Dec 8, 2011

A paediatrician for sale

My parents' hunt to find a suitable groom for me is still going on. I haven't given them an inkling of Fair Guy though. So even after we have been together, I have had my share of pennukannals and most of it were non descript and akin to my first pennukannal.

But this was a bit different.

The guy's dad had called after seeing my profile in the matrimonial site. At the end of the usual talks, my mom asks, "Any demands?". (Translated, it means any demands for dowry).  Till now everyone had answered "NO" to this question. Frankly, I really don't know why my mom asks this. If they really wanted a huge dowry, I wonder if they would have demanded anything upfront and rightaway. According to me, the demands for dowry are made very subtly and slowly. And that's where the problem lies.  The boy's parents initially say they don't need dowry and speak against dowry and talk about the evils of dowry but later they change the whole tune. They start with saying you can give whatever gifts you want to your daughter. But if the gifts are not up to their expectations, slowly they start passing snide comments at the daughter-in-law for having brought so little from  her home. This dowry is just an excuse of the boy's parents to loot the hard earned money and savings of the girls parents. No easier way to being rich than getting one's son married.  Any demand anytime is met! 

And so, this guy's dad's unabashed reply to my mom's question was, "My son is a paediatrician. We have got many offers from many girls. But he seems to have liked your daughter's photo and wants to meet her." He went on to add that a certain politician's daughter had offered 6 crores ( i.e. 60,000,000 INRwhich equals almost 1,170,000 USD) for his paediatrician son . But it seems the son didn't like her.

God!! I can't believe that someone in the supposedly highly educated state of Kerala could speak like this. 6 fucking crores!! He could better put his son for auction and sell it to the highest bidder. The word 'offer' was so tacky! I really wonder what are the sentiments of this particular paediatrician who has been put for sale like this. I pity him more than the girl who will get married to him.

Needless to say, my parents were really shocked. I guess they never imagined that dowry prices have also shot up so much. They seemed not to be interested in this guy.

But, I was mistaken. The paediatrician's dad kept calling wanting to meet me. So my parents agreed to have them in our house. My parents had gone bonkers! Or the thought of being in-laws to a paediatrician went to their head that they couldn't think logically. Otherwise how could they agree? How could they agree to invite them and be hosts to such people? I wondered if they really considered sending me off with this guy. What would happen to me if I were to go to his house without 6 crores ( My middle class parents cannot afford even one crore, leave alone six.) I refused to meet this guy born to money monger dad. 

My mom's version was that they have told the guy's dad we won't be able to give so much and still the guy wanted to see me, so maybe the guy really has a mind of his own and anyways I am not getting married to the guy's parents, only to the guy.. blah blah blah.. Its difficult to win an argument with my mother. But my dad was not very keen. Thank God!  

After all my mother's drama and everything, I finally had to agree to her wish to meet this paediatrician fellow. Anyways, I thought I'm definitely not going to marry him. So if my parents want to host him, so be it. 

The pennukannal happened in our house. He came with his dad and two of his brothers-in law. I should say they behaved decently. There were no talks of dowry also. They came and drank our tea and cola and ate our expensive pastries and snacks and left. The paediatrician didn't wish to speak with me alone (I really really wanted to speak to this guy alone to give him a piece of my mind). Maybe they came not to see  me but my house and other particulars to see how much they can squeeze out of my parents.  They said they would contact after a couple of days, but no word was heard from them. Guess, they  finally realised after seeing our house that my parents won't be able offer anywhere near to the offer of the politician.

That's the end of the story of the dowry demanding shameless paediatrician.
What surprised me more was that he had two sisters and both married. There might have been similar dowry talks like this during those girls' weddings also. After all that, the father chose to behave in such an uncivilised manner.

I wonder if the paediatrician squeezes money like this from the kids who visit him.



  1. I had 30 pennukanals. Each time I stand in front of the prospective groom and his family, I felt like throwing an acid bomb amidst them. Please do not yield in to such uncouth traditions.Life is to live and it becomes all the more alluring when you can live your life on your own terms.


  2. I can't imagine this. It's like your parents are expected to "purchase" a groom for their daughter. I'm grateful this is not an American custom.

  3. wow. what would happen if you told your parents about your guy?

  4. @Shalet: Thirty pennukannals!! Wow!.. I'm curious to know what happened in the end.

  5. @Eva: Yeah, its like that. The worst investment of the girl's parents is usually the son-in-law.

  6. @Sherilin: Even I am wondering about that moment.

  7. @Sherilin: Even I'm wondering about that moment.

  8. Why are you horsing around will all this bullshit when you've already found the man you want? He doesn't want a dowry, does he?

  9. @ Mr. Bananas: I need a proper plan before I break the news to my parents.

  10. It's been six years....I am trying to live on my own terms. Let's see how far I can go....

  11. Here's a fun thing you can do in such a situation, call the cops and tell them they asked your parents for dowry. It's a punishable offence. And I think it's really sad that this question is even asked and that you let your parents ask.

    I've told my parents straight up that I will involve the law if the D word is mentioned AT ALL.

    But hey, each to their own I guess. I hope, for your sake, that you find someone for whom these things don't matter. Money-minded people are dangerous!

  12. happened to read a couple of ur 'pennukanals' or watever.. u got a catchy writing skill and very well narrate the scene.. keep up girl!!

  13. @Shruthi: Everyone knows its an offence. No one asks as such for dowry, do they? It is just implied that the girl's dad would give some gifts to the girl.

  14. @Shruthi: Everyone knows its an offence. No one asks as such for dowry, do they? It is just implied that the girl's dad would give some gifts to the girl.

  15. @yuvaraj: Thanks! Hope to see you around here.

  16. Miss Runawaybride, If you don't mind me asking, how old are you? I read your blog. My advice: Get rid of MR. Fair Guy. He's still stuck in his dream land for his fantasy girlfriend. He's just using you so he doesn't feel so lonely. Tell him to take a hike. He doesn't seem like the guy for you. If you're going to get an arranged marriage, make sure you can talk to the guy in person before getting married. Ask him what he wants in life? Make sure he's not a mom's boy. Make sure his parent and family is nice. Make sure they are all educated and working. His siblings should all be from an educated (sisters and brothers). You want someone with an open mind. Give him a few scenarios, like what would happen if he lost his job and couldn't find another one. Would he be willing to share the responsibility of having children? Is he expecting his mother to come live with you in the future? etc. etc. etc. Don't marry a guy just for love or money or education. Marry a well rounded person who understands you and your lives together. Get to know him and his family well, before marriage. Spend time going to his families house if you are serious about him.

  17. i agree with Anon. thats the most realistic advice by far.

  18. @Anonymous: Thanks for taking the pains to read through my blog and giving me a very mature advice. I gather my family is also trying to find such a match for me. But they and me are yet to find such a guy. The qualities you have given is kind of too perfect to be true. Does such a perfect guy exist with whom I can connect also so well. If then I would be a fool to let him go off.

  19. Thanks so much for coming over to my blog! I'm so glad to come across yours and will definitely be back for reads :)

    1. Nice
      Consider of reading what goes on a Boy's Mind ..

  20. This is best article so far I have read online. I would like to appreciate you for making it very simple and easy. You are writing awesome on marriage topics

  21. This is really interesting - especially the visit just to "size the bride's family" angle. Thanks for writing this!

    -Fellow Arranged Marriage chronicler :) at

  22. Nice
    Consider of reading what goes on a Boy's Mind ..

  23. Hey, I stumbled upon your blog & read a few of your posts and it got me thinking...isn't there more to life then just getting married? Please dont think im passing any kind of judgement...just a thought.
    Take care!

  24. He might've paid similar amount to become a he is planning to earn all that in one shot...lolzzz.. :)

  25. Oh how sad.... I mean if they wanted to "see the girl",he should at least have spoken to you.

    A lot of people study medicine just to land a good husband/dowry.

    TC and good luck for your search

  26. lols .... hehehehh i can so relate o thi sone especilaly since i had my first share of pennkanals some weeks back, scary but FUNNY ... hehhe 6 crores, i mean serious, whats the world coming to , its like the highest bidder gets the cow .oops guy .. Seems like its allabout who has gives the highest bidding :P .. but wait in there love, am sure you are in no hurry :) ... you will find the"guy" who will de be worth your time :)

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  28. Ok, I'm having my first 'arranged date' today. Get this, my parents have already met him and his parents and that disturbs me. Anyway, I was googling on this and stumbled upon your blog, and what a stumble it is!

  29. Really refreshing to read this because it has started for me too... no meetings yet but the discussions. Scared stiff. LIC aunties who are part time marriage brokers have been hovering around like vultures at our gate. o.0

  30. lol...been there done that ...and divorced too.Beware of these vultures ,whther they study in Bangalore or new zealand or china ,they are scavengers

    My friend ,born n brought in Dubai ,is talking of taking dowry (sthreedhanam) from his future wife's family. When scolded for that by friends, he told us frankly ,his family is left with nothing after 2 sister got married off :D

    Gold's own country,like she said in this blog

  31. Oh dear.... to think that dowry exists in educated homes. Is there any hope for this society??

  32. superb article, i think everybody have their choices also. girls and boys should given a chance to marry on their own decisions.u can check this article also which is on arranged marriages - a brides review!!

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  35. Just shows how even educated people can think so irrationally and believe in dowry.

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  37. What an asshole. Arranged marriages are a bunchof nonsense... Its a market,not a tradition. It should be illegalised.... I would never sell off my daughter to sleep with a stranger (the promises to wait are a SHAM ... Men in India have a legal right to sleep with their wives or they rape, harass or even file for annulment) and be the family maid, cook and mistress just for the sake of keeping up appearances. Fair Guy might have his share of cons but im sure hewillingly cared for u, and you didnt have to train yourself to love him somehowor be desolate for eternity like you will have to in an arranged marriage. Get out of this mess as quick as you can. Times have changed, women are educated and emotionally self aware.... Dont fall into the outdated trap of arranged marriage slavery

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  39. Interesting read, somehow these stories always crack me up and leave me amazed at the greed of the people. You should also consider posting these stories on your quora! They have an amazing thread on arranged marriage going on there.

    Time for shameless marketing : Do visit or ask your friends to visit in case they wish/choose to get married in an arranged marriage format!

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  41. Great expectations

    Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

    Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.


    With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.


    Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

    In - laws or outlaws?

    if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

    Sharing space

    Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
    Differnces of opinion

    Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

    Planning for the future

    As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

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  43. Demonstrate fascination with these people, and they will not only sense additional linked to a person, nevertheless they will need to display additional shadi fascination that you experienced as well!

  44. Brahmin Shaadi
    Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

    The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

    In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
    be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

    After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

    Mangal Phere
    Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

    Post wedding ceremony vidaai
    After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
    khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

    Griha pravesh
    The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.

  45. Fertility Rituals

    Marriage is one of the biggest fertility rituals Known in Indian culture. When two people get married. they are said to enter grihasta ashram where they are expected to bear children. satify their sexual urge, earn money and follow religious practices. Hindu marriages profess the idea of coming together of the energies and paving way to a new creation.

    Offering of Grains

    Throughout India, one thing that remains common to all communities is offring of grains in wedding ceremony. Mostly rice, puffed rice or whole grains, these grains are fed to the sacred fire in different ceremonies.

    Importance of Shiva's Bael leaves

    Holy Bael leaves are proffered in several ceremonies before the wedding and after it. In many communities in india, before the wedding day arrives, Bael leaves are placed in earthen pots which are topped with different kinds of cereals. After the wedding, the sprouted seedlings are then released in a flowing river or a pool. This ritual is performed to invoke blessings of Lord Shiva upon the married couple and pray for their progeny.

    Vishnu's pious Lotus

    As per mythology, at the time of creation of the universe, while lord Vishnu was pondering over the creation of mankind, a pious lotus rose out of his navel. On that lotus was seated Lord Brahma who paved way to the creation and illumination of the universe. Thus, lotus remains symbolic of procreation, birth and fertility. It is Therefore, offered during wedding puja to the gods to confer potency upon the couple. Also, At the time of a Hindu wedding, the bride and the groom are given the stature of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu because they represent the eternal companionship and exemplify how a relationship between husband and wife should be.

    Nose ring

    Usually seen as a piece of accessory, almost all brides sport nose ring on their wedding day. In some communities, girls are told to get their nose pierced before they tie the knot.

    Sacred coconut rituals

    Across India, since time immemorial coconut has enjoyed its association with human fertility in a sacrosanct manner. In Gujarat, there is a ritual of bride presenting a coconut in a customary way to the groom at the time of the marriage. Here coconut is symbolic of the progency of the couple that the bridegifts the groom. Of all the fruits, coconut is most closely related to human skull because of the three marking on its base that resemble human facial features.

    The mantras of virility

    During saat pheras in a Hindu marriage, there are several mantras that are chanted for progency of the couple. While the first phera is for a long lasting companionship, in the second Phera, "Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam", the bride promises the groom that she will fill his with love and will bear children of him.

    The History

    There was a time when potency was considered as the be all and all of all activities. The earliest ritual of fertility among Hindus can be dated back to the Harappan civilization where it has been discovered that people worshipped clay figurines of a mother goddess who represented fertility. Several phallic symbols representing gods in sitting position wearing bull's horns (Bull being a universal symbol of male potency) have also been found at the sites of indus Valley Civilization. As the world evolved and ancient civilizations paved way to the modern societies, marriage started being considered as a mandatory ceremony before women could conceive. Also, the idea of marriage was propelled by the thought of having the family legacy move ahead; so that families could get heirs.


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  48. yes you are right the demand of dowry is increasing day by day. The best things is to refuse the proposals of this kind of families or complaint against them. Feel bad to read your story and my sister is also one of you who was also gone with this situation too.

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