Arranged marriages have been around in India as long as probably the institution of marriage itself. Aunts, who are called “aunties” in India, have always played an intrinsic and pivotal role in it, from its conception to implementation. As times have progressed, they have proved that they can adapt to the changing times by updating themselves with the latest jargons, terminologies and sometimes even, technologies, necessary to perform this ‘task’. The underlying task here is, of course, “arranging” a marriage.
Darwin would very keenly have noted that, the species of aunts in India are the very epitome of human adaptation to an ever-changing social environment. Indeed, if nature ever prided itself for its “natural selection”, it would definitely be its selection of genes that has helped propagate the aunts’ species from stone age into space age and beyond.
Of course, the aunts themselves do not think much of their accomplishment. For them the task of arranging comes as naturally as breathing (does not include cases where one has respiratory problems). Expert socio-psychologists had earlier speculated that may be this task is more of a hobby. How wrong they were! More recent studies have shown that it’s not a hobby. A hobby, by definition, is a pastime activity. It ceases to be one, when all they ever think of, and do is search for a suitable partner, follow it by match-making, before arranging the wedding. Having taken care of the victim, they then proceed nonchalantly to the next victim. The task is much akin to a rugged, well-oiled mechanical machine that processes, packages and labels, before dispatching off the final product, while the next one is already ready in line for processing…
Now, if you actually want to know what goes into accomplishing this task, all that can be said is that you must be an aunt yourself. It’s impossible for outsiders a.k.a “non aunts” to comprehend, let alone speculate this complex, alchemical process that the aunts concoct to accomplish this task. No outsider has ever been able to penetrate the secret inner walls of their elite community. A few imposters who tried to fake and get into their circle have been dispatched off with severe warnings.
Now these aunties are always on the prowl. The number of single females they know is much higher than what a college going roadside Romeo would. But we must hand it to them, that they do their research very thoroughly.
Now the fascination of the west has also gotten to these ladies. They hunt for potential matches in the US or ‘States’ as they wish to call them. If the guy lives in India or is working here, the immediate assumption they make is something is wrong with him. How could he not make it to any university (well maybe they are not aware of the amazing opportunities that exist in our own country) Similarly a gal who is from ‘States’ is also subjected to a more thorough interrogation
Now where is the place where they assemble to have an interaction? Well they do meet at the most auspicious occasion, where their months of harwork and co-ordiantion has finally been realized. That’s right, at weddings!
Well so if you are a single guy/gal at any of such occasions then BEWARE!! You might just be subjected to a lot of questions. You would be interviewed by a lot of people, and my friend!! You would have signed up as a potential suitor without you even knowing it
Boy: Hello aunty!!
Aunty: how are you doing? Done with studies beta!!
Boy: Yes aunty. Finished two months back
Aunty: ohh so now you are working ehh? Which company?
Aunty: Ohh that is a big MNC isn’t it? Good so you are settled? (Now this is a subtle way to check the financial status of the boy)
Boy: Yes aunty!!
Aunty: That is nice beta!! Enjoy yourself… have you parents come?
Boy: Yes aunty! They are sitting upstairs.
A very very innocent conversation, it may seem to you. But nope my friend, you have just been checked into the lot of potential suitors. Gals might have to face a little more of these questions about their finesse in cooking and other fields which they expect the “sundar sushil ladki” to have.
Now once the wedding is on and the hunt for the new talent pool has ended. Then begins the meeting.
Two aunties would then settle themselves in some corner and the chat will begin.
“Oh so how are you enjoying yourself”
“Pretty good so far. Have you met Rajesh?”
“Rajesh!! Who? Mr Rao’s son?”
“Yes. He has finished his Masters and is now working with a software company in the states”
“Oh!! I didn’t know that he was that old already!”
“Yes!! He is”
“You have his details?? I have been looking for a match for Cousin’s sister-in-law’s daughter”
Then begins the very tedious process of exchanging details. If the aunty is convinced about his background then begins the arranging of the meeting.
Sometimes when they realize that the potential suitor is not mentally ready to take the plunge, they decide to prepare him
Now mind you, the guy is a happy go lucky guy who is just come to marriage since it is a family event. He is happily working and has no plans to get married anytime in the near future.
After the initial pleasantries
Aunty: so how long have you been working?
Boy: It’s been three years aunty.
Anuty: So, any promotions?
Boy: Yes aunty I recently got promoted
Aunty: So your salary would have increased. Good now you are ready to settle down.
This is when the alarm bells start ringing for the poor guy. He starts thinking, “ settle down?? What does she mean?”
Aunty (to another aunty): Soon he will get a bride and happily start his family
Boy (thinking to himself): shit man!! Marriage…noooooooo…Not anytime soon
Aunty: Have you met Smita? beta
Boy: No aunty.
Aunty: She too has joined a software company. You should meet her, and give her some tips. She is a very nice gal. She was a gold medalist in her college.
Boy (thinking to himself): Shit so she is the one. Man topper and all…a geek…Nooooo
And in case he has a girlfriend, imagine …what she would have had to say to him if she found out he was having such conversations
How do you escape from such a situation? Well this is what many people are trying to figure out.
So people, I hope you are now better prepared to face the impending danger!!
But as the aunties say, “YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANT HIDE”