Two things are very important for Indian parents: Deciding what you should study and deciding whom you should marry. Even if the first one goes haywire it’s alright but if the second one is tampered with all hell breaks loose. It is like you are taking away their birth right.You can take any girl home and show it to your parents they just have two things to say: either they are totally against it or they are against it. Well you are lucky if it is the latter because you can slowly change them from there to “I am with OK with whatever” state but if they are totally against it then it is a typical Tamil movie. (any Tamil movie since the 80’s since the stories remain same to a large extent)
The only good thing for guys who did their engineering or guys who are from the southern region of India is very few get lucky to get a girl and even fewer get to take her home to their parents. Rest of us believe in bharatmatrimony. For many people it may sound very ridiculous or they may not be even able to comprehend how arranged marriage is possible. But folks let me tell you it all follows a simple algorithm. If your age is more than 26 or if your FB news feed is full of wedding updates then its time to create a profile on any matrimony sites. So guys go around with their friends who have a DSLR and click for a perfect matrimony pic. Some even take professional help for getting this pic since this very picture will be a deciding factor on who you will live with for the rest of your life. You upload this pic, write how much you are earning, note down a few requirements (some get very specific and funny) from your future husband/wife and you are done.
This is when you will actually realize the generation gap and the difference in what you call as good-looking and what your parents call as good-looking. All the profiles you like will not pass the filter criteria of your parents and all the profiles your parents like you won’t even want to look. Incase there is an intersection between both, the girl will not respond. You try to talk, you try to shout, you try to fight your parents out of their filters,but then you remember it is “Arranged Marriage”. So you sit down and continue to wait for the perfect profile to Show Interest.
After extended subscriptions of the matrimony account and frustration your filters slowly give away. You agree to 1 profile in 10 profiles that your parents send and decide that you should have a chat with the girl. Two awkward things happen here: one you should ask permission from your parents and the girl’s parents before even saying Hi and the next awkward thing is After you say Hi to the girl you don’t know what to speak. Imagine:
Potential Groom : Hey Hi
Potential Bride : Hello
Potential Groom : hmmm….looks around…pause…hmmm
Potential Bride : …not even looking at you…
Potential Groom : Guess we may get married so Whatsup!
Potential Bride : You never know!
The most awkward conversation ever. Some strong-willed and patient people cut through all filters and finally come out of the funnel to have their marriage fixed. Now is the stage where arranged marriage scores over love marriage hands down. The groom and the bride need not worry about any preparations or any convincing or any guest lists. Everything will be taken care. Your only responsibility is to say Yes and tie the knot. Maybe that’s the calm before the storm!
Then all the hoopla and merry-making happens. Almost everyone in town comes to eat briyani, give old cup and saucers as gifts and take a photo with the couple. Though all the guests know that they will never get the photo nor the newly weds will include their picture in the wedding album still taking photo is mandatory. Amidst all this two poor strange souls have to keep smiling at strangers standing next to each other and pose for photos. Now the arranged marriage algorithm is successful and everyone is happy.
The best thing in arranged marriage is the belief of the couple that they were long-lost lovers brought together by destiny. Somehow mysteriously during the entire funneling and decision process this belief develops. So the couple take the entire onus on them to paint the town red. The newly weds follow the bellow set of protocols so religiously that some guys who went against the society and got married to their lovers start feeling jealous/confused.
- Update FB relationship status.
- Do FB check in of every place you go to.
- Click selfies together
- Change FB and Whatsapp DP to couple only or even better your wife pic.
- Attending Birthday parties and wedding functions together.
- Post Thank you messages on FB for the Maggi or curd rice made by their spouse.(along with photos)
- Wish birthday to your spouse on FB when he/she is just lying next to you on the same bed.
- Posting love messages like the best birthday, best new year, best surprise as if so long you never had a life
- Start countdowns,war of gifts and international holidays for every anniversary (hourly, monthly gone are the days of yearly)
- Find a new group of married friends to hang out as couples and asking all other single friends when they are planning to tie the knot. (hidden intentions beware)
After all the art of arranged marriage lies in doing the above set of activities in proper combination and timing to get most likes. Many of us get so busy in making the world believe that we are having the perfect life to an extent that we forget the arranged reality.