The last two years have been very trying for my mother. Try as she might she has been unable to find a mate for me. If you say the fact that she’s doing the finding for me has something to do with it, only goes to show you’re not an Indian. Over here in this part of the world, it is the duty of the parents (and they like it too!) to get their children down the wedding aisle. Why any sane person would want another person’s life on his/her head I won’t get into right now, suffice it to say that’s just the way it is.
Seeing as how I’m the oldest of all my cousins, my wedding is to be the guinea pig. The knowledge gained by my parents through the mistakes they make with me will be used to fine tune the efforts next time round (particularly for my sister and generally for the rest). While the long awaited wedding hasn't materialized yet, mainly due to the lack of groom, I've seen many many /*makes me want to tear my hair out/* things that go on behind the scenes to pull off that great 2-day tamasha we like to call a wedding.
The biggest part of which is of course actually finding said groom/bride. I hereby present The How-To Guide to finding a groom.
*Note: I’m sure it’s similar (but not same) for brides too. Unfortunately I don’t have direct observations so I’ll keep it confined to the grooms.
How To Find A Groom:
- Advertise on matrimonial websites. Free
What are matrimonial websites? Just think of them as online dating sites but for the parents of the guy n gal.
- Advertise to relatives. Free
Classic WOM. In a country of a billion people who love to talk, there isn't a faster way to get the word out that you’re looking to get your daughter married. Usually greeted by a chorus of “Well it’s about time!”, even though you just graduated last week.
- Advertise with brokers. Nominal fee
Yes, there actually are people who act as middle men between the two sides. So if it wasn't already rankling that your parents are trying to find you a man, complete strangers also get into the act and will make portentous pronouncements regarding all the things you've to change if you ever hope to get married. Still thinking you can find a guy who understands you and has similar interests? Not on my watch, says the broker.
This stage is usually marked by bright hopes in the eyes of the parents. They sit down and draw up pros/cons list of the grooms & skip over several candidates who differ even by a millimeter from their high standards. These standards include the holy trinity of looks, money and education (oft mistaken as a sign of intelligence).
- Relax your standards
Once the initial euphoria has worn off and still you remain unmarried, doubts start to creep in. The once high standards start to slip a bit and your parents agree to meet grooms who are not so ‘worthy’ in their opinion. That obese guy you passed over becomes only ‘slightly overweight’ or the ever hilarious ‘healthy’, while the guy who can’t even spell properly on his profile becomes ‘poor boy, he must be so busy making dollars’!
- Throw money to make the problem go away
The matrimonial websites we talked about earlier? They all offer some sort of elite package, where you pay more to have your profile show up higher in search results or displayed prominently. This is not SEO but BPO – Bride Profile Optimization!
- Pray to the Planets
If you’re still unmarried after stage II, then turn to supernatural culprits. When all else fails, blame it on God or his agents in this case. Convinced that the planets have conspired to delay their precious darling’s wedding, your parents now arrange for a series of pujas to propitiate the navagrahas. As everyone knows, your horoscope is drawn up based on the position of the planets at the time of your birth and they’re the ones who influence when and what happens in your life (free will be damned!).
As per rules, your future is fixed. What then are these pujas supposed to accomplish? “Why you silly girl,” say your parents, “We are just asking them politely to stop their bullshitting in return for the fruits and sweets we’re offering at the puja!” I never could understand what exactly the planets are meant to do here. I mean should they change their orbit/position/speed of rotation to accommodate you?
The best explanation as given by my sister – Every rule has a loophole. This is Astrology's! /*Thanks sis/*
If even after all this you still haven't passed Go and collected your $200, I’m guessing its about time you introduced your parents to that guy you've been secretly in love with and who was ‘just like my brother’ the last time you were questioned on that subject!
P.S: Bonus points for those who guess what dungeons & dragons refer to!