So, the other day, during one of my regular hang-outs with my friends at CCD and over a cup of hot chocolate, we began a conversation on something totally dreaded by Guys, yes “Marriage”. Well it was not really random, since this time, it was one of my best buddies who had decided to ride the horse. Ecstatic as he was and discouraging (in a good way) that we were, he began to tell us the tales of how he met his lady love over this online matrimonial site and within months it was a whirlwind romance, as they decided to tie the knot. As he went on with his ramblings, one of my friends blurted out “Long Ago Marriages were made in Heaven, Now they are arranged by Facebook and concluded by Shaadi.com”, as we cracked down with laughter.
Back at home, after a long tiring day, I opened to check my news feed on Facebook, and there it was, staring at me on one of those sponsored ads on the right hand side of the page, an advertisement of Jeevansaathi.com picturing a gorgeous woman with the most enticing smile and a conversation bubble introducing herself. And that is when the thought stuck me, that may be what my friend said wasn’t really in toto a joke, but a cynical truth! They had finally turned the institution of marriage into Business.
Why Mommy says no Dating
A quint essential Indian is always conditioned to believe that the concept of ‘Dating’ or having any affair with an individual prior to a marriage that is ‘arranged’ is wrong. Although a lot many has broken through these barriers of idiosyncrasies and entered into relationships ranging from ‘Love-Marriages’, ‘Live-in’, ‘Speed-Dating’, ‘Blind-Dating’ to name a few- but the societal assent was always missing. And this is what I feel the Marriage Matrimonial Services has capitalized on i.e they have combined the ‘desi with the videsi’. Today almost 75% of the individuals in their mid-life crisis has a Facebook or a Twitter Account, hence the strategy was to first grab the eye-balls in places that are most frequented and secondly combining the human psyche of dating through the veils of marriage. In an era where the 2G pack in mobile is less expensive than the sms pack- the Online Matrimonial services has taken to the internet to have a look at your prospective grooms while you stalk that profile of your crush on the social media- more like achieving the end with a twisted means.
Arranging your Love
Let’s accept it, at one point of time everyone of us had dream of endearing that blissful feeling of love and taking those vows with that special person. However for some that never did happen, and it was actually that relative who brought about a match and after the basic background checks and societal status match-up the knot was tied- and though some might call it a compromise, one fine morning ‘they did find their platinum day of love’. This is another human earning that the Online Matrimonial Services has listened to and answered.
Today the specific community matrimonial sites have very categorically selected their customer bases and only those would crop up during your social media sessions- for instance a Punjabi guy on Facebook is more likely to see a an advertisement from a Punjabi Women in that space right hand side than a Marathi. Thus whoever said Love cannot be arranged obviously needed a good PR.
Band-Bajaa and No Kharcha
Another key area that these online Matrimonial Sites had marketed on is realizing the issue of both time factor as well as expenditure. Marriage is definitely a lavish endeavor, however gliding from place to place to select that perfect match can be both tedious as well as expensive. With the provision of opening a profile on any of these portals totally free of cost and the added benefit of being contacted by people customized to your taste (since it is only charged when you are trying to connect to a profile for further communication), the chances of frivolous matches are rare. All in all, it appears to be a total win-win situation, both for the Service Providers and the Married-to-be.
Thus all in all, it can be said that today the Online Matrimonial Services (even extended to online dating or speed-dating) are changing the dynamics of forming and maintaining relationships in the global community by trying to abridge the gap between dating and arrange marriages thus consequently evolving both the societal norms as well as technology. The incorporation of these services within the social media has made socializing among opposite sexes much more easier at the same time keeping intact the traditional notions of compatibility in relation to particular castes and sects.
One of the most added benefit being women get to play an active role in the process of finding a life partner without being projected as boisterous and parents still remain the final arbitrator. Thus all in all, I don’t think it should be a big deal if business for some, helps in building home that unites one.