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Unraveling the Mysteries of MATRIMONIAL ADS

May 2003
Unraveling the Mysteries of MATRIMONIAL ADS

Whenever I see matrimonial ads, I can?t help smiling, partly because I met my wife through an ad and partly because I don?t need to look at them again for a very long time, at least until I?m ready to torment my daughter. She?s just a baby, but it?s not hard to imagine myself handing her a page of matrimonial ads and saying, ?It?s your lucky day, Lekha. Every bachelor here describes himself as ?very successful? and ?very handsome.? How can you go wrong??

Matrimonial ads are an effective way to meet potential mates, but they?re not without their pitfalls. That?s why, as a public service, I decided to conduct an Internet chat with some eligible men and women. Here?s the transcript:

Sanjay, 38: Since you?re an expert on matrimonial ads, please tell me what it means when divorced women say they have ?no issues??

Melvin: It means they have nothing left to discuss. They exhausted all issues in their previous marriages. If you want to start a conversation with them, you need to bring your own issues.

Nalini, 24: What do you think of an ad that says ?seeking smart, ambitious girl? and ?must be able to cook??

Melvin: I think you need to stop searching for a mate in the employment section.

Waheeda, 35: I?m about to place a matrimonial ad and wondered if it?s OK to mention that my biological clock is ticking.

Melvin: By all means. For greater emphasis, you may even include a picture of your clock. That would help draw responses from newspaper reporters and other men who work well under deadlines.

Ravi, 25: Some women describe themselves as ?fair,? others as ?very fair.? Should I request a picture to verify the extent of their fairness?

Melvin: That is a fair question. But to determine if a woman is truly fair, you need to observe her deeds, not her face. Otherwise, you?ll find yourself squabbling with your light-skinned wife, thinking, ?She is not fair at all.?

Madhu, 34: I came across an ad in which a man describes himself as ?Harward-educated.? Is that the same as Harvard-educated and would you be concerned about his true qualifications?

Melvin: Yes, I?d be wery vorried.

Latha, 23: What type of information should I include in my biodata?

Melvin: The most important information to include is the educational qualifications of your relatives, especially if one of them is a doctor. You should also include the exact time and date of your birth. Everything else is optional.

Rupa, 27: I do not believe in the caste system. Should I boycott ads that mention caste in them?

Melvin: Yes, caste them aside. There are many others to choose from.

Thomas, 29: I saw an ad in which a woman described herself as ?homely.? Does that mean she?s not good-looking?

Melvin: No, it means she?s extremely attractive, but likes to stay at home. In other words, she?s not ?outgoing.?

Jyoti, 31: Please explain what it means when a man says he has ?good blend of east-west values.?

Melvin: It means he eats his kofta curry with a fork.

Rakesh, 32: I found an ad that says ?medical doctors preferred.? I?m not a doctor, but my best friend is. Should I respond?

Melvin: Only if you can borrow your friend?s credit cards. And perhaps his Mercedes, too.

Manoj, 25: A woman has advertised for ?well-settled? professionals only. I have a green card. Does that make me well-settled?

Melvin: No. To be considered well-settled, you must have a wife and children.

Varun, 20: Something is suspicous. Are you really an expert on matrimonial ads?

Melvin: Yes, I have an M.A. degree from Harward. Go ahead and werify it.

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