Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Tag: arranged marriage

The Problem with Shaadi.com

Arranged marriages are common among Indians. I’m not going to go into the merits and demerits of it; that’s not what this post is about. What I want to address is the problem with sites like shaadi.com that supposedly make it easier for Indian people to arrange these marriages. Now don’t get me wrong. There are many people who have met their soul-mates through shaadi.com (and similar sites). My sister met her husband through that. But the problem with these sites is that they are not geared towards the individual. Before I elaborate, we need to talk about what arranged marriages are, and why they are arranged.
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You Can Start Looking Now

I know I haven’t posted in a while. That’s mainly because I’ve been busy and lazy – an interesting combination. I was having my military training over the past two weeks, so I really didn’t have time to update my journal. In addition, my DSL service is being really flaky. I’m dropping connection and then my modem refuses to retrain. I’m talking to Qwest right now. I’m pretty sure it’s their fault. Hopefully they’ll fix it.

Anyway, so I had a few conversations with my parents over the past few weeks, and the subject was marriage. No, it wasn’t something like “Son, we need to find you a girl now.” It was more like “Hey, you can start looking now if you want”. I talked about this a little bit sometime ago, and I was thinking of talking to my parents about it as well. Truth be told, I guess I’m not averse to “settling down”. The fact of the matter is that I would really like some female companionship of a serious and lasting nature in my life right now. Merely dating wouldn’t do that for me. It used to bother me that I never really dated anyone during my college years. But in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t. I can totally see myself neglecting my academics. Also, the fact that I had no woman, meant that I wouldn’t be spending any time with her. Which meant that I had time to pursue my nerdy pursuits. Which in turn led to me picking up some really useful skills, and accomplishing some really neat things which finally led to an internship, and then, a job at Intel. So in the end, it’s not all that bad.

Actually my parents weren’t the first people to tell me that I could start looking. It was my aunt. I was in California over the 4th of July weekend, and my aunt said that my cousin and I should “start looking” now so that we “could get married when the time comes”. I thought it was a little funny, and actually I didn’t find her idea that far-fetched. I have been sort of “pseudo-looking” – I just haven’t found anyone. So I half-jokingly tell this to my parents and they said “Oh yeah, you should start looking!” So then I decided to see what my options were. Of course, they would ideally want me to marry a Hindu, Nair, Malayalee girl. But what about a girl from another culture? A Tamilian girl perhaps? I asked them. Their response was measured, and I guess, cautious. My father only told me that it may work out initially but that difficulties could arise once children came into the picture, or possibly, even before that, and that there are greater risks. So I’m not sure if they meant it was ok or not ok for me to look for girls from another culture. My parents have never really talked to me that much about marriage, and so I was really happy to see how open-minded they were about the issue. To those who might be thinking that this has the makings of an arranged marriage, it really doesn’t. First of all, they aren’t the ones looking for a girl – they’ve left it up to me. Although, I do know that if they come across a girl they think I might like, they may recommend I get in touch with her. I don’t see that as bad either, since it’s like my parents are hooking me up. The funny part was when my father told me to put myself up on Kerala Matrimonials. He said “Oh, it’s just like a dating service!” I thought that was funny. I don’t think I’m ready for that yet though…

I’m keeping an open mind and also keeping my options open. I guess if I try and concentrate too much on one particular goal, it may close out other possibilities. If I need to find a nice Nair girl, it’s harder for me, because there are very few Malayalees in Arizona. But I hear there are many in California and Texas. Oh well. I don’t think I’ll actively go around looking, but I’ll keep my eyes and ears open. At any rate, there’s no point in looking now, because I’m going to be in Iraq for a year. Now what are the odds of meeting a Hindu, Nair, Malayalee girl there? I’d laugh if I met one – in the Army nonetheless!

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