“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher” – Socrates
I jumped on the ‘Arranged marriage’ bandwagon at the age of 29. As someone who likes processes, the whole way of how this is set up fascinated me & I swore that I would document it for sure. I have been busy with my other career oriented blogs & I want to return to personal blogging with this. So here it is :)
I will be sharing my experience primarily on :
- Beginning of the search
- The Search
- The Interviews (yikes !)
- Finding the One
- The Marriage
1. Beginning of the search
- On my request, my parents initiated the search by informing relatives about it. Proposals which come through relatives were given prime importance – similar to the employee referral system in companies :P
- After a couple of months, I added my profile to the community matrimonial websites.
- Proposals from our own community were preferred since people belonging to a single community usually have some common backgrounds & its always easier to get recommendations about them from known people.
2. The Search
- It was a long search which went on for more than a year.
- While some girls were too short, others were too tall…some were older while some were too young (some actually enlisted their daughters for arranged marriage at the young age of 20 !)
- There were a few profiles which seemed to be pretty materialistic – specifically asking for grooms with a specific salary range or for grooms likely to go to the US.
- The worst was a girl’s parent who specifically wanted to know how much property was likely to be inherited by me in the future :x
- There were even a few who specifically wanted the groom to be an entrepreneur – quite a novel criteria & something which I appreciated (even if I didn’t fit it) especially since the traditional Indian society doesn’t encourage entrepreneurs due to the risk involved.
- There were even a few rude parents who were quite nasty on the phone – since children tend to learn from their parents, I’d say this was a good enough warning about how their children would be.
- After the initial filtering, a horoscope check was done by an astrologer to confirm that the stars match. This is a traditional activity in Hinduism & there is no going around it. If the stars agree, the profile goes to the next stage – the face to face interview.
3. The Interviews
- Initially the face to face interview made me a bit nervous but I warmed up to it later.
- The prospective bride & groom have to decide on their compatibility with these meetings.
- I had plenty of conversations which focused on day to day life, likes, dislikes, interests, passions, hobbies, goals – all questions which help to form an opinion on the nature of the person.
- Its quite similar to the HR round in the job interview process :P
- At the end of 1 or 2 meetings, I generally got an idea of how compatible the person was to me.
- The decision of aye(yes) or nay(no) was usually taken after consulting with my parents/seniors. If either of us were opposed to it, the answer would be nay.
4. Finding the one
- I got lucky the 7th time. After almost giving up on the concept of arranged marriage, I ran into my would be wife’s profile.
- I found her on a matrimonial site & her family was well vouched for by a common acquaintance of ours. The surprising thing – the stars seemed to agree too (highly rated by the astrologer) :)
- The 2 meetings we had went well too. We had a lot of common interests & that provided to be main reason for both of us to agree to the alliance.
5. The Marriage
- A Hindu marriage is a complex process – plenty of rituals to perform & a lot of tears (mainly due to the smoke :P )
- One ritual had the bride’s brother enact a scene in which he stops me from going to the holy city of Kashi. Not sure why it is still relevant since the days of one becoming a sage by giving up the material world are long gone.
- One more mention-able activity – the photo sessions. So many guests…so many pics…& so much light from the flashing camera :-o
- It was a tiring ordeal but it was worth it. Felt like winning a long marathon.
I believe in destiny. Things really fell into place for me – albeit to the efforts of my family (parents, brother & especially my sis-in-law who practically was the front desk of my ‘bride search’)
Post marriage – my life has been very organized. Its great to have someone to share everything with.
I am not saying that I didn’t enjoy being a bachelor before…just that marriage life is quite neat too :)