Tuesday, 28 November 2017

You're hired!

In case you're wondering, this article is all about the 'ridiculous-yet-mandated' phase of the Indian guys aged between 26-32, and that's called 'The Arranged Marriage'. I would define arranged marriage as a process that is purely linked to the age, job status, savings and assets of an individual which is forced upon him/her by the parents just for the sake of satisfying the needs of the society in order to live a guilt-free life. Trust me, this is exactly what is happening over the decades and the situation has worsened in the recent times. Increase in inflation and interest rates had a huge influence on the supply and demand. As we all are aware that the price of a commodity is determined by the interaction of supply and demand in a market, the same principle is applied here. You might be wondering what the hell arranged marriage has to do with the economics, but trust me, my friend, arranged marriage has nowadays turned into a 'business deal'. 

Let me walk you through what happened during my first meetup. Not so long ago, I was brainwashed by my parents and they got me agreed to meet a girl, who was a complete stranger to me. Not that I hate girls, I don't really understand the logic behind arranged marriages. Still, I was a little excited as it was my first experience and I wanted to endure it. I, along with my parents and grandparents (I know that sounds weird), was there at the bride's house. After minutes of being in a state of discomfort, I was finally made to talk one-on-one with the girl. The conversation went like this, 

Me: Hello! 
Stranger girl: *smiles and doesn't respond anything*
Me: *before I could speak, she interrupted*
Stranger girl: What's your take-home salary?
Me: *gave a stunned look and answered the question*
Stranger girl: Hmmm, well, what will be the hike in your salary you are expecting from your current organization the forthcoming year?
Me: *i was a little frustrated yet answered the question*
Stranger girl: Are you willing to relocate if everything goes well?

My frustration turned into irritation that reached its level of saturation. I literally felt like I was attending some final level HR interview seeking a job at a CMMI level 5 company (to be honest, that would've been way easier and less frustrating experience). There's a saying that goes like 'first impression is the best impression' and my first impression towards arranged marriage was completely ruined. But, this experience didn't let me down or made me feel terrible, instead, it made me analyze what went wrong with the process that was supposed to be fun and exciting turned into an utterly frustrating event. Upon further analyzing, I found it fascinating that how most of the things in the universe are interconnected with each other - like arranged marriages and job interview process. 

Before getting further into the explanation, here is the categorization of the parties involved in the process of arranged marriage and their link to the job interview process. 

Marriage Bureau Agents - Job Consultants
Bride's Parents - Human Resource Managers
Bride - Project Manager
Bride's Uncle, Elder Brother or Sister - Interview panelists
Bride's Grandparents - On-site or offshore client

Resume vs Horoscope

This is the first round of selection in the process of arranged marriage. The process usually goes like this - horoscope from the groom's parents are shared with a third party marriage bureau and the agents working over there match the horoscope with the list of matches they have in their database. The horoscope plays a major part in the preliminary selection. Indian parents solely trust on how the horoscope is designed and they act according to it. Even if the bride is super good looking or some big shot, if the horoscope doesn't match then they're rejected. This is exactly similar to the process of filtering resumes for a job interview process. The candidate may be super intelligent or have honors in Biochemistry or Astrophysics, but if he chooses to apply for a job as a software developer or any other position in IT, he will be outrightly rejected at the first place due to lack of experience. But, if he takes up any certifications and mentions it in his resume, even though chances of him getting selected are thin, there will be some hope that he will at least be chosen for the job interview. Same way, the selection of the groom depends on the number of matches between the bride's and the groom's horoscope. I believe the matches are measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being branded as the 'perfect' match. Even though a groom's horoscope has acquired 10 matches with the bride's, the chances of him getting married to her are thin, but there will be some hope that he will at least be chosen to have a discussion with her. Period.

Telephonic Interview

This is the second round of the selection process. In this stage, it's not the groom but his parents are involved as a part of the telephonic interview. Once the horoscope is matched, the marriage bureau agents will pass that on to the bride's parents. There will be a second round of horoscope analysis made by the bride's parents and once they are convinced that it is legit, they proceed to make a call to the candidate - in this case, it's groom's dad (hail male chauvinism!). This is by far the toughest round in the entire process as the main candidate is groom's dad. The poor guy has to answer a series of questions like 'what does the groom do, where does the groom work, how much does he earn, what does groom's dad do, do they own a house, do they own a car, do they own a luxurious villa in the heart of Abu Dhabi, blah, blah, blah'. Once this is done, there are possibilities that the groom's mother might also get interrogated (I'm sorry, but, I feel that's the apt word). Once the interrogation aka questionnaire is done, the bride's parents will weigh out the pros and cons. If the pros outweigh the cons, then the candidate is surely moved on to the next level, else he is rejected.

Technical Interview

This is the third round of the selection process. This will be mostly telephonic and very rarely gets converted to a face to face interview. Here the bride aka the project manager will have a discussion directly with the groom over the telephone. There will be a hell lot of questions and discussion that goes like, 'tell me about yourself, what are your current projects, blah, blah, what are your hobbies, oh you like cooking, blah, blah, I have no idea who Christopher Nolan is, blah, blah, blah.' The poor guy has to strive hard to make a positive impression on the bride. He needs to be extra cautious and be himself while answering or asking questions. One mistake and he has to go through the entire process again from the start (duh!), and of course with a different person.

Face to Face Interview

This is the fourth round of the selection process. Once the groom gets to this round, he should take some deep breaths and make sure he is not hyper excited because the chances of him getting selected will get worse if the interview panelists are some tough lads. The panelists are mostly bride along with one of her parents (mostly dad - remember earlier I hinted you about male chauvinism), bride's uncle and elder brother (sometimes elder sister as well). 99.9% of these interviews end with 'we will get back to you', which sometimes means 'fuck off, we will opt for a better candidate'.

HR Interview

This is the fifth and final round of the selection process. If the groom's profile gets to this round, that means the selection is 99% positive. In this round, the bride's parents deal with the groom's parents to discuss the details of salary package (dowry), joining bonus (gifts of generosity like car, motorcycle, sometimes a three bedroom apartment, an Amtrak train, a Boeing aircraft, etc., in addition to the dowry). The funniest part here is all these are offered by the bride's parents in exchange for the generosity, loyalty and full time commitment of the groom towards the bride.

Offer Letter vs Engagement

Once the groom clears all the formal process, he will be handed an offer letter which he needs to sign in order to accept it. The process of signing the offer is carried out on a grand scale on a special day and the event is felicitated by a few parties (or witnesses) from the bride's and groom's side. Even if the groom gets to this stage, the chances of him getting married to the bride are 75-25. This is similar to the guy accepting an offer from a company will have all the right to withdraw that offer few days to few weeks before his joining date. This can happen if the guy is no longer interested to work, or if he got a better opportunity, or if the company to which he applied went bankrupt. 

Judgement Day

As the name suggests, it's the day the guy gets married. Period.


  1. Lol.. perfectly correlated. Hope this shit ends soon.

    1. Lol! That would be the Judgement Day for arranged marriages :)

  2. Nice analogy. I think, I was lucky enough to do the 'job' hunt during a job boom. Things were so good, I literally got the offer letter first and then the interviews for names' sake. It's a tough market now :) particularly for grooms.

    1. Completely agree with the fact that it's a tough market now. Everything's turning into a business deal.

      Thanks for sharing your comments, Vishwa.

  3. Hilarious..The perfect scenario explained in today's context. I was laughing out loud while reading the analogy made by you at the end of this post.. Happy New Year to you.. After a long time, I got to read your blog posts.

    1. Hahaha! I personally feel that there isn't an apt word than "Judgement Day" to describe the scenario after enduring all the pain

      I'm really glad that you've visited my blog, Swati. Thanks for reading and I'm glad I've made this read enjoyable :)

  4. Oh my, sounds like a long process. Now I understand the phase you are in and what all you go through. Konjam kastam than. 😥 But then, you have made the post quite funny and enjoyable.

    1. It's a haunting and daunting process. I can't imagine myself going through it once again...