Those ‘rejected' in the marriage mela need not worry. They will have the freedom in the morning to get up from both sides of their beds!

“Marriages,” they say, “are made in Heaven.” That is probably why they are never ‘down-to-earth.' Just see what an extravaganza we make out of a marriage: glittering jewellery, gorgeous silk saris, flashing video lights, bouquets and buffets and what not.

In spite of the entire circus, one is still not sure of the success of a marriage. That way, matrimony resembles the stock market gamble. If you are lucky, you win a lottery; else you are doomed for the rest of your life!

Running this risk puts one in an awful dilemma: To wed or not to. Adding to one's confusion, people offer this ‘sincere' advice: “For heaven's sake, don't marry!” One cannot just ignore this especially because it comes from the married. After all, they are ‘experienced' and they know better.

Who runs the risk more in matrimony, the boy or the girl, is a debatable question. Going by what Benjamin Disraeli said, “Every woman should marry — and no man!” More than the fair sex, the male counterpart appears to be worst affected. But you see this is a man's viewpoint. Others put it in a different way: “Getting married? By all means go ahead. If you get a good wife, you will have a happy life. Otherwise, the world will have a good philosopher.” But the men's world is very unfair to the fair sex in saying this.

Anyway, if everyone had taken them seriously, it would have been the beginning of the end of the human race. After all, nobody learns lessons form others' mistakes. And the writer is no exception!

Having decided to take the matrimonial plunge, it was perfectly in order to look into the ‘matchmakers' column of newspapers. Browsing through the cluster of ads, one is awestruck by their bewildering variety. They offer every type of boy & girl under the sun. And those tricky terms — ‘broad-minded,' ‘accomplished,' ‘wheatish complexion,' ‘domestically trained…(animal?),' a profile which any boy or girl would start fantasising about the life partner.

One ad says ‘mother not alive,' probably the USP to attract those poor people who are wary of the mother-in-law! Responding to such ads is like shooting in the dark. You don't know whom they're aimed at. It reminds us of the practice in some societies of traditional India and China, where the bride and the groom are not allowed to see each other until they are brought together for the wedding ceremony. Oh…what a suspense!

The world population statistics says that there is less number of women than men in many societies. That makes hunting for a wife the next project for boys after hunting for a job. Who knows the world may come full circle. And as happened in the good old days, ‘swayamwarams' may become a reality in future where a girl can choose from among a number of eligible bachelors who stand in queue to get hand-picked.

The remaining ‘rejected' ones from the marriage mela need not worry. They will have the freedom in the morning to get up from both sides of their beds!

(The writer's email is: jjeyes@rediffmail.com)

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