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Category: Marriage

Matrimony sites in India
December 28th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Express interest in matrimony sites

Wondering how to express Interest in a matrimony site?

If you are sweating buckets wondering how to express interest in a girl or boy you may come across in a matrimony site, welcome the club of nervous Indians!

Approaching a girl in a matrimony site or expressing interest for marriage can be a nerve-wracking experience for some of us. There are three simple reasons:

1. Indian men and women don’t have any experience in openly mingling with the other sex in search of love. That’s one of the reasons why dating is still an emerging concept in India and arranged marriages continue to be popular among the masses.2. Approaching a girl or a boy requires confidence, experience, and cultural acceptance. Cultural acceptance is out of the question in most strata of the Indian society and in all other cases, confidence and experience may be lacking!

3. All along your parents made sure you never set your eyes on a girl or a boy. One fine day, when you have reached the mythical “marriageable age”, they want you to jump headlong into matrimony sites and find yourself a bride!

Matrimony sites have made it easy!

We reviewed some of the popular matrimony sites in India and discovered something very surprising! It’s actually very easy to express interest. Here is you send interest in Bharat Matrimony.

STEP 1: Look for the YES button and click on it.

Express interest in matrimony sites

STEP 2: You get a confirmation message that your express interest message has gone through. It’s almost as easy as swiping right on Tinder!

Express interest in matrimony sites

If expressing interest with someone you find on matrimony sites is so easy, what makes it so difficult?

The answer is simple.

Once you are done expressing interest by clicking on a button, the next step might actually involve sending a message or exchanging several messages before getting on the phone to talk!

Sending messages or talking on to someone who you think might be a good match for marriage can be awkward.

We put together 17 different ways to a matrimonial proposal message or express interest in matrimony sites. You could use this to send the message or have a phone chat with a prospective match for the first time.

Express Interest – Formal

Express interest in matrimonial sites

Here are a few examples of formal messages to express interest. These examples were written from the perspective of a man expressing interest in the profile of a woman found in a matrimony site.

Boy writing to a girl

1. Hello Ranjana, I stumbled on your matrimonial profile and I believe your profile might be suitable for me. I am a 30-year-old software professional based out of New Delhi and I signed up with Shadi only a few weeks ago. I really liked the fact that you believe in traditional Indian values and yet don’t mind embracing a modern lifestyle. Please review my profile and let me know if you are interested.

2. I am a 28-year-old Mechanical Engineer. I am based out of Chennai and come from an upper middle-class family. I am looking for a smart, career oriented woman with a good family background. I find that your profile meets my expectations and will be delighted if you can review my profile and get back to me with a response.

3. Vanitha, I reviewed your profile and wanted to set up a time to talk to you if you believe my profile is suitable for me. My father had created my profile last year and I will be happy to provide more information or answer any questions you may have before we move to the next step. Best Regards, Ravi.

Gender neutral express interest sample

4. I reviewed your profile and I think we might have a lot of compatible expectations. Please review my profile and let me know if you believe it would be worthwhile to have a phone conversation. I am based out of New York and I am usually available to talk during your mornings after 7 am. Look forward to hearing from you.

Do you want to create a compelling biodata for marriage? Read our in-depth guides on creating a biodata for marriage. Click here to download the guides.

Express Interest – Casual

Express interest in matrimony sites

Girl writing to a boy

5. Hey Raman, Good morning! I found your profile to be interesting and I would love to have a phone conversation with you. I am a down to earth person, professionally successful, well-educated woman, living in New Delhi. I am looking for someone with your background and look forward to talking to you. Drop me a line if you are interested.

6. Hi Vinod, I must admit, I was surprised to see your profile. In a sea of profiles created by parents, your profile stands out for sure. I am also one of the few people who believe in taking charge of the bridegroom hunt and not just be a passive participant. I am suspecting our thinking probably aligns well and I will be happy to talk to you to explore further. Ping me if you are interested.

7. Srinivas, It appears we seem to have over 95% match in terms of preferences and your photo keeps popping up every time I log into Bharatmatrimony! So I thought why not find out more about you and hence this message. Please take a loot at my profile and send me a note if you would like to talk further.

Boy writing to a girl

8. Hi Elizabeth, I checked out your profile and I am thoroughly impressed with your background. I am a born again Christian and also belong to the Catholic church. I am based out of Cochin and I am working as a Senior Manager at the Cochin Shipyard. I love playing the guitar and share the same love for gospel music you have listed in your interests. Do send me a note. God bless.

Express Interest – Humorous

How to say no to an arranged marriage proposal

When you express interest in matrimony sites, you don’t have to always be formal or serious. Especially, if you are writing to someone who has an informal profile description and has created the profile himself or herself, a humorous message will definitely get you a response.

Girl writing to a boy

9. Hi Rajesh, I am not sure if you have noticed, sending messages to random people on matrimony sites is more exciting than playing Russian roulette! I think I am feeling lucky when sending this message. Do write to me if you believe we are made for each other by just looking at my profile!

Gender neutral express interest sample

10. Signing up for a matrimony site was the last thing I hoped to do in my life. But the saleswoman from Jeevansathi was persuasive! Here I am writing to you wondering if I was actually taken for a ride with the 3-month e-value plan. But who knows what destiny is in store for us and I will be delighted to hear from you!

Boy writing to a girl

11. Hi there Sunitha, What’s it like in New Delhi? I am a thousand miles away, but your profile photo looks so pretty! I hope you find me handsome too and read about me and my illustrious family. I believe there is nothing that can stop you from writing back to me and look forward to hearing from you with hope. Of course, there could be just one villain in our story and that’s the horoscope!

12. Hello Taru, My parents always wanted me to marry someone who is conservative, religious, and willing to stay at home after marriage to take care of them! Being a dutiful son, I chose to ignore everything they asked me to do and I am writing to you. I love the fact that you have a modern outlook on life and focussed on your professional career. If you think I can make your shortlist, we will deal with my parents later! I was just kidding about my parents. Please write to me after reviewing my profile.

We created sample profile descriptions for modern Indians. Read these samples to improve your own profile! Click here to read the samples.

Express Interest to Parents or Siblings

Credit: India Picture / Shutterstock

As most matrimony profiles in traditional matrimony sites are written by a parent or a sibling, here are some sample messages that might be useful for a parent or a sibling using a matrimony site.

By Parent to another parent

13. Dear Madam, I reviewed the profile of your son and I believe he might be a good match for my daughter. She is 28 years old and working as a Manager in an MNC in Chandigarh. She is thoughtful, cultured and an affectionate person. I am a senior manager at ICICI and my wife is a homemaker. We have an older daughter who is married and settled in the US. Please review our daughter’s profile and do get back to me.

By sibling to a parent

14. Dear Madam, I came across the profile of your daughter. We are looking for an alliance for my brother who is a 30-year-old investment banker in Mumbai. He is well settled, comes from a cultured family, teetotaler and a straight forward person. I am his elder sister and I currently live in Mumbai with my husband and daughter. Can you please look up his profile and let me know if we can exchange horoscope for further matching? Regards, Sunitha.

By sibling to another sibling

15. Hello! Can you please review the profile of my brother and let me know if you will be interested in talking to us? I am the elder sister of Arun Kumar who is currently working as a consultant with KPMG in San Francisco. He is has a Master’s Degree from the University of Austin Texas and has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from IIT Mumbai. He is an extrovert, has a modern outlook to life, and yet values culture and traditions. I will be happy to share additional details if you are interested in his profile for your sister.

By parent to sibling

16. I reviewed the profile of your sister and wanted to find out if it is possible to talk to you. Please review my son’s profile and let me know your interest. We come from a conservative Ansari Sunni Muslim family from Allahabad. My son is well settled and employed in the UP State Government as an officer. He is religious and lives by the five tenets of Islam. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Expressing interest in modern matchmaking sites

Dating sites in India

If you have signed up for any of the contemporary matchmaking sites and you believe in one on one interaction (or a date) before bringing the parents into the equation, expressing interest for marriage might call for a slightly different approach. Here is an example.

17. I reviewed your profile and thrilled to learn that you are a Carnatic music aficionado. I am a huge fan of TM Krishna as well! I am sure you already know he is singing at the Music Academy next week and I happen to have an extra ticket. I hope you will join me on a musical date of sorts! To be frank with you, I really love your smile and liked that way you express yourself. I am pretty sure we will hit it off very well. If you would like, I will be happy to talk to you on the phone first before going on a date. Hope to hear from you soon!

Tips to review before you express interest through matrimony sites!

1. Please review the profile of the person carefully before expressing interest. Don’t “carpet bomb” with the hope of finding someone by chance.

2. The advantage of reviewing a profile carefully is that you can identify common areas of interest that you can call them out in the introductory message.

3. Try matching the tone and style of the profile description. If you find that the profile was created by the person interested in marriage and has well-crafted information about the person’s personality, interests and lifestyle, you can conclude that sending a stereotyped one line message or a grammatically incorrect messages (“Hey, let’s do friendship on Facebook”, “I am interested. Please tell me when I meet you.“) won’t get you anywhere.

4. Make sure you know who you are responding to. A majority of the profiles on matrimony sites are created by parents and siblings. Don’t send a flirtatious or humorous message to a parent!

5. If the profile is too good to be true, investigate the person further before disclosing personal information.

6. If you get a negative response to your proposal to talk or meet, just move on to the next person. Don’t take it seriously or ask for an explanation!

7. Learn from messages that people send you! Think about why you responded to a message on a matrimony site and what was the impression you had after reading a message. Use these experiences to your advantage when it is your turn to write.


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Posted in Marriage, Matrimony Sites Tagged with: ,

Break up after engagement
November 10th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Break up after engaement

Break up after engagement happens!

The real question that we should all be asking ourselves is “Are we ready to face a break up after engagement?

According to Huffington Post, our brains reacts to a break up that same way it reacts to a drug withdrawal! We know that’s not a pretty experience for anyone.

In India, where arranged marriages are prevalent, a break up after the engagement is not just about dealing with our personal disappointment and dreams turning into a nightmare, it is also a loss of face for the entire family!

If you are keen on reading engagement break up stories, you will find people sharing their failed engagement stories on Quora.

The only advantage that Indians have when they go through arranged marriage is that engaged couples are usually not in love before the marriage and that makes breaking up a little less emotional for the parties involved.

If you are planning to end your engagement or if you ever face this situation in the future, we have lined up 15 important things you should do in order to handle your break up after engagement. After all, every failed engagement should be seen as a temporary setback and not the end of the world.

15 things to do to manage a breakup like a boss! 

Here is our comprehensive list of things you should consider doing once you choose to break off your engagement. We have included all the cold, calculated things you should do along with softer things that will help you cope with the breakup after engagement.

1. Communicate your decision to the other party

Break up after engagement

Once you decide to break up the engagement, make sure you communicate your decision to your fiance / fiancee and his / her family directly. Don’t leave hints and hope that they will get your message! If you are going through an arranged marriage, the communication can be handled by your parents.

Not taking calls, not showing up at a place when you have already made plans to meet, or radio silence of any sort doesn’t help your cause.

Be up front about why you want to break off the engagement and you are NOT obligated to let them down gently.

2. Seek the support of close family members

Break up after engagement

Thankfully, family members are a key part of arranged marriages and even love marriages (eventually). Unlike the western world, you may not be left to suffer the pain of going through a break up after engagement all alone.

In arranged marriages, breaking up after the engagement is a family decision and their support on this matter is granted once the decision is made.

It is important to seek the support of family members other than your parents or siblings who might be emotionally upset about the turn of events and may not be able to think clearly.

3. Be ready to report it to authorities

Break up after engagement

Depending on the reason for your decision to break up after the engagement, you should keep your mind about reporting the other party to law enforcement.

Especially in India, cases of dowry harassment or mistreatment of women by the fiance is not uncommon. In some instances, you may discover that your fiance is already married or has other illicit relationships.

In all such cases, you are better off reporting the incident to law enforcement. Don’t let pleading or appeals for mercy deter you from reporting it.

If you have had a sexual relationship after your engagement, there is a distinct possibility of the girl’s family filing rape charges.

4. Communicate your decision to friends and family

Break up after engagementOnce you have communicated your decision to your fiance / fiancee, it is important to make sure all your family members and friends are intimated about your decision to break the relationship.

This will help avoid embarrassing situations for you. You certainly don’t want a relative or friend to congratulate you publicly on your engagement (that you secretly terminated) or ask you about the wedding date!

People are curious by nature and anyone hearing about your break up will want to understand what really happened. Be ready with a consistent answer. Decide to what extent you will reveal the gory details and just stick to the same story once you have made up your mind.

5. Erase all traces of the relationship

Break up after engagement

Every one of us has a different way to cope with a break-up.

If you are going through an arranged marriage and you are forced to end the engagement, the best strategy to move on is to destroy all traces of the engagement. In arranged marriages, engagement ceremonies are elaborate and family / friends are all invited. These ceremonies are recorded by multiple photographers and videographers in some cases. Make sure all copies are accounted for and destroyed.

If you are breaking off an engagement with someone you loved, you may find it difficult to erase anything and everything that will remind you of your failed relationship. Some people end up holding on to a few items as a memento or keep the items in a boxed up, never to be opened.

Our recommendation is to take a clean break and erase everything that reminds them of the relationship.

Don’t forget to unfollow / unfriend your ex-fiance / fiancee from all social media accounts and block their emails as well. You can change your phone number as well just to be on the safe side.


Read our interesting blog post on the Magic and the Agony of Finding Love Online. Click here to read more.

6. Return gifts exchanged before the breakup

Break up after engagement

Elaborate engagement ceremonies in India always include a bevy of expensive gift items exchanged between the newly engaged couple and their families.

The best approach to deal with these gifts is to catalog the gift items you may have received and the gift items you may have given out in order to arrange an exchange with the other family.

Make sure there is a written evidence about the returned gifts in order to avoid future claims.

7.  Make sure you cancel all wedding arrangements

Break up after engagement

When you end your engagement, it’s not a pleasant affair. It is natural to find yourself consumed by anger, grief, sadness and hopelessness about your situation. While all this drama is unfolding, you will probably lose sight of arrangements you or family might have made for the wedding.

These arrangements include marriage hall, caterer bookings, photographer, wedding invitation printer and in some cases travel books for you and your relatives. Make sure you cancel all these arrangements as soon as the decision to end the relationship is taken.

Document the financial loss you will incur when you cancel the wedding preparation and negotiate with the other party to make sure they assume equal responsibility for the monetary loss.

Even the Supreme Court of India supports the idea of reimbursing / sharing expenses if the engagement is broken off!

8. Handling the break up in a foreign country

Break up after engagement

If you are engaged to an NRI and you are living with him / her in a foreign country, things can get tricky if you choose to end the engagement while you are with your fiance.

The key to managing such situations is to make sure you are always in possession of your passport and some emergency funds that you can access if required.

You should also share your whereabouts with your family members. Ideally, if you have friends and family members in the country you are visiting, you should know how to reach them in an emergency. Being aware of how to contact emergency responders or local law enforcement in the country you are visiting is a must.

Did you know? The K-1 visa allows you to visit your fiance in the US.

9. Learn how to deal with rumors and gossip mongers

Break up after engagement

When you go through a break up after engagement, you are likely to become a victim of baseless rumors and gossip. Considering the fact that your engagement was well publicized, people will start assuming things or spread their own version of the events that lead to your break up.

The key to successfully dealing with rumors about your failed engagement is to stick to one version of the story and remain consistent with it.

Keep yourself busy and remember that there is no need to explain or clarify your situation to anyone other than your immediate family members. Rumors have a short lifespan if you choose not to respond to every rumor or becoming too defensive.


Are you being forced into a marriage you don’t want? Read our comprehensive article on how to say no to an arranged marriage. Click here to read more.

10. Breaking with one you love

Break up after engagement

Breaking up after engagement becomes a difficult and tricky affair if you were in love with the person you were engaged to.

Here is an extract from a scientific study that proves that break up with someone you were in love with is physically tough on you.

Neuroscientist Dr. Lucy Brown conducted an experiment in 2010, in which her team looked at the brains of the recently jilted with the help of an MRI machine. Participants were shown photos of both a platonic pal and a recent ex, and the brains’ responses to each photo were then compared.

Brown found that a photo of an ex activated the same brain regions that are stimulated when someone’s going through cocaine withdrawal.

The best way to handle such situations would be to stop looking for answers and run a personal inquisition to find a reason for what happened! You will be better off believing that it was not meant to be and move on with your life.

Also, remove every possibility of bumping into your ex as you go about your day to day life. Having a supportive family and good set of friends will be helpful as you grieve the loss and attempt to come out of it.

11. Don’t blame yourself

Break up after engagement

When people break up, they tend to introspect and invariably start doubting if they have an inherent flaw that led to the breakup. Remember that every relationship involves two people and for it to work, the two of you have to demonstrate compatibility. A broken relationship has many reasons and you cannot confuse incompatibility with your personal flaws.

Blaming yourself for a break up after engagement can have negative consequences for you. You may end up suppressing your opinion or ignoring bad behavior of your future partner just to avoid going through another breakup!

12. Take care of yourself

Break up after engagementIn the land of Devdas, we are used to seeing jilted lovers and people with failed relationships go into a tailspin by getting drunk, and acquiring a taste for other bad habits.

While it is OK to grieve the loss of a relationship and feeling bad when dealing with the “shame” of a failed engagement, you will be better off if you make a conscious attempt at taking care of yourself even after you break up after engagement.

Going out with friends, going on a holiday, working out, getting a manicure and pedicure, eating out, shopping, are some of the things that you should consider doing to regain your mojo.

13. Handle common friends with care

Break up after engagement

When you break up after engagement with someone you share friends with, you need to have a clear strategy to handle such friendships after the breakup.

First of all, if you force them to choose sides, you may end up losing their friendship forever. Remember this before putting a gun on their head! Be ready to deal with a double whammy of a broken engagement and lost friends in such a scenario.

Avoid trash talking to your common friends if you plan on venting with them! Try not to put down your ex-fiance when you are talking with common friends after the breakup.

Make sure your common friends know your boundaries as far as talking about your ex-fiance in the future. Communicate your expectations clearly and don’t be caught off guard later on.

14. Take a break from relationships

Break up after engagement

When you are injured, you take a break from your routine to rest and recuperate. The same principle applies to broken relationships.

If you believe your break up after engagement has taken an emotional toll on you, it is OK to stay off matrimony sites or dating sites for some time. Let your family and friends know that you are not ready to be “set up” again till you are ready.

Don’t let your zealous family members to pressurize you into saying yes to another match if you believe you are not yet ready to go through with it.

15. Learn from mistakes

Break up after engagement

Every failed relationship or a breakup after the engagement is a blessing in disguise. They give you an opportunity to identify some mistakes you may have made and correct them.

Some of the mistakes people make when they decide to get engaged include – Placing too much emphasis on the wedding ceremony and parties and ignoring the person; Ignoring red flags such as drinking habits or behavioral issues for the sake of keeping up appearances or family honor; Saying yes to someone just because your friends are married or engaged.

A break up after engagement gives you the luxury of avoiding the missteps you made the first time and keeping your eyes open when you walk into a relationship.


Create your Jodi Logik biodata now.

You will need it to find your soulmate!

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Posted in Marriage, Relationship Tagged with: , , ,

Arranged marriage proposal
October 11th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy

How to say no to an arranged marriage proposal

Fending off an arranged marriage proposal

What’s common between an arranged marriage proposal and a tiger in the jungle? They both have a way of sneaking in on you!

It is common knowledge that arranged marriages are primarily driven by the parents, uncles, and aunts. They hold the responsibility of making sure prospective matches are lined up when they believe it’s the right time for you to “settle down”.

This results in awkward arranged marriage first meetings. There are numerous anecdotes and stories of how an arranged marriage proposal turns into surreal experiences for the boy or the girl.

Find out what happened to this woman came face to face with her prospective husband and in-laws. Click here to read the story.

Obviously, the best way to tackle an unwanted arranged marriage proposal would be to just say no and get on with your life!

However, how you say no to an arranged marriage proposal depends on the situation and the context.

When you ignore how others perceive your negative response and the context, you will invariably create a bad name for yourself and arranged marriages in general!

One of the reasons arranged marriages have a bad name or people assume it’s outdated is that people say no to arranged marriage proposals for the weirdest reasons!

Here are some real-life incidents – The father-in-law expected to be served tea and poha instead of samosa and sherbet, the girl did not like a birthmark on the prospective groom’s neck and for having graduated with the “wrong” degree. The list is endless and you can read all the gory details here.

But not everyone says no to arranged marriage proposals for the wrong reasons.

saying no to arranged marriage proposals

Some people reject arranged marriages for the right reasons. Image Credits – Karishma Walia.

Recently a young girl in Bangalore rejected a prospective match because he did not like her pet dog. That’s not all. Her encounter made her realize who will call the shots after marriage. You will find the details here.

Let’s face it, if you receive arranged marriage proposals, you may not like all of them or most of them! That’s the law of nature! We have put together 7 practical ways to say no to an arranged marriage proposal.

1. Tell them you are not ready!

Unsolicited arranged marriage proposals usually come in from distant relatives and from the family-friends network. Women are often pressurized by overzealous family members to get married. Overzealous relatives try every trick in the book to set you up. The seemingly random meeting with an eligible bachelor or his mom then quickly becomes obvious going by the line of questions you may have to field.

It is important not to cave into such pressures and here are some elegant ways you can say no to such arranged marriage proposals.

When you are talking directly to a boy or a girl, consider using these responses.

“I believe I need more time to establish myself in my career. Marriage is certainly not in the cards.” or “I think I am still too young to get married and I have not yet thought about settling down.”

When you are dealing with parents or relatives of a prospective match, you could say something like

“I am flattered that you would consider me worthy of your son / daughter. However, I want to focus on my career / passion now. I hope you will find a suitable match soon.”

While we rake our brains to figure out how to reject a guy in arranged marriage, it is important to set the right expectations with your parents and relatives. Tell them exactly what you think about getting married and don’t try to play the role of an “obedient son or daughter”.

If you are not sure about who you are, your are feeling insecure and don’t know what is important to you, you are not ready for marriage.

2. Saying NO to messages from online matrimony sites

While it may be easy to justify why you said no to an unsolicited arranged marriage proposal, saying no to people who express interest via online matrimony sites should also be handled properly.

Most matrimony sites make it easy to say yes or no when someone expresses interest in your profile. You need to make sure you take the trouble of clicking on a button to let them know if you are not interested. Seems very simple, but you will be surprised to find how many people fail to embrace this basic etiquette.

Saying no to matches on matrimony sites

However, things can get tricky when you initiate a chat, email exchange or an offline conversation with someone you found on a matrimony site only to discover that they may not be a suitable person after all.

Online chat

If you are chatting and you figure out that this may not a suitable match for you, just say,

“I think we may have to stop chatting now. I did enjoy chatting with you but I don’t think we are a good match. Best wishes for your search.”

In response, if the other party agrees and signs off, you can close the case. If the other person starts arguing or feels offended, you can always log out or you can report the person to the site for abuse. Remember, don’t get drawn into an angry exchange ever.

Email

The best way to decline an arranged marriage proposal in an email would be to write something like this:

“Hi <name>, Thank you for sharing your son / daughter’s marriage biodata. After careful consideration, we have decided that this match may not be suitable for us. Our best wishes to your son / daughter and we hope you will find a suitable match soon.”

You can modify this template if you are directly sending a message to the prospective match.

Phone call

If you ever moved from expressing interest online all the way to a phone call with the prospective matches or his / her family, you will have to tactfully end the conversation if they are not suitable for you.

The best strategy to pull this off is to move the conversation from the phone call to an email! It’s better to avoid expressing no in a phone call as you may end up feeling guilty or worry too much about hurt feelings. If you are forced to tell no over a phone call, always tell the truth and end the call quickly.

“I don’t think this is going to work for us. Good luck.” is all you need to say.

If they ask for an explanation, you can use these examples.

“I don’t think there is a personality match”, “We have different expectations”, “Horoscope match is important for us and our astrologer doesn’t think there is a match.”

Always remember that if you come across an abusive individual in an online matrimony site, report the abuse immediately. Take screenshots for evidence.

3. Saying no after arranged marriage first meetings

Arranged marriage first meeting

Rejection hurts more when you know the person and his or her family and have had a chance to interact with them. Saying no after arranged marriage meetings should be done with elegance and due consideration for the other party.

If you would like to find out how not to say no to an arranged marriage proposal, you should read these personal incidents. Click here to read the stories.

Here are some guidelines that will help you politely say no to a marriage proposal after the first meeting:

  • Ask all the right questions during arranged marriage first question. Don’t ask frivolous questions.
  • Don’t let your parents hijack the conversation. Set the ground rules before the meeting with your parents.
  • Understand what the red lines are for you.
  • Don’t communicate your decision at the meeting. Always say, “we will get back to you.”
  • Make sure you communicate the decision with a follow-up call or email. Don’t leave it to your matchmaker or any other third party to explain.

 

We put together all the important questions that will tell you how to judge a boy or girl or what to ask a boy or girl in an arranged marriage first meeting. Click here to read this article.

4. How to say no after a one-on-one meeting?

Let’s assume you have had an arranged marriage first meeting and you have now moved on to a one-on-one date with the prospective match. You may meet him or her a couple of times and then decide that this may not be the right person for you.

The key strategy is here is to figure out if the other person is emotionally invested or not. If you have had several meetings and you know each other fairly well, you got to lay him or her down gently. If it was just a meeting and you are still “strangers”, rely on your family to communicate the bad news.

As always, the best strategy would be to switch your conversation channel to chat or email so that you can keep the communication objective and not let it become emotional.

An email could be sent by your parents to end the contact or if you have some personal rapport with the other party, you can send out a polite email.

“I enjoyed meeting you. However, I think we may not be compatible. I hope you will find the right person.” should do the trick.

There is no need to respond to any follow-up questions from the other party after you send the email. Stay silent and they should get the message.

5. How to say no after the engagement?

Most engaged couples go on to get married, but there are chances that you may want to break off after getting engaged.

While this may not be a pleasant experience, cutting off a potentially bad life-long relationship before marriage is a wise decision. In the Indian context, because marriages are associated with family honor, breaking off the engagement means a loss of face for the family.

Parents fear that their son or daughter will be always tainted by the failed engagement and that they may never find any suitable match. In the unlikely event that you are forced to end an engagement because you discovered a nasty truth about your fiance or his / her family, it’s important to do it swiftly and decisively.

If you have discovered malicious intent, you can follow these guidelines.

  • Break off contact with your fiance and get your parents / close relatives to handle the communication.
  • Make sure all photographs are deleted. If you have already shared your engagement photos via social networks, make sure you delete them.
  • If the other party continues to stalk you, delete your social media accounts and change your phone number.
  • If you have exchanged expensive gifts, it’s better to return them.
  • If things get nasty (your fiance or family threatens you), do not hesitate to report them to the police for harassment.

If you are both reasonable, having a conversation in person is the best way to communicate your decision. When you talk in person, remember to:

  • Be respectful and not use derogatory language.
  • Focus on the big reasons why you think this relationship may not work. Don’t bring up trivial reasons.
  • Give your fiance the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Don’t give your fiance any hope of changing your mind. Let it be known that your decision is final.

 

We put together 9 simple and effective ways to identify red flags in arranged marriages. Read these tips to find out if your prospective match is a fraud!

6. Saying no to forced marriages

FORCED MARRIAGES

Most westerners assume all arranged marriages are forced marriages. While this is not true, forced marriages do happen in India.

In the event, you believe you are being forced into a marriage or know anyone who is in this situation you should act and not watch from the sidelines. You can act by filing a complaint at the police station or reach out to support groups or social service agencies.

Read the story of Rekha Kalindi, an 11-year old girl who fought against her own mother and the society when she took a stance against her forced marriage. This should serve as an inspiration.

For more resources including legal provisions against forced marriages, check out this page from Chayn India.

7. Giving the silent treatment!

Finally, there is one proven approach to say no to an arranged marriage proposal and this is by not responding to the proposal! While staying silent may be considered rude, it is effective in communicating your lack of interest.

Here are some scenarios where giving the silent treatment might work well.

  • Don’t respond to relatives who pressurize you to get married in a social gathering such as a wedding.
  • If you have persistent suitors (either online or offline) who don’t seem to take your no for an answer.
  • If you are asked awkward questions in arranged marriage first meeting, staying silent should get your message across.

 

Silent treatment works well when you believe engaging the other party in a conversation will not end well. When you have the option to say no easily without any emotional attachment, say no and move on.

In summary, saying no to an arranged marriage proposal is your right and you should always have the final say. Choosing the right approach to turn down arranged marriage proposals should help you handle the situation without creating problems for yourself or conveying the wrong impression. Considering the fact that arranged marriages involve your family members as well, being open and honest with them will help avoid situations where you are pressurized into a marriage.


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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Marriage Tagged with:

Long-distance marriage
August 15th, 2016 by Kanakapriya Kalyanasundaram

long-distance marriage

Indians are embracing long-distance marriage! 

These days, the idea of a Long-distance marriage seems to be quite common in India.

However, you will be hard pressed to find your grandparents or ancestors even imagine the idea of living separately after marriage. In the past, Indians were content living either in their place of birth of moving to the nearest town or city to make a livelihood.

In the last several decades, we have seen a huge migration of Indians not only to foreign lands but also to different parts of the country. With such large-scale migration happening, many couples are forced to embrace the idea of a long-distance marriage.

Long-distance marriage in the land of arranged marriages?

It seems strange that in a land where parents make sure you marry someone who is of “acceptable” height, weight, skin color, and family background will willingly agree to a long-distance marriage!

There are plenty of reasons why Indians seem to get into a long-distance marriage irrespective of whether they went through a love marriage or arranged marriage.

1. Economic Reasons: One of the largest contributors to the trend of arranged long-distance marriages is the economic condition of the woman’s family. They end up marrying a blue collar worker who earns a living in the middle-east or in a different corner of India.

We find that women who are married to men working as laborers in the middle-east lead a lonely life in India as their husbands don’t make enough money to allow them to bring their family to the country where they work.

Men who migrate from states like Bihar also face a similar situation as they end up leaving their families behind.

2. Career-Driven Couples: Some arranged marriages end up turning into long-distance marriages when the couple have lucrative careers that keep them away from home for extended periods of time.

We are now seeing couples embracing a long-distance relationship as international job opportunities are available for highly educated Indians.

The popularity of IT industry has contributed to the husband or the wife traveling to customer locations for extended periods of time resulting in long distance marriages.

3. Lack of Social Network: Some NRI couples choose to embrace a long-distance marriage if the wife doesn’t want to continue living in a different country that offers little or no social network.

In some cases, married couples embrace a long-distance marriage for the sake of better education for their children.

Lonely nights for India’s women left behind…

long-distance marriageVia Adam Cohn / Flickr

A recent article published by Reuters focuses on the plight of women left behind in India as their husbands try to make ends meet by working as contract laborers in the Gulf. Here are some excerpts from the story that highlights the problems women face in long-distance marriages.

Bhagyam sits with a faded wedding album and talks about how much she misses her husband, who works as a welder in the Gulf.

Unaware of the recent problem of Indian migrant workers stranded in Saudi Arabia with no wages or food, she said the couple has a home loan to pay off, and she has to assume her husband is fine.

“They went in a group so they must be safe,” the 36-year-old mother of two said slowly. “Even if things are bad there, he won’t tell me. He’ll just say everything is okay and give me details of the money transfer every month.”

Like Bhagyam, in every other house in the fishing hamlet of Sadraskuppam near Kalpakkam town in Tamil Nadu, a wife waits anxiously for a call from the Gulf.

There are more than 100 “women left behind”, as they are known here, living lonely lives in the small hamlet, among an estimated 1 million such wives in Tamil Nadu.

They are often depressed and always worried, found a February 2016 survey commissioned by the state government.

Nearly 70 percent of the women reported feeling anxiety, fear, and loneliness.

Sixty percent considered the additional responsibilities they must bear in the absence of their husbands – such as caring for elderly parents or sorting out financial matters – a big drawback of the migration.

The survey, which covered 20,000 households across 32 districts in the state, flagged health and children’s education as the other main causes of concern.

Men have been migrating to work from Kalpakkam for years. The nuclear power industry operating in this coastal town does not give them jobs, neither do local builders, who prefer the cheaper migrant workforce from northern Indian states.

“We know that life is not always comfortable in the Gulf but we keep going back because we have no choice,” said S. Prabhu, a returnee migrant already looking for another job abroad.

V. Kalaivani, 32, doesn’t follow the news and knows nothing about the crisis hitting Indian workers in the Gulf.

“Over the many years my husband has travelled to Qatar and Saudi to work, I’ve got used to the idea,” said the housewife with two daughters. “I guess we have been lucky so far.”

Bhagyam and Kalaivani don’t remember the names of the companies their husbands work for. They don’t know who interviewed them or how they got to their destination. A copy of their husband’s passport is somewhere in a cupboard, they think.

That is the biggest challenge, said J. Jeyanthi, coordinator of the non-profit Arunodaya Migrant Resource Centre.

“The women are clueless and that often causes anxiety. The families need the money but the women pay a heavy price because they are alone, restricted by unwritten norms which include avoiding social gatherings like weddings.”

Even a small issue like who will drop the children at school if they miss the bus turns into a big deal when husbands are away, Kalaivani told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Most of us have parents and in-laws living a few houses away but it’s not the same,” she said.

Many women say they do not sleep well at night.

“We wait for our husbands to call,” said Bhagyam. The phone usually rings way past midnight, when the men have finished their overtime. “In the day we are busy with housework. But at night, the loneliness is unbearable,” she said.

Three advantages of long-distance marriages!

long-distance marriage

We are a thinking, feeling species, marriages for us are not just about propagating the species. It is also about companionship, support, and sharing the burden. Given the realities of job market these days and the dogged pursuit of fulfilling careers, long-distance marriage has become inevitable.

From Quora to Times of India to Psychology Today everyone is talking about how to make it work. After all, distance doesn’t matter when the connection is strong. Let us make finding the silver lining an imperative.

1. Long-distance marriage gives you the best of both the worlds

Even the most liberated and single by choice amongst the young feel a little frisson of worry when they see their closest friends pairing off. Married and living apart removes that undertone of anxiety, especially for the liberated yet preferring marriage amongst the young. Yet, you get to do everything you prized in your single days. Hanging out with your closest friends’ day and night, pursuing social causes, working on environment projects, etc.

There is always some angularity in every couple, he likes a neat house, she has a laissez-faire attitude to housework, she doesn’t like heavy breakfast, he believes it is the most important and heaviest meal of the day, she wants IPL, he wants Game of Thrones.

Coupledom slowly devolves into a series of compromises. Well, when you live alone, you can do what you want, when you want. don’t have to compromise at all! The short time you do finally see each other, it will be a pleasure to do what the other person likes.

2. Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Living apart uplifts the daily call, the facebook shares, the WhatsApp messages into the plane of exquisite romance. However busy you are, the ping of WhatsApp will make you peek quickly at what your loved one has to share.

If you are living together you might think impatiently, why can’t she wait until I am home, doesn’t she realize how critical this task is? Loving apart erases the mundane from your love life.

You will not be caught up in the flurry of daily activities of cooking, cleaning packing, working, quickly sharing daily highlights, cooking, cleaning sleeping. You will have more time for quiet reflection. This is the time you will think of all the good things you partner has to offer with a bittersweet yearning.

3. Interesting, capable, individuals and a fabulous couple

A common problem, especially with women is the handing off of minor electrical repairs around their house to the spouses.

I used to do all the heavy lifting for my garden, manure procuring, choosing seasonal plants all by myself when I was single. Now, I water sometimes, control pests, weed and collect the harvest. That is it. I doubt if my body remembers what it feels like to haul 50 kg soil up two flight of stairs.

When you are single for all practical purposes the onus of handling everyday burdens, car break down, kitchen flooding, mild sickness, immediate family issues falls on each of you individually. Dealing singlehandedly with the day-to-day crisis is bound to make you stronger both in the domestic domain and in the outside world.

Dealing with a crisis on the in-law side, single-handedly will certainly earn you brownie points from both spouse and the in-laws. A case in point would be a woman dealing with her father-in-law’s stroke while her hubby was abroad.

I think every partnership has the extrovert and the introvert, the diplomatic one and the firebrand.

The introvert gets even more introverted because they can expect their significant other to pick up the ball in every social setting. The firebrand can always expect the diplomatic better-half to soothe hurt feelings.

Living separately forces you out of such complacency, you are responsible for your own socializing and for hurting or soothing anyone in your circles. Life skills learnt this way will make you a stronger, well-rounded person.

You might be slowly developing the idea that long-distance marriage sounds better than what you have at the moment. Let me caution you.

Let me caution you.

Long distance marriage is more thorns than roses

long-distance marriage

Via Rajarshi Mitra / Flickr

In theory, love can overcome anything, but in practice, it is frequently all about simply showing up.

As Jene Bennet says, a crucial benefit of being in a relationship is having someone who will hold you when you cry, provide you with a hot cup tea of tea when you have a cold, a compliment when you are all dressed up for an important meeting. If you cannot have these things and especially if you live alone, you start questioning the very benefits of being in a relationship.

1. Doubts can creep in

You may know each other at a deeper level, but you don’t know the details of each other’s days and nights. When you are coping with 18 straight hours of work, you may start wondering if your other half is painting the town red with friends. The thought will colour your online dealings with your other half, setting up a little friction. You might decide it is churlish to bring it up when you talk, but the effort the decision entails draws a veil between the two of you. If you were together you would scream, yell and then hug and apologize.

2. Lack of physical intimacy 

One benefit of marriage is the assured physical relationship with your spouse. It generates a feeling of well-being and emotional closeness even if you are not the talk-about-feelings sort of person. Long distance marriage removes this completely from the equation. Some may seek the closeness elsewhere. The chances of a relationship recovering from such a breach of faith is very low.

3. Missing out on your spouse’s emotional journey

People grow every day. The person you are today is certainly not the one you were yesterday. If you live apart, especially in different nations, your growth trajectory could diverge considerably. My cousin used to chant the Hanuman Chalisa to ensure he got his student visa. Now, 3 years in the US, he is agnostic.

Luckily his wife is with him and the change was gradual and acceptable. My aunt (his mother) is a little shocked. If the wife had been here and had been the religious kind, it would have been very hard for them to accept this chasm in matters of faith.

4. Unexpected perils of long-distance arranged marriages

Now that you are forewarned, should you even say yes to someone in an arranged marriage when the prospects of it being a long distance marriage are rather high? That is very interesting question and the short and sweet answer to that is “it depends”.

One end of the spectrum is, the groom or bride is working in the US and the future spouse is either working here or just about finishing education, like Amanda. A temporary long distance marriage, with the bride or groom returning immediately and then arranging for a suitable visa for the spouse to join is the norm. This could be a lovely time in an arranged marriage. You get to date with parental consent, you dream of life in the new country with a new spouse unencumbered by obligations of getting to know long line if relatives at both ends.

long-distance marriage

People queuing up for a US visa. Via R Raju / The Hindu.

But the time apart could also be fraught with insecurity. Your spouse has an established life in a foreign land and you are breaking off every known contact and joining them on their turf. You may be upset over small things during your online conversations, but you cannot read each other’s expressions and you are also not comfortable voicing your grievances.

There is also the added anxiety of not knowing if and when your visa will get through. This problem will recur periodically, he having a valid visa and you not having one or vice versa until either you get a permanent residency or return home.

Indians are better equipped to deal with a long-distance marriage

There are multiple reasons for ending up in a long-distance marriage. You may consciously decide to marry someone who is in the shipping industry or a transferable job, or will be travelling so much on business that it feels like a long distance marriage!

However, the emphasis on collective, as opposed to individualistic attitude towards life, provides a cushion for Indians getting into a long distance relationship.

Even mythologically, I think we handle separation fairly well, for us it really about the family, not just one individual. Urmila staying behind in Ayodhya pining for Lakshman for 14 years is no less commendable than Sita accompanying Rama on his exile.

In summary, there are challenges in a long-distance arranged marriages. You will have to look deep within yourself to understand what are your must-haves in a marriage. If you are willing to take up the challenge and you are a fairly strong person, go for it. Even if you aren’t it is quite possible that at some point, some opportunity might enforce separation in your marriage. So take the time.

Take the time every day to examine where you are, how you feel about yourself, your spouse and your relationship. If at any time you feel alienated, it is time to be strong. Be strong enough to admit this is not working and sacrifice the benefits your long distance marriage is giving you and just get together.

As someone said, “Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough…

Read more thought-provoking blog posts

Choosing A Life Partner – The Art And Science Of Getting It Right!

Dating Indian Men: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Age Difference In Marriage – Does It Really Matter?



Posted in Arranged Marriage, Marriage Tagged with: ,

Indian wedding sweets
July 25th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Indian wedding sweets

Significance of traditional Indian wedding sweets

Indian wedding sweets are the torch bearers of traditions and play a key role in setting the stage for families to come together. While we are all familiar with popular desserts like laddu, peda, jalebi, to name a few, we decided it’s time to bring to focus traditional Indian sweets that may not be as popular, yet considered a key component of Indian wedding ceremonies.

According to the book, Sweet Invention – History of Dessert by Michael Krondl, Indian wedding sweets carry forward the tradition of marking life’s key events with elaborate desserts. From birth to death, every stage of life is celebrated with desserts.

Traditionally, all Indian desserts are made on top of a stove, whether steamed, simmered, boiled in syrup, toasted, pan fried, or deep fried, or sometimes a combination of all these techniques!

Indian wedding sweets and desserts (in general) require a great deal of precision, technique, and labor. Making it on a large scale for wedding guests is not a joke.

Indian wedding sweets bring together simple ingredients to symbolize the union of families. The way some of the desserts are presented (cones, round balls, flat cakes) have religious significance as well.

Let’s take a closer look at 11 traditional Indian wedding sweets from all corners of India.

1. Paruppu Thengai Cones

 

Image Credits - Sri Sai Alamelu Catering Services

Image Credits – Sri Sai Alamelu Catering Services

The Paruppu Thengai Koodu is always the at the center of every auspicious ceremony in Tamil Nadu and several other states in India. It translates to “lentils coconut cone” and is usually made of lentils, coconut, and jaggery stuffed in decorated metal cones. However, there are several variations in the recipe. This includes fried gram dal dipped in sugar syrup, Mysore Pak, Laddu, or candied cashew.

It is said that the cones represent Shiva and Parvathi and the shape is said to channel positive energy for special occasions.

2. Paal Ada Pradamam

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits – Kothiyavunu.com

Pradamam forms an integral part of the Kerala cuisine. One of the recipes served at wedding feasts, and during festivals such as Onam, is the Pradamam (payasam) to signify the end of the meal. The word ‘pradamam’ means the first one. Hence the Ada Pradamam is called as such since it is No.1 among the payasams.

In Malayalee cuisine, there are different kinds of this Indian wedding sweet, namely Chakka Pradamam made from jackfruit pulp and Ada Pradamam made from flat ground rice. The ingredients are rice flour (made into flakes), milk, sugar, water, cardamom, ghee, cashew nuts, and raisins. The trick in making the authentic Paal Ada Pradamam is getting the rice flakes right.

3. Obbattu

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits: Ganesh Dutta / Wikipedia

Obbattu is a type of Indian sweet flatbread popular in the state of Karnataka. It is known by other names in southern states and is served in most south Indian weddings. The main ingredients for Obattu are maida, cooking oil, salt, turmeric and water to make the dough. There are two types of this Indian wedding sweet – one using lentils (Bele Obbattu) and the other using coconut (Kayi Obbattu).

In North India, Obbattu is known as Puran Poli. A recipe for puran poli is mentioned in Manasollasa, a 12th century Sanskrit encyclopedia compiled by Someshvara III, who ruled from the present-day Karnataka.

4. Shrikhand

Indian wedding sweets

Image credits: Rob Wicks, Eat Pictures

Among the many milk-based Indian wedding sweets, Shrikhand is the king of wedding sweets in western states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat. This sweet is so popular that even Amul sells it throughout India.

In the book, Handbook of Fermented Functional Foods, Shrikhand is said to have been called Shikhrini in ancient Sanskrit literature. In fact, Shrikhand is said to have been made in Karnataka region as early as 1700 AD!

Need dessert ideas for your wedding reception? Check out Pinterest for a mouthwatering parade of sweets for Indian wedding reception.

5. Gur Paare

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits: Archana’s kitchen

Indian wedding sweets make use of different types of sweeteners. Jaggery is one of them and The Punjabi Gur Paare which is made of sugar and jaggery is a staple wedding sweet in Punjab state. Jaggery is a rich source of iron and according to Ayurveda, jaggery is a wholesome sugar that is beneficial to health. Be warned, Gur Paare is addictive! Who wouldn’t like to munch on a bowl of candied biscuits?

6. Shahi Tukra

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits – Fawad Ahmed, Dawn

Shahi Tukda, as the name suggests, means royal dessert. It’s an exotic rich bread pudding with lots of fruits flavored with cardamom. This dessert is said to have become popular during the Mughal era.

Shahi Tukda is made by frying the bread pieces in oil and then dipped in sweetened milk. This Indian wedding sweet is then soaked in a rose/saffron flavored sugar syrup and pouring the rabdi or sweet milk sauce over it. It can be garnished with edible silver foil, nuts, and cardamom powder.

7. Sandesh

Indian wedding sweet

Image Credits – Foodviva.com

Sandesh is a Bengali dessert created with milk and sugar. This Indian wedding sweet is mentioned in medieval Bengali literature, including Krittibas’s Ramayana and the lyrics of Chaitanya. The ingredients for this original dish is not known.

The best part of making Sandesh is that you can choose the type of flavors you want, and most importantly the sweetness levels. There are many different varieties of Sandesh, namely plain Sandesh, Gurer Sandesh, Norom Paker Sandesh, Kora Paker Sandesh, Paker Gurer Sandesh, to name a few.

8. Pitha

Indian Wedding Sweets

Image Credits -Mohammed Tawsif Salam / Wikipedia

Pitha is a popular Indian wedding sweet among the eastern states of Orissa, Assam, Bengal, and Bihar. Pitha is made from rice flour or wheat flour and is stuffed with coconut, cashews, pistachios, jaggery to name a few. Considering the fact that Pitha is similar to a dim sum (steamed or fried), savory Pithas are also popular.

Check out these Indian wedding sweet ideas if you want to look at alternatives to traditional Indian wedding sweets!

9. Malpua

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits – Sallusfood.com

Malpua is a fried Indian wedding sweet that is popular in North Indian weddings. The sweet has a pan-India presence and is also popular in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Malpua traces its roots to Apupa, a sweet preparation from the Vedic period. This dessert was made with barley flour which was either fried in ghee or boiled in water, and then dipped in honey.

10.  Chhena Jhili

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits – Subhashish Panigrahi / Wikipedia

Chhena Jhili is an Odissi sweet prepared in fried cottage cheese and sugar syrup. It originated in Shyam Sundarpur village of Nimapada in Puri district and was created by Aarta Sahoo. The original recipe is a family secret!

However, the key ingredients are paneer, whole milk, hung curd, maida, sugar, wheat flour, cardamom powder, and ghee. Eaten hot, the soft, juicy cheesiness against the backdrop of a little hint of cardamom-y sweetness is divine.

11. Kulfi

Indian wedding sweets

Image Credits – Kalaiselve Murugesan / Wikipedia

Among all the traditional Indian wedding sweets, Kulfi can be considered as a dessert that is popular in all corners of India. Kulfi is the original Indian ice cream. It is believed that Kulfi became popular during the reign of Mughal emperors.

Kulfi (meaning metal cone in Persian) was made with evaporated milk, sweetened and garnished with pistachio and saffron, and immersed in ice after pouring the contents inside a metal cup.

Other Mouth Watering Articles

History of Laddu – 5 Things You Probably Never Knew!

15 Amazing Thali Meals From Every Corner Of India

Food Lovers’ Guide to Finding and Keeping Love


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Posted in Food, India, Marriage Tagged with: ,

Family description samples
July 4th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy
Family description

Credit: India Picture / Shutterstock

Family description for matrimony profile – Why it is important?

When it comes to arranged marriages in India, family description probably takes the center stage in your marriage biodata or matrimony profile. There are many reasons for this:

1. The family takes the center stage in arranged marriages and so does the family description in your marriage biodata. Someone said, “In arranged marriages, two people meet and their families live happily ever after!”

2. The family description provides the necessary information needed by the other party to determine of they are of the same or higher social standing and economic background. In fact, one of the objectives parents have is to make sure their son or daughter move up the social ladder through an arranged marriage.

3. The family description is where all the cards are laid out on the table (mostly). For example, any intercaste marriages in the family, divorce, or any other “family issue” that warrants a mention finds a place.

According to Robert Epstein, a psychologist at the American Institute of Behavior research and Technology, a key to the success of the arranged marriage is the amount of parental involvement at the start of the process. There is nothing else that signifies parental involvement more than the family description in your matrimony profile and how comprehensive it is.

Somebody said,My wifi was down and I had to speak to my family for 5 minutes. They seem like nice people! 

7 Realistic Family Description Samples For Your Matrimony Profile

We lined up 7 family description samples for matrimony profile to help you craft a compelling about my family description in your marriage biodata.

 

1. Girl with working parents and no siblings

Our family is godfearing and we believe that a sincere work ethic is required to be successful in anything you do.

Being the only child in the family, I have wonderful memories of my childhood in the company of my parents. They did pamper me but made sure I had all the tools I need to grow into a confident woman who can face anything that life can offer.

My father grew up in Chamyari near Amritsar and my mother is from Kamirpur, a nearby village. My grandparents made sure my parents got a decent education and after marriage, my parents moved to Delhi where my father set up a wheat distribution business. My mother is also actively involved in running our business in addition to taking care of our home. Our grandparents are no more, but we do have our extended family managing the family farms in Punjab.

Why we love this? Notice how this family description sample also highlights the impact parents had on the woman’s personality and growth.

2. Boy whose parents are no more and has a married sister

My family is from Bangalore and we have been Bangaloreans for over 70 years now!

My father ran an auto component manufacturing business (VR Brakes) in Hosur and my mother was a Principal at the Holy Angels School for Girls in Koramangala. My parents died in a plane crash when I was 5 years old and my sister was just four years elder to me when we lost our parents.

My sister played a key role in raising me and made sure she filled the void left behind by my parents. She is an accomplished Odissi dancer and is married to a Bank executive in Bangalore.

My grandparents (from my mother’s side) also played a key role in making sure we got the best education and inculcated values they hold dear, namely, honesty, respect for others no matter what their religion or caste is, and pride in your culture and family background. Our family has a modern outlook towards life and our grandparent’s family were among the first to own a car in India!

Why we love this? While the man lost his parents in a tragedy, he highlights the positive role played by his sister and his grandparents and demonstrates how resilient his family is.

3. Girl who lives with her retired parents

I hail from a family of four members and we are from Dharasuram, a small town near Kumbakonam, but currently reside in Chennai.

My father is a school principal (SBOA Matriculation School) and my mother is a bank teller (Canara Bank). They are both retired now and I currently live with them.

I have an elder brother who is doing his masters degree in Computer Science in the United States.

We are not an orthodox family but believes in respect for all religions and sects. My father is an Iyer and my mother is an Iyengar. We do not follow elaborate rituals but do celebrate most festivals and visit temples. We have a tradition of visiting a new place once every year as we believe it helps us learn new things and gives us a chance to meet new people.

Why we love this? This family description sample highlights an inter-sect marriage in the family and dwells on the positive aspects that came out it.

4. Boy living abroad with divorced parents in India

I am the only son for my parents and I have no siblings.

My father is a civil servant (IAS West Bengal cadre 1975) and is working as a chief secretary for the eGovernance initiative by the Orissa state government in Bhuvaneshwar. My father is a Bengali brahmin and is from Calcutta. He was born and brought up in Calcutta. He excelled in his studies and was one of the youngest IAS officers in Bengal.

My mother is from New Delhi and she belongs to the Saraswat Brahmin community. She is a talented painter and graduated from the College of Art, Delhi University. She set up the Shilpi art school in Delhi and has won several national and international awards for her work.

I was brought up in a liberal household and our family believes in pursuing one’s interests and learning for personal satisfaction as opposed to monetary gains or a job position. The cross-cultural household I grew up in has helped me appreciate the common bond that binds all of us.

My parents are divorced but they continue to maintain a friendly relationship. They did their best to make sure I wasn’t impacted by their separation. My current job in London keeps me away from my parents, but they do visit me occasionally and I make it a point to visit them in India once a year.

Why we love this? Having divorced parents may be a liability in arranged marriages. However, in this sample, the focus is on highlighting the fact that the family remains a single unit and there is no acrimony.

5. Girl studying in the US with family in India

Our family is born and brought up in Mumbai, our ancestors are from Palghat, Kerala. My parents and two younger sisters live in Dadar, a suburb of Mumbai.

One of my younger sisters is currently in her second year of law school at Symbiosis, Pune and my youngest sister is currently in high school and lives with my parents in Dadar. My father is a chartered accountant by profession and he consults with Reliance Industries. My mother happens to be a homemaker and an active member of the rotary club of Dadar. We are a fun-loving family and believe in living life to the fullest extent and mingling with family and friends.

Our extended family is a large and we always find opportunities to meet up with each other during holidays and family gatherings! Even though I live alone in the US at present, I have relatives in Houston and Austin (which are close to my university) who make sure I don’t miss home!

Why we love this? This sample description is all about the glorious Indian family. Many of us can relate to this scenario. A family oriented woman will be happy to read this description.

6. Boy who lives with his wheelchair-bound mother

We hail from the Patidar community from Surat. I am the only son in the family and I don’t have siblings.

My father owned a chain of grocery stores in around Surat and he played a key role in educating me on the intricacies of running a business and the spirit of entrepreneurship. He passed away a couple of years ago.

My mother is a retired maths teacher and she worked at the Ambedkar Government High School. She suffered a stroke after my father’s demise and is wheel-chair bound.

We are a god-fearing family and are strict vegetarians. We have the support of our close relatives and some of them are also business partners. My mother and I live in a large home that shares a kitchen with other family members. Our family has always stayed together and are committed to helping each other out.

Why we love this? There is an element of tragedy in this description. However, tragic events are bound to happen and luckily the extended family is around to help. This is comforting for the prospective bride / bride’s family.

7. Girl whose brother had an inter-caste marriage

I belong to a Nattukottai Chettiar family from Karaikudi.

My father is from Kandanur and my mother is from Athangudi and they live in our ancestral home in Karaikudi. My father runs a timber export business and my mother is a homemaker. We are a traditional family and most of our relatives also live close by.

My brother is one of the first male members of my family to study in the US. He has an inter-caste marriage and has two children. He lives in New Jersey.

Our family is religious and my parents are responsible for overseeing the affairs of our ancestral temple. It is their wish that my marriage should be performed at the temple as it has been a long-standing tradition in our family.

Why we love this? In this sample, while there is a mention of the inter-caste marriage in the family, the family preference for a traditional marriage takes precedence.

 

Want more sample descriptions to complete your matrimony profile?

Men’s Biodata For Marriage – 3 Sample Profiles

Women’s Biodata For Marriage – 3 Sample Profiles

7 Matrimony Profile Description Samples For Modern Indians


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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Biodata for marriage, Marriage Tagged with: ,

June 28th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy
Partner preference samples

Who is your dream girl?

Partner preference samples for every man!

Writing partner preference for marriage is an art and a science.

You need to have a good command of the language to make sure you write an interesting description that will not only attract the right women but also make sure mismatched prospects stay away!

It is a science because you need to be ready to re-write your partner preference description based on the responses you get or the interactions you have with prospective matches.

To get you started, we have listed 7 awesome partner preference samples for men that will help you attract the right people and stay clear of the common pitfalls or traps that you will probably fall for when writing about your partner preference for marriage.

These traps include the following:

1. When writing about partner preference for matrimony, there is a tendency to repeat everything you have read or seen in newspapers or matrimony sites.

2. Men end up describing their expectations for marriage as if they are ordering a pizza with special toppings!

3. Not stating key requirements and deal breakers up front is a recipe for wasting your time as you will invariably meet women or their families who are not compatible.

Partner preference sample

A typical matrimony ad published in newspapers

The trick in writing about partner expectation in your marriage biodata is to stand out from the crowd within the cultural boundaries of this day and age.

To help you write an attractive partner preference description, we have created seven partner preference samples based on attitude, lifestyle, profession, physical disabilities, and interests.

1. Genuine and funny

I am looking for a beautiful and compassionate woman that can put up with my pet cat and dog (yes, they can be friends). I have a long daily commute and I will be delighted if you can make me a cup of coffee when I reach home. I will, of course, return the favor.

My parents stay with me, but we have a huge house. You will have your space, but you should be OK with this arrangement. Your parents are welcome to stay at our home if they choose to (We seriously need more people to clean our huge home!).

BTW, I am a social drinker and you can join me for an occasional beer or wine. If you are good at pairing wine with cheese, you are the love of my life.

2. Specific and to the point

I am looking for a girl with a killer smile and a spark in her eyes. I am tall, so you will have to be at least 5.5 feet in height. My future wife should enjoy traveling with me as I follow the Indian cricket team worldwide! It goes without saying that you should know the difference between point and gully.

My prospective wife should be a nature lover and enjoy living in a secluded home that is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.

3. Traditional and old-fashioned

I am looking for a girl with a great appreciation for the south Indian Brahmin culture and family values. We are a joint family and place a great emphasis on religious ceremonies and traditions. We have strict dietary habits and my prospective wife should embrace our lifestyle.

I am looking for an educated girl with exposure to Carnatic music or classical dance and should be open to staying at home after marriage. I am tall and I expect to marry someone who is at least 5 feet 5 inches in height.

4. Man with a physical disability

I am looking for an educated woman who has an independent career of her own. I am searching for someone who can see beyond the fact that I am bound to my wheelchair. Height certainly doesn’t matter to me :).

While I have grown up to handle everything that life can throw at me, I am looking for a companion who wouldn’t mind providing a helping hand when I am outside. It would be great to marry someone who has prior exposure in working with physically disabled people or have been exposed to their lifestyle.

Someone with a great sense of humor, having experienced adversity and overcome them in the past will probably be able to appreciate my point of view better.

5. Travelling professional

I am looking to marry a career-oriented girl who is financially independent, strong-willed, and has a strong network of family and friends. I am a teetotaler and a non-smoker and hence expect the women I marry to appreciate my preference.

I am a career merchant navy engineer and hence spend over 6-months in the year roaming the far corners of the oceans. Ability to lead an independent life while I am away is a key requirement. I am based out of Mumbai, and I will prefer to marry someone from Mumbai or Pune.

6. Belonging to a family of musicians

I am looking for someone who can blend in with our large family of classical south Indian musicians. She should be able to thrive in a home where music dominates our conversations and activities. It will be a plus if you can hold a tune and can spot the difference between Kalyani and Poorvi-Kalyani ragas.

While I am biased towards classical music, I am open to marrying someone who is into other forms of music or art. Someone who has a modern outlook to life in terms within the boundaries of a south Indian brahmin culture will be a great match. Chennai-based girls will be preferred.

7. Environmentalist

I am an environmental activist for Greenpeace and believe in taking action to stop the unchecked plunder that is happening in the name of development and growth. I am looking for someone who subscribes to the philosophy that we need to everything in our power to stop environmental degradation or die trying.

I don’t want to have children of my own as I have adopted the cause I believe in as a key priority in life. My ideal match will be someone who is adventurous and willing to travel with me anywhere in the world to make a difference.

I am ok with social drinking but smoking habit is a strict no. Ability to drive a two wheeler can come in handy but most importantly, a willingness to learn and take risks is what I am looking for in my future wife.

You will love reading these blog posts

7 Matrimony Profile Description Samples For Modern Indians

7 Realistic Partner Expectations Samples For Women

Men’s Biodata For Marriage – 3 Sample Profile Descriptions


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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Biodata for marriage, Marriage Tagged with: ,

Wedding Music
June 6th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy
Wedding music

Via Natesh Ramasamy on Flickr

The granddaddies of traditional Indian wedding music!

Wedding music in India is dominated by two instruments that always manage to make their presence heard. While the Shehnai dominates the wedding music scene in North India, the Nadaswaram and Thavil are the dynamic duo that usher in the auspicious occasions in South India. In fact, the Shehnai was replaced by Nadaswaram at the wedding of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan to give the wedding a southern flavor!

For those who are wondering what a Nadaswaram and Thavil are, here is a video that will leave you in splits.

No South Indian wedding is complete without the boisterous and the exuberant notes and beats from the Nadaswaram and the Thavil. The tradition of using these instruments for weddings as well as other festivals or ceremonies goes back to several centuries.

All about Nadaswaram

Wedding music

Via Otrajesh on Wikipedia

If I were to say, “you will know it when the Nadaswaram is playing”, I am not exaggerating. The Nadaswaram is the world’s loudest non-brass acoustic wind instrument! Here are some interesting tidbits about Nadaswaram.

1. Nada means a pleasing sound and swaram means note. Hence the name Nadaswaram. There is another school of thought pertaining to the name of this instrument and the same instrument is also referred to as Nagaswaram.

2. Nadaswaram is considered to be one among the managala vadyam or auspicious instruments that get played for temple festivities and other important events.

3. The Silappathikaram, considered as one of the epics of Tamil Literatures was penned in about 3rd Century CE. This epic  refers to an instrument called Vangiyam that resembles the Nadaswaram.

4. Narasingapettai in Tamil Nadu is well known for its master Nadaswaram craftsmen. Like many other traditional professions, the Nadaswaram makers of Narasingapettai are on their last lap as the younger generation is no longer interested in pursuing an ancient livelihood.

5. Here is how the different parts of Nadaswaram come together. The top portion has a metal staple (called “Mel Anaichu“) into which is inserted a small metallic cylinder (called “Kendai“) which carries the mouthpiece made of reed. Besides spare reeds, a small ivory or horn needle is attached to the Nagaswaram. This needle is used to clear the mouthpiece of saliva particles and allows the free passage of air. A metallic bell (called “Keezh anaichu“) decorates the bottom.

6. Each part of the Nadaswaram is related to a deity. The bottom circle to Surya, the Sun God, the upper hole to Goddess Sakti, the inner holes to Lord Vishnu, the body to Lord Brahma, and the seven holes to seven mothers.

All about Thavil

Wedding music

Via Kota Shivaranjan on Flickr

The Thavil is a percussion instrument and forms a key accompaniment for Nadaswaram. According to Wikipedia, The thavil consists of a cylindrical shell hollowed out of a solid block of jackfruit wood. Layers of animal skin (water buffalo on the right, goat on the left) are stretched across the two sides of the shell using hemp hoops attached to the shell. The right face of the instrument has a larger diameter than the left side, and the right drum head is stretched very tightly, while the left drum head is kept loose to allow pitch bending.

Here are some interesting facts about Thavil.

1. Different parts of the Thavil are made in different towns and villages. The jackfruit drum comes from Panruti in Cuddalore, synonymous with jackfruit groves.

2. The steel rings (valai) made of iron pipes, for attaching the leather is made at Thiruvaiyaru Valangaiman and Kattumannarkoil, the birth place of Vaishnava Acharya Nadhamunigal.

3. Steel belts for fixing the valanthalai (right side) and thoppi (left side) on the drum and the connecting rod in the middle of the drum are manufactured at Mayiladuthurai.

4. The Thavil artist uses fingers as well as a stick to play the instrument. The right head is played on with the right palm, wrist, and fingers. The player usually wears hard rings (also called caps) on all fingers of right hand. They are made of rice flour or Maida flour called ‘Koodu’ to give a deeper effect and volume. The left head is played on by using a short, thick stick made of the portia tree (Poovarasam).
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5. A key part of traditional south Indian wedding music is the Ketti melam. This special tune is played at the exact moment the bridegroom ties the thali on the bride. It is believed that the ketti melam wards of evil sounds. The Thavil plays a key role in making sure you don’t hear anything else when the ketti melam is played.

Looking ahead

Wedding music

Via Niranjan Patil

Nadaswaram and Thavil have had a glorious past and continues to be the wedding music of choice in all South Indian marriages. Nadaswaram and Thavil have gone beyond just being wedding music as they are also integral to temple festivals and other occasions. Unlike the dwindling brass bands in North India, traditional South Indian wedding music has found patronage even among the new generation of young Indians.

Stalwarts like Thiruvengadu Subramania Pillai, TN Rajarathinam Pillai, Thiruvuzhimizhalai Subramanya Pillai, Karaikurichi Arunachalam, and Sheik Chinna Moulana have brought in the much-needed respectability to the artists. However, it is to be seen if we will continue to see young artists taking up Nadaswaram and Thavil by choice.

Interestingly, there is no dearth of educational institutions where one can learn the art of playing Nadaswaram and Thavil. In Tamil Nadu, there are over 20 Government run schools and several other institutions that teach this art form. However, the students that enroll in these schools come in because they couldn’t find admission in other streams of education!

That’s not the only issue. The Nadaswaram and the Thavil are incredibly tough instruments to play. In order to master these instrument, you will need to spend years practicing under the guidance of an expert artist. Naturally, only the passionate students or those who belong to a family of musicians have the passion, drive, and the guidance they need to become an artist.

No matter what the challenges are in playing these instruments, I believe the South Indian wedding music will continue to be dominated by Nadaswaram and Thavil for decades to come.

You will love these posts

Marrying A Musician – 7 Things You Should Know!

The Indian Wedding Band – Glorious Past, Uncertain Future


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Posted in Art, Marriage Tagged with: , ,

Girl from a small town
May 9th, 2016 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Small town girlSmall Town Girls Are Underrated!

Are you considering marrying a girl from a small town? Chances are you are going through an arranged marriage and your family has shortlisted a small town girl.

Some city dwellers in India have an attitude problem when it comes to small town India. While there is no scientific study on this topic, here are some of the comments I have heard my family and friends say about people from small town India.

She has absolutely no exposure to the outside world! I am not sure who will ever give her a job. 

Hey, do you know how to use this escalator?

That’s a “finger bowl” for washing your hands. Don’t drink it!

In short, someone is considered less sophisticated because English doesn’t roll out of their tongues or they wear traditional clothes. The general lack of “modern” edifices that dot urban India such as shopping malls, multiplexes, hang-out spots, traffic lights (that nobody cares to follow anyways), automatically means small town India carry the mantle of a “glorified village“.

Every girl from small town India has to start off with a major handicap when interacting with a prospective match from a big city, i.e being considered inferior and dull.

If you are one of those who is considering marrying a girl from a small town, here are 7 compelling reasons to say YES!

1. Small towns girls with big aspirations

Girl from a small town

Changing story lines in Soap Operas highlight how small town India is changing.

Girls from small towns probably also have big aspirations and some of them also have the intelligence and the drive to be successful in whatever they do. This is not just my opinion. Television channels such as Star Plus base their programming on what their target market demands. One of the major markets that television channels focus on is women in the 15 to 35-year-old age group in small towns. Here is an interesting extract from a study done by one of the television channels.

When the marketing team traveled to viewer homes across cities, small towns, and rural areas, they came up with fresh insights on how aspirations have changed. Gupta says he met the wife of a wealthy diamond merchant in Surat. She lives in a joint family and is trying her hand at design for her husband’s business. “I want people to know me as Mrs. Reena Mehta, not Mrs. Mehta,” she told him. Gupta calls this “mega change”. 

Small town girls, like women in big cities, are ambitious and have big aspirations. They are capable of having the passion and drive to realize their dreams. Not every small town girl want to just settle with whoever the parents line up for them.

2. Ability to make the most out of everything

Here is an interesting story of Nirmala Kandalgaonkar. Nirmala is from a  small town and had to face incredible odds before she became a successful entrepreneur. Here is Nirmala’s story.

Nirmala Kandalgaonkar, Founder of vermicomposting tool provider Vivam AgroTech, grew up in small-town Maharashtra and decided to launch a rural venture after her children reached school age. She applied her science degree to develop controlled-environment products for soil engineering using earthworms. She had to travel extensively for promotion and training activities and eventually got government support after a Pragati Maidan exhibition as well as a TiE award. The company now works with large corporate and self-help groups for biogas projects.

Small towns are unforgiving to women. They have face strict religious and social restrictions on their personal freedom and independence. Yet, women in small towns fight through these barriers only to emerge stronger and make the most of what they have around them.

3. Value for money

Small town girl

A shopping mall in Madurai – Via Veethi.com

Anyone living in the city will agree to the fact that the cost of living has skyrocketed exponentially. Even in cities, people prefer to buy houses in distant suburbs to make ends meet even at the cost of dealing with horrendous daily commutes. As a city dweller, you expect everything to be costly and this resets your brain to accept higher prices as the norm. That’s not all, we may even assume just because something is expensive, it’s also of better quality!

The cost of living in small towns across India are obviously cheaper. Small towns are closer to where food is grown and the demand for housing and other resources are relatively less keeping prices low.

A small town girl will probably deal with sticker shock if she ever moves to the city. This is precisely the experience I had when I moved to Chennai after growing up in a town. In fact, I experienced the same sticker shock when I moved to the US!

Moral of the story, women from a small town are probably more conservative in their spending habits as they know they are shelling out much more that what they would otherwise spend. That’s good for any marriage.

4. Struggled a lot more to earn their independence

Small town girls have the fire in the belly and the drive to overcome immense odds. They may not have the opportunities that a big city may have to offer women and hence are fighting for their dreams and independence with one hand tied.

In general, small town girls have a lower quality of education as there are not as many good schools as there are in the cities, and tend to marry at a younger age. Job opportunities are also limited. If you think I am talking about small town India, you are wrong! I was actually talking about what women in small town America face! Just image the plight of a small town girl in India.

if you would like to get a glimpse of a life a small town girl, you should read the book – From Hindustan Cables Limited – The Journey of a Small-Town Indian Immigrant.

5. Rooted to traditions and culture?

Small town girl

Via Prabhu B Doss, Flickr

In a small town, everybody knows everybody else! The culture of small town India is still conservative when compared to that of cities and small town girls are more in tune with religious traditions and social customs as it is the norm.

Unlike cities, families in small town India maintain close contact with their neighbors and friends. If you are in a small town and miss your classes, the teacher is bound to pay a visit to your place! While many of these customs border on oppressive dictates by the society, it is also not bad to marry someone who is aware of the cultural / religious traditions.

In addition to keeping your parents happy and scoring some brownie points with pesky aunties and uncles (pun intended), marrying a woman who understands the traditions of your culture or religion certainly will keep you centered and in touch with your ancestors.

6. Ying and Yang

Small town girl

Yin and Yang Via Pinterest

Ever heard of the concept of Ying and Yang? In the Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang are about how two opposing forces are actually interdependent or interconnected when they come together! The concept of Yin and Yang has a bearing in marriages as well.

Here is an extract from Erin M. Cline, associate professor of theology at Georgetown University that explains who the Yin and Yang concept applies in married life.

Each person, male or female, has many aspects and traits of character, and one might argue that to varying degrees and in different ways, these aspects and traits express qualities that are associated with yin and yang. This means that spouses can contribute in distinctive and complementary ways to their shared goals.

Married couples might work to arrange their lives—including the division of labor in and outside of the home, as well as parenting responsibilities—in ways that draw upon each individual’s strengths so that the roles of each spouse complement those of the other. 

For example, when playing with their children outdoors, one parent may encourage athletic activities while the other parent may encourage observing wildlife. Both types of activities involve engaging with one’s child and encouraging a love of outdoor activity. Appealing to yin-yang complementarity, traditional Confucians argued that it is good for children to have parents who differ in complementary ways.

Small town girls bring to the table unique experiences and skills that city folk lack. Marrying a small town girl will be an enriching experience for you, her and your children in the future.

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Posted in India, Indian Bride, Marriage Tagged with: ,

Love Marriage
May 4th, 2016 by Kanakapriya Kalyanasundaram
Love Marriage

Amitab Bachchan & Jaya Bhaduri with Amitabh’s Parents, Via Pinterest

Love Marriage is still an exception in India

There very few epic stand-offs that rival that between Indian parents and love marriage! The broad understanding we all have (thanks to the constant diet of Bollywood movies) is that all Indian parents are controlling and love marriage is not in their vocabulary. The reasons proffered ranges from the importance of commitment and practicality to the fear of losing control over their wards.

Parents are opposed to love marriages because arranged marriages are the norm in our country and anyone trying to challenge this stranglehold of arranged marriage is considered to have gone “astray” from the family traditions.

In order to maintain peace with the Jodi-making generation (As opposed to the Jodi-seeking generation), we are going to turn the question on its head and ask why arranged marriages are so prevalent in our country?

Look around you, we are populous, densely packed nation with 65% of the population younger than 35. It stands to reason that, at the least, every fourth person you meet is single and eligible.  Yet, 75% of those in the marriageable age group prefer arranged marriages! The reasons are vast and varied. You can check out the all the details from our earlier blog post.

Love marriage is not in India’s DNA!

Love Marriage

10th February 1840: Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901) and Prince Albert (1819 – 1861) on their return from the marriage service at St James’s Palace, London. Original Artwork: Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

We are arguably the oldest culture still thriving, the societal norms set in the Indus Valley over 5000 years ago are still followed. If our epics are believed to be factual, then the rules of our society were set up 4 eons ago. Older cultures like older people look upon change with suspicion.

Arranged marriages have been the norm the world over for a very long time. Love marriages have gained currency only since the famed marriage of Queen Victoria and Price Albert, about 200 years ago. We will get there at a more stately pace in the next 200 years with one caveat: If and only if love marriages prove to be more successful than arranged marriages.

We speak different languages, follow different but similar traditions and the flora, fauna varies enough across the country to earn the sobriquet “Indian Subcontinent”.

Our food habits are varied! A single meal of Roti-Subji makes my staunch south Indian father positively ill while a dinner of rice and sambhar makes my Delhiite neighbor feel very heavy! I made a mango chutney in the Bengali style and my taste buds decided, adding Panch Phoran wrecks Mango Pachadi.

How do we ensure our tiny but, significant differences are propagated across generations?  By insisting on marrying within our own groups, i.e., arranging marriages. It has helped preserve our Indianness despite multiple invasions since the time of Alexander and foreign rule since the time of Mohammad of Ghazni.

Life here makes a mash of what is tradition and what would come under religion. We let our holy books cover every aspect of life from what would be a good time of birth to elaborate rituals at the end of life. And we let traditions govern our religion. Even when we change the faith we follow, we carry our traditions along. Do churches in any other country have a Dwaja Stambham at the entrance? I doubt it.

How can this mishmash of tradition and religion not dictate marriages? And marriages can be subject to dictates only if they are arranged.

Love marriage is not part of our societal makeup

Love Marriage

Via Flickr

Weddings in India is a celebration of the collective, not individuals. Marriages take place between families. It is both a means of propagating the families forward and ensuring a sufficient number of retirement activities for the older generation: social activities like Weddings, Namakaran and yes, condolences double with every wedding!

More gossip, more people to share gossip and more people to gossip about. This social network has managed to subsume even Facebook, forcing the younger generation to mind their P’s and Q’s when posting online!

The only way to remain part of the collective is following the tenets of the collective. The primary tenet is marrying within one’s culture.

There is also an economic angle to the preference for being a part of the collective by marrying within the community. The huge extended family is always willing to pitch in and help the members(s) in need, fiscally or otherwise.

The price one pays for this security is conformity. Conformity is assured and ensured by arranged marriages where the partner is carefully chosen to fit in the family.

Opposing love marriage is just responsible parenting!

We are the nation that gave the world Yoga. Yoga sutra teaches us to take responsibility for our lives. “I am late because the bus broke down” is a no-no, “I am late because I didn’t plan for bus breaking down” is the correct reason.

However, we have internalized and personalized this advice and introduced an element of selfishness into it! We keep our homes clean by throwing trash out onto the street, we work towards the economic and social prospect of our families disregarding the society at large.

This strain of responsibility certainly extends to children’s happiness. How can the apple of the parent’s eye handle the vagaries of love? Will the child have the sensibility to choose wisely or will the latest Bollywood heartthrob look-alike capture his/her heart?

Parents simply bypass the heartache of failed love by arranging marriages. They are simply taking responsibility for their children’s future happiness.

Love Marriage

Indian parents helping their children by passing on answers at the exam hall by climbing the walls! Via BBC

Parenthood is frequently a journey of diminishing expectations especially for Indian parents who are peculiarly involved in every aspect of their child growth and development.

Heard the term Helicopter Parenting, where the parents hover anxiously over their wards at every phase of their lives? Indian parents take it a step further, they are parenting quadcopters!

They track their children from birth until their own batteries run out. They are so invested in everything their children do, they become exceedingly anxious about their prospects as time goes on.

At 2 years the child seems to be a veritable genius. How can he/she not be the next Einstein or the next Bill Gates?  At 12, they begin to wonder, will he/she even pass high school?

They decide the child does not have the capacity to decide on a career path and frequently pick the college and course for the child. They pour time, patience and money into ferrying the child to a dozen different classes to ensure the child makes it into the college.

Then starts the next round of worry. Can he / she ever hold down a job when remembering to close the lunch box before putting it in the bag is too much to do?

They just follow the downward intelligence arc to its logical conclusion and decide they cannot trust children to choose sensibly. They decide to arrange their lives by first arranging their marriage!

Love marriage and Mark Zuckerberg

Love Marriage

Via PRNews

When Mark Zuckerberg is praised for not letting anyone else run his creation, Facebook, why aren’t and shouldn’t parents be praised for managing their children’s love life?

Love marriage is similar to dating. The western world where dating is the norm has 40% out-of-wedlock childbirth.  They have a well-defined sex-education from middle school years. In a country uncomfortable reading prescribed Sanskrit texts and English plays because of the reference to sex and a country with absolutely no sex education, can you imagine what will happen to our birthrate? We are already the most populous country in the world. Now imagine the stress on both the social fabric and social security of our beleaguered nation!

I have no clue if we were made in the image of God or not. But, children are certainly made in the image of their extended family – eyes like mom, height like dad, intelligence like grandpa etc. Basically, they are their creation and our contribution to a better planet. Then, it stands to reason, the extended family manages the direction of their children’s lives.

What decides health and happiness better than the choice of spouse? Arranged marriages are the best way for parents to ensure their children are on the right path to happiness and prosperity.

Convincing your parents for love marriage – 5 Tips!

Having said all that, the bottom line is life is moving at quark speeds these days. Between advanced science and humanities lesson, we learn to understand ourselves and our interests very quickly. Social Media like Facebook and Google+ quickly shrinks the world to a village. And if Hillary Clinton is right, and it takes a village to bring up a child, then, this village has a hand in your upbringing and values. The person you choose to spend the rest of your life is a denizen of this village but probably a lot different from what your parents expect.

So, how do you convince your parents to approve your love marriage? Here is a 5-step approach.

1Pick someone they would approve of! They don’t necessarily want a boy / girl whose great-great-grandfather was friends with your great-great-grandfather.  They only want someone who can empathize with the journey your family took over the past few generations. Shouldn’t that be a given in a significant other?2Prove it is more than puppy love. Remember Kamal in Manocharithra? He stays away from Saritha for a year to prove his seriousness. What would be the minimum length of time both the sets of parents would need to believe in the depth of your love?

3Prove your maturity. You know all the minor irritations you create – leaving the sugar bowl open, not emptying out your pocket before dumping clothes in the laundry hamper, leaving late for work perpetually, not informing your whereabouts? Fix them. Pronto. This level of self-awareness and self-improvement shows you are maturing as a person.

4Fight their fears. Parenthood is an exponentially decreasing curve of parents significance in child’s life. Marriage quickly reduces the significance of your parents. Every extended family fears a love marriage would reduce the role of relatives in one’s life at warp speed. Before even bringing up the issue of love marriage, first prove how important your family is to you. Spend time and energy shoring up their affections.

5Win over each other’s family. It requires a modicum of humility to pour energy into befriending someone who views you with distrust. Both as a couple and as an individual, it is worth it. They will remember this when you need company grocery shopping, assistance in the kitchen or help babysitting.

That’s not all, we rounded up expert advice on convincing your parents for love marriage. Check it out here.


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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Love, Love Marriage, Marriage Tagged with: , ,