TNP writer's mother tries to arrange a marriage for her

TNP writer, Jennifer Dhanaraj.

Many young people have Tinder or OkCupid accounts to find romantic matches.

Me? I have my mother.

She has placed herself solely in charge of finding me a man to spend the rest of my life with.

In other words? An arranged marriage.

A few weeks before I turned 25 last November, she came to my room asking me to e-mail her my resume.

The "biodata", including a presentable photo, educational qualifications, work experience and hobbies, is meant for prospective husbands.

I have always known that my mum would try to arrange my marriage.

But it had never seemed real until that moment.

It feels even more real now that she has invited me along for a "spur of the moment" trip to India to visit her family.

Do not get me wrong. I am not against the idea. My parents too had an arranged marriage.

My mum was engaged to my dad at the age of 20 after only seeing photos of him (sounds like Tinder Express, doesn't it?).

She then uprooted her life in India and moved here to start a family with him.

The result?

Three beautiful girls (if I say so myself) and a long, loving marriage of almost 28 years.

My cousins in India who have had arranged marriages with Indian computer engineers have also found happiness.

I have to admit that the thought of marrying a man I hardly know is terrifying.

Spending the rest of my life with that man? Petrifying.

And after watching countless soap operas and romantic comedies, I am saddled with a million Western notions of romantic, never- ending love.

I dream of meeting the love of my life on a train in Vienna, Austria.

I dream of telling my kids that I met their father while watching The War On Drugs at the Glastonbury Festival.

But I also see how my parents never seem to run out of things to talk about and will find every excuse to go and have dates in Little India.

That is when I realise that a more pragmatic life can be as rewarding as a fairy-tale romance.

Besides, I don't have to do any work. And there is no need to worry about parents' approval.

And those dreadful does-he-or-doesn't-he dilemmas? Zilch.

After all, you are both trying to grow to love one another, flaws and imperfections included.

When I am 80 and greying, I want to be able to sit on the porch with my husband and be proud of the life we have achieved together.

So what if it is the life chosen by my parents?

This article was first published on Feb 1, 2015.
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