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India no longer hot for match-making

Many NRIs attending the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas feel, in reality, the trend of "outsourcing" brides or grooms from India has taken a sharp plunge.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2004 11:17 IST

NRI Raj may have travelled all the way into the lush fields of Punjab to snatch his bride Simran in the Bollywood blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. However, many NRIs attending the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas feel, in reality, the trend of "outsourcing" brides or grooms from India has taken a sharp plunge.

"Indians abroad have realised they have to integrate into the society there and can't afford to live in ghettos. So, fewer NRIs are now looking for brides for their sons from India. The world is moving towards a multi-national society," said member of House of Lords Meghnad Desai.

P.P. Kaul from the US feels the Indian community abroad is so large that there was hardly any need to scout for matches back home. "Earlier NRIs had no choice but to come home to find the right match for their children. Today, there are 15 lakh Indians in the US alone. So, if one is looking for an Indian bride or groom, there is no need to cross the seas," he said. Kaul's son has married an Indian girl he met in the US.

Young Simone Ahuja could not agree more. "We have reached a critical mass in both the US and UK, where young, eligible bachelors are easily available. There is no problem of adjustment if one marries a person from the same backdrop. And we can't be forced to marry anyone," the US-based Ahuja said.

The University of Denver's Ved P. Nanda said NRIs still feel that getting married to a compatriot is the best way to maintain links with the motherland from distant places. "The times have changed. Now parents can, at best, arrange for a meeting between the boy and the girl. But they have learnt to take no for an answer," he said.

Even Indian parents are now sceptical about sending their daughters to far-away lands, as there have been several horror stories. And young NRIs tend to avoid any pressure to getting married.

But the Hindustani heart of Germany-based Ashok Kumar Verma does not care for any trend as he hopes to one day bring his 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter to India to search for their better halves. Accompanied by his wife and children, he said: "My kids have promised me that they will get married in the traditional way. Seeing that happen is my greatest desire," the 48-year-old NRI said.

First Published: Jan 11, 2004 00:00 IST