Originally published on Sept 13, 2014 on trulysu.blogspot.in
Dear Mom, Dad & Others trying to find a husband for me,
First of all, I appreciate that you’ll have never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do and even now are not forcing me to marry. Thank you for giving me the choice of when to marry & who to marry. Now having said that, I feel that you’ll need to get a better idea of what I want in my future husband since you’ll are starting to look for guy for me.
Bengali. Call me traditional but I want to marry into a Bengali family. In India marriage isn’t the union of a man and a woman; it’s the joining of a woman with the man’s parents, his extended family, his colony/neighborhood, his social circle, his pets, his community, etc. EVERYBODY has a say in a woman’s marriage, household and parenting. Yes, I’m judgmental and stereotype often which is why what I say next will make me sound a little racist. In this context, I feel the Bengali community is comparatively more progressive than most other Indian communities. Gender equality is better here than in other communities. For example, my friend who is from one such regressive community and is married to a man from the same community says that she’s not allowed into a room if her father-in-law is seated there. Things like that don’t happen in the Bengali (urban) community. Even if I have to deal with these as a daughter-in-law it’s okay but I certainly don’t want to raise my children in an environment where it’s propagated that women are lesser beings and should conform to implicit rules and that men are God’s gift to this world. So yeah, don’t even bother looking outside this community (except maybe Malayali, Christian & Maharshtrian communities).
Smoking. My pet peeve is smoking. I will decline the most lucrative match just on this one simple habit. I don’t get the concept of smoking despite knowing that it’s harmful. I view it as sort of a weakness; a weakness that’s going to cost you your life as well as your family’s. What happens to my family when he dies early due to a lung disease caused by smoking? Isn’t that a bit selfish of him? Knowingly endangering my family is not something I want to do if I have a choice. So no, I will not marry a man who smokes.
Physical appearance. If this were a love marriage, this would be secondary. But thanks to my non-existent social life, I have to go down the route of arranged marriage. In this situation, physical appearance is the first thing that’s going to attract me. And yes Baba, I need to be attracted to this person. I’m not saying that he has to look like Matt Boman or has to have a gym fanatic’s body (this is actually quite a turn-off). He should look young, fit, presentable, and at least be of the average male height. Here’s a filter that you can apply for this point- Formal Attire. I am a big fan of men in well-fitted formal wear. Not crap that men buy off department store racks without properly altering them. So when you get a proposal for me, make sure you get me a photograph of this man in formal attire. How he looks in formal wear is the make-or-break point for me!
Sports. This is absolutely crucial. The man I marry has to have a sports background. I can never eloquently put the reasons for this in words so all I will say is that it is absolutely crucial. I come from a family with a rich history in sports; not the gully cricket type but actual, national & Olympic level sports. I myself was a sportsperson and I want that for my children too. Playing sports teaches a person more than just the game; it teaches significant life skills at an early age and gives you such lovely memories. I am a believer in the psychology theory which states that there’s a strong influence of genes in your personality. My brother and I are naturally good at sports because of our genes hence it was relatively easier for us to build a sports career than it was for somebody who’s natural talent is not sports.
Business background. This is not mandatory but it would be a good to have. The reason being that I’m going to be a businesswoman. I’m going to have my own business and it’s going to require a lot of my time and effort. For somebody who’s not from the business background, he’s never going to understand what makes me wake up in the morning and take so many risks and responsibilities outside my house, or the underlying vision in my passion. And not just the man but more importantly, his family needs to understand this. Only a family from the business background will understand my career choices.
This is of course not the exhaustive list of things I will look for in a potential husband. There are tons of other things that a crucial like humor, compatibility, chivalry, life’s goals, etc. But these listed above are the first set of things I will look for, based on which I will decide to take the conversation further. So here, this should make it easier for all of us 🙂
Your daughter & friend.