It all starts as a secret mission when one for your distant relative (most often she is in her late fifties) visits your house for a chit chat with your mom. Gossip centers around everything else except on their own life. At the fag end of their conversation, the burning issues in their personal lives are put forth. One such issue that your mom may be prompted to share will be your marriage. References for a perfect match are thrown across instantly. The conversation ends with a plan to see the prospective match for you and within days you are set on a journey of dinner outings and lunch meetings with your prospective in-laws and brother-in-laws even before you get a first glimpse of your likely girl.
Finding a match, may not be exciting for you but for your parents its once in a lifetime occasion. Its an occasion where they are licensed to talk all great things about their upbringing of you and highlight all attributes that make you so special. Some attributes that may sell you for an arranged marriage are:
-“My son has a small friend circle.”
– “He has never been late out.”
– “Alcohol is not in our family though his father drinks on special occasions.”
– “My son is a virgin, he has never even touched a girl.”
– “He was promoted to go abroad but chose to stay with us.”
You may not be devoid of emotions- pleasantly surprised, appalled, apprehensive, delighted, intrigued, overwhelmed etc. when you hear your parents bragging before your prospective in-laws. One can still manage if they had been your in-laws but they are only 'prospective'. Even if you are luckiest you would have been pitched to atleast five families. Chances of a girl refusing you increases disproportionately post first five failed attempts since she may begin to look upon you as impotent or something. In my opinion these are all moments of embarrassment associated with arrange marriage. To substantiate it further some moments of embarrassment are listed below:
– I could not manage a single affair that ended in a marriage.
– My privacy is sold in expectation of a good match.
– Saying 'hello' to your prospective girl in front of parents who believe they can make you friends with anyone they want to.
– Thought of what your prospective girl may think of you- “The guy I see in bus everyday is sexier than the one sitting in front of me.”Did he have an affair?” “He must have slept with girls or atleast call girls.” “Will he earn enough?” “Can I get to act on my instructions for rest of my life?”
– You need to throw-up 100 reasons to refuse a girl. She may not be beautiful enough for you but then her parents' background or wealth may push you to say 'Yes'.
– Riding a horse as a bridegroom for a girl with who you will have sex first and then start liking her. Love may or may not happen.
– Post honeymoon mess. With honeymoon ending all pleasures vanish since years of coping and adjustment begins. You lose, fight, apologize and finally learn to give-up. By this time you are in mid-thirties happy sighting females of your age around except your soul-mate.
– At this time you may not be staying with your parents due to a split. The girl they sold you to never not compatible with them.
– You are no longer a mom's son but a wife's pet etc. etc….
Some of above mentioned embarrassment reasons may happen in case of a love marriages as well, but path to a love marriage is more respectful than an arranged marriage.
Above are my personal views with no ill-feelings to anyone.