For every Indian family (and its inquisitive neighbor) life revolves around the marriage of the offspring, and almost the entire life is spent either on saving up for it or trying to recover from it!
Marriages may be made in heaven, but they’re played out, with elaborate rituals, in the marriage altar; and a whole lot of culture and customs, beliefs and traditions precede the seven auspicious steps that the bride and the groom will take in that altar. Top on the list is the matchmaking process where horoscopes are tallied and the formal ‘boy sees girl’ event takes place. While relatives, friends and marriage bureaus still play a huge role in the pairing of couples, matrimonial ads in newspapers are also a great source of information on the ‘eligibles’ in the market.
Because of space constraints (every word is money in an ad), lack of language skills and sometimes simply because the people who place these ads just don’t get it, some of the matrimonial ads turn out to be quite quaint while some are absolute howlers!
Presenting a few of the ads that I really really loved; and these are authentic ones which actually appeared in the leading Indian National Dailies, mind you!
Check them out…..
” Bride wanted – very beautiful, homely, well-educated (but no desire to work) for a tall handsome etc, etc……”
Too many contradictions here methinks…. Apart from the ‘well-educated but no desire to work’ part of it, could someone please inform these ‘tall handsome’ types that ‘homely’ does not mean someone who loves staying at home (as they seem to think), but it literally means a girl who’s quite plain and unattractive? So ‘homely’ and ‘very beautiful’ ??? Split personality perhaps.
“Wanted educated, good-looking, fair, homely girl for a handsome grad boy /Issueless /Innocent divorcee….”
Ok homely and good looking again! But wait… I thought people divorced because they had serious issues…! Hmm well, that’s obviously not an issue……. because he’s innocent m’lord! 🙂 *
“Groom wanted – He should be good-looking from a cultured family and should not be a mama’s boy”
Mamma mia! Way to go girl….. Sock it to him….Tell him to stand up……Be bold…… Be a man… Cut the apron strings……… ok ok I’m done! Just got a little over excited folks.
“Smart, intelligent female, looking for suitable boy who is fond of travelling and eating out. Should be living in a joint family who are willing to share responsibility for child-rearing”
Read ‘tween the lines guys… if I understand correctly, she’s basically looking for a free child-care centre while she goes jaunting around! And pssst….. I have this strange suspicion (don’t know what brought it on) that she’s not too keen on cooking either. Yep she is smart, we agree.
“Bride wanted – sincere spiritual fair partner wanted for 32 yr old, affectionate, caring boy, sexually unfit due to stress of prev divorce (curable) Only son, simple marriage.”
Uh oh! Poor dear. must have had a blood-sucking vampire for an ex! So so stressed out…but panic not folks, it’s curable! Whew! Aren’t we relieved!!
So there you go ….. these are just a few of my favourite ones which tickled my funny bones and I felt like tickling your’s too. 🙂
But chuckles apart, when one throws a glance over the matrimonial columns in general, one is sure to get a feel of the way the wind blows in a country obsessed with the color of skin (the girl’s skin that is)
While the ‘Grooms Columns’ boldly and unabashedly ask for “FAIR….”, the brides hide delicately behind approximately 50 shades of dark, ranging from wheatish, dusky and biscuit colored, to olive-toned and gold-tinged!
And generations of parents continue stoking the color prejudice, when they discourage their little girls from playing out in the sun or choosing careers which require them to go out in the sun : “You’ll get a tan and you won’t get a husband”, they chant. Dark predictions indeed! And we won’t even go into all those half-baked commercials for fairness creams. They aren’t being fair are they? Harping on something the girls are born with and thus have no control on, rather than highlighting their good nature, qualifications or achievements.
Well, well…. I seem to be getting fairly deep into dark issues here; so to lighten up I’m giving you just one more for the road….. It’s classic !
“Wanted – tall, slim, fair, beautiful girl with long hair for handsome boy, engg, earning in 6 figures.”
Now howzzat!! The guy’s shopping around for what…? A super model? Rapunzel? Barbie doll? He certainly needs those six-figure earnings then. Maintenance charges….. You know!
Cheers and have a fair day! 🙂
* I have played around with the terms – Issueless and innocent divorcee for the sake of the article. They are often used in legal parlance I believe.