(Note: I am not against arranged marriage. Many of my friends and relatives are happy after getting hooked in an arranged manner. It’s just that I can’t help looking at the funnier side of the whole process of an arranged marriage. So, just sharing my thoughts here and hoping this would be looked upon as ‘just for laughs’ kind of piece.)
The whole idea of an arranged marriage confuses me. I find it weird how people try to ‘fix’ a marriage between two ‘total strangers’, against the forces of nature. And I can’t help but compare the whole procedure – of a girl’s family meeting a boy’s family – with shopping. Yes, you read it right!
Before starting their search for a suitable match, the boy and the girl prepare their list of likes and dislikes in their future partner. Just like the way we think before shopping as to which brand of jeans, colour for the top, type of footwear, etc we would like.
But the real shopping fun begins when the girl and the boy’s family meet each other. The party which starts asking questions first is the buyer while the other is the seller. For example, the boy’s family will start listing all good qualities of the boy just like a salesman trying to portray his product in a must-buy manner. On the other hand, the girl’s family will try to figure out the percent of truth in their claims, just like the buyers do to make sure the salesman isn’t lying.
After the first round, the tables are turned. Buyers become sellers and vice-versa. Now, the girl’s family will start proving how perfect to-be bahu she is while the boy’s family will do some brain-work in guessing the percent authenticity in their claims. Most importantly, both of them (girl and boy) will check whether the list of qualities in the opposite person matches with the shopping list they prepared.
If both parties are satisfied, they go ahead with the marriage. In my words – the deal is finalized with both parties benefiting as buyers as well as a sellers. In this way, a total stranger becomes the most important person of your life after just few meetings. Wow!
But wait a minute! Where the heck does love figure in this since it is the most important ingredient for marriage? Oh forget it! As long as the girl’s family can say, “Humare sar ka boj hat gaya!” and the boy’s family can proudly declare, “Humare ghar me oonche khandan ki bahu aa gayi,” nothing else matters! Not even love!