Desperately Seeking Husband: part 7

In her final installment has blogger Sejal found her dream man?

Posted: 13.05.13

After travelling across three unique Indian cities over the past few months in my journey to explore the current methods today’s 30-somethings undertake to find ‘the one’, I was fascinating to say the least!

The modern face of Mumbai today owes its diversity to independent working women who walk shoulder to shoulder alongside their male counterparts and are not afraid to shun the out-dated stereotype that marriage is a task that HAS to be completed. Love, commitment and a shared vision are all integral factors to building a future with a life partner for both men and women. The move towards dating via socialising and networking is becoming the norm.

In the UK and across many western countries, matrimonial websites are one of the most popular methods for many South Asians in their search for a soulmate. Yet in cities like Mumbai, such websites still face scepticism from many independent singletons and it is not unusual for online marriage resumes to be submitted on behalf of the seeker’s parents or family member.

With reservations on the authenticity of on-line profiles, it prompted me to question why so many of us succumb to hiding our insecurities behind social networking websites. As discovered on one of my first dates in Mumbai, the art of conversation between two people seems to be diminishing as many of us cannot even complete a meal or a trip to the bathroom without pinging our BB chat buddies and letting our Facebook family know where we are and whom with!

Moving on to the more traditional method of the family and their communities to assist in the groom-hunt, advertising your single status and credentials in the local newspapers is a highly recommended method amongst many Delhi families. Desirable traits in a potential partner has to be described within a handful of lines and of course the frequency of your profile printed is dependent on how much an individual is willing to invest. Whilst I admit that I was aware my INR 200 (£4) investment would result in an advert no more than 15 words and crammed on a classified page amongst the local dial-a-gurus and hearing aid stores in a local newspaper, I did not foresee the frankness in the specific traits that many bride and groom seekers requested. 

The search for the perfect partner extended beyond just the right caste and educational status, the minimum height, complexion, willingness to be a housewife and knowledge of specific customs are examples of equally important requirements. Regardless of whether this causes offence or delight, there are certainly no hidden barriers.

In keeping with another customary and still commonly used approach, meeting another one of my blind date’s family members in Rajasthan before I could even talk to him was nothing short of daunting. I honestly thought that being questioned on one’s Indian culinary skills and ability to run a household of extensive family members was something only heard of in the run of the mill Indian saas-bahu (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) serials!

Although adjusting to such a structured and traditional environment and its culture would probably prove very difficult for me, I admired the women that came from such large family dynamics who accepted that there were certain expectations of their way of living but also revealed all that was positive about it; compassion and attachment, something that had become very rare with the expansion of nuclear families. In such families, a problem shared is a problem halved; any obstacles they face, they face together hence a struggle merely becomes just another journey that they all walk together.

You may recall that my journey has not just been documented on this blog, but also recorded by a film crew and we drew to the director announcing ‘it’s a wrap!’, every friend and family member who knew of my little adventure, were anxiously awaiting the answer to one question: do I get my happy ending? Have the past few months found me love? The answer was simple; my journey had only just begun…

Keep up-to-date with Sejal’s adventures and the release of her film
Desperately Seeking Husband by following her on Twitter: @sejal_thefilm

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