I was 29. Young and energetic; Presentable and well-built. I was well-settled and belonged to a cultured family (or at least this was the image I had about myself). I didn’t have a girlfriend or one can say she left me (or may be I let her go because I was not ready for the commitment!!!) and I was not dating anyone then (though I wonder if chatting, poking or stalking someone on FB counts!!).
Anyways, finally I evolved to be an eligible bachelor, responsible enough to take care of someone and as peer pressure was mounting up, I found myself registered on a matrimonial site. These days, most of my friends were more busy on matrimony sites rather than on other social media. Every day, a new number was being added to their watsapp contact-list. And it was my debut entry and I wanted to make it really big. I uploaded some of my pictures where I thought I resembled Virat Kohli (only chin!!). Then I jotted down a really impressive introduction about myself and, excitedly, waited for over-whelming responses.
I was a software professional, the coolest job in India. I was earning well. Wasn’t that enough?? No, it wasn’t. I thought marriage was more abut looks and then may be love!!! But No!! Marriage was more about class, status and money. So, the responses were not really up to my expectations. People ignored me. People were genuinely not interested in me.
Software engineer?? Sorry, we are looking for MBAs, PSUwalas, Doctors, or at least Mechanical or Civil or ETC or EEE. But sorry!! No Software. (I am thankful they didn’t say they would rather prefer Diploma or PGDCA!!). You are in India since you joined your company?? No onsite project yet?? What kind of an engineer you are?? Good profiles were not responding to my messages and even if they did, I was bombarded with these questions.
I was upset. Consequently, I rejected forty girls and eighty girls rejected me. My parents didn’t like fifteen of my prospective in-laws and thirty of my prospective in-laws didn’t like my parents. Gradually, I lost interest and didn’t care to log into it very often.
However, lady luck smiled on me and four months later, I was on my way to NYC for my 1st onsite project. My current status has to be updated everywhere including Matrimony and I did. In a matter of few months, I had become an NRI groom and the number of interests and messages were just magically multiplied. Some other prospective brides who had put me on hold also resurrected like phoenix and replied to my personalized messages I had sent months ago.
However, all were not well. Now, some of the parents had categorized me as a lecherous wolf who would not mind ditch their daughter and marry a Gori for green card and they declined my messages mercilessly. But still I was happy, hopeful and I was enjoying my status of being an NRI. Every other day, I was getting a proposal and was chatting with four girls at a time. I was at the top of the world. I was feeling great and my attitude was on a high.
However, as far as the proposals were concerned, most of the parents pretended to be quite liberal and wanted the boy and the girl to interact first. I felt it was more like shying away from responsibility and an urge to blame us (the poor boy and the girl)if something goes wrong between us in future (See! We had allowed you know each other first [through chatting]So, now its your problem).
Facebook was the first place to search for the girl’s and a fierce investigation was being started. We were searching each other on FB, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Our Mutual friends were the worst victims. I was calling friends with whom I had not interacted for the last 5 years. How do you know her? What kind of a girl she is? Does she have a boyfriend? Does she drink? Does she smoke? Does she hang out with boys? Is she simple? Is she homely? Is she adjustable? All those matrimonial questions!!!
And then the chatting session began. The girls with whom I had interacted were either too shy or too bold. Someone even asked me if I were a virgin and I started blushing. Some wanted me to settle in the US whereas some wanted me to come back as soon as possible. Some made me believe they were born in India by mistake and actually they belong to firangi genes. Others showed me their Indian side and made me realize they would make an India out of America if given them a chance. Life was really good.
But before I could make my mind, my project was over and I was on my way to India. All of a sudden, all the girls with whom I was interacting were either busy or disinterested. I had broken their hearts, most importantly their US dreams. They had shifted their interest to some other NRI bakras and I was left all alone where I had started once.
I was sitting, upset and baffled. My father came with a photo and showed it to me. It was his friend’s daughter, my junior in school. My father asked if I like her and I thought for a moment. My matrimony journey was flashing in front of me like a movie. I was tired, I was disillusioned. I looked at the photo again and nodded, saying, “yes.” Within a second, my father’s phone rang and I could guess who must be there on the line as my father replied apologetically, “sorry sir, but my son’s marriage has been fixed. We are going to delete the profile today.”