Indian woman's tips on finding the right life partner draws huge responses online

Nazreen Fazal and her husband
PHOTO: Facebook / Nazreen Fazal

The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew once said this of marriage: "You either have the Western view: You marry the woman you love. Or the Eastern view: You love the woman you marry. I tried to match both and I think it wasn't a bad choice."

For Indian writer Nazreen Fazal, who had an arranged marriage, she loves the person she married.

But this happened only after 80 e-mails were sent back and forth between her and her intended groom to ensure that they were both on the same page.

"While no two people can have the exact same tastes and outlook, it is ABSOLUTELY VITAL that you are on the same page when it comes to the BIG THINGS- Career/Finance/Children," Fazal wrote in a Facebook post on Dec 10, that has been shared more than 2,000 times.

"The whole point of deal breakers is that they should be known before the deal is fixed, not after it is broken."

The 24-year-old got down to business once she was introduced to her husband.

"I sent him a two-page profile of myself by e-mail. On one page was 'who I am' and on the next was what I am looking for in a partner. In return he sent me three points about himself and asked me three straightforward questions," she wrote.

The graduate of the London School of Economics proceeded to bombard him with numerous questions like:

  • 'What do you think about women working?'
  • 'What do you think abuse means?'
  • 'When do you want to have children (if at all)?'

Two months later, after more Skype calls and a meeting, the 'deal' was sealed.

"This introduction sets the tone of our relationship," Fazal emphasised.

Decrying the practice where some couples don't have any say in their choice of partners - this is usually decided by their parents - Fazal wrote: "Take their input, yes, but don't just blindly accept their preferences and make it your own."

When I was first introduced to my husband, I sent him a two page profile of myself by email. On one page was 'who I am'...

Posted by Nazreen Fazal on Saturday, 10 December 2016

After the overwhelming response to her Facebook post, Fazal later followed up with another Facebook post addressed to parents who intend to matchmake their children.

Her 2nd post talked about the dichotomy between expectations of the different generations.

"Your daughter would appreciate it more if you invested the money set aside for her wedding on her education instead," she wrote.

"Your son wants to tell you that he doesn't want to marry a woman just because she is good at 'housework'. He doesn't want a maid for the house, he can just hire one. Instead he wants someone he can trust and truly love."

When I wrote the article on my ideas of marriage, I didn't expect it to resonate with so many people and go viral like...

Posted by Nazreen Fazal on Monday, 12 December 2016

Her first post attracted over 1,000 comments, with the majority praising her.

A reader, Khurram Feroz cautioned that arranged marriages are ultimately a gamble, no matter the amount of research or homework, to which Fazal agreed, but added that it minimises the risk.

Commenting on the Western and Eastern ideas on marriage, Fazal wrote: "I couldn't and still can't reconcile with either the traditional or the modern from of courtship and marriage. On one hand it becomes like a business deal and on the other the emotions cloud your rational decisions.

"I had a one-year engagement before our wedding. By the time we got married we were good friends and it really eased my way into marriage."

According to BBC, most marriages in India are arranged, with estimates at up to 90 per cent or higher.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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