Before I proceed I would like to explain a few things:
a. I come from a conservative Tam Bram family. The Brahmin community from the Tamil speaking state Tamil Nadu in the southern India is often referred to by this name.
b. Most of the marriages in this community are arranged.
c.The process goes like this : –
- The parents of the prospective groom or the bride contact the parents of the prospective bride or the groom. The information of the eligible boys and the girls are procured either through advertisements in the newspapers, matrimonial sites or the good old aunties. The aunties are a goldmine of information. If you are 24 0r 25, and an aunty visits your house, rest assured she will definitely have someone who is related to her thrice removed cousin and they are looking for a girl/boy for the son/daughter as the case may be.
- The family background and the economic status are checked during the initial conversation and the the most important thing happens..
- The horoscopes are exchanged. The horoscopes are matched with a dozen astrologers who give opinions ,after studying the houses in which the planets are positioned, on whether it is safe enough for the girl and the boy to marry and stay in the same house.
- If the horoscopes are found to be compatible, the girl and the boy meet either at the girl’s place or in a public place( mostly, it is in some temple (hoping for a divine intervention , perhaps)).
- The boy and the girl are introduced to each other and are left to talk to each other for about half an hour. The boy and the girl ask each other their favourite pastimes, favourite actor, favourite sport etc..By the time, they move on to more serious topics the elders come back and the meeting ends there.
- The life altering decision is taken in this half an hour. If the girl and the boy like each other, the parents initiate the wedding arrangements starting from the engagement. If not, the advertisements are scourged again and aunties are inquired about for other prospective groom/bride.
So, now that I have given you a fairly good idea about how marriages take place in our community , I would like to share with you how I went through this rigamarole and how I ended up getting married.
To be continued….