Heaven is passé. The tech-savvy generation states that marriages are made in the internet now.
Traditional marriage in India starts with registering for an account in a matrimonial site. These sites are very much like Facebook in many ways. People are looking to hook up, in this case, for marriage. These sites even have chat options and news feed. An option to update status is the only thing missing.
But even Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t have envisioned the influence these knock-offs would have on the Indian society. Most times, it is the parents of the bride or the bridegroom who use these sites and manage the profiles. And if the parents are technologically challenged, it is the older and married siblings who take the reins. Either way, the bride or bridegroom themselves are not too involved in the process. Their part comes only when a girl or boy’s profile has undergone the first level filtering based on family background by the parents and second level filtering by astrologers who have given the go-ahead after checking the horoscopes.
Most matrimonial sites have an option to show people who have visited your profile. So, if one family finds a profile interesting, they visit it but never give a connect request. The other family has to see who has visited the profile and then send the request. Sending a connect request directly might imply that the party is desperate.
Then there are stalkers and creeps who pester the girl through chat and plead with them to marry them. They don’t realise that they are actually pleading with the girl’s mom!
After all this, when the parents have given their blessings, the boy and girl ‘Skype’. It involves 40 minutes of “Can you hear me?” and the last 10 minutes of an awkward “hi”.
The youth have taken up things into their own hands. There are proposal pages on Facebook that helps you find partners that will make even their parents happy. It also gives them a chance to start of as friends and then if things go well, proceed to the next level. These pages are a bridge between the eastern and western cultures in terms of marriage. It is traditional in a way and is here to stay.