Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Marriage Market Hypocrisy

Once upon a time, long long ago,a (not very bright) person in our society concluded that a wedding is every girls greatest dream. The society, has ever since taken it upon itself to prepare the girl for her wedding, irrespective of whether she asked for it or not.

First things first, once you get into the so called marriageable age, there is this mould that you need to fit into. Hair a certain length, skin a certain tone or brighter, not too thin, not too fat, voice a particular pitch, clothes a certain kind and yes, although not very openly spoken about; breasts a certain size. Here is the catch. What this mould is, is decided upon by the parents. Never the prospective bride or groom. Life is afterall all about adjustments..
So by the time you reach this dreaded age, the you who has won debates against beauty pageants arguing that beauty is skin deep, who passionately wrote essays against the dowry system, stood shoulder to shoulder with the boys in your class without realising it and most importantly, the you who deeply respect your parents and teachers for inculcating in you a sense of equality with men- the independent , free-thinking you , will have to ask your brain to please go on a holiday for a while- for this is the year when the hypocrisy of the marriage market will wave hello.
Numero uno-  the colour- nobody in India is ever fair enough. Time to attend your roll call at the beauty parlour, where you are obviously the ugliest female the beautician has set her eyes on. Enter facials and de tan treatments.
Once you are done dealing with this self induced abuse, next comes your weight. Too thin, too fat, never enough. Your options- hog on food till you burst or starve till you die; because no boy will want to marry a girl like you.
A haircut? Dont cut your hair too short. Please get a nice haircut atleast - you look like a villager.
While on one end everybody will be bent up on crushing your self esteem under their feet, your parents will frantically go to the all knowing astrologer with horoscopes to find a match.
Thanks to a twist of fate, they will at last find one match. "Bechara" (poor) guy - your friends will call him. Ofcouse he is a poor guy- this mould they put you into is strangulating you and he has no idea.
Their family comes to see you next. You have been adviced on how to behave. Don't talk too much. Don't smile too much. Don't ask too many questions. Don't be you. Please, don't be you.
After awkward questions from both sides comes the bonus- talk to him on the phone and get to know each other.
A catch awaits.. your parents casually talk about the amount of gold they can afford to deck you up in. They wonder if it will be enough..
Your brain that has come back from its holiday , much to everybody's distaste pops the big question- "Are they selling you for a price or buying him ?"  You dare to voice this question  and you get flooded by emotional speeches on how it is their prestige at stake here. That you should be lucky you even have a guy who is ready to marry you. You were never the right colour, size or type anyways .
Curtains raise.. Marriage day..
Wake up at 2 am.. make up till 7 am.. breakfast if you can find the time.. everything is in the hands of the one doing your make-up.. one wrong dab and everything could be destroyed.
Enter elders...
Checking the weight of your ornaments - not a cause for scorn
Counting the number of necklaces and bangles- not a cause for scorn .
Time to step on the stage..
Examining every inch of the couple on stage- not a cause for scorn .
Deciding on who among the couple is 'lucky' because they managed to bag a good looking spouse- not a cause for scorn.
The bride and groom chat on stage with the whole world watching- Congratulations. You have just managed to put both the families to shame. What were you even thinking!?
Finally, as the day ends, an exhausted, perfect bride, struggling in too tight a cast of a 'fair, thin , homely girl' sets out on a new journey with no visible shackles holding her down .
When her brain finally resurfaces, she finds a bunch of Hypocrates , their eyes brimming with tears of happiness , bidding her goodbye and wishing her the best in life. Their daughter grew up so fast...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Its soo true & you have done a great job. Pleass keep posting more :-)


  3. Good job ma'am!
    Since ages, every women transacted this phase. But I see it s not just the society put force on female souls, it's just that no one stood against it. And I proudly say this I knw few women who really made the changes in the prospect! It's in our hands rather always blaming

  4. Hehe....story of my lyf!!
    Bt d story of yours is one sided..I feel boys also hav to go thru sme sort of an ordeal wen it comes to marriage market.
    It's nt fitting in ..its jus grooming sessions. D whole idea is like wrapping a gift..d wrapper is always cheaper Dan d gift. Still v wrap it everytym ryt??

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This blog was not about how unfair the society is just to the females. It was about the whole hyppocrisy surrounding the divine institution of marriage. The prospective brides and grooms are not allowed to show who they are, lest they should be rejected.
      Why hide behind so much of pretence to please the guy or girl with whom you need to spend your life with. It's almost as if what lies beneath the wrapping is ugly. A gift is wrapped to surprise the person to whom it is gifted to.. when a person is gift wrapped, the result isn't surprise when it is opened . It is shock..

  5. Good read Veena! ����

  6. Good one veena..But the society needs a prototype..If we could be one, there's sure to be one more

  7. Totally agreed Veens! N like shyama chechi said, guys too go through the same sort of hell, even though the intensity is a bit more for girls. No matter how much we debate, it's closed with a single statement. THAT'S HOW THE SOCIETY IS! No choice....

  8. Good one Veena but if you look around there are lots of girls who have broken these barriers around you..its entirely on you how you treat not let the society decide your life..last but most important all these drama is a part of arranged marriage..its high time we come out of it..

  9. Veena what you had expressed,reflects the old age patterned belief in marriage.but you consciously leaving behind the staged evolution of marriage.since marriage is a socialtal institution,it cannot become a utopian institution over a forth night,but the views you expressed are explicitly very true however you cannot neglect the implicit evolution of people's perspective towards women and marriage.
    Lastly marriage is not a psychological problem it is social evolution of mankind.

    1. Thankyou for commenting. Marriage is supposed to be as simple as two people deciding to live together and respect the other for who they are. Being from Kerala, I can assure you that even if the perspective towards women and marriage has changed, it is not being acted upon for the fear of what they call society ; which by the way has no face nor clear cut motives. Isn't that the worst kind of enemy? How can evolution happen when people are not trying to live in a society, but trying to survive in it?
      Yes. There are a handful who have dared to defy it. But the story of the majority remains the same.

    2. Yes,you have made a valid statement.but your perspective towards society is not correct (though I am none to explicitly state).
      Society is a continuously evolving one.we human beings are social animals had to evolve it.(that is what happening).
      Once you see the evolution of social institution marriage(marriage is not only a institute of tieing together).
      1)Sati the biggest evil practice is banned after a long struggle.
      2)child marriage is abolished (though in some remote Areas it still exist,but majorly it abolished)
      3)marriage with old man is come to end.
      4)polygamy is now explicitly criticised.
      5)widow marriage is being encouraged.
      6)girl child deaths are Rapidly falling down.
      7) independence of women is recognized and being encouraged.

      Veena I can explicitly say that a day comes (it is near) what you had said will be vanished and what every women dreamt about their marriage is achieved.

    3. Looking forward to that day!