My eldest brother has always been the most obedient of all the three of us in my house. He is a little different in his etiquette from other guys simply because he possesses some really good habits that many guys and few girls (like me) do not own! For instance, he cleans his room and wakes up early in the morning and takes a bath and blah! Blah!! Blah!!! And when the time for his marriage came, he handed over the responsibility of finding him a bride to my Mom and Dad (quite expected!). Delighted by his sense of reverence, my parents began their hunt for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan on various matrimonial sites. (I am sure most of you are aware of those sites!)
Now let me explain the backdrop here. My brother is about six feet in height and slim. So, we wanted a tall girl for him (at least over 5’3″) with a slim figure. He has a wheatish complexion and thus, a girl with a lighter complexion would be jussssst fine. My father gives a high priority to education, hence, a girl with a strong academic background. . Also, because my brother is an Engineer + MBA, the girl must match his qualifications. Since our family is a respectable one(that’s my Dad’s language), the girl’s family background must be decent too. Apart from these basic requirements, they also looked for smartness, good manners, lesser liabilities and more assets, good financial conditions, etc. etc. Caste wasn’t such a great issue on our side but still they avoided inter-caste girls as much as they could. In short, we looked for a complete package! The only thing that we did not want was Dowry! The terms and conditions were duly mentioned and photographs were displayed on the profile of www.shaadi.com , www.bharatmatrimony.com andwww.rajputmatrimony.com (Promotion of these sites is not at all intended)
Now when you begin checking out various profiles on such sites, irrespective of gender, your search involves the following steps:
1. Read the full name. (In order to determine the religion/caste)
2. Find out the Gotra
3. Look at the photograph
4. Look at the physical features
5. Analyze the qualifications
6. Current city and hometown
7. Annual income
8. Number of brothers/sisters (Liabilities!)
9. Hobbies, interests etc (People barely notice that)
10. View Phone number/contact/express interest/send mail.
Now while some people get rejected right at step 1, others get rejected at step 3 or step 7. The least important step is usually step 9. Who cares about the convictions of a person when he/she is good-looking and earns a lot! Following a more or less similar pattern, we scanned various profiles, contacted some and avoided others. In a similar fashion, my brother’s profile got dismissed too, although i can’t really tell the exact step up to which he qualified. In arrange marriages, people certainly look out for a complete package. They are so not ready to compromise at even a single thing. I remember viewing some random girl’s profile who was merely a graduate from a not-so-good university but was pretty. She expected a groom whose annual income be above 50 Lacs. This led to another observation. A person must possess at least one of the three:
Having even one of the three qualities increases the prospects of getting a good life partner. Having none of these means, settling down for something less than what you could have got if you had a love marriage (I shall come to that in a little while). And if a person doesn’t have enough of any of these, then uski tohRam milaye jodi…
When a person falls in love, the sweetness of someone’s voice happens to be more important than the thickness of the lips. He/she becomes more sensitive to the tender touch than the complexion of the skin. It does not matter if they look good together; what matters is that they are great together. Even one’s gender has become irrelevant now! Perhaps that’s why they say, love is blind. A person does not become blind in love, or, in other words, fails to perceive things. He does notice the flaws that exist. The point is that they are not as weighty to him as to the rest of the world. While the smallest factor, be it the shape of the nose or the size of the forehead, becomes extremely significant in an arrange marriage, a love marriage has the ability to even overcome the barriers created by religion and caste. Height, weight, complexion, financial status, family background, etc. are not at all a trouble. I have seen a number of weird looking couples- a six feet tall guy with a girl who’s barely five feet or a fat chick with a lean guy. They find each other irresistible despite such physical and materialistic defects. Their love for one another and perhaps, to some extent, their qualifications and wealth, counts way more than their minor imperfections (After all, sirf pyaar se pet nahi bharta!).
Just like the two sides of a coin, both, arrange marriage and love marriage have their own sets of pros and cons. But when the question of either one’s superiority arises, I would simply like to believe in destiny. I feel that any relation that is guided by circumstances emerges the strongest in any kind of situation. An association created by human beings is subject to estrangement but the one that results from a game of fate lasts. As a matter of fact, ‘serendipity’ has become one of my favorite words (and movie too!). And instead of getting myself trapped in a tussle between the two kinds of marriages, I would love to count on serendipity.