Indian arranged marriage stories are awesome!
The biggest myth that’s floating around is that there are no arranged marriage stories as arranged marriages are all boring.
Nobody falls in love, there are no secret trysts, no romantic dinner dates, and no drama with your parents! After all, every step you take in a arranged marriage is supervised.
The typical arranged marriage process in India begins with a basic profile match that is based on the biodata for marriage.
Then comes the horoscope match.
Once both the parties are satisfied, it’s on to another staged ritual where the boy and the girl meet for the first time. This is closely supervised by the family and it’s no different from buying a television. Everybody has a say in it.
Here are a few handpicked, real life arranged marriage stories that cover everything from outrageous first meetings before arranged marriage to awkward arranged marriage wedding night stories.
1. Arranged Marriage Horror Stories – Frying papad and maths
This is my first and only experience of having a guy and his family visit my house in the context of ‘seeing’ me as their prospective daughter-in-law. My family was contacted by this guy through a matrimonial website; he calls up (gets his whole family: uncle, aunt, mother & father) and says will come for tea but eventually stays until lunch time. So my mom prepares a huge meal for them.
I was not interested in the whole affair, but like all other girls, I was emotionally blackmailed and had to put up with the whole thing.
IAS entrance exam put to shame
I am asked to enter the room. Everybody’s gaze is on me. The guy works in some renewable energy firm, he distributes his company’s brochure to everyone in my family! Then this happens:
Guy’s Father: “Namaste, please sit down, How are you?”
Me: “Namaste, Fine, thank you. How are you?”
Guy’s Father: “I am a lawyer by profession and would like to ask you a few questions”
Guy’s Father: “What do you think about Bhagat Singh?”
I am confused. Everybody is watching me intently.
ME: “Er…He was a great guy I guess. I mean I really don’t think about him much?!”
Guy’s Father: “OK. I will make it simpler, what do you think of the movie Rang De Basanti? Do you think what happened in the movie is possible in real life? Will you do what Amir Khan did?”
Animation of a girl in a classroom sulking
Isn’t this suppose to be a meeting where his son is supposed to meet a prospective girl to marry? Or is this an IAS interview?
Guy’s Father: “What would you give first preference to? The nation, family or yourself?”
Me: (Thinking) what kind of a question is this?
Me: “I liked the movie, but I don’t think that’s possible in real life.”
Guy’s Father:”I am trying to gauge your personality through this Q&A session.”
Me: (Thinking) What? Am I supposed to impress you with my answers? I am an independent girl, am I not supposed to talk to the guy myself rather than answering your crazy questions?
All this time, the guy is sitting with his face down and hands folded.
Guy’s Father: “What are your work timings? Do you have a night duty? How do you commute to work? What is the percentage of males in your office? Are you comfortable working with males?”
Seemed like one of those surveys conducted by the India Today magazine for an edition titled “Working Women in India: Constrained or Happy?”
I give him the factual answers. Most of my colleagues are males and I am super comfortable working with them. I don’t have a night duty but won’t mind one.
Then he asks: “How do you calculate 4 divided by 2?”
Me: “Isn’t it 2?”
He: “How did you calculate it?”
Now it has moved to psychometric testing, probably he’s checking if I am a retard.
Me: “Dunno..may be you find the highest common factor of the numerator and denominator or something..blah blah.”
He: “You don’t seem to be good in math, but you are good in social sciences.”
He: “We are a very modern family, I will allow you to wear jeans and also a top. You can also keep short hair if you want.” He points to his wife who has been ‘allowed’ to keep a short hair.
Me: Yeah, I get it. Bloody hell. What do you mean it is allowed.? I know what to wear, when and where! And don’t you realise that a top has to be worn over jeans trouser? You don’t go around topless!
The question of making papad
If you think, this interrogation has gone on way too long, wait till you read what came up next from the prospective father-in-law.
He: “Do you know how to cook? What all can you cook?”
Me: “Yes, I can cook most of the Indian dishes”
He: “Can you make a Papad?”
He: (In a commanding tone) “There is a tradition in our family that we ask the new bride to make papad. Go to the kitchen and show us how you make papad.”
Does he actually want me to go to the kitchen and show his wife that I can make a papad? I am not even the ‘new bride’ yet.
He insists. I don’t find it funny at all. My family seems to take all of this as a joke or something, they don’t even protest. It’s not even like my boss telling me to go to the lab and show him how to pipette 100 ul.
So I go to the kitchen with the guy’s mother, I don’t even know where the papad is kept, our maid hands it over to me and I start preparing it.
Meanwhile, his mother is telling me to leave my job if I plan to get married her son and also re-think my ambition of doing a PhD and is telling how she left her job after her marriage. I don’t say anything. I am just thinking about my flight back to Bangalore.
My family is not that conservative and I have been brought up in a free environment. During lunch, I serve them and after they finish their food they hand over the used plates in my hands!
Finally, I serve sweets to the whole family. The guy’s father says, “Why have you served only one sweet? Don’t you have more? Are you people stingy in these things?”
I keep a bowl of sweets in front of him and say, “No. Everyone at my home is health conscious and we don’t really take a second helping of things containing a high amount of sugar and fat. But you can have the whole bowl if you don’t really care.”
It’s the prospective bridegroom’s turn to talk
Finally, I meet the guy. All he does is market himself. He works in Spain. He talks about how he got selected for this job (out of 600 people) and how he has an ‘out of the box thinking’ which helped him get through the job interview.
Then he tells me about his salary and how I don’t really need to work. Their family just wants an educated daughter-in-law so that she can present herself properly. He goes on and on and doesn’t even seem to be interested in asking me anything about me.
In the end, he tells me about his hobbies and says he likes Ricky Martin (WTF? Is he living in the 90s?)
I ask about his sister, he says she has done law and is sitting at home and is married to an hotelier. He only tells about the hotelier husband of his sister (females don’t really do anything in his family it seems.)
Then he says — “I will tell you one thing about myself. I am a pure vegetarian, I hate pubbing and clubbing. In my family, all decisions are taken by my father. I have never breached his trust. If I marry you and you go for higher studies you will have to make a lot of adjustments. Now tell me what all stuff do you like? (it didn’t sound like a question at all).”
He would have jailed me if I had mentioned one of my favourite drinks is Old Monk with coke.
I tell him that I am not sure about marriage as I want to go for higher studies. Then he tells me that I should go ahead for it but he also mentions how he once refused an offer from the ‘daughter of a high court judge’ because he wanted to go for higher studies and how he doesn’t have too many good offers for marriage.
Finally, they left and it was a relief to see their backs.
2. Arranged marriage horror stories – Grandmother’s choice
The boy was an engineer from India and worked for an MNC Germany. He met a German woman and they fell in love. The relationship lasted 3 years. The boy informed the parents. They were shocked. They tried their best to convince him to break the relationship. He stood firm.
Then the boy’s grandmother passed away. The boy was really close to her. The parents told the boy that her last wish was to see him married to a woman from his own community. He was also guilty that he could not attend her funeral. So he finally ended the relationship and got a bride arranged for him by his parents. The girl was living in Europe and was from the same caste. They even had a perfect horoscope match.
Turned out the girl was quite a loose character. Even after marriage, she continued her affairs. She spoke fluent German and thus was able to converse on the phone with her paramours even when her husband was around.
Finally, the guy caught her in the act with the help of his colleague. He had informed her that one of his friends would come to visit them from India. This ‘visitor from India’ was actually a colleague of his who spoke fluent German himself and was settled in Germany. He confirmed the worst fears of the husband. The divorce was quick.
He never came back to India. He changed his name and renounced all relations with his parents. The twist in the tale: Apparently, his grandmother had never said she wanted to see the boy married to a woman from the same community!
Author – Prasanth Valsan K
3. Arranged marriage stories – Parents are against arranged marriage!
My elder brother agreed to go for an arranged marriage after going through a couple of relationship breakups.
My parents started searching for a bride and shortlisted a potential match. They decided to meet her first.
When my parents returned after seeing the girl, they told us that they rejected the girl because she was way darker and no match for my brother.
My brother was furious. He asked them how in the name of God can they reject a girl just on the basis of her complexion. Ours is a north Indian family with all of us having a fair complexion. Their stance was that she would look like an alien in our family.
My brother tried to convince my parents that they should not judge the person on their looks but his efforts were all in vain.
My brother, against the wishes of all the family members, called the girl’s family and apologised and asked them whether they will allow him to meet the girl so that he could know the girl in person.They agreed to do so after my brother’s continuous efforts!
After meeting the girl and dating her for 2 months, he decided to marry her. He told that girl possesses all the qualities that he desired in a wife. He told me that the girl had been rejected by many other prospective matches just on the basis of her complexion.
They got married within 6-months after their decision. At the time of the wedding, she was a teacher in an intermediate government college. After marriage, with support from my brother, she completed her PhD and became a professor in college.
Author – Anonymous
4. Arranged marriage success stories – Third time lucky!
Round 1 – Saw a girl. Got talking for some time. Agreed to consider getting married. Continued talking and getting to know each other. Or so I thought till a few days before our formal engagement when original boyfriend gives me a call. Nice guy. We had a long talk. To cut a long and sordid story short, no engagement.
Round 2 – Saw a photograph of a girl. Bio described her as cheerful bubbly and tall (I am 6’2″ which by Indian standards is Goliathesque). Fixed up a meeting and voila the person I’m talking to about prospective marriage is 4’10”, and nothing as described. Hasty retreat and a vow to never do this again.
Time passes, time for Round 3 – Had already made up my mind that I’m doomed in the marriage Olympics and so turn up in casuals, with a two-day stubble. Got talking, talked for a long time. End of the first meeting we were chatting on easily. Have now been married for 17+ years. Like they say – 3rd time lucky.
Author – Anonymous
4. Arranged marriage stories – Love marriage or arranged marriage?
Her biodata was sent to my family by her parents. However, I was not ready to get married back then nor was I mentally prepared for it so I just gave a very cursory glance, noted her birthday and education. I liked what I had seen on the marriage biodata but told my parents that I am not ready.
Six months later, we ended up being on the same Whatsapp chat group through a common friend. Although we used to comment on each other’s post, that was quite rare. One day, I posted an image on the group and she liked it. We started chatting on and off. This went on for a few months. I knew that she was the girl who’s biodata I had seen earlier. However, I did not know if she knew about it.
Then, I wanted to meet her in person. After a lot of rescheduling and a bit of coercion (she was sceptical of meeting an unknown guy). We met and DID NOT hit it off immediately. At least from my side. I felt she was good at heart and a good friend. However, I did not feel like asking her out on an ‘official date’. We continued chatting, mostly on a daily basis.
I started looking out for arranged marriage meetings. I also met three other girls but things did not work out. She had already been looking out for more than 2 years!
I had a hunch that she might have some feelings for me. So I again decided to meet her. This time, with a very positive frame of mind, to see if I can see her as my life partner. She suggested that we go for a movie together. I felt some connection this time. We met a couple of times again.
Finally, I asked her out. After a bit of usual girlish tantrums, she said yes. On the first “official” date itself, she asked me, “When are we telling your parents about us?”. I wanted to spin our story into something else. Since her parents had anyways sent her biodata to my parents, and at that point of time I was not ready, why don’t we treat this as an arranged marriage?
So after a month, during a discussion with my parents and grandparents, I casually mentioned that since the last set of prospective matches did not work out, I am open to meeting other girls. My grandfather promptly mentioned about ‘her’! So, I soon met her again – this time, officially and we got married. Our families think this was a arranged marriage!
Do you have arranged marriage stories worth sharing? Use the comments feature below to share!
Author – Anonymous
6. Arranged marriage wedding night stories – Does he want that?
Arranged marriages are sort of a tricky affair. They are a gamble that both the groom and bride play, which either results in new love stories or has a devastating effect on their lives. I was about to find out which way my marriage would head.
He came inside. With every step bringing him closer to me, my heart clenched tighter with fear. I tried not to look up and assumed that he was scanning every curve of my body, fantasising about every part and feeling proud of his latest possession. “Rema,” he called, in a rather nervous tone. I looked up to realise that he was as nervous as me. He had warmth on his face and not the beastly lust that I was forced to believe he would have. Wasn’t I officially his? I thought he was ready to pounce on me.
I wondered if this was going to be different. My biggest fear, my first night, the night I was going to share a bed with a person I was not in love with, whom I had just met five times and skyped with twice or thrice a week for two months. That was all the connection we had developed. Oh yes, we did like each other’s Facebook pictures as well, if that makes a difference.
My friends who are married warned me of these shy and quiet guys because they are supposed to be more dangerous on the first night. “You’ll wonder why you can’t forget things more easily,” they said. They used the word “animal”. That’s what he would become on the first night. He wouldn’t care about emotions at all. Why not just conquer the latest possession?
I regretted that conversion because it scared me to death. Marriage suddenly became from being a fairy- tale to the worst nightmare anyone could have.
I didn’t want to be tagged as someone’s property. No that is not what I had imagined my life to be. I wasn’t a virgin bride, neither was he. We had discussed it over Skype. He knew my history and I was aware of his. But trust me when he was approaching me that night, I was more scared than a virgin could ever be. I liked the idea of making love but then it has to have love in it, doesn’t it?
He came and sat next to me. He asked me to get comfortable and do away with these extra layers that I was embroidered with. I sensed concern but it was overridden by what my friends and relatives had fed me with. I changed and came to him. Soon I saw my worries fading away as he rubbished all my negative thoughts. “Don’t you think arranged marriages are funny?” he asked and I smiled with a sigh of relief.
Soon we were both engrossed in a conversation with fun and laughter. He told me I could sleep if I wanted to as he was a night person and was used to sleeping late. I didn’t because I was enjoying my first night. We discussed everything we wanted to. He made me comfortable by saying first nights don’t usually have to be what is shown in the movies. We would definitely take time so I didn’t worry. It was as if he was reading my mind.
We didn’t have sex on the first night but we did the night after that because we both wanted to. Mine wasn’t a love story every girl had dreamt about but the man I am married to for four years now has never let those first night fears come back to me.
Source: Akkar Bakkar.
7. Arranged marriage wedding night stories – How to do it?
“This all happened April last year, and it is 100% true.
My wife is from a Muslim country originally but her family is from the capital and quite modern. She has relatives however from a smaller village who are not quite as modern.
So one of her second cousins (son of dad’s cousin) wants to get married because it is time already and he wants children. His mom interviews a few girls but it took a while. Some of the girls she didn’t like because they weren’t ‘traditional enough,’ and some of the girl’s families didn’t want because the guy’s family was too strict, even for a small village (things like the girl having to be Muslim, must wear hijab, pray 5 times a day, the whole ordeal).
Finally they find a girl who suits him, his mom approves and girl’s parents approve, so they organize the wedding for like 2 weeks after (sadly because of that I couldn’t go, we live in Western Europe and I need to tell my vacation days in advance, at least more than 2 weeks, but she could arrange it with her work to go for the wedding).
My wife told me about the wedding, it was a super traditional Muslim wedding, which I would have loved to see because I have never been to one, although it was hard for me to understand a wedding without any alcohol. So the wedding happens and it ends early and everyone goes home to rest and sleep. My wife and his family (parents and sister) go to the hotel which is an hour away.
Then my wife’s dad gets a call. I should say before that my wife’s dad is very well considered in his extended family because he has a very good job in the centre and works with high profile people, basically a very ‘respectable’ man. It was maybe 1 am and he gets a call from his older sister saying that he needs to go back to the village immediately, there is an emergency. Him expecting it to be about money (he gets asked for money quite often) demands to know what is going on. So here is the fun part.
The groom was a very traditional Muslim man. He had never had a date, never gone out with a girl, and followed his religion in a very strict way. He had barely talked to women in the past. The bride has followed a similar path.
So they finish the ceremony, they go to the room, and they realise they have absolutely no idea how to proceed. Like these people did not know how to have sex.
They had never watched a porn film, they never had sex education, no one thought to tell them what they would have to do in bed. They are there wondering what to do now, so they call this aunt who is the eldest of the family to tell them what to do.
But the aunt feels that a woman cannot possibly describe to a man how to have sex, that is so inappropriate, so instead, she calls her younger brother (my father-in-law). My FIL doesn’t want to hear about that crap, he is one hour away and it is really barely any of his business, it is late and he works the next day. Also, there must be many others more suitable for that kind of thing.
At this point, my wife and her mom and sister are cracking up because they cannot believe this is happening in 2013, and the thing is no one expected this otherwise they would have taken precautions.
So my FIL tells them to try to find someone else and if not he will go, but thankfully they contact on of the guests who is a “mullah” (not sure I spelled that right), like a religious figure, who agrees to go and explain to the guy what to do with his wife so they can consummate the marriage. But it doesn’t end there.
Like a week later my wife comes and tells me that apparently, something happened because the next days the bride was seen walking funny, and apparently, they had to contact a gynaecologist because something had happened during the wedding night that actually hurt the poor girl.
We never got to know what was it that he did (or they tried) that went wrong, or the outcome after. Keep in mind this is really embarrassing for them so they tried to keep it as low as possible, we only found out because they called my FIL first to try to go talk to the guy.
So obviously this was in a very rural area in a small village of a Muslim country, very hard to understand for many of us but it is one of my favourite stories that I heard. I doubt this happens in many arranged marriages, but hey, it happened in at least once. And last year, too!
Source: Thought Catalog.