Things I want to shout from the rooftop…

of my parents’ house, of all my relatives’ and other well-wishers’ houses, and of all those eager and kindly match-makers’ houses.

Problem क्या है is what they ask, if the guy is

  • as much or better educated than I am
  • earns as much or more than I do
  • is handsome and has a family that is ‘open minded’
  • and is not interested in going outside India, exactly like me. What better, would be open to relocating to Bangalore.
  • And of course, is a Maithil Brahmin

Problem है, Problem आपके attitude में है।

First things first: I don’t need to get married so that I find a man who can feed me after I am handed over from my parents. No! Even from my part time job, I can easily feed a family of 20 if required. I don’t need a husband or in-laws to feed me, to give me clothes and jewelry or to take care of me if I need to step out of the house. And that’s a MAJOR MAJOR thing. Saying that the family is ‘open minded’ means nothing. The whole matchmaking process in all the Indian communities and certainly in Maithil Brahmin communities does not take into account that someone like me is not there to slip in to the conventional role of a wife. It is no longer enough that there is a girl who is a good cook, who can be sweet to everybody in the family, who, in the most modern case, holds a flexible job and there is a man, who has a better education and job than the woman, who would be kind towards her, not beat her, not come home drunk and would strive to give her the best he can. And there is an ‘open minded’ family (I have come to hate that phrase). No, its not enough.

People tell me it would be difficult for them to find my match because of my education .

No Sir – Education does not make it difficult to find a groom for me. Thousands of engineers and MBAs are produced all over the world, dozens of them would certainly be Maithil Brahmins, at least ten of them would certainly pass the other criteria of gotra, mul etc. and at least couple of them would be happy to marry me. And to tell you the truth, unless you are really trying to get me to marry an illiterate person, exact education does not even mater to me. Education is not a problem. Its me, as an individual, who makes it difficult for the match-makers to find a groom for me. Not just difficult, I make it impossible for them to find the *right* groom for me.

My intellect, my views on life, my ways of life, my level of maturity matter and matter a lot. Far more than potential groom’s income and education and stability of the job. Not something matchmakers can ever take into consideration. I am a fiercely independent thinker, and I can not stand somebody who’d chant, “Oh! It has been happening for centuries. It must be right!” Or “That great man said it, it must be right.” That would be the end of my respect for the person and God knows what married life would look like. I hate being a hypocrite and would never be able to stand getting married to a person who had years of a serious relationship before this and left it just because he was sure his parents would not agree. And now is being an obedient son and marrying a girl of their choice who has no idea of his past and she would have no voice if that past would have affected her choice. Parents are wearing their model child as a medal, who did not go astray despite all his education and high society and married to a girl in the caste and of their choice. I would hate to be a that girl (would equally hate to be like that boy too) and the way the match making processes work, something like this happening is a real possibility. Shudder! Or getting married to somebody who has been sending utterly banal mail interpreting equally banal poetry and thinks that we share a lot in common (love for poetry – hence must get married) and sends his aunt over to meet me (to have a look at me?). I promptly showed her my dirty room and she never got back. Poetry and all is fine, but how would this girl manage the household of her nephew – she must have thought. Thank you auntie. Even poetry was not fine, you see. Or some dumbo who thinks he can impress somebody of my independent nature by agreeing to whatever I say – I need a life-partner; not a yes-man please. Or someone else, who puts on such airs, would object to anything I say (whether or not he understood it in the first place) that I am not sure if he is trying to cover his inferiority complex or is actually trying to act intellectual, smart and superior. Spare me – these are all good educated, good salaried, well intentioned respectable Maithil Brahmin young man.

Just that they are NOT FOR ME!

So – find your own groom. Right. But when you make a choice, its difficult to fall in love with a person who is of precisely your cast, but not of your gotra, of a higher mul and should have xyz in kundali……. Freedom from this in choice would be the real freedom! Until then, spare me – really.

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook