"My parents checked a matrimony site for a girl"
Arranged dating mixes the concept of arranged marriage and dating into one and it seems is it the new way to find your soulmate in India.
In the recent Malayalam comedy film, Varane Avashyamud (2020) which translates to ‘Groom Wanted’ the protagonist Nikki (Kalyani Priyadarshan) is determined to find a partner.
However, it must be through an arranged marriage, therefore, Nikki (Kalyani) is constantly on the search for a prospective groom on matrimonial sites.
To get to know the potential match better she meets up with them for coffee dates.
Despite some people objected to the idea of marrying a somewhat stranger, new features have been introduced by dating sites.
These include filters to determine prospective grooms or brides based on your criteria and then speaking to get to know each other.
This is done with the blessings and approval of the parents. It is no surprise the concept of arranged dating is popular with youngsters.
As a result of this phenomenon, youngsters are regularly checking to see who the most eligible stranger is.
Even though in the film, Nikki’s (Kalyani) parent were not involved in her quest to find a partner, arranged dating is exciting for many in real life.
This is because the family helps their children meet potential life partners while the children have the freedom to talk to people they choose.
Actor Aneesh G Menon found his wife Aishwarya Rajan via a matrimony site. He mentions how he was fed up of his brother finding potential brides for him.
Aneesh revealed why he decided to sign up to matrimonial sites. He said:
“The filters on matrimony sites made it easier for me to shortlist the type of person I wanted. Also, now you have the opportunity to talk to people directly and connect with them through social media.
After being matched with Aishwarya, the couple met in person. He explained:
“I didn’t want to involve our parents till we talked to each other first. I drove down from Malappuram to Thrissur to meet her.
She came with her cousin and we talked. We then travelled in the same car to Ernakulam where we both had meetings.
“The journey helped us know more about each other’s interests.”
“Finding an understanding and compatible life partner is a Herculean task. Especially, if you are from the film field.
“It was great that we worked in the same industry, she is a dancer. A month later, I called her mother and expressed my interest in marrying her.
“After that, we went for an official pennukaanal ceremony and later tied the knot.”
According to The Times of India, in another instance, Amritha S. R opted to turn to matrimony sites as she wanted the right match for her as well as her family.
Recently, Amritha wed Alok Ramachandran. Working in Canada, she said:
“My parents had given me the space to talk with people with whom my profile matched and to figure things out.
“Vishnu Chettan (Alok), whose profile was there, contacted me through social media and we hit it off.
“After that, our parents met each other and they were waiting for us to give a thumbs-up to the relationship.”
Another actor who found his wife through a matrimony site was Rajith Menon. He said:
“Earlier weddings would be arranged by families and the couple were not given a chance to talk till the wedding.
“But with technology playing the cupid now, I was clear that I would pick my partner only after talking to her.
“That’s when I came across Sruthi’s profile. I along with my parents went to her house for a pennukaanal and since meeting her I haven’t checked another profile.
“Within a week, we confirmed our interest in each other and a year later we got married.”
In other cases, some individuals are not always lucky to find their partner in the first attempt.
This was the case with Sreeraj T who hailed from Thodupuzha and works as a techie in Thiruvananthapuram. He explained:
“My wedding was fixed with a Palakkad girl and we even had an engagement ceremony. But after a few days, she eloped with her boyfriend.
“Later, I shifted to Thiruvananthapuram as part of my job and my parents checked a matrimony site for a girl who is also from the city and shared similar interests.
“That’s how I found Akhila Nair. Interestingly, her friends who also worked on the same campus as mine turned detectives.
“When I got to know after our wedding, I couldn’t stop laughing. I feel we were meant to each other.”
Arranged dating certainly seems to have worked for these couples and supposedly many more like them.
Despite the scorn of meeting a potential partner through a matrimony site, the concept of arranged dating should not be disregarded.