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Arranged MarriagesThey say Marriages are made in heaven. So imagine the scene. Clear blue sea with the sky showering crystals. A purple halo around the sun as guess what this is not earth. In the far you can see multi-coloured flowers that can smile. A fully lit stairway that is going to take you to earth and just before you take that step, God asks you ‘Wait Son. Who do you want to marry?’ And you smile with a glow of wisdom on your face and tell him ‘I want to marry the one my parents decide’. God smiles and sends a note to the Supply Chain Manager – Another one bites the dust.

When I was at a marriageable age, arranged marriages used to scare me. How does one make this critical decision of his or her life in possibly few meetings (i.e. if you are lucky) with the Aunts and Uncles all playing panellist on the India’s Got talent Show. But I later learnt that I was unnecessarily stressed as there are some simple ways to make this tough selection effortless.

1. Fair is lovely
My family once went to see a girl for one of our cousins. When they returned I asked how the girl was and pat came the answer, ‘she is fair’. While I waited for them to say more, they had moved on to doing other house chores as what more can be said. Fair is a clear winner.

As a best practice, even matrimonial columns of newspapers don’t allow any ad without the word ‘fair’ in it. Either a fair bride must look for a groom or a Groom must look for a fair bride. Otherwise the marriage won’t work. Simple.

2. Size Matters
The next critical criteria for being a loving and caring wife is the girl’s body type. Once when the guy’s family had come to see me, one of the uncles asked me what was my height. I said 5 ft. 4 inches. He further asked for a very important clarification ‘With heels or without?’ I smiled and promptly told him that with heels I will be taller than his son.

One of my aunties gave away a secret tip to me. When she goes to see the girl, she checks out her mother because soon after marriage that will be the size of the bride. This Bond gives you both short and long term returns. Can it get any better!

3. Bachelor’s degree
And let me simplify the issue of judging compatibility.. This one time I was talking to someone who is a Chartered Accountant. She was very clear that the guy’s qualification should atleast match hers if not more. If the guy is as qualified as you, there is a very good chance that he will be a good human being and will love you back for your qualifications. What more can you want?

4. Horror-scope
And lastly, while humans can make a mistake, the Gods cant. So match the horoscope. All you need is to call a Panditji. Give him respect in an envelope. And that’s it, you will know if this bride or groom is made for you. Sometimes if you give him more respect, he can even suggest a puja that can make your to-be-spouse custom made for you. The most you may have to do is marry a tree.

5. Caste away
For some who believe in Castes and sub-castes, it’s even easier. You ignore all the above 4 rules and simply go for the kill. I remember my granny telling me when I was growing up ‘Lulo langdo chalse pan Parsi joye’. (It’s fine if he doesn’t have a few limbs, but he should be a Parsi). And one of my guy friend’s father told him ‘You can marry a man if you want, but he should be a Parsi’. And with 60,000 Parsis alive, you are just lucky if someone at an eligible age agrees to marry you.

There are several other small tips like conduct background checks. I had once got a call at work for an employee whose prospective father-in-law wanted to know about his salary. He had even got hold of the guy’s bank statements and found out through his sources if the guy’s family members suffer from any diseases. What commitment.

Yes and for all those who want to give me the statistics of how arranged marriages last longer than love marriages, please note… its maybe because who would want to go through all the above again ever. And now all you can do is wait for the lit stairway again to take you to heaven and beat the hell out of the Supply Manager.

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