Dear Marriage Arrangers, What Do You See When You See My Pictures?

Anonymous Anonymous in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 27 November, 2017

What do they see when they see me? This question often haunts me after being presented for marriage, and then being rejected later. Or rather, I would like to know, what do they really want? Maybe self-evaluation is required for me, to answer this question, but what is it that puts them off? Life has been tangential for me and I have tried to play it as it comes, sometimes I win and most of the times I loose and I don't fret, because I learn. But I often wonder what is it that makes people choose someone else and not me. I am 31 years old now, and it has been a long time since my parents started looking for my life partner.

My photos have been circulated through thousands of phones and often the answers were not positive but that is not the source of my distress, though it is a part of it.

My problem is the condescending attitude of parents of eligible grooms. What makes them superior and how am I inferior to their expectations? At the initial stage, they always say the same thing - they want a good, sanskaari girl, then why do they, just after looking my pictures, stop taking my father’s calls? Or somehow if they gather the courage to give the reason, it can be summed up into either of these three, on the basis of my personal experience:

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1.No horoscope Match 2.We are ready but groom is not (then why did they reach out in the first place?) 3.Groom's mother doesn't want the alliance (but initially she was okay with it)

I have been rebuked so many times for my looks or being overweight, not just by the other party, but by everyone around me, even by my parents during their weak moments, that I don't feel beautiful anymore. Vanity is every girl's birthright. I have been judged so many times based on how I look that I often feel myself hiding behind my fat body, I wear it like an armor. I sometimes feel jealous of my couple friends (which is during my weakest moments) just because they are lucky to have someone to talk to and I fear that I will be left alone forever. During my weakest moments, I often think my parents feel ashamed of giving birth to me, assessing this by the way I feel their glare in the back of my head, when I am not facing them. I sometimes see pity, but I often see pain reflected in their eyes. My reason for being angry is not the rejection, it’s just that why do they say they want a sanskari or good girl when all they seem to do is judge a book by its cover?

Even though their offering is no John Abraham per say, yet they always expect to fetch Katrina Kaif as their daughter-in-law. Only by looking at my picture, they know I am not sanskaari enough or good enough for their son?

My anger is because of the society, who often preaches that girls and boys are equal, then what gives them the upper hand when it comes to marriage? Why is it always my parents’ duty to call them for feedback? It’s like, having a set of balls makes them superior to make all the decisions, and we must sit quietly and wait to hear the results. I eventually also had a chance to experience being on the other side. I denied a marriage proposal when the groom's parents came to see me, and my God! What a mayhem this caused, I was some kind of devil incarnation in everyone's eyes.

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Why was there such a hue and cry when I rejected someone? Why was it not an issue when it was other way round?

And most of all, the bigger question was, why was I wrong when I said that I wanted to work after marriage and it was considered okay, that they said I couldn’t? Why should I have to ask somebody's permission to do any work that I chose to do? Shouldn't it be my decision to make, and not others? What is it that puts me at others mercy after marriage, the fact that I am a woman and that I don’t have balls on my body?

All I have ever learned and read about marriage is that, it is the path to a new life, constructed by both partners, then what changed?
Editor's Note:

Share this story because it's high time that we bid adieu to patriarchy, from the arranged marriage market.