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Whats wrong with the traditional match-making thing in our country

In our society, marriage and all the is a big occasion. When a girl crosses her twenties and a boy nears his thirties, parents start fussing about their marriages.

Generally speaking, in the subcontinent, the distress of getting one’s children married is no little for daughters because parents want their daughters to get married before their sons as culturally speaking, girls ‘age more quickly’ than men.

The fact is, in most subcontinental families, settling children is solely the parents’ responsibility. For starters, finding suitable matches (rishtas) is the first big challenge. More often than not, people contact different marriage agencies, match-makers or their acquaintances to find suitable spouses for their children.

Some minor parts of our society approve of love marriages but the majority still doesn’t.

Therefore, the only solution that seems apparent is an arranged setting.

However, the way this whole match-finding process shapes over the time is at times actually very daunting, especially for girls.

A typical situation every household experiences is where a prospective family comes over to see the girl. A kind of tension and anxiety prevails throughout the day. Special dishes are prepared to decorate the trolley or at times, there is a complete arrangement of lunch or dinner to impress the incoming strangers. The entire house is cleaned or arranged accordingly.

All family members dress-up, especially the girl as she is asked to wear the best clothes and makeup for the occasion. All this so that the guests don’t find any reason to reject the rishta (marriage proposal).

For a girl, the most dreadful feeling is to be presented in front of unknown people who will examine her akin to how sacrificial animals are scrutinized on Eid ul Azha and ask her questions that have to be answered heedfully and with intelligence.

In most cases, male members of the boy’s family also come along with the female members to see the girl.

This can prove to be an awkward and perplexing situation to face for any girl.

In some disappointing instances, men are also noticed ogling and taking pictures of the girl from their cell phones in a clandestine way.


Going through these situations again and again without any significant outcome is severely debilitating mentally.

In a worst-case scenario, the girl might even decide that she doesn’t want to appear in front of anyone new. In my point of view, at this initial stage of the process, only female family members should be allowed to come and male involvement should only be restricted to showing the girl’s picture to them.

Only if the situation suits both the parties should the male members come and have a talk with the girl and her family. This makes the entire process a lot more bearable for the girl in question.

Furthermore, despite all the arrangements that are made, the welcoming family is often not sure whether the incoming family will like the proposal or not.

A proposal can be rejected so much as for the smallest of reasons– for instance, standards set in the respective minds of both families before they meet each other i.e. the house is old and small, there is only one car, the items on the trolley are not up to mark, the girl is short heighted, her complexion is dark, a white hair is spotted on the girl’s head (for God’s sake, this white hair could be due to some petty hormonal imbalances, this does not mean that the girl is nearing her forties), some member of the family may say something the guests do not like, the father or brother’s occupation or social standing is not up to their standard and so on.

I understand that every family has some pre-requisites that they will ideally want satisfied before they select their daughter-in-lawbut these should be discussed before coming to meet the family in person so that false hopes can be prevented from developing at both ends.

The consequence of all of these problems is that a lot of girls tend to remain unmarried.

In our society, when a girl remains unmarried and crosses a certain age (30 usually), she becomes a subject of discussion among people of our society who then ostracize her with their taunting and mocking attitudes in every social gathering.

Small wonder that when a girl has to go through a series of emotional tribulations like these, the urge to get married wears thin as the agitation due to rejections keeps on simmering in the psychic self and it can lead to issues like low self-esteem and depression.

The thing is, I have seen people near and dear to me go through this phase and it bothers and irks me. It also intimidates me to the limit when I realize that like most of the girls in the society, I have to go through all of this real soon.

This is not to say that centuries of tradition are irrelevant, however, at the same time, people should be a little more compassionate about the situation girls have to face whenever they are being considered for a match.

Members from both families in a rishta should try to make their meetings as comfortable as possible so that the girl can ease up a bit and so that the possibilities and outcomes of the potential marriage can be discussed openly.

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