singles
Desperately Seeking Husband Part 5
Single girl Sejal does the unthinkable…
Posted: 14.12.12

Delhi meri jaan! Two cities later, from Mumbai to Jaipur, I had just about adjusted to the scorching dry heat in Jaipur where my task to search for a soul mate task had extended to, when it was time to move on to the city I called my second home; Delhi. As a lot of my family members resided here, I assumed everything would be familiar to me including the local transport. How wrong I was. Travelling as a single woman, the madness of Mumbai’s local railway was smooth sailing in comparison to Delhi. Refusing to be driven around by family, I insisted on commuting by myself and soon discovered for every ten auto-rickshaws available on the Mumbai streets within minutes, Delhi is graced with one.

Fortunately, (or unfortunately in this case), after my not so successful first blind date in Delhi, my train expeditions were at a minimum. My cousin promptly insisted I pursue a method that she believed was still very popular, something that I had PROMISED myself I would never do, place an ad in the newspaper! Yes you read that correctly – the local Delhi paper!

What can you know or possibly believe about someone from just a few lines in a newspaper ad right? But there is certainly no shortage in Delhi’s local papers of matrimonial profiles. Sunday papers are screaming with brides looking for grooms, grooms looking for brides, specific castes, divorcees and even an NRI section. Many of the ads placed are done so by the family members of the singleton who may have not been able to find someone on their own accord, some are new to Delhi and may not have networks in which they could find someone; a lot of similar reasons as using a bureau. Since the Sunday paper carries a larger audience, a substantial amount per day is charged, which I then realised also ascertained the authenticity of the profiles the newspaper printed. Such a large amount for one day was not the ideal option for me; hence I opted to use a smaller local newspaper for a two-day advert at a fraction of the price.

What you pay for is what you get. Literally! The newspaper I had decided to place my profile in only had one classified page packed with the strangest range of advertisements. Everything and anything was listed, right from astrology readers to houses to rent, and escorts to private tutors; you get the idea! And sure enough the next day there I was – sandwiched between a motorbike sale and a hearing aid store! To my horror, I was the ONLY ad listed under matrimonial. NRI Punjabi-Gujarati girl seeking well educated groom from a well-educated family. That was me! I had NO idea how I could describe myself in a few words so went ahead with the basic template the newspaper suggested.

My tiny window of words had managed to pull in SOME responses. Respondent one - a man in his thirties who was staying in Delhi for just a few days on a work conference from Dubai. He persisted on finding out exactly where in Delhi I was living before I could even say my full name. Needless to say that phone call lasted no longer than ten seconds and no further communication resumed. The second and final respondent submitted his full personal CV via email. A recent divorcee, he clearly was looking for someone fairly religious to primarily look after his family, and was a definitely a lot older to what I was expecting. Much older!

So was I surprised at the scarce call-backs? Probably not. Experimenting with a newspaper that catered to a smaller audience than the regular and larger Sunday Delhi newspaper, one single matrimonial profile squashed amongst a flood of wanted plumbers and masseurs was probably not a standard process. Nonetheless, it was certainly a memorable experience and possibly a sign that maybe Delhi wasn’t the city that would find me The One.

Follow Sejal’s journey to find the man of her dreams on Twitter: @sejal_thefilm

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