The word ‘arranged marriage’ by a general perception, is an alien word for many working women in their 20s. And putting a marriage proposal on any matrimonial site by parents without their consent is something which they do not accept happily.
This is exactly what happened with 24-year-old Indhuja Pillai, an engineer in Bangalore, when her conservative, Salem-based parents put out a ‘groom-wanted’ ad in a leading matrimonial website in mid-February. A rebel Pillai then decided to create a webpage detailing the kind of man she was looking to wed. Her rebellious “matrimonial CV” went viral in just three weeks, gathering 230,000+ page views and landing Pillai dozens of marriage proposals, including from foreigners like Lukas Rosenstock who asked on Twitter, “Are non-Indians eligible to apply to marry you?”
The webpage marry.indhuja.com just not went viral, but her post also gathered a lot of support from readers. “You read my mind,” one woman responded on Facebook, “I want to do the same thing but my parents won’t allow,” bemoaned another. One wrote, “You are me of 20 years ago.”
A few specifications that Indhuja is looking for in her would-be husband include, “A man who dose not hate his job, who is not too into his family, somebody with a great voice and personality, and the ability to hold a conversation for at least half-an-hour.
She has also painted a portrait of herself with small details. “I wear glasses and look dorky in them,” she writes. “Not a spendthrift or a shopaholic,” she writes about herself. Not a TV or book fan. “Not marriage material”. “Won’t grow long hair, ever.”
Tweets followed for the 5ft 4in, 63 kg, travel and English movie buff and self-described tomboy. “Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair. You rock,” tweeted one woman. “You spoke the mind of many Indian girls, I’m 23 too, hats off to the clarity,” tweeted a Varsha Kulkarni.
However, her website has also come in for a lot of criticism. Some women advised her not to jump in too soon. There were a few critics who berated her for “behaving like a kid” and for being “immature”.
Her shocked parents in Salem were aghast at her daring actions but have since calmed down and are now beginning to enjoy the entertainment. “They appreciate that I want and deserve more,” she said. Her matrimonial ad story has become fodder for the Tamil press. Her father, who works in real estate, is now providing her matrimonial page link to proposals that come their way. “Dare those guys come back?” asked Pillai.