Every time we see a successful marriage or a happy couple we can’t help but ask the couple, “Arranged marriage or love marriage?” Every time someone asks me this, I stutter…stammer… and get confused.
It all began in June 2008, when my parents sat at breakfast with luchi and aloo chocchori (typical Bengali breakfast) talking about me: returning late at night from work in a new car every day, with new men/driver inside, refusing to attend family functions (losing prospective grooms); now that she is finally done with her studies and all other ‘parental duties’ are over, let’s get her married. My mom, in particular, was paranoid, having married late and conceived me even later, by normal middle-class standards. She put on her specs, took a red sketch pen and began to circle prospective grooms in Ananda Bazaar Patrika’s Sunday edition matrimonial page. She also called my bestie (Ahana) home in the evening and asked her to help her convince me. Ahana enthusiastically sat down with her laptop and created a profile on a matrimony website. She ticked ‘showing interest’ on random profiles and invited them to chat.