Meeting a potential groom and his family for a rishta isn’t always an easy experience. But it’s downright horrific for some, as these 6 stories prove!
Mumbai matchmaker Sima Taparia’s Indian Matchmaking has blown up to be THE show to watch during lockdown. It is a testament to our ridiculous world of rishtas and the things women have to do to wade through it.
While, marriages may be made in heaven, it is here on earth that women have to go through a lot of hoops to find a partner. Right from their religious beliefs to their education to the clothes they wear, they seem to need to justify everything to their prospective in-laws.
Here are some rishta stories from the internet as well as some ladies who were kind enough to share their stories with us!
So my story is one that will seem very common for people from South India. I met a guy who visited us and the whole meeting went very well. The guy’s parents seemed sweet and progressive too. He was a software engineer in the company that I was also working for.
After having a great conversation, my mom went out with them to send them off from our house. The guy’s mother turned to my mother and told her, “So, I guess the next step is for you to come and visit our kitchen. I would like to warmly invite you to see your daughter’s prospective new kitchen.”
When my mother gleefully came back and told me that she was going to make arrangements to go see their kitchen, I was shocked. I had no idea that this was an actual ritual that people follow at our place. Was I going to get married just to go to a house and cook? I wanted to reject the proposal, but then my parents would have been disappointed.
But we did get married and move out into our own home so I never had to make use of my mom’s kitchen visit!
This happened in 2019. My parents were behind me to start looking for some guys and I finally relented and gave in. And we registered on a Marathi matrimonial website.
For a while, I got requests which I wasn’t really interested in. Until a vet from our city sent a message. We accepted and started talking on the chat box. After a while we started to talk on Facebook messenger. He was quite interesting. Over time, I got busy with work and forgot to check my messages.
One day, I barely had time to check my messages and was greeted with 28 messages and 6 calls from him. I called him back to ask him what happened and he was so passive aggressive about the whole thing.
Meanwhile, our parents set up a meeting with both our families in a café. On that day, the guy refused to get out of the car, citing the one time I ghosted him. I had to talk him out of staying in the car and ‘convince’ him to get out. And even when he did, he was so cold towards me and my parents.
He kept talking about the day I didn’t reply to his messages. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and told him I had enough of his juvenile behavior. I got up to leave, and his mom started yelling at me in public, calling me ‘unsanskaari’ for wearing jeans to meet potential in-laws!
Anonymous submission to @crazyrishtastories on Instagram
So I was talking to this guy my parents found for me, and he asked me if I had any male friends. Hesitantly, I responded, not really. All my friends were women.
He proceeded to ask me if I hung out with them alone. I didn’t quite understand what he was getting at. But I said no, I hang out with my friends as a group, and with their husbands too.
He finally gets to the point and says, “Oh, you know you have to have a male mahram (Arabic for chaperone) around when you hang out with your friend and her husband!”
I kept my calm and asked him if the roles were reversed, would it be the same way. He said, “That rule doesn’t apply to ME!” When we ended the conversation, he said “I can’t hold you accountable for what you did before marriage, but I can hold you accountable for what happens after”
So I said, “Boy, BYE”
Anonymous submission to @onionunion2020 on Instagram
I had very high hopes for this guy I saw. We had spoken on call and finally agreed to meet for coffee at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi. After a couple of minutes of a really good conversation, I asked him how we should proceed with the relationship, as my parents were curious to know.
He was completely taken aback. And said honestly, “I have to tell you, I have ambition in life. And I once had a Thai girlfriend and she taught me a lot about life. From that experience I learnt how a variety of cultures can enrich you. I had a fantasy to have a girlfriend from every continent and explore all the options possible, but that just remained a fantasy. But now my parents are forcing me to see many girls in Delhi so I’ll explore all the options and then only decide.”
Now what do I do with this honesty? Have it with milk, or pickle it?
Credits: Submission at Quora
In 2014, I agreed to arranged marriage. My parents were super excited and happy. So, for the next few days and months, every single member of my family (except me) was hooked to either matrimony.com or shaadi.com. Inevitably, there was a rishta meeting and I did not expect it to be one bit as weird as it was.
Boy’s dad (BD): So child, do you watch tv shows?
Me: Yeah, I do.
BD: I mean, do you watch any “dharmik” (religious) tv shows?
Me (thinking if Vampire Diaries can be considered religious or not): Yes, I watch Mahabharata (the recent version which used to air on Star Plus)
BD: So child, tell me, who is the mother of Yudhisthira?
Me (thinking if I was in a viva exam): Kunti.
Boy’s Mother (BM): Do you read Gita (holy book for Hindus)? Can you recite any shloka (Sanskrit couplets) from Gita?
I almost lost it but held it together and struggled through with a verse.
BM & BD: Very good!
BM: Beta (Child), do you worship?
Me (confused as to what’s really happening): Yeah, I do (that’s a lie, though).
BM: Which god/goddess?
Me (Are you serious!): All the gods & goddesses!
BD: Can you chant Hanuman Chalisa (A Hindu devotional hymn) ?
At this point I was almost fuming at the audacity of this man. There are so many other things he could ask me! I chanted a couple lines through gritted teeth.
So, I chanted the first four lines (the couplet) of the hymn.
BD: That would be all. You know well.
Only after this crazy interview, I was allowed some lone time with the guy. After they left, my mom didn’t dare to ask me if it was a yes or no from my side.
Credits: Submission on Quora
This is an actual conversation I had with a guy whom we’ll call Z. He was a scientist who works at Portugal and I was excited to meet him via video call. He seemed extremely shy and I had to do all the talking. So here is part of our conversation:
Me – So….. what are you looking for in a woman
Z – I don’t know. Whoever Mummy decides
Me – What?? You mean you don’t have any idea what kind of woman you would want to marry?
Z – No. Mom knows best
Me – Ok. What about starting a family? Just so you know, I don’t intend on having kids early on. I would consider it after I’m 32.
Z – I don’t know. Mummy said I should produce children the first year of my marriage.
Me – Interesting. Is your Mom also going to tell you when to have sex with your wife?
Z – Excuse me? Could you repeat the question? Mummy is on Skype on the other phone and I didn’t hear what you said
Me – Hey good luck with your search. I need to go. My Moms calling me!
Z – (Background voice – ‘Yes Mommy. I can talk now. Yes Mummy. Yes Mummy’)
Me – disconnects the call. Roll my eyes and think WTF just happened!!
Discussed it with my Dad and Mom. We had a good laugh. Dad said he would inform Z’s parents that I was not interested.
These stories prove that there is nothing that is out of bounds to expect for a rishta meeting. You never know what might come your way!
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Dolly Ki Doli
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Writing intern with a passion for gender justice
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