1. The talk : My parents shoo me away when a condom ad shows up on screen and I'm sitting next to them. But they have absolutely no problem discussing about my marriage in front of me. Father just nods to what my mother has to say. My mother is a convincing err conversational wizard. After a girl crosses twenty one, she cannot get a moment of peace in front of her relatives because she gets to hear
"Aww, look how you grow up from a bud into a flower."
"Aur kitni padhai karegi? Humare zamane mein do chaar bacche ho jaate tere jaise ladkiyon ki"
( translated version : How much will you study? In our times, a girl like you would give birth to two or three kids.)
"Learn to be modest. Soon, you'll go into a new house ruled by new people."
2. The astrologer : Don't think less of them. They did everything besides predicting my future. My mother drags me into their chambers where the whole palmistry session goes on. I even sketched stuff on my palm just so that he can't read. I tried to piss him off by asking questions about his own death but that didn't work well. Explains about every friggin' planet that's taking a high or low in my fate. I don't even know how that works.
3. The horoscope : A must match for both the guy and the girl. An irritating process in which many better suitors slip out of hand. But alas! If the horoscope matches exactly, you must get married to that person [even if the person is a runaway convict].
4. Ethnicity : Religion/caste/native language/roots get literally scanned. The parents and their background is more important than the boy or girl's dating history. Why? Because according to my community, boys and girls are angels and india is not westernized YET. Nobody dates. Ignorant? Assumptions? No comments.
---This is the point when all the matching process gets over and the perfect goofy matrimonial snap is exchanged via snail mail--
5. Looks : Now, here's where my community gets a bit racist at times. Or, is it the same with everyone? Anyway. Doesn't matter if the boy looks like a crow, but the girl has to be fair. If she's not fair, she better rush to that store for getting a pack of fair and lovely right now. Some do accept the girl as she is. Some keep shut and vent out their voices after the poor thing is married.
6. The meet : After a lot of mix and match, the boy is given permission to come with his parents at the girl's place. Everyone gets to talk to each other except the boy and the girl. Almost, every stupid topic from the bad economy to the crappy education system is discussed. The girl is not supposed to talk to the boy outside or alone. It's considered as a bad omen. Now, that's when technology comes to the rescue for asking personal questions.
7. The questions : No, I'm not going to discuss the personal questions here. Jeez :| I meant the questions asked by parents, people the boy is related to..
"Do you know to cook?"
Default reply : Pretty much what my mother taught me.
"Do you know to sing?" [very important in bengali culture]
Default reply : Sing the damn song and impress them. Mainly, rabindra sangeet. Google it! If you don't know to sing, they'll prolly never call you back. BTW, it's okay if the boy knows zilch.
"Do you know to walk?"
Default reply : Walk and show. [they check your toes and ankles; might even check if you've got long hair or you're trying to put up a wig]
"Are you planning to work after marriage?"
Default reply : I'll leave that to my elders to decide.
Many more. I won't bore you with it.
8. Dowry : Very famous, controversial & yet very traditional. Bridal money has gone to hell but the groom pay is on high bidding wars. 20K? Naww, how about 30K? Alright, say what? Let's settle for a dollar and get them married. Both of them earn anyway!
Awkward fake conversation :
Girl's father : We would like to know your demands. Anything at all, we'll try out best to satisfy your desires.
Boy's father : No no no no, we just need your daughter. She's everything for us. She's a gem.
*the boy's mother slowly slips in from the back*
Boy's mother : Err, he he, diamond is lucky for my son. * now, why would she mention that?*
9. The big day : It's boring as hell. We don't have a separate engagement day. I don't know if it's a cunning idea to cut costs for the whole ceremony or..
The date will be decided by a hired(treated by sweets and melons & bribes) panditji. The process is sinfully long. No point writing that here. Maybe next time. Alright, maybe never. :|
Here's the situation : If two people are in love but do not have their ethnicities or communities in common, can they succeed in getting married? If they both have to surpass every point I just mentioned, it will crumble them into pieces.
The question is : How to arrange a love marriage? Drop in your opinions.