Lady: “Oops. I wanted a teetotaler as no one in my home drinks but I wanted someone who was non-vegetarian so that I could continue with my non-veg diet. So I don’t think we can take this forward”. (FYI – my community is generally vegetarian and teetotaler. I am a vegetarian but an occasional drinker. She was from my community too. And no, I have no dietary expectations for my future wife – her life, she chooses what to eat.)

– Prospect 3 (Chartered Accountant)
Father: “We came across your profile. Only interesting thing therein was your salary. So is it the correct salary?” Me: “Your daughter is in a similar industry as me. She should know”. Needless to say I wasn’t interested thereafter.

– Prospect 4 (Journalist educated abroad)
Lady: “I am an independent woman. I have led life on my own terms so far. But I will marry the guy my parents choose for me. I owe it to them for all that they have done for me.”

– Prospect 5 (pursuing PhD)
Lady: “My parents don’t want to take this discussion ahead. We visited your place and there was no dining table. And our astrologer tells us that you will have such a high level of “conjugal” needs that it will affect my health adversely.”

Further, invariably, every call from a parent of a girl would, after the initial pleasantries, ask for the time, date and place of birth. I was amused at the deep belief even the educated generation has in the unproven, archaic concept of horoscope.

To be fair, there were a few women who were focused on interaction, communication, knowing long term plans for life and would meet for a coffee, talk and would make a genuine attempt to figure out mutual compatibility. But the majority weren’t like that.

I must note that all of these prospects either contacted me or I contacted them through the matrimony portals. There was no common family/friend reference. And of course, my experiences are from a man’s perspective but I have no reason to doubt that a woman in my position is likely to have similar experiences from guys she may be meeting in such a context.

After a year of such and a few more incidents, it seems to me that to a large section of the population, especially those who are on these online matrimonial portals, marriage is approached as a transaction. There is very little focus on the person and a huge interest in the outwardly parameters – horoscope, salary, car, size of the house, looks, brands worn on the meeting day etc. When a certain set of criteria are met, the deal is sealed. Seeing this coming from highly educated women and their families has been even more disturbing. I do understand the difficulties in evaluating a total stranger as a potential spouse and hence people relying on some “indicators” and that people are generally wary of fakes/liars/impostors when they have come across the person through an online source. But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person and so little focus on understanding and exploring compatibility, attitudes, values and character, aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire? If at least the educated generation is less reliant on parents to find a match for them, and is more open to an “exploratory” approach rather than a “transactional” approach to marriages, could it be that we would have fewer unhealthy marriages? Could we then have fewer women becoming victims of chauvinism and patriarchy in their husband’s family? Could we then have more equal man-woman relationships? Could we then have fewer young people with regrets?

I, for one, have now chosen to withdraw from this matrimony process and would rather look for love through dating someone interesting. I would rather stay single than marry someone with a hope that love, connect and compatibility would develop later on. This transactional approach to the most important decision of my life isn’t meant for me. I am looking for companionship and a shared life, not a coexistence for the sake of family, kids and society.

Perhaps, this email is out of context for your blog. But I still felt like writing in because if what I experienced is actually a broader trend – if a considerable number of marriages are actually being decided largely on the basis of focus areas such as those I was scrutinized for, then I believe there is a cause for worry.

Thank you.


Related Posts:

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

 Why are Sons treated unfairly and like ATM machines? – Indusladies.com

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

An email from a 30 year old Indian man, “Marrying a divorcee and an older woman.”

Physical Disability and Arranged Marriages – an email.

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.


68 thoughts on “But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person… aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire?

  1. What a sad, sorry state of affairs! We as a people have become so materialistic, so entwined with keeping up with the jones, kardashians or patels, we have forgotten basic human decency. At then end of the day it’s good to have moneeeey in the bank and my purse but hey money don’t wipe my tears, make me laugh or give me hugs.


    • Sadly thats how our patriarchal society works… the boy should earn loads and loads of money,have a own house, car etc etc.. and the girl should be slim tall fair and beautiful, should know all house management skills which includes cooking keeping the hse artistic n beautiful, look after the elderly and the athithi very well, should not sit at home and be gharelu too, etc, etc etc… expecations!!


  2. What an articulate post. Congrats on putting your thoughts forth so coherently.

    I agree 100% with everything you say. I have seen my relatives and friends go through arranged marriages, and yes. It is very transactional. The underlying premise is, if they hail from a ‘good’ family that drives a ‘regular’ car, has a sofa, TV and dining table and the guy is well-employed, then the marriage would work out. When it doesn’t work out (and many don’t!) it’s such a nightmare because there are all these expectations. I am not against arranged marriages per se, I wouldn’t have minded having one myself, but I agree, the transactional nature bothers me.

    I’m not sure I would agree that the number of abusive relationships would go down if this process was more exploratory. One kind of abuse (based on family-institutionalized patriarchy) might go down. Assholes would still be assholes. What it might help with is people marrying someone they like, someone they want to stay long term with.

    What would reduce abusive relationships is a collective change in society where quitting a relationship (for any reason) is not considered a shame or a sin. If there was not this pressure to be committed even if you were unhappy, this implicit blame (‘you must not have kept him happy so he pushes you around’) then I think that is the number one factor to reduce the number of abusive relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Myth #1: “The One” is out there for us, if only we can find him or her.
    Myth #2: Once we find “The One,” he or she will never change, and neither will we.
    Myth #3: Once we find “The One,” we’ll live Happily Ever After.
    Myth #4: Love is a magical, mystical thing over which we have no control. It can’t be studied; it can’t be taught; it can’t be learned.

    Research suggests that the “love at first sight” phenomenon is almost always “lust at first sight.” Relationships based on first impressions almost always end in tatters. Love in romantic marriages declines steadily over a ten-year period, but that love in arranged marriages increases over the same period, surpassing that of romantic marriages after about five years.


    • Agree with your list of myths, but am not so sure about the conclusion. Romantic marriages or arranged marriages, there is an equal element of risk either way. Love in arranged marriages increasing over a 10-year period? Well may be, may not be. Cannot vouch that all or most arranged marriages ensure increasing love. There are many who are miserable after 30 years in an arranged marriage and are hanging in there because of:

      1. Fear of society
      2. Considerations about off-spring and their futures.
      3. Simple habit. Something like Henry Higgins’ “I have grown accustomed to her face”. People don’t like to change a status-quo. They might just finding familiarity comforting and don’t want to be shaken out of their comfort zones, no matter how uncomfortable it might be within that zone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t agree at all. I live the example of love marriage still going strong after 2 decades and i’m not the only one. both love and arranged marriages can have the same result after 10 yrs.
      I think we love each other more than we did when we first met, yes attraction plays a part initially but we are soulmates, he is my ‘ONE’ 🙂 and yes we had a love marriage and no i don’t think we are a aberration, i know 5-6 couples who all had love marriages and are a strong team. i also know quite a few arranged marriage couples whose feel the same. its not the type of marriage it’s the type of people who get into it.
      and i absolutely believe in attraction, love, those heady romantic yrs they set the stage for a strong bond. and it’s simply more fun in my opinion than an arranged marriage. 🙂 just my feeling.


    • Ah yes, the “Love increases in arranged marriages” belief.

      I fell for that you know. I remember some (in hindsight, completely embarrassing) incidents where I passionately argued for arranged marriages and how they’d work out better in the end because this way you don’t have to fight society too. That cute boy from the US I met when I was fifteen, debate in english class when I was 17, multiple concerned friends from the age of 20-24. I think I sounded a little less convincing each year – even to myself.

      Now here I am. Soon to be divorced and recipient of nearly constant unsolicited advice from relatives, neighbours, our neighbours’ maids, the wife of the watchman of the temple my mom goes to, and the uncle of an old driver on how I can make emotionally abusive/unhappy marriages work.

      It’s amazing how many people I thought had “happy” and “loving” arranged marriages have come up to me to share their frankly horrifying stories. What’s worse is that these stories are all held up as examples to follow – see how bad my marriage was. I’m still with him. I’m still married. I’m not ALONE.

      God forbid you end up alone.


      • Many women don’t leave loveless ,slightly to moderately abusive (I know there is no gradation in abuse) but where there is no physical abuse ) love or arranged ,it doesn’t really matter !
        I am sure people (especially women ) in love marriages are equally pressured ,in fact since all doors are closed women in love marriages are even more pressured to stay !
        Money and kids,and old age all alone is main reason women don’t leave !
        But things are changing,.…


        • I agree with you Cosettez. In love marriage, girl is left alone by her parents (I know this, Coz I am facing this). The girl has to live with her husband coz she has nowhere else to go. The only possibility is to stand on ur own feet n only this can help you not suffer in love marriage as well as in arrange marriages.


  4. Being in the “arranged” setup for find a spouse myself, I could feel my frustration echoed in the letter…I feel the focus of such setups is on all the wrong things..money, jobs, looks, are seen as more important than match of thoughts, Compatiblity of stars are more important than compatiblity of minds :/ I mean, I state in the initial phase itself that I would like to meet the person and take my own sweet time knowing him (This is quite shocking for many relatives as cousins met their spouses once or max twice for an hour or so before deciding to get married). I told my parents that for me meeting the guys would be just that, meeting a guy. I would like to know him as a person, before taking any decisions. I just do not understand how people decide to get married to a person they have met an hour ago!!


  5. Very true. I went through a similar process few years back. There were people who in the first meeting itself asked what all i could cook…!! needless to say they were immediately ticked off the list. Yes, this process is somewhat like this, that people are not ready to invest time in getting to know the prospective partner. In my case, my parents would ask after each ,meeting, what is my decision!! After 3-4 meetings, they would just fail to understand why I wanted to meet the person again. I met my current husband around 7-8 times, and decided. Out of this few meetings were not disclosed to my parents. Fact is that this whole process is based on hope given the broader parameters like status, community, horoscope etc match, things will turn out well, just as they did (or I believe so) for their generation.
    Given that there are so many such marriages happening in our country, there are some which turn out happy, some do not..this is pure statistics. The scene can only change, when dating culture is not frowned upon in our society, it becomes a part of life just like marriage is now and becomes more acceptable. People are free to chose their own partners rather than being forced to treat is as a transaction, just the way it is done now…


  6. In India, weddings are seen as a way to get richer or increase relations with the rich and powerful persons. Even in the past the kings used to marry a princess from the more powerful kingdom which could not be beaten. I wonder why the females who have similar qualifications as males want their financial burden to be taken by the husbands. I am MBA and my bf is MCA, It is no way his responsibility to make my dreams of costly house,big car etc, come true. If I have a dream of a costly car, I should earn it by myself, afterall I am no way less than my bf. I believe, the life partner is meant to provide the emotional support, the feeling of being loved, someone to share happiness and sorrow with. He shouldn’t be expected to bear the whole financial burden, So there should not be any question of how much a person earns, which car he drives, how big his house is.

    But in India, generally a girl is raised with the thought that she is weak, a burden and secondary earner to her husband.

    When my cousin was getting married, not only her family was considering groom’s job but also his father’s government job and calculating what funds he will get after retirement. This is total madness. Even though India has lesser divorce rate but this does not prove that India also has most number of couples who have true love between them.

    I personally like the definition of true love “true love is when a person has options but he still choose you.” In india, the married people don’t have options, society forces them to stay together no matter how much they don’t like each other.

    Sometimes I feel like most of Indian people are like robots, they are programmed and doing what everyone else is commanding and demanding them to do. I am trying to change it and since then I am bearing a silence treatment from my mother.

    We are nurtured with a thought that “mother’s love is unconditional.” Well, maybe some mothers do love unconditionally but that doesn’t apply to all.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Coming from a man’s perspective, this is interesting ! You are absolutely right about transactional nature of arranged marriage market ,both online and offline !
    There is no focus on trying to get to know the person,and some people just get married in few months when certain things appear OK or click !
    Its soul sapping !


  8. LW, you seem like a good guy. India needs more like you.

    The approach to marriage in this country is one big joke. It’s absolutely appalling, the way people try to find life partners for themselves / their children. The first thing that strikes me as absurd is that grown men and women are being puppeteered by parents and relatives during the whole search process. There is no harm in looking for someone online or through a personal ad, but I would instantly filter out people whose parents’ were acting on their behalf. For me, that is a big no-no. If someone is old enough to get married, they should be enough to find love on their own.

    Too much familial involvement is what ruins it all. I like the way things happen abroad. People marry for affection. Parents and relatives are kept at an arm’s length during the course of things – they are part of the celebration, but not part of the decision. The moment other people start to fiddle with your personal life, their selfish needs WILL take precedence over your relationship. It’s only human!

    Now, you mentioned equal relationships. Do we really have equal relationships, even in edicated and so-called enlightened families? Who gets meals ready? Who manages the housework? Who sends the kids off to school? Who comes home after work and puts dinner on the table while the other partner sits in front of the TV? Most important, who leaves their parental home after marriage and moves into the other partners’ parental home, thereby having to revamp their entire way of life? And finally, how many men are willing to take a stand against these stereotyped gender roles and have a *truly* equal relationship? Because anything less is hypocrisy. I say this because I have come across numerous people who claim they have raised their sons and daughters ‘equally’, but sadly, ‘equally’ stops when it comes to giving up (in the name of fairness) a few privileges as husbands, mothers in law, fathers in law, brothers, sons, etc.

    I hope that you, when you find the person you love, will consider the points I’ve mentioned.

    Please do read some of my posts as well:





    Hope you find these helpful. Stay happy. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And finally, how many men are willing to take a stand against these stereotyped gender roles and have a *truly* equal relationship?”

      The real sad thing is that not even many *women* are willing to take that stand! My husband and I share cooking and a number of women react to this by saying ‘I would never want my husband to have to cook.. you sound like housemates.. how can you be a couple if you don’t cook for him?’. The brainwashing goes deep!


  9. Sadly that is the truth, LW. I get calls from “friends” who I haven’t spoken to in centuries asking me to verify the “character” and “capability” of my colleagues who happen to be prospective grooms and brides. It is despicable and give them my 2 bits but I do not think they understand. Even my friends who are in a position of taking these decisions look at parameters like education (I mean their degrees and its iviness), jobs and career graphs and believe that’s compatibility. Deep conditioning for centuries take time to go and we will have to swallow that bitter pill. It will be a while before we see people’s attitude change.


  10. Our society has it all wrong when it comes to relationships.
    What most people really mean when they talk about marriage is wedding, which is why the focus remains on all things monetary (salary/car/property/savings) and food-related (veg/non-veg, drinking/smoking), and I daresay this has to do with women’s social status in some way.

    We do not see husband and wife equals because women are considered the weaker sex. Compatibility is not important because the woman’s primary responsibility is to make her husband happy in return for material comforts. (And if he can’t provide those she should shut up and keep her end of the deal anyway, because weaker sex!)

    So women clutch at (expensive, gold plated) straws when they are young and “settle” for less when they’re not.

    But what if we were to, as the LW says, transition from the transactional approach to the exploratory approach? Things would definitely get better!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Really refreshing to read such a balanced perspective on marriage in the Indian context. It is distressing to see that while on one side there is no change in patriarchal values, on the other hand there seems to be no attempt on the part of women and their parents to suss out prospective matches through more detailed communications. Although it has always been the practice to ensure a strong educational and financial background for the eligible grooms, this kind of blatant greed is something that is shocking and disgusting to say the least.

    “If at least the educated generation is less reliant on parents to find a match for them, and is more open to an “exploratory” approach rather than a “transactional” approach to marriages, could it be that we would have fewer unhealthy marriages?

    [One certainly has reason to hope so. Though, what is said before marriage and what actually transpires after the wedding are not always consistent.]

    Could we then have fewer women becoming victims of chauvinism and patriarchy in their husband’s family?

    [Am very sceptical of that. Many “love marriages” where the man and woman have known each other for years before marriage suddenly go sour after the wedding, because demands of the bride fitting into the patriarchal expectations of the parents suddenly crop up. It could be a case of wanting to prove to the parents that his choice of a bride for himself and a ‘good’ dil for them was not wrong. Unless some basic changes are made in social structure ….. one can only hope.]

    Could we then have more equal man-woman relationships?

    [As long as the man ensures that the parents do not interfere and try to define the marital equations between their son and dil, maybe.]

    Could we then have fewer young people with regrets?

    [Would definitely hope so.]”


  12. “There is very little focus on the person and a huge interest in the outwardly parameters – horoscope, salary, car, size of the house, looks, brands worn on the meeting day etc.”
    Dear LW,
    Sorry to disappoint you but even in cultures where marriage partners are chosen through the ‘dating’ process outwardly parameters are still a huge interest.
    I’m an American & Americans for the most part are just as materialistic & shallow as the Indians you describe. Even ‘educated’ Americans (just like ‘educated’ Indians) are focussed on outward parameters.
    In the US we call the ‘outward parameters’ as ‘lifestyle’. Marrying for ‘lifestyle’ is more common than most Americans will admit. Most of the American men at my educational level were interested in marrying a wife with enough income to finance 2 luxurious homes, 4 stylish cars, maybe a boat & all sorts of stuff I didn’t particularly want.
    On the one hand, you really don’t want to marry someone who doesn’t have the same ‘financial values’ as yourself. An example would be – I ‘dumped’ a very nice, very compatible young man who proposed marriage to me because I found out he had $200,000 in credit card debt at the age of 26 yrs & had no savings of any kind (that was CREDIT CARD debt NOT a STUDENT LOAN of any kind). I just don’t spend money I don’t have, & I am a firm believer in saving. I felt this would just be a continuous source of conflict between us.
    On the other hand, if someone is so wrapped up in what sort of car, clothes, house, brands or other triviality – I really don’t think you sound like a guy who would have much in common with them anyway (nor would I). Better to just let them go spend their $ on such silliness – this would just be a continuous source of conflict between you 2 also.
    As far as horoscopes go, I think Indians just use them to (politely?) excuse themselves from stating the real reason for discontinuing the pursuit of a marital relationship.
    My advice to you is to travel, do things & go places you’ve always wanted to.
    You’ll meet all sorts of different people & possibly potential mates.
    That’s how I met my husband!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What you are describing as outward parameter is actually financial incompatibility. You wanted savings and a secure future, your dumped partner didn’t. Did your mother tell you that you should dump someone with debt even though your lifestyles matched? That would be a similar situation to Indian marriage criteria. Have you ever left someone for the simple reason that he would not fit into your family because of his dietary habits – let’s say he loves cucumber, and you love cucumber, but the rest of your family can’t stand the sight of cucumber.

      The problem is not the parameters you are basing your relationship on, but balancing the practical with the ideal, understanding the person you are planning to spend your life with and leaving out everyone else from the decision making process. Which does not happen in an Indian setting. Now, I am not saying that Americans cannot be shallow. In fact, many of them are. But in India, you are not allowed to do anything else. Therein lies the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have to agree with Fem here. I’ve lived in the US for 20 years. Have lots of American friends and know some of their families really well. Yes, some of them are shallow, some of them are not, like everywhere else. But, I’ve never encountered the levels of materialism that one encounters with middle class or rich Indians. Too much greed. Son HAS to be an engineer/doctor/other high earning professional. Nothing else is tolerated, let alone allowed or encouraged. Daughter must be married into the richest possible family, who cares if she’s happy or not. The girl’s family doesn’t care if the guy is good natured or caring, they are focused on his wallet. Couple must produce kids, no one cares if they love each other or not. And that is not even getting into the wedding mania. The demands for ‘gifts’, the harassment that continues on after marriage possibly leading to abuse or death. Sadly, it all goes back to greed. And we CAN change this. But not by being in denial. The first step is to take an honest look at where we are as a culture, as this LW is doing. And I think some of us ARE changing this, as we speak.


        • Part of the reason of what we call ‘greed’ is also an obsessive worrying about our old age when we will no longer be able to work. In countries where there is a strong social safety net, people do not spend their lives gathering more and more. They feel empowered enough to be able to consider various fields of study because they know that if anything untoward happens, the State would help. A lot of the control by older people over younger people would wither away if we could set up decent old-age homes funded by State. It’s too often a question of survival, rather than greed.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “The girl’s family doesn’t care if the guy is good natured or caring, they are focused on his wallet.”

          True. But unless we allow the dating culture (irrespective of whether it is the arranged route or otherwise) with the understanding that dating does not automatically mean that they will agree to “live together, happily ever after” there is no way to find out a person’s nature within the short periods of time allowed, be it 15 mins, 1 hour, 1 week or 1 month.


        • Fem, to some extent it may be survival – especially the discouragement from pursuing non-lucrative fields of study. But demanding a BMW for the groom? Or at least a Maruti? Demanding that the reception be held in the Sheraton? Looking for an MBA wife? Looking for a Doctor husband? What do we call this, if not greed?

          Liked by 1 person

        • I feel this is more a sense of entitlement than outright greed. This is the way in which the man’s family shows power over the woman’s family. If they were actually greedy / miserly, they would only take during their son’s marriage and not pay during their daughter’s marriage. But that’s not the case. If they take a BMW, they also give one away (if they have a daughter). Every person knows that men are God and women are inferior beings who need to be thankful for being taken care of and abused, and they are expected to do this by giving money and whatever else is demanded of them. Some of the man’s parents are wealthier than the woman’s family, in which case, they show their entitlement in different ways.


  13. I can relate to this email so much that it seems like I have written this myself. The only difference being that I never ever got on to any matrimonial portal or ‘service provider’, and that the LW has expressed it in a much better way than I could have. Most arranged marriages in India (if not all) are actually transactions wherein all the people involved find something for their needs.

    But I have been witness to another strange practice during recent times which may be called as ‘love-arranged marriages’. People sometimes call these as arranged love marriages as it often appears that two people fell in love and then got married in a wedding similar to an arranged scenario.

    But I have seen people dating and falling in love (so they said) with a person who fitted the best in their requirements (viz. career/caste/status etc.). In other words, their ‘shopping’ starts well before the actual wedding. I got to know this from a very close acquaintance days before his marriage to his girlfriend of two years. Everyone thought that they were in love, but actually, they were dating because he was a doctor in ‘X’ speciality while she was a specialist in ‘Y’. According to him, both would complement each other in their future plans in their careers, the caste, status and other such parameters already having been taken care of.

    I wrote about this long ago – http://mindzpeak.blogspot.in/2011/08/matrimoney-shopping.html

    Welcome to the club dear LW ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shobit, read your post but somehow couldn’t comment there. Nice post and your replies to your friend were hilarious 🙂 Marriages in India are made in corporate
      heaven 🙂 We should create a new branch for IIM grads to specialize in – call it Spouse Procurement – MBAs would learn how to land the optimal spouse – one who helps diversify the portfolio while protecting the bottom line.


      • My aunt’s son is a pediatrician and he wants an ob-gyn wife so they can set up a joint practice and patients would flow from her to him. He actually posted this in his matrimonial ad. These are outright business deals. He doesn’t really want to know who she is or what her dreams are – and neither do the women who are responding to his ad.
        For my niece, they were looking for matches, and they found this family that runs their own banking business. In fact the boy’s mother spearheads the business. How impressive, I thought, a m-i-l who is an independent, successful woman. The first question the would be m-i-l asked is can the would be d-i-l do an MBA in Finance so she can help out with the family business. I loved my niece’s reply: “I don’t want to help you build a financial empire. I want to find someone I can love and cherish. No, thank you.”


    • I agree! The mentality among everyone is get a boyfriend (or arranged marriage fiance) asap, being single is abnormal and taboo. Love or attraction doesn’t factor much into their calculations, unless it is purely physical attraction. Strangely enough, wanting intellectual or ethical compatibility is seen as being frivolous or picky, but being choosy over religion, salary, looks, caste is seen as sensible and practical.
      This is true for both people having arranged marriages and love marriages.


  14. People change, we are humans we evolve thats the way it is. However our core is the same. we dont deviate far from our basic nature. I dont buy the arranged Vs love debate at all. For a marriage to be successful IMO both of them need ot be happy.
    Both of them must want to be together . they should choose each other. by free choice.
    Its companionship, love, frienship, safety, comfort etc., any name works.
    the minute you stay togther for any reason other than you want to , I’d say that marriage is finished.
    Certain people attract each other, their goals are the same, their basic mindset is the same and everything else is superficial and can change, its takes time to find that person that ‘ONE’ , i dont think the way you find him/her matters but taking the time is a must.
    hopefully you will find your soul mate who values your core you, fo course both of you having dreams, goals an d abit of money never hurt .
    In our case , Cant travel and see the world on love and fresh air you see 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice to hear perspective of man. This is what patriarchy does to man. It is equally humiliating for man to be rejected on certain parameters as it is for women. Now even men have started realizing that whatever is happening is wrong.

    You are right in India marriage is all about money. No love , no respect is involved. Only money is there. Wherever the bank balances, car, dowry matches as per pocket of the bride side marriage is fixed. In my home when I was young I have seen the list of dowry. What utensil/electronics/vehicle/clothes etc of which brand in how much quantity has to be given. This developed hate in my heart for arranged marriage.

    I have very close experience of love marriage as I have few friends and relatives who had love marriage. And as per my experience girls have more freedom in putting their foot down as they are not alone but have support of going to be husband.

    One of friend’s family was asked for cash as dowry in her love marriage. In that case it was my friend who called her FIL and straight away for what my father is supposed to pay to you. He said that its for your future saving then she replied if it is for me then let me decide how I have to manage my finance. One of friend is still working in Gurgaon and lives in PG after marriage as she is not getting transfer to the place where her husband lives and no body from family has ever dared to suggest that she should leave job. My sister had love marriage. Now she is in Australia for work assignment and left before Diwali. No drama from In-Laws because my BIL supported her. She has kid who is looked after by my BIL in India.
    The simple point is if guy is connected to girl and have courage to support her then they can create the marriage which they want instead of what their In-laws want. And one can increase the courage of other.
    Change is happening but is very slow. But at least is happening.


    • Yes, that’s true. However, in my experience, men are more vulnerable to emotional blackmail from the parents.
      Very few men in India have the conviction required to stand by their wife/ideals in the face of sustained parental opposition.

      Your BIL sounds wonderful and must really love your sister. Feels good to know that such marriages, where the wife’s happiness is valued, also exist.


      • Yes , among all BILs I adore him for everything he has done for my sister. and this happened because my sister is also very strong headed women. From her teens she know that she has to do a job and what so ever happens she will do it.

        Regarding emotional blackmail , the person needs to be strong. In my friends case which I have mentioned she is more stiff and strong when it comes to emotional blackmail . She simply asked her fiance that you know its wrong , tell them on face and rest I will handle. Stand on your position and dont fall in their line. She took lead and explained to In-Laws. And I believe in gradual course of time the guy will get support of her and will increase his strength and courage. Marriage is all about this if one is falling short and feeling afraid then other has to take charge and has to make them in strong in order to grow.


      • I think more than conviction, men in general and largely don’t really care about women’s suffering !So petty irritations ,mood spoilers,fights with in laws,don’t really affect them ! They still get the food and washed clothes,….and it works and pays for them to steer clear of wife ‘s day to day household irritations and even huge matters like mental torture !
        The wife is an outsider who has to adjust,….that’s what he sees around him and that’s what mils want !Even the nicer mils want that !
        What gets men’s attention is money issues and when their neck is directly caught in emotional blackmail !
        So,men being indifferent at home and household issues will directly suffer one day,….if more men understand this ,maybe they will stop being ostriches even if its for selfish reasons !


        • I think some men would be less indifferent if the wife decided to handle the situation the way she deems fit. Say, if she decided not to wait for someone to pick and drop her or she didn’t gift any envelopes as demanded.


  16. If you are going through the parent-facilitated matrimonial process, you are selecting for people who are into the parent-facilitated matrimonial process, right? It’s not surprising that you met people who were interested in kundalis and salary only: they’re the only things apart from looks that the arranged marriage market can measure and compare. If you want to meet women who are interested in your personality and who share your values, the way in which you meet them must be a way that allows getting to know someone’s personality and values.

    It’s kind of like this: If you want to eat Mexican food, it makes no sense to go to an Italian restaurant in hopes that it might have nachos on the menu. If you want to study civil engineering, it makes no sense to go to a medical college and hope to pick up enough physics and mechanics to to be an engineer from the few elective courses on offer.

    Glad you’re getting out of it to seek potential mates in a manner that fits your needs. Good luck with everything!


  17. Thank you for this email! Usually there is so much ‘women-are-the-best-can-do-no-wrong-unless-it-is-a-MIL’ around in the blog world that this is so refreshing. And real! I see very well educated girls around me act so ridiculous when it comes to marriage. Your letter totally echoes that. I am almost in love with you. I completely agree with you. I would rather stay single. The person I would have adjusted for isn’t in my life anymore and we both think we should rather find people who share the same ideas than adjust and regret later.


    • Yes i’ve noticed that too. That on this women can do no wrong except for mil. There was an email where a woman was involved with a married man and (yes the man involved is also too blame) and no one thought she was in the wrong. Totally left a bad taste in my mouth.


      • You are utterly mistaken. Please read the comments on that post again.
        Most people told her that she was being unfair to her husband, no matter what her reasons were for falling for another man.

        What people were doing their best to not do was to pass judgement on her.

        That serves no purpose other than make the commenter feel self-righteous and superior. “Look how stupid some folks are, I bet I’d never do something so foolish”

        It’s human nature to make mistakes, nobody is perfect, despite all appearances.

        It makes little sense to castigate somebody for something they did not do deliberately and after due consideration.


      • “no one thought she was in the wrong”…can you please read that post and the comments once more? Almost everyone said she was in the wrong without mincing any words. A lot of the comments were actually very severe on the woman…not a single person (judgmental or non-judgmental) said she was right to be in the affair. This begs the question as to why there was a bad taste in your mouth…Please consult a doctor immediately.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree – the LW seems to be a sensible, mature young man. The only thing I found a bit jarring was this :

      “I would now be very conscious about any of my and my family’s behavior which may tantamount to abuse towards the wife.”

      Not to blame the LW here, but this brings to focus an interesting issue in society : that we need to be told/read about behavior that could be tantamount to abuse, to realize that it is wrong. Where is our inner radar which tells us that some behavior is wrong just because that is not how you treat another person?


  18. It’s nice to hear a man’s point of view. Good luck for finding a suitable life partner, it’s perhaps the scariest and most interesting experience in life….


  19. “It’s at this more subtle level of our Self that we begin to shift from a primary I-ness orientation – I am a separate being – to a primary One-ness orientation. We feel, and understand, on a deep level that there is no real difference or separation from Me and You. We move beyond feelings and concern based on survival and security, and into feelings that encompass and include all – like compassion, love, and joy.”

    Not one Indian liberal can appreciate or understand this. It is life giving, not about bitching, you see.


    • Since you’ve already Realized this Oneness, why label a subset of humanity as ‘liberals’ thus emphasizing separateness, and since we must “move into feelings that encompass and include all”, why not empathize with the LW’s feelings and not call them ‘bitching’?

      It is really hilarious to see words like ‘Oneness’, ‘compassion’, ‘love’, ‘joy’ in the same post along with the word ‘bitching’ thrown in. Oxymoron-ic.


    • I beg to differ. Humans are individuals first. Whether you like it or not, we are separate entities. If I stub my toe, it’s not going to pain for someone else. Without individual needs being met and individual rights being protected, the I-ness will never move to One-ness. If you are so keen on the One-ness, please fight for the individual. The individual will then be able to move beyond feelings based on survival and security.


  20. In a marriage, generally, one person adheres to the societal norms and they (try to) control/dominate the other who doesn’t. I think, the purpose of a marriage in India is to bring order/discipline to the society.

    I think you should watch ‘Gone Girl’, a highly educational movie on how to make a marriage work. Looks like society believes in the same philosophy elsewhere too.


  21. I find this post amusing. There are so many things the person questions, yet do not try to understand it.

    First of all you find their belief in astrology to be amusing. But its their belief. The other person has the right to have their choices as mucoh as you have. You can say no to them and they can say no to you Its same as you saying you believe in God and they saying no to you and mocking your belief in god

    The teetaoler case.. Whats wrong in that. Now she doesnt want somebody who drinks. And whats the problem there

    The first case… Big car vs small car.. That is a lifestyle conflict. Mismatch in Expectation, in the way to live.

    Could we then have fewer women becoming victims of chauvinism and patriarchy in their husband’s family? Could we then have more equal man-woman relationships? Could we then have fewer young people with regrets…

    Chauvinism exists not because of arranged marriage or love marriage.. It exists because of control, because of power issues.. Because we dont give freedom, freedom to live, make mistakes, make choices, walk out, to tell elders they are wrong and so on. Everyone claims love marriages have more support from husband, the problem is we dont expect that support in arranged marriage

    And over the time i have got this feeling.. People start looking for arranged marriage.. They met few people which doesn’t work. They question the whole process. Feel its not a good setup.. Lets go for love marriage, it will solve our all problems

    The fact is in arranged marriage you weed out people pretty quickly. One meeting you reject lot of people. Very few times will you meet again and again.

    Love marriage needs time. Lots of time. And effort. You might give someone years and yet it might not workout. You might like someone but they might not like you.. Its not like that it happens instantly. You will meet the same people when you start dating. Would you not?

    You can chose either way.. Chose your way in either method.. But be prepared to meet cartoons in both, give time and effort in both, and know what you want from the other person. Initially Dont bother so much about what they want from you . Let them make their judgement. Focus on what u want… Once you are more comfortable with that person perhaps then think about what they want


  22. I might as well would have written this post. I agree 100% to each and every point that you have written!! Being a girl, I am going through this process too, and the prospect no 4, example is me, I think. I am independent, but yes, I do give in to the pressure that my family puts on me. It is badly looked upon if a girl beyond the age of 25-27 is single. So I am facing the same dilemma, and it needs a lot of c ourage to break out of your shell and go against the society.

    You have written a wonderful post! Kudos! 🙂


  23. Looks like you have made the decision to go through the ‘falling in love route’.
    Given your point-of-view that ‘parents are the past’, ‘children will fly away’ and this companionship is The thing – it probably would have been the best choice for you first place. Wish you all the best.

    It is quite unnecessary to conclude that the above point-of-view is something all ‘educated’ people should universally subscribe to. And to not conform is somehow upsetting and scoffable. Just like believing horoscopes.

    What the issue was with Prospect 4? That she had the ‘education’ that probably afforded her the ‘independence’ and was still deferring to the ‘past’?

    If I may butt in with some gratuitous advice: a little more ‘each to his own’ would be good– particularly for someone planning to get married 🙂


    • To “Uh oh” as well as the Anonymous commentator above,

      I am the LW here.

      To clarify – I have always been looking for love. Just that now, I am option to change the path from “arranged matrimony” to “dating”. And the change has not been because of any reason other than my own realisation that this game is not for me to play – because it seems too much like a transaction to me. And while I don’t need to defend or justify myself, I do believe that I am quitting not because I don’t have the aptitude, but because I don’t desire to do it that way. As an investment banker, striking transactions is what I do for a living and am considered to be good at it. But a marriage is primarily an emotional decision to me, and I cannot bring myself to be so clinical about it.

      And I have had my past. A failed relationship, post which I decided to look for love via these matrimony portals. I chose not to evaluate people on the basis of parameters which were not under their control – looks, height, horoscope, family. One is born with them – has no choice on these things. What matters to me is what an individual makes out of the things that are under his / her control – nature, attitude, character, personality, career. Being ugly or mangalik or from a less moneyed family isn’t a matter of choice, but being a bad human being certainly is. Sadly, I realized this is not how most people looking to get married through these portals were thinking. Perhaps looking for love on these portals was too naïve of me. But so be it. It is never too late to realize that one was wrong, and bring in a mid-term course correction.

      I should also note that till my previous relationship worked for a long time, it did beautifully despite my or her horoscope / looks / car / house / diet / profession etc. And when it failed it didn’t because of any of those reasons. It failed when at some stage of the relationship, we stopped being there for each other. We stopped being the person whom the other would call first when he/she was happy or sad. Perhaps, the love didn’t die but the relationship did. And we moved on. Sad experience? Indeed. But did it teach me something? Of course – that human beings and their relationships are complex. Despite all my and her best intentions, rough patches are inevitable because individuals change with time. That get into a relationship for the right reasons, nurture it well and regularly, hope for the best and yet accept that destiny will reserve the power to surprise you.

      There was nothing wrong with Prospect 4. Or for that matter any of the prospects. While I didn’t get to know much about most of them because interactions didn’t go beyond the initial vetting that they did on the basis of my horoscope / car / dietary habits etc., I am sure these were perfectly sane, talented women with promising lives ahead of them. I don’t judge any of these prospects. I do believe that not just a potential spouse, but I have no right to judge anybody – for I will never know their full story, their life experiences, their upbringing that have shaped them in a certain way. I mentioned Prospect 4 – only because it was an example of how our conditioning makes us feel “obliged” towards our parents and makes us feel that marrying a person of their choice was one of the ways we could “pay them back” for all the sacrifices / hard times they faced to get us educated and self-sufficient.

      And to each per his own, has been my principle for all things in life. That’s why I am neither bitter, nor frustrated or humiliated with my experiences. But I generally like to observe, think and pen my thoughts down. And so I wrote to IHM only as a matter of observation – that could this “transactional” approach be one of the factors why some marriages were going kaput? You see, a good debate and discussion never hurts any one. It only helps clarify and crystalise one’s thoughts further. And I believe this blog was a good place where this matter could see a sensible, healthy debate, which in my view has already taken place with interesting thoughts from you and other readers.

      Have a good day.


      • LW,

        I hope I didn’t come across as snarky when I wished you the best; I do mean it sincerely.

        I was reacting to the general undercurrent of dismay in observing: educated people believing in horoscopes, adult people letting parents decide for them etc. It seemed a little more than just ” this is not for me” but a bit of a universal judgment. If I’d read that wrong – sorry.

        The mechanics of initiation process of an arranged marriage are inherently transactional in nature. But the word ‘transactional’, is not perjorative. Nor does it preclude gauging the possibility of the development of an emotional connection. The word ‘transactional’ is reductively understood to mean pecuniary – as we see with many comments. Or atleast associated with words like ‘clinical’ – which suggest a lack of possibility of emotions. These present it to be more dichotomous, than is actually the case IMO.

        // Sadly, I realized this is not how most people looking to get married through these portals were thinking//
        // Perhaps looking for love on these portals was too naïve of me. //

        The role of emotions, instinct in decision making has been a subject of much research of late, dethroning the hegemony of logic. There are even evolutionary psychology arguments that urge us to pay heed to what we feel even if we cannot logically resolve it – if something doesn’t “feel” right in a potential match, walk away even if you cannot logically explain it..and so on. Imagine being in the unenviable spot of having to explain to a potential match why you don’t think it would work, when you can’t even articulate it to yourself logically enough.

        But at the same time, you would of course agree that it isn’t going to be an exclusive primacy of either, but a balance to be struck. And to the extent you have concluded that the mechanics of an arranged marriage process – as it stands today – preclude the possibility of assessing and developing an emotional connection – I disagree, while still wishing the best in your choice. I do get you are merely stating your personal choice and not announcing a prescription. Still wanted to record a resistance to potential universalization by those read your letter.

        All that said, I do understand it feels like an odd way to start off on a human connection from a hyper-reductive matrimonial ad blurb 🙂

        //There was nothing wrong with Prospect 4.//

        I am probably more judgmental about the others than you are about 4.
        The others seemed to take matrimonial blurbs too seriously as a definitive, conclusive and sufficient basis for deciding and not as a mere starting point for conversation with another human being/family. That is unfortunate and I am inclined to be ungenerous in judging them for it. Except 4.

        Thanks for elaborating on 4. While you have still stopped short of actually saying that such a filal/filiale sense of emotional obligation is problematic – perhaps because your consider it too obvious to warrant stating – I see what you mean.

        Someone saying she is letting her parents decide is not necessarily saying she will get into something she actively dislikes. It is a way of indicating her attitude – which may be unpalatable/acceptable to the prospect, who is still a stranger. One isn’t to simply take it literally. As you say, people are far more complex than that.

        Let me also clarify what I meant when I said, you would have been better off with this choice earlier. IMO a self-arranged marriage (I’d rather call it something other than ‘love marriage’ which suggests the other is loveless!) works for people with a certain temperament and worldview: for those to whom the marriage is principally about the two individuals and where the concept of emotional obligations to others is viewed as far secondary (if at all admissible!) in the scheme of things and the familial arrangements that are conducive to the same.

        I wish you find someone as considerate and thoughtful as you come across in your writing. All the best.


        • Dear “Uh oh”

          Amazingly put.

          I agree with everything you have said.

          Except perhaps, I still have my reservations on the scope for emotional connect and understanding of each other in the Indian way of arranged marriages – And I must clarify, by scope I only refer to “extent” and not to the “existence”. I only wonder about “how much” and not “whether”. Why do I say so? Because, I believe that in several cases, and this trend seems to be far more pronounced in the smaller towns/cities, the opportunity to interact, meet and explore each other arises only after the match has been agreed. The close interactions between the couple seem to happen not from the position of “Should I marry this person” but from the position of “I will be marrying this person”.

          And I also believe that a large majority of the unions of two young people of opposite sex, irrespective of the means by which or the reasons for which or the timeframe in which the union was forged, would lead to an emotional attachment and a lot of fun in the beginning – knowing and discovering each other, having a good time together, movies, restaurants, drives, making love, holidays – the initial period is almost always good. It is only when the novelty factor has worn out a bit, when the mundane things about living together start occupying a better part of the days, is when the true test of a non-blood relationship comes. And if the reasons underlying the match were not robust to begin with, cracks could emerge.

          Further, I also believe that to have a healthy relationship with a person you have to accept his/her shortcomings. The positive aspects of someone’s personality will always be palatable to anyone and everyone. It is only when we are also okay with the not-so-positive aspects of a person (and all of us have an unpleasant side to our personality), is when we can have a strong bond with him/her. And given how it is only human to put your best foot forward in the first few meetings, the not-so-good parts will become clearer only by spending sufficient time, in different situations with the person. The current set-up doesn’t seem to allow that kind of a freedom.

          If you write at any of the places in the online world, please do pass on the link. It would be interesting to read your thoughts on other topics.

          Thanks for the wishes. And all the best to you too for everything in life.



        • //The current set-up doesn’t seem to allow that kind of a freedom.//

          Well yes, more meetings the better. Surely not saying a one tea-session surrounded by both families is all it should take etc.
          That begs the question, at what stage in a patently platonic process, would the getting-to-know suffice? And yes, it is necessarily a good idea to be guided by emotions also, even if not principally. And yes, it would be great if one isn’t under familial pressure that one can have only so many meetings. Acknowledging all of this as our personal struggles with – and often also for, those who care.

          But, as you put it, finally it is about accepting each other with the shortcomings. How far does one go to understand the ‘shortcomings’ one is signing up for? If one can only truly know the person when one lives with them, is that the distance? Perhaps it is for people who feel so. But it is also about what is the extent of shortcomings one is mentally prepared to contend with anyway – even before we know what they actually are. Well, if we privilege such a thinking then don’t we end up giving too much rope to the unacceptable by making a virtue out of patience more than we should– just so many stories of suffering here. Even in cases where one disagrees with the stances the suffering caused by the disconnect is real.

          There are no binary answers. But thinking in binary we do not fully engage with the questions themselves.

          //pass on the link//
          Thank you. I am not quite a fan of maintaining persistent identities online as I feel they eventually end up inhibiting expression.
          I hope to keep this moniker going for some more discussions here, till it burdens me with considerations of consistency.


  24. A very articulate letter, LW. So many good qualities come through from your letter – intelligence, compassion, the willingness to question and the unwillingness to accept something wrong simply because everyone else is doing it. I sincerely hope that you find someone of equal worth – a woman who is as kind, intelligent, and thoughtful as you are.


  25. I couldn’t agree more! I had an arranged marriage too through the horoscope matching process and it broke due to compatibility issues! I must say I’m fortunate to have parents who stood by and supported me always .. That time it was like all hell broke loose but now when I look back it all seems so funny!


  26. A few days ago my cousin decided to get married to a guy she had met exactly once. He is a doctor and lives in x state. We don’t know anything else about him. Not sure she does either…
    It is such a stupid custom, meet someone once, decide you don’t hate them. Then get married. Sure it worked for many people but we just don’t hear about the ones It didn’t work for.
    On the other hand, people who’ve been in relationships for years, and then tell their parents they want to get married, are still considered to be having an arranged marriage. Perhaps indians just don’t like the word love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indian moral code: Don’t love strange men. But marry one and jump into bed with him. Don’t marry a person whom you love. Better love the one you get married to!

      The very term “Love marriage” seems to imply that the other, more commonly practised kind does not involve any love. Does that not go against the grain of marriage?

      Of course, there are many who go through “assisted” marriages where they do get some time – sufficient or insufficient – to get to know and like the other person. If they fall in love through their interactions before marriage, well and good for them.

      The institution of marriage, as practised in India is a business deal where love may or may not exist. Love it or lump it.


  27. Completely agree with the LW. I have a love marriage , my cousins have love marriage too, but their parents tell everyone that it was arrange marriage….I dont understand why they hide love marriages. And since I dont believe in hiding my love marriages and told almost everyone that I knew the guy before marriage, my parents keep saying to people : she only knew the guy as in she never went around or never went to movies with him….she only talked to that guy on phone..she never spent time with him…how silly is that! Imagine. Sometimes I get furious and ask my mom why she lies to people, whats wrong in love marriages and whats wrong in knowing the guy before marriage…she says ” sab apni betiyon ki love marriage chupa rahe hai toh hum kyun batayen” ( all relatives hide their daughter’s love marriages, then why shouldn’t we hide). Honestly thats sucks. But thats the reality of educated, middle class socities.


  28. Pingback: ‘I feel that arranged marriages are for extroverts, and there is no place for us introverts here.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  29. Pingback: “…it’s better if he is NOT a family guy. Extra points to the one who hates kids.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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