Is 'Drawing Room Talk' a Necessary Ritual in the Context of an Arranged Marriage

My comments on a post 'Drawing Room Talk' written by Uni on her blog. Please read the post first before reading the comments.


If I were a guy, I would surely not subject any female on the planet to such idiocy.

My sentiments too :)

I don't think there is any other 'foolproof' way. I have tried to think a lot about it. But if we posit an essentially segregated society, in which there is little male-female interaction (which would make dating unlikely and frowned upon, and which is what, i presume, you want), then there remains no other way for a family looking for a girl to go and see the girl they have heard about. Obviously, no family would just accept any girl without even meeting her. So, in the setting of an arranged marriage, there has to be some sort of a "meeting". The only question then remains of the manner in which it is conducted. But if the mother in law wants a particular type of wife for her son, then she has the right to question the girl in order to judge the presence or absence of those characteristics she wants in her daughter in law. She is not there to make friends, remember. She is looking for a daughter in law. And by actually entertaining the visits of such a rishta-seeking lady, the girl and her family is tacitly giving the boy's family the approval to be examined in this degrading manner. So, in my view, such a "sight-seeing" becomes almost impossible to avoid in the context of an arranged marriage.

The cases in which it doesn't happen like this is when a marriage happens within a family between two cousins, or between two family friends. There is no "sight-seeing" because the families already know each other. Or when the boy and the girl are already familiar with each other to some extent by virtue of being college mates or something like that, but this latter thing is more of a mixture of love-marriage-arranged-marriage, and not a pure arranged marriage happening in the context of gender segregation that had been assumed.

The thing that can be done is to make the girl's role more active. In this typical sight-seeing, the girl is meant to be purely passive, as if she is on display. If the girl's role in the rishta process is more active, then she won't just be a decoration piece... she can direct the conversation on her own terms, and refuse to take any shit from arrogant old ladies looking for their ideal daughter-in-law. So, perhaps the best advice for girls from me would be, excuse my language: Take no shit. But given how our society expects girls to be submissive and polite and silent, that might just be the biggest offense a girl can commit.

I personally don't want an arranged marriage for myself, and i have a positive view of dating. But well, that's just my personal preference :) Those who want an arranged marriage for themselves, please go ahead.


Salman Latif said…
I readily agree!!
The whole procedure of arrange marriage is simply disgusting! It is indeed like treating the girl like a product to be displayed and liked by some person - and it's totally outrageous!
And to top it, I hate, I so loathe those hypocrites who love doing so when they have the power to go and accept or reject a girl and whine when it comes their way.
Aeish said…
Well said @ take no shit..You know it's this sickening concept of arranged marriages in Pakistani society that makes a lot of us despise marriage in its totality!
gaya said…
'Take no shit'
Well said, but its not entirely in the girl's hand. If it was she could have refused to such 'sight seeing' in the first place.
The girls are so dependent at the time of this 'rishta' thing that they usually have no choice.
Mayhem said…
hahahhahahahahaha!! Me likes! *thumbs up* :P

But I guess, it's the girl's fault as well. I mean is she has ANY self-respect she would never let herself be turned into a 'grocery item'.And yeah arranged marriages are not so popular these days. I, myself, am not a fan but like dating? Seriously?

I think it would be better to have an arranged marriage than date! :S TOTALLY AGAINST MY SENSE OF PROPRIETY!! I think it's just best to have a love cum arranged marriage. What say you? :P
hushed said…
Not usually the girl's fault, more so the parents that treat the girl as a burden no matter how well educated they are and in an endeavour to get rid of her as soon as possible allow weird people to come and check her out in the privacy of her own house. It's almost synonymous to harassment. I don't agree with many things my parents do or say, like any normal kid but one thign I'm proud of is the fact that my folks took a firm step to totally discard the concept of drawing room scenes in our house. They had a point saying that my daughters don't dwell within four-walled enclosures, they study they work they are out there, you wanna see them, see them around somewhere without letting them know, they aren't cattle that you want to come over to check them out.
We are one happy family, TRUST ME!