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I got married 34 years ago and simply nodded my head obediently as was the custom those days when my parents passed me a photo of my would be wife and said they were proposing to get me married to her. My wife was not given even this privilege. Yes, there was an informal so called "Ponn Parking" Ceremony, but this was a mere formality and the outcome was already decided in advance. No one expected me or my wife to say no to the match. This formality was a reluctant "concession" to the "modern generation" which I and my wife supposedly belonged to in the early seventies. This morning my friend and correspondent Sri Dharmeshwaran Natesan from the Iyer123 yahoo group posed an interesting query to me on the subject of matrimonial matches today. Extract from his mail to me: ------------------------------------------------->I think you would >be interested in this project,if I may say so! >Astrology,knowledge,astrlogers,practice are >no more perfect and in fact misleading akin to >the definition of economics:If there are three >Econmists,there are minimum four definitions! >Coming to the point,retaining the fairly simple >and straightforward Star match,for matrimonial >matching we may adopt a questionaiire, >with criteria listed from the time one get up >tillhe retires and slightly ahead! >The responses should be "Agree,Can tolerate,Cannot Stand" >The criteria for example could be like early rising,late rising >be slow and steady or brisk and fast,home meals or >compulsive periodical dining out etc. >Can your goodself think systematically(no need to say this) >list these traits. >I shall join this with my humble inputs. >Together we could get this CompuMatch designed by >knowledgeable members,including perhaps yourself. --------------------------------------------------------This mail set me thinking. What if I was not 60 but a mere 25 today and had just entered the marriage market? While I never thought of these questions 34 years ago, today I may want to consider them. The list is tentative. I am sure many more can be added by others. I believe the marriage will have a fair chance of success if these questions are at least thought about before the marriage. Of course, I fully agree that ones nature changes over a period of time. Circumstances, life, incidents, events, experiences all affect our personality and we may not be the same person with the same tastes in our later years. But still I believe considering these questions will ensure better chances of a successful marriage. I will welcome opinions / comments from others.

Traits/qualifications in a spouse for a person in the marriage market. A check list ============== 1) What is your educational qualification? . What is your minimum requirement in your spouse. Illiterate/Primary School/High School/Graduate/Post Graduate 2)Height: What minimum or maximum height do you desire in your spouse. 3)What religion or religions will you accept in your spouse. What religion will not be acceptable to you at all? 4)Are you particular about caste/sub caste? If so what is your preference? If caste is not the same, what other castes can you accept? What will you find unacceptable? 5)Are you particular about complexion? On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 pitch black complexion, 5 wheat complexioned and 10 Rosy and fair European complexion, where do you stand? What is the minimum complexion index you will find acceptable? 6)Do you desire a working spouse or a non working spouse. 8)What minimum monthly income will be acceptable to you? What is your own income? 9)Will you shift to where your spouse is posted if one of you is transferred even if it means resigning your job? 10)Will you agree to live with your spouse's family or do you insist on an independent establishment? 11)Are you desperate to go abroad and do you desire only an overseas spouse? 12)Are you willing to go abroad later if your spouse's career makes such a move essential? 13)Will you insist on your spouse being the only child of his/her parents. 14)Do you prefer your spouse not to have living parents? 15)Will you support your spouses parents in their old age? a)No, not prepared for this responsibility b)domestically only, c)domestically and financially also? 16)Are you willing to have children and if so the number of children a)immediately after marriage b)only after X years of marriage c)No children at all? 17)What if your spouse smokes ? a)can you tolerate? b)Find it totally unacceptable? 18)Similarly, what if your spouse is fond of alcohol and occasionally indulges? 19)What jobs/careers in your spouse are preferable? Tolerable? Unacceptable?

20)Are you of religious disposition? What if your spouse is completely an agnostic or an atheist?Is it tolerable? Unacceptable? Conversely What if he is a religious freak always doing pujas ? 21)What minimum assets must your spouse already have before marriage? a)Two wheeler b)Four wheeler c) Plot of land in a city d)Own house in a city e)Stands to inherit property. 22)What hobbies do you desire in your spouse? Sports? Musical talent? Dance? Art? Technical/Vocational skills 23)What minimum and maximum age gap will you find acceptable between you and our spouse? What minimum or maximum age will you find acceptable in your spouse? 24)Is this is your first marriage? If not were you divorced or did your spouse die prematurely? Whatever your status, if all other factors are acceptable will you marry a a)Divorcee b)Widow/widower? With or without encumbrances? 25)Do you want a traditional marriage with all customs and rites observed? Or do you want only a registered marriage? 26)Are you a vegetarian? Pure vegetarian? Fanatic Vegetarian? Or a non vegetarian, occasional non vegetarian, sly non-vegetarian? What food habits do you desire in your spouse and what can you tolerate or not tolerate in his eating habits? 27)Do you like to eat out ? Occasionally? As often as possible ? or do you prefer home food? 28)Can you cook? Not willing to cook at all? Willing to learn to cook? 29)Will you help your spouse in household duties and in the kitchen and share the burden of family chores? 30)Are you an avid reader, film goer? TV watcher? Party animal? If so will you insist on your spouse also being the same or can he/she be different from you in this respect? 31)How is your health? Do you suffer from any particular disability? What disabilities can you tolerate in your spouse? 32)Are you wiling to undergo a complete medical test before your marriage? 33)Are you a believer in stars/astrology/gotram/horoscope etc and will an astrologer's clearance be a pre-requisite for your marriage? 34)How important is parental support and concurrence for you in your selection of your spouse? a)Absolutely essential b) Not essential?


We belong to a generation that did not need a list like this. We got married first We learned to love our spouses later. Divorce was never an option. A spouse was simply God Given. Just like our Faces. Just like our Names. We did not spite our own names and faces just because we did not like them. We simply learned to lived with them happily or unhappily. We did not get to choose our parents, our brothers, our sisters and our children. We lived and adjusted with all these people. Similarly we lived and adjusted with the person who entered our live as our spouse.Not being able to choose our spouse was not a handicap at all. Today's relationships are a lot more complex. A check list like this is the minimum one needs to ensure some chance of success. Even if modern youngsters are armed with a list like this, a happy marriage cannot be guaranteed. Success and happiness in Marriage depends on the individuals, not the entries in the list. Verily is it said :Marriages are made in Heaven. Not inside check lists.

You are one hundred percent right, Sir! I was only joking and thanking the Lord that I dont have that problem any more in this Janma! About next Janma, who knows, except the Lord!

Happy and good marriages do not happen. They should be worked for with give and take, even if some times it is more give than take. But the result guarantees all round happiness.

A friend has replied and has added this question: ============== This is nothing new. I understand these are some of the questions including No. 35 given below, our youngsters, at least the shrewd ones, ask their would be spouses on the internet when they look for life partners. 35) Are you prepared to accept and reconcile to pre-marital sex experiences, if any, of your spouse? ============= My reply: Your added Question No 35 is still tolerable. What will make me give up all hope are further extensions of these Qn No 36 :Are you prepared to tolerate Post Marital sex Outside marriage? Qn No 37: Are you prepared to tolerate Bisexual/Homosexual relationships in your spouse? Siva! Siva! Before such questions are asked and become normal, I would like to leave the world.

-Why not bring in the current 'Live-In' relationships! 38. Would you be willing to go in for a live-in relationship first, say, for two years so that the compatibility could be confirmed beyond doubts? 39. Would you still keep an option to opt out of wedlock? 40. Would there still be suspicion over the partner- In short would you still be a doubting Thomas!

I have been a silent reader of the postings. They are hilarious! These days, the only requirement for a marriage is - the person you are going to marry should be of the opposite sex. This fundamental requirement is not mandatory in America - may be soon in India also! Shiva Shiva - as my grand ma used to say.