Match making moves of new-age spouse hunts | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Match making moves of new-age spouse hunts

In the 90s, the Indian woman wanted a professional. In this decade, she wants him in an MNC. Matrimonial advertisements have become more specific on demands over the last three decades, reports Paramita Ghosh.

delhi Updated: Jun 29, 2008 01:30 IST
Paramita Ghosh

B’ful girl 155/11.07.78/10:28 pm (del) wants CA 1 MBA asst mngr wkng MNC gurgaon, 4.5 lpa.

Checking out a potential mate has got really specific.

For instance, Shruti Gaur (23), working with a management consultant, has her priorities fixed. “By the time I get married, I’ll be earning about Rs 30,000 a month. I want a well-off guy from a nuclear family, working with an MNC. He should draw a salary of Rs 80,000 a month.”

In the 1960s, the Indian woman wanted a suitable boy. In the 90s, she wanted a ‘professional’. In this decade, she has pinned him in numbers and wants him in an MNC.

These are just some of the findings of Futurebrands, which has compiled a report on three decades of Indian matrimonial advertisements. “We wanted to map the changes that have occurred in Indian urban society, with regard to the self-image and significant attributes of men and women in the marital search process,” said Santosh Desai, CEO, Furturebrands.

A random sample of 3,200 matrimonial ads in daily newspapers was chosen to form 10-yearly snapshots, starting 1967.

Men, too, are opening up to the female gaze, said the report. The use of ‘handsome’ as a self-description rose from 15 per cent in the 1960s to 25 per cent in 2007. The individual is also increasingly at the forefront in matrimonial ads.

From no mention at all, in 1967, of descriptions like “I am a tall girl”, the graph rose to 60 per cent in 1977, to 90 per cent in 1987 and 98 per cent in 2007. In the 1960s, being ‘fair’ was assumed under the imprecise term of ‘good looking’.

“Photographs seem to be working as proof in the face of widespread claims of being beautiful,” said Sraboni Bhaduri, head, Insights and Knowledge Initiatives, Futurebrands.

The demand for photographs has risen from 5 per cent in 1987, to 28 per cent in the 1980s and 32 per cent in the 1990s.

The surprises: The report points to a tendency for risk reduction with 24 per cent of ads in 2007 mentioning manglik/non-manglik and a growing demand for the matching of horoscopes.