My Indian arranged marriage: Part I - Why arranged marriage!

Arranged marriage - fifty years back, in India, parents used to find life partners for their children and get them married. It made sense. The children, in most cases, were in their teens - probably even early teens. Even if they were not young in age, they were usually dependant on their parents even at the time they got married as opportunities for pursuing an occupation different from the parents were limited.

As time passed laws around the age of marriage were more strictly implemented. And with time the norm became that both the bride and the groom should have completed their graduation before marriage (atleast in the middle and the upper class) and should be settled either with a job or in the family business. Due to this the average age of marriage increased. Now the 'ready to be married children' are usually professionally settled grown up adults. Therefore, barring few backward areas of the country, today the custom of child marriage in India is almost over. However, the custom of arranged marriage is not.

The girls and the boys, both get exposed to the world when they move out of their homes to study in school or college and after that, when they go out to work, in their workplaces. Some of them start looking for mates. Part of it has to do with the hormonal pressures for gratification of carnal desires (read sex) and part of it has to do with the childhood fantasy of finding their prince charmings and dream girls. Part of it could be peer pressure, after all its probably the in thing today to have a 'close' friend from the opposite gender. Or it could be the pure desire for someone who cares about you. All these together have ensured that the share of love marriages in total marriages has significantly increased over time.

However, in some cases as the 'child' is working hard to be educated and to be 'settled' in a respectable job, he/she does not get time to find a mate. Or just doesn't have the skills. Or probably a conservative or semi-conservative upbringing ensured that the child is shy in broaching the topic with the opposite gender even if, otherwise, he/she can talk any kind of rubbish with them. Or it could be due to a personality disorder: inferiority complex preventing the person from proposing love/marriage to the person he/she likes. Or it could be some other reason. But at the end of it all, the fact remains, that arranged marriages are still very much a reality in the country. So much so that entire businesses, even online, have sprung up to aid in the process.

I'm also a person who, probably due to one of the above reasons or a mix of many of them, remains a bachelor. Not that I have any problems with it. I am romantic enough to wait my entire life for my dream girl. But I also know I would not be allowed to. There is already pressure on me from family and friends to 'settle down'. And yes, I am perfectly normal, the hormones in my body also need some fun. So here I am, setting foot on the journey to an arranged marriage - hoping that the story after it happens would belong to the happily ever after kind.

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