” I did it, your brother did it, then why can’t you?”, asked my mother holding up the photo of a prospective groom in her hands. “Come on, look at his face, tell me one thing you don’t like about it? ”
“ Amma, it is not about this guy, I am just studying now, what if I don’t…..? “, I started talking hesitantly, but by that point, she had taken off her headphones and was trying to bring the photo of him so close to the webcam, that all I could see then was his extra red tie!
I tried yelling at the top of my voice to get her attention for a couple of times and then got tired and hung up!
It was a typical Sunday morning Skype conversation with my parents, a conversation that does not move an inch without bumping into the topic of my wedding!
I have seen successful arranged marriages up close, my brother’s for instance, he had talked literally for ten minutes with my now sister in law before saying his capital Y-Yes! I am sure he wasn’t apprehensive, he said it with gleaming eyes and a smile he couldn’t wash off! And my parents, even after thirty-two years of arranged married life they cannot seem to spend even a day apart.
So don’t get me wrong, my disagreement is not towards the concept of arranged marriages, but towards a system that shows utmost hostility to anyone who refuse to follow the set rules of a religious, patriarchal society. A system where it is considered okay to break ties with a child because he/she did not think religion has the power to dictate their love, a system where a girl is asked to give up her studies or career at the glimpse of a rich, qualified husband, where a boy is not given the choice of pursuing his passion because having a ‘steady’ job is prerequisite for boys to enter the wedding market.
I got a call from my best friend this morning.
“What are you doing”, she asked?
“It is 6.30 in the morning, what do you think I am doing?” I replied half asleep!
She was unusually chirpy, “Check your WhatsApp! You are going to love this, she couldn’t stop laughing.”
I hung up and checked my WhatsApp, she had sent me a screenshot of a newspaper column, I zoomed into the picture to read.
Hindu Parents invite proposals for their daughter 26 years, fair, 5 ft 1′, doing Master’s abroad seeks good alliance from well to do and settled boys .
There it was, I described in 20 words or less.
I am here waiting for the love of my life to take a scan through the pages of his Sunday newspaper, and get swept off his feet.
The above text is an excerpt from one of my older journal entries. In India, along with the Sunday newspaper, there is a supplement sheet where you can give matrimonial advertisements. Giving a picture below so you can get the gist.