Will my arranged marriage be successful? Would my partner be compatible with me? These kinds of questions keep coming in the mind of thousands of brides and grooms who go for arranged marriage.

As soon as a girl enters her mid-twenties, everybody, right from her family to the neighbor’s second cousin gets really interested in her wedding plans. Her parents are approachable by well-wishers everywhere, be it home or any other public places and even online with the details of prospective boys thrust upon them. And, yes, thanks to these matrimonial sites that everyday provide notifications that the boy named so and so is interested in your profile and also there are requirements for a fair, beautiful, homely/tall, slim, and attractive, working girl and it gets posted every day.

Actually, it’s no longer about tall, fair, attractive girl and from a decent family that marks the marriage in the market. As men and women get more selective about their choices and surer about their expectations, the ground of arranged marriage is undergoing a drastic change and the most remarkable one is how the women today have equal voice in the marriage institution.

The concept of arranged marriages now is more like being set up for a blind date, but then it is a set up generally by your parents, so might get little awkward, but actually doesn’t matter right? These days couples meet and talk several times before deciding anything and until and unless they are really sure about each other; even parents understand these and give them space and if the couple says No, it’s a “NO”, though inevitably parents will surely give their opinions and advice but ultimately it’s your decision.

Arranged marriage is no more the oppressive institution, it is now based on mutual trust and collective understanding. Gone are the days when girls used to marry just because the parents told her to marry. The status of women has drastically changed. Exposure to other cultures, empowerment, and education has significantly dented the traditional patriarchy system. Parents have realized that when their daughter says “yes” for marriage that means, she has a veto power. In arranged marriages, due to the variety of choices available, many feel they should take the opportunity and have the freedom to be selective.

Indian parents usually start undergoing immense emotional ups and downs as their daughter turns 24 and son turns 27. And wherever you go, be it a wedding party or any other social gathering you will find few uncles and aunties who will be always pushing your parents to get you married and they go like –“ Arey itni badi ho gayi, ab toh shadi ke liye dhoondho ladka, mere paas hai biodata bahut acha ladka hai, aap kaho toh baat karte hain aage” and so on. Even if parents are not in hurry, the society makes them do so.

Panic came knocking our doors when I turned 24 and he turned 26. Our parents were bombarded with pictures and resumes of prospective partners by many relatives and friends and also a few random people at times. It seemed as if the whole universe was conspiring desperately!

After investing some time, I met him. It was a little weird though to go on a date fixed by your parents, armed with questionnaires and compatibility tests, followed by long phone calls. But as we met there was nothing as such. We didn’t struggle to get to know each other. We both were so comfortable and it all began to feel right; neither of us had reason to fight it.

It was now the turn to brood late into the night over the choice before me. I liked the guy; it was really nice meeting him, but then fears and doubts about him swung from the ridiculous to the mundane. But then somehow I also felt he was the one for me, the one with whom I can happily spend the rest of my life. Ah! A big decision!!!But, yes I made the right one.

I feel you just know it when you meet the right guy/girl. No, no, there aren’t any violins playing in the background, but, yes you surely get some signal that he/she is the right one. And, no, it is not necessary that you will find your Prince Charming/Dream Girl in the typical Bollywood way. Many times, it is arranged by your family or friends and it just happens, as it happened with me!!!

In the year leading up to our wedding, our relationship developed and the bond grew stronger. After a year of craziness and excitement we got married.

Our first year of marriage has been blissful, fun filled, memorable. We discovered a lot of things about each other, the good, the tolerable and the annoying bits as well.

Arranged marriage gave us the flexibility of spelling out the things very clearly in the beginning. We wanted a strong foundation for our relationship-trust being the most important ingredient. We feel relationships survive and grow if you work as “We” and not “I”. We have learned to give each other the space, understand responsibilities and work in partnership. People who meet us for the first time refuse to believe that ours is an arranged marriage.

This feeling of love is the only feeling that is true and complete for any woman. I have found my guy with whom I can share my deepest and silliest fears, someone who will go extra mile to make me smile and someone I want to make happy every second of my life.

So, the bottom line is: don’t think there is a set formula for marriage to work; arranged or love; it is the two people who have to make it work; it is the understanding and trust of the two people.

“No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together”.