Till yesterday it was said and believed that marriages are made in heaven. Today's matrimonial ads make us believe that the sacred task of bringing bride and groom together is their social duty and they discharge it in most mundane way, i.e. charging rupees ten per word. Pages after pages are occupied. They have also nearly exploded the hitherto believed myth that beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. These ads seem to be proclaiming from rooftop come to us, each ad of ours promises you nothing but pretty, beautiful and fair bride. I wonder the ones who are not so lucky as to be acknowledged in terms of superlatives where and how do they advertise. Come to think of it now that we have beauty parlors on every street do we still have the ones who can not be termed beautiful. I bet you mustn't have come across an ad wherein plain looking simple bride is looking for plain looking simple groom or vice versa.
Most of the ads carry a great lie with equally great impunity, that is, no bride is dark complexioned, all are fair. Reaffirming our faith-everything is fair in love and war nay marriage. This in turn has threatened the parents of genuinely fair brides giving them both, Sleepless nights. Indian ingenuity is unique, ads now carry the word GORI in all sincerity and connotations. With Gori girls now ruling the hearts and hearths it was bound to give fillip to beauty parlors flooding the market with a whole range of herbal, not so herbal and verbal onslaughts. Necessity is mother of invention. Bazaar is full of oils, creams, masks and what have you, guaranteeing ( no warranty please ) to make you so Gori that you become nearly yes nearly unrecognizable even to your most intimate friends. When they are told the 'secret' of your swift conversion into a Gori in less than ten days they are all the more distressed and have little option but to rush to the nearest beauty parlor or a shop selling the magic portion.
On the contrary, groom may be as thin as matchstick or as grotesque as the one show in 'Before' photograph of a weight loss center but he is ever handsome in the wonderland of ads. As if this was not a lie enough we have icing to top, he is dark and handsome. Darker he is, more handsome and he-man he would be. I wonder, why they don't refer girls as dark and beautiful or dark and lovely. Our efforts to be Gora/Gori could be traced back to the days of British rule in India. To look like 'Masters', to emulate master is a deep rooted hidden desire. 'Haves' have always been the role model for 'have-nots'. Politically speaking, we are against all forms of apartheid and can speak non stop particularly if it is some phoren fora but back home ….. well that is another story. NGOs to please come forward and 'Bharat Mata Bachao'. We do have sayings such as Handsome is who handsome does. Beauty is but skin deep etc. etc. which declare our policy of splendid isolation with regard to superficial and earthly concept of beauty. All this is forgotten as soon as the boy comes of age. He wants to marry only a look alike of latest masala film heroine. Actresses of so called off wave and art films are at disadvantageous position here too. They invoke sympathetic and not amorous looks. Needless to say that one can not marry and live happily long on sympathy alone. In their bid to look and remain Gori the not so Gori ones are employing every possible device. Cream, cucumber, orange, lemon, pulp and peels. Cosmetic surgery is also making hay while the sun shines. Your nose can now be chiseled to give Cleopatra touch. Cosmetico can drill a dimple or two on your face and cut your chin to size. Can ask for a beauty spot of the size and specifications one so chooses. Color of your eyes and hair can be changed to 'mera wala blue'.
The meaning of 'decent marriage' need no explanation in India today. Similarly, 'fair' has acquired fairly large usage. All brides are, fair, sweet, caring, pretty, lovely and last but not the least 'homely'.
All grooms are tall, handsome well-settled and earning four figures … could be anything in the range of one thousand to nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. Not impressive enough ! the trend or shall I say going rate is five to six figures.
Marriage celebrations in hotels and marriage halls has taken the fizz away. Warmth, overeating and weeklong celebrations have given way to dieting, diabetes and dining, buffet at that, which is nothing but too many crows kaw kawing and jostling for too little.