‘I feel that arranged marriages are for extroverts, and there is no place for us introverts here.’

Sharing an email.

Hi IHM!

I am writing to you today, because you have fantastic group of readers who give genuine opinions. I am going through the “meeting the guys” stage in the arranged marriage process. And frankly it has been a very confusing experience for me. I said yes to go via this arranged marriage route, because I work from home, and I really do not have a life where I am meeting new people. So, this seemed like a good idea to meet someone.

First of all, I am an introvert. It takes time for me to open up to people. Even in normal life, if I meet a new person I tend to be very quiet around them, and only when I become used to them slowly I open up. This is more from a social perspective, as in I can talk and be all confident in the work setting. Because I know what I have to talk, how to present, what is the agenda. I even have no qualms about talking on sage with thousands of people, it is only when I am meeting new people on a very social level that I just need time.

I feel that arranged marriages are for extroverts, and there is no place for us introverts here. I cannot bare my soul to every tom, dick and harry I meet, I cannot be all frank and myself with everyone, but it is expected. It is expected I get all chummy with not only the guy, but his family as well, right from the moment I set my eyes on them.

Also, since it is 2015, I thought that arranged marriage is a way to meet people, get to know who they are, how they are, and then over the time if you feel comfortable you get married. Even my parents are comfortable with this. But, now that we are meeting guys, it is very apparent that a girl asking for time is somewhat shocking and really not that common.

I met a guy this Monday, and we went for coffee. Quite frankly it went ok, nothing too great, but then that is obvious, as what does one talk to a total stranger apart from work and general stuff? I just came to know that this person got engaged tuesday evening!

I really do not understand this.

If I were getting engaged on a Tuesday, I would be preparing for the engagement on the preceding day, not meeting other guys!

Now it feels that I am the only one who thinks that marrying the right person is more important than marrying at the right time.

It seems like I am stuck in a race, get the first person who seems okish and get married, you can get to know them later.

I am a bit disappointed frankly. I thought we were past this, at least the people of my generation.

So now I am left wondering, is this generation really all that different in their closed mindset about the marriage issue? When will we start valuing the person we get married to, instead of valuing marriage as an institution? Is it even possible to find someone who values me and wants to marry me because he wants to marry me as a person?

Related Posts:

Physical Disability and Arranged Marriages – an email.

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

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

“Is this really it? the only person I’ll ever find? A sweet guy who has no interests?”

Response from Conflicted Banker and when Arranged Marriages are not really ‘arranged’.

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

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

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“Do I read too many books and I am confusing the bookish kind of love with reality?”

What if romance and marriage were seen as options, and self reliance was considered an unavoidable goal – for women too? 

Sharing an email. 

“His mother has been very clear that she wants me to come home soon because she cannot work. I know, I need to do household work, at least not burden them with my responsibility.”

 

The email: 

I need your advice.

I liked someone enough to introduce him to my parents, so I did, our parents met and decided last year that we would get married this year.

In the beginning guy’s parents told me they do not need anything and they would be really happy even if it is a simple marriage and I was more than happy about it. However, as this year came by and our parents met again, they had apparently changed their mind about it, and I was fine with it.

However, they said that they would be bringing 200 people whereas my father had requested them to bring 100 people or so, so that the marriage could be organised in an upscale venue. They remained adamant about it and finally my parents gave in and said it is okay  if baraat is between 100-150.

Before this I had tried in vain to convince my bf about our limitations but he did not seem to consider and thinking it is not a big deal I did not think much into it.

I thought it was all fine now, but the date which was fixed after consulting the pandit needed to be reshuffled again as pandit had made a mistake and said that this date was not suitable. He gave two other dates, we all thought it will be fine, but his parents again became adamant that they did not want those dates and said that the wedding needed to be postponed for next year. And IHM, I had already booked the venue by paying the advance since I wanted to help my parents by bearing the cost of the wedding. Since my salary is not much, I had to save for 5 months to pay the advance.

Again my bf did not say anything I understand that he must have pressure from his parents, but should he not consider my family at one point? I understand they must give a lot of importance to traditions and ceremonies, and I was ready to do it happily too. Is it too much of inconvenience to shift the wedding 7 days back? I understand it could be their limitation, so I asked my father to let it be and give them time and shift it.

But right now, I have serious doubts. Marriage is about supporting each other. On one side I feel that bf is not supporting me, on the other I feel even more scared as to how will I be treated by his parents. His mother has been very clear that she wants me to come home soon because she cannot work. I know, I need to do household work, at least not burden them with my responsibility. I feel caught up between so many things. My heart says, yes he is a nice person, but at the same time I don’t feel loved the way I wish to be. Do I read too many books and I am confusing the bookish kind of love with reality?

I am very confused.

Related Posts:

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Indian Shaadi Logic – by Prateek Shah

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

She doesn’t feel any attraction or liking or even friendliness for the guy. No ‘Connection’.

The danger signs and what’s non negotiable.

What would you not change for love?

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

An email: “When I met my husband, the first impression I had was that he was a male-chauvinist”

An email: I was a person who thought Indian husbands will (and can) dominate their wives and there is nothing unnatural in that.

How many women would dare to say this?

How many women would dare to express their displeasure like this young woman did? Or even think about it? Why or why not?

Not many, I think. Because the idea of a young Indian woman (and that too a Prospective Bride!) forgetting her place and disagreeing (with anybody, but most specially with the Ladke Wale) is more horrifying for most, than the idea of women being seen as objects or appliances (whose sole purpose in life is to Get Married and ensure that the lives of their spouse and his family are made comfortable).

Also, because traditionally the young, specially young women, have less right to respect than everybody else. (Although they are expected to earn, live and die for it)

But I wonder if maybe the Prospective Mother in law and the Prospective Groom (with their sense of entitlement) are victims too. Maybe they have never really wondered if they really want a partner/ family member, or a Devoted Coffee Maker with Dowry, Degrees and a dispensable career, eager to provide them with male heirs?

Do you think the young woman could have handled it any other way? (Here her reaction served the purpose of the commercial ofcourse)

Do you think it is possible to change a system without criticising it and without offending those who directly benefit from the status quo?

Anyway, I liked this ad. Thanks for sharing Sikander.

And here is another one,

Related Posts:

‘I Am Not A Kitchen Appliance’: A 35 Second Advertisement That Debunks ‘Traditional’ Gender Roles

Display of respect to those in power, in Indian culture.

Three blatantly misogynistic TV ads.

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

“If we have people of your ilk in Bharat we do not need external enemies at all!”

‘This ‘I, Me, Myself’ culture that most of you on this forum are propagating itself is hypocrisy.’

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Please watch the movie – would love to hear why you loved it so much too.

Spoiler alert? The biggest spoiler I think is feminists liking the movie 🙂

Can’t quite believe we are seeing Indian movies where women are choosing life and happiness. Queen boldly treads where English Vinglish hesitated, and it is an amazing contrast to DDLJ with it’s glorification of Ek Hindustani ladki ki fragile Izzat.

Couldn’t help compare (and contrast) Rani (Kangana Ranaut) with  Simran (Kajol) in DDLJ. While Simran was hysterical when she thought she had lost ‘ek Hindustani ladki ki izzat‘ – this movie is about Rani learning how biased against her life and happiness is the concept of ek Hindustani ladki ki izzat and everything that it controls – the movie is also about a sanskaari Hindustani ladki recognizing the difference between love and control/abuse.

Also, Queen explains what many Indian women mean when they describe their parents as liberal. Rani’s family was liberal in the sense that they did not put patriarchal values above their love for their child, though they did raise her the way (I suppose) everybody else around them seemed to bring up their daughters. Although her grandmother doesn’t tell her there was more to life than men and marriage, her reactions were not conservative either.

Not too long ago, a story like this could only end with a sympathetic man offering to save the eternally grateful woman by marrying her 😦

Although good Indian girls are allowed unconventional choices if they are seen as sort of ruined, [also seen in Shuddh Desi Romance] it’s impossible to miss :

1. Rani says: ‘What happened to me is the same as XYZ uncle, he did not drink, he did not smoke, but still he got cancer. It would have been better for him if he smoked and drank.’

2. Dawns upon Rani: ‘I obeyed by parents, my teachers, my fiance, his parents… in fact I obeyed everybody I could obey.’

3. When he warns her against Mummyji disapproval, she asks the Mr Shravan Kumar to go tell Mummyji.

No guilt or horror, just the realization that it was okay (or awesome) to have learnt and made some sensible and unconventional choices.

4. Loved the flash backs each time she learns how awesome freedom and self reliance was, like when she dances [Good Indian women don’t dance] and when she drives.

5. Also, loved how, like Highway, this movie too shows that all men are not potential rapists.

6. Was glad that aggression and claims of attempting to protect were not passed off as love.

I agree with freebird,

It feels like our country is actually changing. I wouldn’t have expected a film on this subject to be made from mainstream cinema a few years ago, let alone that it would be handled so well. And the average movie-going audience have loved the film – some indication that our country is finally accepting the idea of true liberation. I loved it from start to finish. I was nervous that the film may show Rani to be apologetic at the end (don’t know if you saw Lajja – where somehow Manisha Koirala ‘forgives’ her husband as an ‘adarsh bharatiya nari’ at the end). Totally loved that Rani is not just unapologetic, she actually never gives any kind of explanation to anyone else (I expected one scene where she ‘convinces’ her parents about the path she chose). You don’t need anyone’s approval for your choices – that’s true ‘liberation’ 🙂

– freebird

Another video:

Related Posts:

Kangana Ranaut’s interview.

Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat.

English Vinglish: When even good Indian women have feelings.

Shuddh Desi Romance : When Getting Married and Staying Married is not an Indian woman’s life purpose.

Eleven reasons why I liked Highway.

Hasee toh Phasee : When a Bollywood hero is an Emotional Dhakkan.

Indian Shaadi Logic – by Prateek Shah

So what does marriage mean to many Indians?

Indian Shaadi Logic by Prateek Shah

1. You are getting old. You should get married.
2. You are going bald/ growing fat/ becoming ugly. You should get married.
3. All your friends are married. You should get married.
4. You are getting bored. You should get married.
5. School done. College done. Job done. What else is to be done? You should get married.
6. Late marriage means late kids. You should get married.
7. But how will younger siblings get married? You should get married. [link]
8. Sharma Uncle, Verma Aunty and all other relatives keep asking all kinds of questions. You should get married.
9. Its our duty and responsibility. You should get married.
10. Its Great Great Grandparents last wish. You should get married.

Related Posts:

An email from An Adult Male of India : “Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to….”

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

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

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

So what does marriage mean to traditional and conservative Indians?

“Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face”

An email: “I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice.”

Sharing an email.
Hello, IHM.
Most of the people who write to you seem to be women, but I hope you will be able to offer some advice to me as well! (I’m male)
Okay, before I begin my story, some background. I am a 29 year old Delhiite, and an investment banker by profession. My family is a large one, and is fairly traditional, but I have spent several years abroad, and for good or worse, do consider myself a bit more liberal than the average Indian. I’ve done reasonably well in my career so far and currently hold what people would call a ‘plush’ job in the NCR.
As you may imagine, as I crossed 25, my family started hankering me (with increasing intensity) to think about marriage. I resisted all attempts for about three years. Last year, though, I finally gave in, and agreed to have a look at some of the eligible ‘matches’ my family had received.
After a couple of unsuccessful ‘dates’ (I’m not sure what I would call them, really), I hit the jackpot. This woman – I’ll call her Tara – was a fellow banker who also lived and worked in the NCR. We spent about five months getting to know each other. I was skeptical at first, but I was eventually bowled over not just by the fact that she was great looking, but also because she was the sort of confident, vivacious, smart and yet kind individual that I always wanted as a life partner. We shared many of the same goals, we shared similar values and we also had similar thoughts on things like religion and parenting. In short, I thought Tara was more or less my best shot at finding ‘the one’, and to the extent that anyone can do so in five months, I think I genuinely fell in love with her. Our parents were quite happy, and we arranged to have a June engagement.
That was the good part. Now comes the dilemma.They say love blinds you to many things. I was blinded too, but as time passed, it became more and more obvious to me that all was not well on her side. It manifested as small things which I initially chalked to the initial awkwardness (but which were more than that in actuality). She would seem extremely stressed, and even resentful at times. Her moods would change suddenly. One moment, we would be talking quite normally, the next, she would simply explode over some triviality (e.g me tipping the waiter too much).

On my first – and only – attempt at any kind of physical contact (just physical, not even sexual), she completely froze, and her body tensed up like a wound spring.

Of course, I immediately let go, and to my surprise, she began crying and left without a word. I did not talk about it later, thinking that it was obviously a sensitive subject, and hoping that she would come round to it when she felt comfortable. She never did.

She completely broke down on several occasions, for no apparent reason whatsoever and did not respond when I asked her what was wrong.
These things started happening with increasing regularity, and before long, I began suspecting that something was very wrong.
It was only in the last couple of weeks that — after much prodding and cajoling — she shared the truth with me. Her story was involved and complicated, but the long and short of it was that she was basically being emotionally blackmailed into this relationship by her own parents, in many ways. For example, her mother suffers from multiple health issues, and the ‘stress’ that Tara caused by not getting married according to her parents’ wishes was supposedly aggravating these issues. She also has a younger brother, who evidently cannot get married until she does. The parents have expressed a wish to see their grandkids before they die, and her father threatened to consume rat poison on at least one occasion.
The pressure was obviously incredible.
Many heart-to-heart discussions followed, but the bottom line which came out was that while she honestly did not want to get married at this point, she did like me, and would thus marry me as a sort of ‘best-compromise-available’ solution, if I was willing (basically a known devil v. the devil unknown scenario).
Faced with this situation, I unequivocally refused. I told her she needed to get out of the trap she was in, live her own life, and find her own speed. I reasoned that I couldn’t marry someone who didn’t want to be married at all, as doing so would make both our lives miserable. I made this argument in many ways, at many times, and told her we could be friends etc.She did not accept this, and told me that I wasn’t doing her any favors but in fact only making things worse, because she’d now have to marry some other guy that her parents chose for her, who might not be very suitable. She told me that I should take some time to think about it.

As you may have guessed, I am now double-guessing myself. I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice. Would we have been better off if I had chosen otherwise? Is she right in saying that I am actually leaving her worse off than before? I have been feeling a little guilty for having been part of this whole blackmail, and not seeing the signs earlier on. There is also a sense of betrayal — this was a woman I loved (I think) and I thought we had something great going on, but in the end, it all turned out to be a charade.
I am conflicted and confused.
Your perspective on this issue would be greatly appreciated. At the very least, it would help me clear my mind on the subject. Hopefully, I will also learn some valuable lessons for the future.
Awaiting your reply.

Conflicted Banker

The danger signs and what’s non negotiable.

A young friend once visited a colleague, and his mother brought her a glass of water. As she thanked and accepted the glass, the young man asked his mother,“You look ill! Where is my sister? Why are you serving water?”  

He didn’t think he could get the water.

Many young Indian men are raised like this. Some notice the hypocrisy and change, some don’t.

Do you think there is some way Indian women can find out, before they marry him, if the man they are about to marry sees them as someone who must be prepared to give up their freedom and happiness to make the husband’s mom, dad, extended family and their neighbours happy?

What would you consider non negotiable?

For example, would it help to see if the young man is able to have any kind of discussions with his parents or if he sees unquestioning obedience as ‘respect’?

Would you worry if a man expects a prospective bride to wear traditional clothing, when he introduces her to his parents? (Would this make it easier for him to tell his traditional parents that she would be deciding what she wears once they are married?)

Got this email,

“After reading the last published comment on your blog …… Why don’t you bring out a set of questions that a prospective bride should ask a prospective bridegroom before tying the knot?”

What do you think? What kind of questions could help?

Related Posts:

The kind of man no woman should marry. What common sense has to offer.

What could have made  a well read newspaper (The New Indian Express, Kochi) publish an article like this (by Dr Titus Sankaramangalam)?

[Link shared by Anil Singhal]

Do you think any woman, who has a real choice, would want to marry a man who could write or approve of this article?

1. Why exactly does the author think, do people get married? It seems for men to have sex and intelligent children.

2. He doesn’t seem to realise that it takes two to make babies. (Very scientific)

3. He claims, “Very old men should marry only very young girls. (Older men even otherwise have a preference for very young girls)… ”

4. He claims the ‘omega three fatty acids on women’s thighs’ creates  intelligent children. He needs to read, ‘Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder?’ [Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder?]

5. He is obsessed with women’s bodies, but he doesn’t seem to have heard of ‘mutual attraction’. He doesn’t seem to be aware that one partner finding the other attractive is not enough.

Let me share some gems.

How to choose a bride? What science has to offer?

First commandment: The girl should have an hour-glass figure.

An hour-glass figure means that your child will also be intelligent because the girl will have enough omega three fatty acids on her thighs for the child’s brain development during pregnancy.

Second commandment:

The girl should be at least three years younger than the  boy.

Older boys should have even younger girls-the age difference should be at least  six years. Very old men should marry only very young girls. (Older men even otherwise have a preference for very young girls. The cut off line should be 25 years…

Third commandment: Go for a girl with only average looks…

Fourth commandment: Look for symmetry…. Large breasts are no good unless they are of the same size and shape…

Sixth commandment: A small chin and nose will add an infantile look and make a girl cute and adorable…

Seventh commandment: Skin and hair. I am not a racist when I say this, but go for a fair girl–a fair smooth skin to be exact. Even among

black tribes who have never seen a white man or woman, the preference for lighter skin exists…

Eighth commandment: The girl should be shorter than you…

Ninth commandment: She should be more intelligent than you…

Tenth commandment: If you want the girl to be pretty, look at her lips from the side…

Aren’t these the kind of men who disapprove of love marriages, coeducational institutions, Valentine’s day celebrations, Pub and Mall Culture, choice-mariages, working women, divorce, inter caste marriages etc – because if young women started choosing their own partners, who would marry them?

Why bother to react to such articles? Because, atleast some people seem impressed:

Fantastic Article! Our predecessors has drafted few rules like the bride to be younger than bridegroom, height etc, now you know it is not myth? no use in firing the author. Though No body will have all the 10, since everybody will not have everything, i still feel that this is true.

Related Posts:

Weird, funny facts about Misogynists.

“Girls, are you taking revenge on us ?”

How Not To Choose A Bride