Passing on the baton
Since I am in the business of marriages, I always have a plenty of family members helping me out with leads. Mum, dad, uncles and aunties usually get leads through their friends (contemporaries) and they try their best to explain how I operate. I prefer to work directly with the person in the market rather than their parents, although I acknowledge that both parties together form the decision making unit in the Indian arranged marriage market (not very different from China).
For decisions to be made efficiently enough, you need a key decision maker for this big decision making unit. While in my grandparents generation, it was usually the alpha male (father, uncle, grandfather, whoever) that held the post of key decision maker, it is hardly relevant today because the person in the market doesn’t necessarily believe that this key decision maker fully understands him/ her or their needs well enough. This is precisely why most people wade through the arranged marriage markets for years, even with a perfectly marketable “profile”.
So, I cannot begin to stress the importance of nominating the person in the market as the key decision maker because contrary to what most parents feel, it’s easier to tell who the parents are based on a kids personality rather than who the kid is based on the parents personality. We tend to forget that our children are not just a function of how we raise them at home and that there is so much about them that we’ll never learn, especially because what do kids have to teach elders, no?
For instance, I have spoken to several mothers who are immensely protective of their sons and will proudly tell me that their sons are shy to speak with girls and that’s why the mothers are leading the bride hunt, but the truth of the matter is, these guys have been in and out of several relationships that these mothers have no clue about. Why does this matter? I’ll tell you why.
I remember speaking to someone who came recommended as a very conservative person from a conservative and traditional family, since my mutual contact felt that this person would suit a certain conservative friend of ours, based on a conversation with this person’s parent. If I were to make an introduction based on this, it would be an epic fail. When I spoke to this person, I realised a couple of things –
1. This person is not as conservative as their parents think they are. But, it’s not hard to imagine that the family could be conservative as I did see traces of their family values in them, at least enough to make an educated decision about what sort of a home environment they’d thrive in.
2. This person is so much more than their public “profile”, which was hardly acknowledged or appreciated by the rest of the decision making unit.
So, now that I know who this person is most likely to say “Yes” to, it increases my odds of getting a match right and in turn, helps them get out of the market faster. So, uncles and aunties out there, if you want your son or daughter getting married faster, it is time to pass on the baton and allow your kids to lead their partner search while you play facilitator, especially if you want to work with the Marriage Broker Auntie as I won’t have it any other way.