Sunday, November 18, 2012


As a teenager in an Indian house, there was nothing I rebelled against more than the institution of arranged marriages. We are the children of technology, we have seen it go from nokia 5110 with the antennae to the iphone5, and we have seen technology evolve faster than anyone else. We moved quickly from black and white cable TV to the satellite that showed us everything from friends to how I met your mother. So naturally, we saw the same movies as kids in any other country, we saw love in every (H)bollywood movie as it was no bad thing. And yet everyday at home, there was a struggle to accept that you can be made to spend the rest of your life with someone your parents pick. When I was 16, I wouldn’t even wear something my mom picked, leave alone marry it.

However the amazing thing that growing up does to you is realizing that nearly a billion people couldn’t be wrong if they have regular everyday happy lives like everyone else, even though they married their parents’ choice. Coming from the generation where I would be dead meat if I introduced a guy as my boyfriend to my parents, just for plain audacity, we have come a long way. And I believe in giving credit where it’s due. Our parents have come from backgrounds where if you met the guy even once before you married him, that was more than enough, to accepting even the proposition of courtship is a big deal. So kudos to them to trying to adapt. And here is the kicker, for everyone who is in denial, parents - your kids are out there and they are doing it. They are dating, they are making out, and they are doing things u would have never imagined. Kids - your parents know what you are doing. They are not stupid, u might disagree, but they really know everything you are up to, they know who you are texting under the blanket and what books you’re really reading. Just chill people.

So here is my piece on arrange marriages. 2 words - they work. It’s only logical, if you think about it.
Your parents ALWAYS want the best for you
Your parents love you
Close to no one knows you better than your parents than you, as much as you disagree, it’s true.
They will not ever knowingly put you in a spot where you don’t want to be.
Now that I have established the debate. If you can let your friends set you up because they think they know someone who will be perfect for you then you can trust your parents too.
Convenience. Your parents like him/her, his parents like you, you can stand them too, and he probably has a decent amount of money, because your parents aren’t going to pick a hobo for you to hook up with.

And here's the thing, the days of not seeing the guy before marriage are a thing of the past. The fact that he could turn out to be a creep is a possibility that can be eliminated by a simple thing called the internet. These days, people go through hundreds of photos before they even decide to look at the credentials. Kids have an equal say on what they want and what they don’t. And trust me, they have seen more of the world than you ever will, they have 20 year or so advantage over you, you would think they could judge a person’s character. No?

So my favorite place to eat as chipotle and my favorite thing to get is the burrito bowl coos I can pick and choose and make it exactly the way I want it to taste. Arrange marriages these days are nothing short of that. I’ll give you a list of stuff I want. e.g.: makes more money than me, is between 5'10 - 6'2, aged between 22-27, should be into staying fit, should not be a prick, should know how to party, should read, should be chill, but also intelligent. See so simple. you make your made to order / DIY list and more than likely the person who is picked fulfills at least 90% of your requirements. No one has such good odds when you 'fall in love', falling in love always leaves you in a situation when you have to deal with imperfections. You don't even have to worry about compromise that comes so often with love.  And I am as big of a romantic as the next person. Always dreamt of proposal in the middle of my favorite band concert and all those things that you see in your favorite holiday movie. You want love to happen and everything just falls into place.

Any marriage arrange or love has a success rate of exactly the same - 50/50. No one can say that the guy you have dated for 10 years will not turn out to be a weirdo, or that the guy your parents accidently set you up with is actually the man of your dreams. But it’s a chance as good as any other. Instead of falling in love and then getting married, you marry and then fall in love. And yes, what if you don’t. Well if you don’t then you don’t. People date each other for years and then one morning, they fall right out of love. Happens to everybody.

All I’m saying is, if I’m single at 24 and not remotely interested in anyone, I’m going to call my mom and tell her to start looking. Someone recently told me how love marriage is a hot tea that gets cold over time while an arrange marriage is a cold tea that warms up over time. And I couldn’t agree more.

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