The BIG Fat Indian Arranged Marriage...

Oct 1, 2010

Act 1

The drama unfolds when an uncle or aunt's comments(rather a snide remark) make our parents think that their kid is getting really old and it's time he/she stops enjoying life. After all happiness is not everything in life. So they conclude we are ready for the holy union. The same uncles and aunts are then used for broadcasting the availability of an eligible bachelor/spinster in the household.

Act II

The show starts with a bang. With phrases like "Fair, slim, good-looking girl wanted" (for a Bappi Lahiri look alike)... or a "Boy with decent family background and clean habits" (for a girl who idolizes Rakhi Sawant) going around in matrimonial columns or portals.


The verification, validation and elimination round. Innumerable matches are browsed and are eliminated based on pedigree (The Aunt says: The bride's sister's brother-in-law is married to a person from another community it blasphemous!!).

Mars is in second house and Venus is in fourth house, that's a bad combination for a horoscope you see. If we marry this person there will be bad luck for the next 14 generations. The groom's father, mother, brother, sister and puppy will get a cardiac arrest, a tsunami will strike from the flush and engulf the house. No way can we take a person with this kind of horrorscope!! This is what the uncle says.

A year passes by… they get bored and lose hope with this act and still the search continues. Well it goes like this....

First the parents would have started off with the search string 'Beautiful Mangalorean girl looking out for good-looking Mangalorean boy, preferably professionally qualified'...then due to low success rate it is now changed to 'Beautiful Mangalorean bride looking for Mangalorean professionally qualifed groom'. With not much success either the search criteria is transformed to 'Mangalorean girl looking for Mangalorean boy' ..then at a later point changes to 'a boy'. Finally the search is like Bridegroom wanted...caste, community no bar (Wah! wah! what broad mindedness)...this implies to all castes, communities and creeds (last survey counted more than 50 thousand castes in my state alone).


At last the wedding gets fixed with some compromise or the other. Then comes the huge cost involved in an arranged marriage. The bride's and groom's side competes in building up a crowd. Hence we can see old pals, school/tuition teachers, plumbers, car mechanics, newspaper boy anyone and everyone who the bride or groom's side knows. We need witnesses for once in a lifetime occurrence you see. Of course jewels, silk saris and 'n' number of food varieties are there in the list by default.

The compromises too are not reached without a reason. The colour and looks of the bride determine the dowry rate (let's not be so’s called kanyadhaan. The fair and slim girl conditions can be compromised if a few bucks are passed.


Post all the drama and tamasha slowly the truth starts sinking in for the boy and the girl. The boy thinks his wife is extremely beautiful, caring and would bear him kids who would win Derek O’Brian quiz contests. But she may turn out to be someone who hates a guy who has parents or someone who won’t get a proper sleep if she hasn't heard the sound of her hubby's credit card being swiped every day.

And the girl who was expecting this caring and sensitive husband, may realize her man is as caring as Emperor Nero and the sense part...well, he may be someone whose idea of a fashion icon is Govinda and the only sport he plays is throwing pop-corn into his mouth as he watches IPL, ICL, India Vs Holland, Ranji trophy and any cricket match played on the television.

Final ACT

The man and woman realize there is no way to get out of this and either end up loving each other, probably sympathizing with the other’s plight, or they keep the marriage intact by remaining single deep inside their hearts.

Yes yes... accepted arranged marriages have a positive side too. It's like a huge family reunion and two unconnected families coming together...where else can we expect the guy serving sambhar or one giving you rose milk to be a distant relative who gives aptitude books a run for the money in solving the blood relations puzzle.

With all its pitfalls and drawbacks the show still goes on with the BIG Fat Indian arranged marriage.



Robin Almeida - Archives:



by Robin Dyson Almeida
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Comment on this article

  • felix, mumbai/u.s

    Sat, Oct 23 2010

    I have travelled and explored a lot in my life (I used to work on ship). I have interacted with people of different races, seen how people behave under different circumstances and have had time to ponder while I was on high seas.
    First mistake people tend to make is live sheltered lives and look at life through their limited experience and assume nothing bad could happen to them. This is cause they have been fortunate by grace of almighty to have good lives but what they don’t realize is, all it takes is one wrong decision to turn their world upside down and marrying the wrong partner is one of them.

    Marriages based on lies is a lot more common than one would think, it is just that once the girl gets married all these stories don’t come out as they are an embarrassment for the families and no one wants to admit it so everyone pretends like everything is alright. So you rarely hear about this from people.

    Most common lies in a marriage are related to medical history, job related, character, vices& addictions, past relationships, etc. Based on my past experiences I will tomorrow write some list of points one should remember with arranged marriage. With this being wedding season where all the boys come back home to search for their future partners, I think this is a good time to share this. Hopefully it will be used.

  • felix, mumbai

    Sat, Oct 23 2010

    This is a great article, and although it is on the funny side, I think this arranged marriage is a very serious affair and has dire consequences.
    In my time this thing used to work. As generally the parties involved were close enough to each other place wise (udupi, karkala etc) to do some background checks. However this day and age with everyone in North America or Europe, it is hard to get good background check and this is causing a lot of young kids to abuse this noble system that their ancestors put in place and has been used for generations.
    I know of stories of the nice “Gandhi” looking boys from America living secret and sometimes not-so secret promiscuous lives (everyone knows) even as they are actively chatting with multiple girls in India for marriage. These girls look at these “Ghandhi” like pictures and listen to some good old auntie or uncle’s talk about the boy and get cheated into a marrying someone who is not what they are made to believe. After marriage the girl has only 2 choices to either divorce the boy or to compromise and the boys are very well aware of this. That is why they have their fun and then when they feel they want a girl to cook and clean and take care of their house they tell their mommy and daddy to find them a girl. Mommy, daddy and well wishers jump on this opportunity and sometimes even a turn a blind eye to what their son is really doing. they will lie, manipulate info to accomplish this and that is sad of arranged marriage these days

  • Belsi Goveas, Bangalore

    Wed, Oct 06 2010

    Well written Robin.Keep writing such true facts..

  • Joel, Mangalore/ Sydney

    Tue, Oct 05 2010

    Good on u Mate!!! Wat an article made me laugh my guts out and infact a very true article...

  • mujeeb shaikh, mangalore

    Sat, Oct 02 2010

    I liked but we don't have any rights compare with someone (ex: rakhi n bappi) because even they are human being. We never know what n who is my life partner as well as yours! Thanks.

  • sonia, Mangalore/vienna

    Sat, Oct 02 2010

    Well written !!

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Tallur/Dubai

    Sat, Oct 02 2010

    Funny and filled with truth, laughed through out the article, good going, write more.

  • Wilinda, Mangalore/Bendore

    Fri, Oct 01 2010

    Kudos Robin.. I think nobody else could put these scenarios best in words.. Totally appreciate the article hoping that people read it and get enlightened and stop such activities or should i say ACTS:)

  • Dinesh, Mangalore/USA

    Fri, Oct 01 2010

    Ayyo! Where is the villain? When is "main maa ban-ne waali hoon?" part? The bride's mother going on a fast if ... or else ... What about wasted "thotegaarike" in the meantime?
    Robin, good job. Keep it up.

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Fri, Oct 01 2010

    Why are we calling this "arranged" marriage?
    Arn't all these referrals and propositiions?

    No pressure involved?

    They work

  • geoffrey, hathill

    Fri, Oct 01 2010

    Well, it takes 6 acts b4 u pull the curtain in this case. Alternative is 'Wham bam thanQ ma'am'. Choice is yrs.

  • Sharon, Canada

    Fri, Oct 01 2010

    How true! Well written - this was my laugh for the weekend!! S

  • Sunil, Mangalore

    Thu, Sep 30 2010

    Wah! This one takes the cake, after the last writeup "matrimonial website's worst dates" by Robin. Love the pun, satire and Humour!! One question i'd love to ask Robin is "are u speaking from experience ?! :P

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