Indian Matchmaking: Provider yes, but also gigolos & bimbos in the patio please

8th August 2020

8th August 2020

Indian Matchmaking: Now streaming on Netflix

So out of sheer boredom and because a friend from Bollywood asked me to take a look without being pre-biased, I sat through a couple of hours of a serial called Indian Matchmaking on Netflix. Here it is important to point out that I cannot recall the last "arranged" marriage in my close family for the past 50+ years or so. Not that we are highly westernised or anything like that or that we all live hugely hectic lives.

It is probably because the trend of finding your own spouse was started by a couple of Uncle and Aunts in the early '60s and has continued merrily since then. My observation as a child was that the marriages in our family were usually more fun because the range of food served at the functions was much wider than the usual halwai, and more than that, the sheer number of people from different professions based on intelligence who were coming in as husbands and wives was breath-taking.

Which is what I found interesting in this arranged marriage TV Serial. Intelligence in the prospective search appeared to have been consigned to the background as all sorts of other parameters were sought to be matched. While the self-achieved marriages which I observed when I was young kind of placed intelligence right up there at pole position on the starting grid. Not educational qualifications, but intelligence, and competency. We grew up listening to and understanding a wide range of subjects from all over India and soon the world.

I am not saying that arranged marriages need to be preceded by IQ tests. Nor am I saying that people who are not blessed by birth with intelligence should not get married - though it may certainly be worth looking into, the gene pool needs to improve by natural selection for survival of the species. I am just saying that the TV serial was no different from random Indian movies where boy-meets-girl or other way around which has mostly been reduced to a star-cast system of predictive situations based mostly on everything but intelligence of the young lovebirds.

Just placing a pair of reading glasses on a pretty nose and providing the actors with a bag of books is not the idea either. But sadly that becomes the aspirational thanks to Indian films. I once sat through a long train journey in Executive Chair Car on a train ride from Ludhiana to New Delhi, tuning in to a bunch of young girls from what appeared to be the Upper Ends of Society, on what they were looking for in a husband. The conversation tended towards (a) a meal ticket and (b) luxury of the ostentatious sort and then eventually (c) gigolos paid for up front.

The gigolos, obviously, were based on popular young male stars of the time. Which is what the star system in Bollywood appears to be all about.

And that is what emerges from my brief viewing of Indian Matchmaking. I may be wrong but the impression I got was that people in the game and those around them want to marry a provider but want to have the freedom to keep their bimbos or gigolos on the patio, in stanbye position, also. Nothing wrong with that, either, but it doesn't work for me in the context of what defines a "marriage". But then, that's what Bollywood has done to us, redefine marriage. 

No other institution in India has deliberately destroyed the deeper benefits of the marriage system in India more than Bollywood has. Systematically. Especially the Indic concepts of improving the bloodlines and gene pools and offspring going forward. Whether straight, gay, monogamous or otherwise. Be what you are, but ensure that the next generation is smarter than your generation, and do everything to ensure that. Which reduces to a single word - meritocracy. Of any sort. 

Bollywood, by pushing mediocre nepotism instead of merit-based success, has destroyed the push and drive that societies need to keep improving. We are lucky that the Bollywood based star-system is coming to an end. As soon as right now, and what's left, is hopefully getting washed away into the Indian Ocean this monsoon.

And for that we can thank Indian Matchmaking in a way which I shall put forth yet again in a future article.

Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.

A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.

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