By Purva Bhatia Last Updated:
‘Arranged marriage’- two words that bring to mind an image of a room where the groom-to-be’s family looks closely at the girl, who is dressed up in a saree and is carrying a tray in hand. ‘Filmy’ as it sounds this has defined the concept of arranged marriages in India for long.
But, it is perhaps time for a new definition. The scenario is slowly shifting from drawing rooms to coffee shops, and matrimonial sites now work more like dating sites. Traditions are changing and so are the avenues. Here we look at the new age methods of finding the ‘right one’!
There is a new crop of ‘dating’ matrimonial sites in India. Well, they are not exactly dating sites but they are not exactly matrimonial sites either. Not too liberal as the former and not too binding as the latter, these meet somewhere in between with a promise to match two like-minded singles. You fill out a form wherein you tell about yourself, list out your interests, hobbies and preferences. These sites have different mechanisms of suggesting whom you would match up the best with and then you take it forward from there.
Pankhuri and Vaibhav met for dinner after days of chatting and talking on the phone. An onlooker would call it a date. The only difference is that it is a ‘matrimonial’ date. If they like each other enough, the next step will be to inform their families and get the wedding process started. That is how the modern matchmaking functions.
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Is there a chance of creeps hanging around? Anita Dharamshi of Twomangoes says, “We ensure a high quality of connections. So, you will find that we not only moderate the profiles actively on our site, but we also take pride on being able to prevent spammers and low-value messages from getting to our users through our offensive/spam flag system.”
Similarly, there is HatkeShaadi (formerly Twoly Madly Deeply) a website that works on the principle of ‘invite-only’. A person will be accepted as a member only once they have cleared the stringent screening process. There is more: “We work with psychologists who have specified certain parameters that should be fulfilled to make things work between two people. But the actual go-ahead is given by a ‘Relationship Manager’,” says one of the founders.
There has been a shift of power, control and decision making from the parents and elders of the family to the individuals themselves. This does not mean that parents and the family are not involved in the decision, but there is much more emphasis placed on what the individuals want, what they are looking for and who they will be compatible with. The portals now have advanced interfaces making it easy for the candidates to interact with each other. “The younger generation understands that one is getting married to a person, not a profile. And, if on the face of it, the profiles seem to match, only then should one invest time and energy in getting to know the person behind the profile, before making a commitment. That is what they are doing,” says the spokesperson of one of these sites.
Modern portals, like Marrygold, have gone a step ahead in offering pre-marital counselling to help clients determine what sort of marriage they want, and how they can achieve it. The subjects range from sex to financial planning and infidelity.
Do you like dancing? Join a ‘meet up’ and go dancing on a weekend and chances are you might end up meeting your soul mate! There are several Singles Only groups (like Floh, MeetUps) that organise fun activities and give you a chance of meeting the right one while you enjoy doing what you love. You can enrol as a member and choose an activity depending on your interest, like photography, wine tasting, and much more. Though the refined ones claim to assure ‘quality’ people, it is best to be vigilant. Also, remember these are not organised purely for matrimony, so a person you find your match in, might be there just for dating purposes.
The paths may be new but the purpose at the end is to find an understanding, loving partner. Thanks to the modern technology, now your soul mate perhaps is only a click away!
Marrying someone whom you have just met is a daring step in the true sense. A person you don’t know much about, but are considering spending the rest of your life with him only because your parents’ think he is the right choice for you is not an easy task.Read More