Why I Dont Trust Any Matrimonial Websites
I have never been a big fan of the online matrimony websites – a fact I communicate assiduously to all my unmarried friends too. The reason is because you can never really believe what strangers you meet on the Internet say- They may be lying out of their teeth all the time in the belief that you will never find out. After a few such enlightening experiences I am a strict believer in the theory that paying any money for these matrimonial website services is a waste of both money and time and I will share one example with you on why.
Once upon a time i had gone to see a girl for an arranged marriage. These “girl-viewings” as they are called are part of every arranged wedding and a chance for the girl and boy to come face to face and assess each other preliminarily before proceeding any further to joining in wedded bliss. Or that’s the theory behind it. In practice it varies greatly. As usual in such cases both families had talked with each other previously and done much of the preliminary work like exchanging bio-data, horoscopes and photos much prior (at least a few weeks ago)to the face to face meeting of the two to marry.
This girl I had gone to see was a medical graduate but her bio-data stated that she wasn’t practicing as a doctor because she or more probably her parents had felt that after graduation marriage was next on the list and had made her sit home till the wedding. I was mildly curious about this decision of her and had it on top of my list to discuss with her on why she was wasting her education (becoming a doc is tough right?) and not practicing- even though i knew that there was the chance of the question being misunderstood as being asked from a mercenary motive coming from me – for they might think i was intent on marrying the girl only to put her to work immediately and make her earn for me. Touchy subject to tread, isn’t it?.
Anyway there we were bright and early on a Sunday morning (well at least as early as a drive from Anna Nagar to Indira Nagar allows) and once we had entered the house the bride’s father took us into a long drawing room- and by long I mean really really long drawing room built like a metro rail tunnel and they made us sit on the far end of the room. The bride’s father drew a chair and placing it halfway down the room sat facing us. And as if to make sure that I wouldn’t get up from the deeply cushioned sofa he had placed me in to move to one of the chairs doted around the room a big, black dog (like something from the Hound of Baskerville) was brought in by the bride’s father and made to lie down between him and me – discouraging me from any thoughts of getting up in a hurry. He introduced the dog to us all and started explaining in great (unwanted) detail about its pedigree, its provenance its feeding habits and how much it cost for its upkeep.
As the elders kept talking about dogs in general (beating around the bush) i got bored and started fidgeting. I kept glancing at my watch and looked pointedly at my mom to get the main program started that is to bring the girl in to the room so we could get on with what we had come for. But the bride’s father must have caught my signaling to my mother for suddenly he jumped up and in a not-to-be denied voice, he suggested we follow him upstairs to the second floor- I assumed straight to the girls room. This was a pretty new experience for me to go up to a girl’s room to see her- the usual procedure is for her to be brought forward to where everyone waited. Anyway out of politeness we filed up behind him as he took us up an interior staircase all over his house until we reached the second floor and went inside a spotlessly gleaming (and pretty new)large sized apartment.
The brides dad gave us the highlight of the tour “a three bedroom flat above 2,000 sqft of carpet area- all for my daughter- so if you get married this is for you too. See this – all granite, see this – all marble, see this – all venetian glass, see this woodwork- made specially by Rajasthani craftsmen” and so on and so on he droned- while all the while i felt like screaming but where is the girl? The entire point of the visit was to see the girl, but till now I had been shown the house in great detail, heard all about the dog but not had a single glimpse of the girl i had come to see. Sensing my mounting impatience my mother tried to play mediator by suggesting it was getting late and time for us to get on with the program before we had to leave. Without much ado I started down the stairs leaving the brides dad to follow us down or not.
By the time we came back down the stairs to the drawing room on the ground floor the girl’s mother and sister-in-law had brought the girl out from an inner room and had seated her on a chair at the far end of where we sat – with a window behind her so the sun was fully in my eye while the girl was in the shadow. Also, do you remember how I had mentioned earlier that the drawing room was a long rectangle? Well i was at one end of the room and right at the furthermost end- at the edge of my vision there sat the girl. All I could see from where i sat was a vague hazy figure- but even from the distance I could make out that it was a large figure, a very large figure in silhouette- larger than what the photograph had shown to me. And then I understood why they made the girl sit on one end of the room but brought the dog to sit close to me- it was a subtle reminder to keep my mouth shut.
I tried my last gamble to see the girl up close and indicated to my mother that i wanted to talk to the girl- preferably alone. But as my mom started asking the girls father abruptly said in a false-apologist tone “My daughter is very shy, she doesnt like to speak alone with anyone”. Well that screwed it, I thought but maybe if I break the ice with one or two soft questions, let’s see what happens and so I asked “Where did you study? Which college? When did you graduate” all easy stuff like that. But the girl at the other end of the room kept resolutely silent while her dad answered me back immediately – he mentioned a college called Ramachandra college and then the year immediately after my graduation as the year she studied which was interesting as it meant she was an immediate junior and as i knew someone in Ramachandra too i could maybe ask him about her. Anyway the girl’s father was droning on about how she was a specialist in cooking French cuisine, Mexican cuisine and all that sort of exotic cooking styles as shown on master chef. Finally bored numb and having had enough we stood up to say our goodbyes. Immediately the girl seated at the other end of the room jumped up and went inside the nearest room at a run as if to avoid having to come any closer to say goodbye to me.
So anyhow we came back home and seriously puzzled by this display of house and dog but not girl i called up my friend Pradeep who had studied in that same Ramachandra College and enquired casually about the girl. He hmmm’d for some time and then with a confused tone asked me “You say she is a junior to us? But i dont remember anyone with that name in my junior batch” Let me take a moment here to explain that in all matters involving girls you can count on Pradeep to give authentic information- he was an expert in girl’s biodata and had a rock solid memory about all the girls he ever heard/saw/knew of. So I wasn’t surprised when he finally placed the girl I had just seen “Yes, yes, yes I got her at last” he screamed “I remember that girl but boss she was not a junior she was far, far senior to me even when I joined, but she kept failing and failing till she must have finally became a junior (additional batch) after i passed out of college. Has she finally finished the course now after all these years? But why do you want to marry her? She must be at least three or four years older to us at the minimum”. I hastened to explain to him what had occurred this morning.
And so I finally understood why they made the girl sit far off and the dog sit near to me. The girl was far older than me and trusting to the anonymity of matrimonial websites they had lied that she was younger- it was the lie which bothered me and not the age. In fact even the photograph they had given as a profile picture must have been an old, old one taken long ago when she had been young. And this wasn’t an isolated incident – for wiser after this experience- I started investigating the claims of others who contacted me through the matrimonial websites and nine out of ten times- they were all lying and had something to hide. Which is why I have avoided searching for a bride through these websites and don’t trust them anymore. And stick to searching for a girl in the real world and not through the internet.