Thursday, February 18, 2021

Matrimon(e)y Shopping...

Just the other night I was in the midst of my ‘happy hour’ of the day. Diving into my dinner plate while surfacing in between to check the ‘Newshour’ on ‘Times Now’. And so, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that I felt immensely disturbed as I heard the sound of my phone ringing. Irritated, I fumbled with the phone and pressed the green key.

“Hullo ?!?”

“Hi. What’s up ?” It was my rather eccentric friend on the other end.

“Ohh. How are you ?”

“Fine. You say.”

“Fine too. What’s news ?”

“No news. Just called.”

My sense suddenly shifted gears and went on to the sixth. This guy wouldn’t ever call at such an hour to ‘just call’.

“OK. Come on. Out with it !!!” I exclaimed.

“Well…….”

“Who ? How ?? When ??? Don’t tell me you are getting married !”

“Well…….”

So it had finally happened. The most awaited wicket had finally fallen. With almost all my other batch mates having bitten the dust, we all were keenly waiting for this piece of news. Betting each other if this was really possible in this very world. This weird fellow, taking the path to matrimony was one of the most laughed about imaginations amongst our batch. And now it was going to be true.

“You see…” he began. “It was rather a lucky thing. Though I didn’t want a doctor girl, and she’s a Pathologist, but it’s fine since she’s not a clinician. And secondly, she’s from my own city. And most importantly, her dad is a Pediatrician and her mom is a Gynaecologist. So I have all the main departments in my upcoming hospital taken care of !”

And then he grinned. Though I didn’t see him grin, I knew him well enough to know that he was grinning right then. As if I could hear him grinning.

“I’ve also found a girl for you.” He continued.

“Ok. Keep her safe. I’ll collect her when I come there next time.” I replied.

“No. Seriously. What type of a girl do you want ? A medico ? Or a non-medico ??” He was persistent.

“Neither a medico, nor a non-medico !!!” I was beginning to lose it by this time.

“Ohhh. So you’d want an engineer… ?” It suddenly seemed to beam to him. And that was when I burst out laughing. And I was soon into fits of laughter as he further tried to describe how a non-medico was the term used for a housewife and things to that effect.

Putting that incident aside, I really wonder how we, in India, literally shop for a spouse. I mean, just talk to any budding groom or his family. They are absolutely clear about what they are looking for in a bride. Apart from the age old caste/fair/tall/English-speaking/etc. people are not only concerned about the girl being working or not but also very specific about the job she does. Some prefer a girl with a job while others opt for a homely housewife. They look for all the required specifications to be met just as they would buy a consumer product.


In other words, a working girl would mean an extra source of income into the household. It is even better if her job is complementary to that of her husband’s. So that they can easily setup a combined establishment.

On the other hand, a homely housewife would be expected to take care of the home and kids. And actually, without even being paid for it. The guy doesn’t really need a soul mate. He simply needs a working hand at home without any additional cost.

In fact, I have been witness to a case where the match couldn’t work out because the groom’s family had a problem with the prospective bride’s work hours. She was supposed to be at work during hours when they needed her to be at home.

In my own field of doctors (including many of my batch mates) I’ve seen a surgeon wanting a gynaec. wife. A pathologist wanting a pathologist. And so on. And some of my friends have tried to reason with me by telling me that one has to be practical. So one needs to know what’s best for oneself.

So, just as one has all the specifications for a much needed product in mind, before he goes out to shop for it, similarly it’s the case with arranged marriages in India. People have a clear list of requirements at hand before they go out to shop for a bride or a groom. In fact, marriage is just another necessity to fulfill life’s requirements as one spends his or her life. And such people usually follow the principle of ‘love what you get rather than get what you love’.

How can someone marry just to fulfill some needs in life which are invariably related to money ? And thus chooses a life partner who’d be a help in the fulfillment of those monetary gains ?? It boggles my mind !

So, it’s no wonder when some of my aunts, who are distant relatives of some of my other aunts, are busy spreading the word around to look out for ‘doctor brides’ for me.

If only they all knew… I HATE SHOPPING !!!

Sigh…

(Image courtesy : Google Images)

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