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By Faria Sanjana

We, as Bangalis, are very aware of the match-making culture prevalent in our society. It has been occurring from generations to generations in which the grooms of our nani-dadis were chosen by their nani-dadis. Although, we've emerged in the twenty-first century and think ourselves too modern to marry into choices of our elders, we simply can't escape the same elders who jump at the quickest opportunity of match-making as soon as they see a good-looking prospective groom or bride.

A place where events of match-making frequently occur is weddings. It is on this occasion when young ladies and gentlemen are most well-dressed and display their best manners. Be it the nice boy in the black suit who picked up her glasses or that stunningly gorgeous girl in the white saree whose laughter resonated across the whole room, aunties are sure to leap at the conclusion that the boy/girl is THE PERFECT ONE for her relative.

An observation regarding the topic was experienced by me when I used to do classes at Alliance Francaise. There, my friends and I came across an artist lady who seemed to keep a keen interest on us especially in one of my tall and beautiful Pakistani friend, Sara (not her real name). On the first day she treated us coffee and talked a lot about her works. In the end, she asked for Sara's phone number, who being too naïve, gave it to her without knowing what is to come ahead. Later, it was learned that the lady called up Sara and asked her hand in marriage for a brother. When my friend denied, saying she was just a student of A-Levels and not in any way ready to marry, the lady kept on ranting about how rich her brother was and how he held access to many foreign countries; she even kept on saying how lucky Sara would be to study abroad. It was not until Sara made it all clear that she wasn't interested that she stopped calling her. Nevertheless, she never failed to treat us whenever we bumped into her no matter how much we declined!

If that was all too common, my dear readers, then what would you say to an incident that occurred in a bus? Unbelievable but true that people don't miss a single chance even if they are traveling on public transport. A similar story of a pretty girl who was standing on a bus was given a seat next to a woman who held her hands and engaged her in conversation. It was casual at first but soon the conversation seemed to turn to more personal details as the woman asked the girl what her age and future plans for marriage was. The girl, wary of what was going to turn up next got off at the following stop without giving the woman any further means of correspondence.

And who can forget the relentless number of ads that appear on paper titled 'Patro/Patri Chai'. It is seen that in case of girls almost all want a fair and petite bride, along with a Masters degree and with a good religious background while in the case of boys the same is applicable except that he has to be tall (a real charmer indeed!) and preferably work in the U.S. or U.K. If only finding brides and bridegrooms were that easy (*sigh*)!

However, match-making may not be as silly as it seems. After all we have to admit, that this is how most of our grandparents and parents ended up being together. Even in our generation there are many stories of lasting marriages that took place by match-making. It has its advantages too. I simply shudder to think of what would happen to those people who have opened a whole professional centre for match-making. And just imagine how tough it would be for the bhabi next door, who famous for her reputation of being made over twenty successful marriages, to while away her time! So, if you've got an annoying member of a family who has this knack for match-making, just stick to it for the time-being, later when all gets too serious, you too can get serious and clarify your position about marriage, otherwise just go ahead if you think that it is a suitable match. After all you have to get married some day or the other!



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