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Must read answer on Quora to Do arranged marriages in India really work?


This is my first answer on Quora and probably my last.

I was born and brought up in Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal. I had just completed my B.Sc from Agra when my parents decided to get me married. I was okay with  it, since I had lost 2 years after my 12th standard in pursuit of getting a  medical seat. I had to reject the first two suitors because of various  reasons. The third rejected me because he thought I was too short for  him. The fourth was the best. He worked in Bangalore, was from Allahabad  and hailed from a good family. He was too busy with his work, so we met on Skype for the first time. We liked each other.

But  there was one big problem: I had to tell my decision right after the  chat. I asked for time and I got one full night to decide. Ironic isn’t  it: you just get 8 hours to decide your future life partner, whereas  you get 2 full years just to try for an entrance exam?

My  gut said that he was good. I had just read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist then, so I thought the  less time available was a good omen and was directing me to take the  right decision. I agreed. Both families discussed and our engagement was  set in Allahabad, one month later. He used to call me regularly during  this period. We both got involved in each others lives. On the E day, I met  him for the first time and damn!, he was taller than his parents  mentioned. But he looked like a movie star. I fell in love with him that  instant! Alas, he had to go back the same night. 😦

Our  marriage was fixed four months later, on September 12th. His calls were  increasing, I just loved it. I also got to know of  his severe alcohol  problem! But he promised he’d quit after marriage, so it was fine. But,  suddenly in the middle of July he started avoiding me  really bad. He used to switch off his phone, cut my calls and never reply  on WhatsApp. I got tensed. I wanted to inform his parents, but was too  scared.

I get a text at 3 a.m. on July 29th. The text was this:

“Are you a Virgin?”

I really did not know where that came from, but I was scared. However, I gathered my courage and replied, “Yes, but what happened? Why were you avoiding me? Has anybody told anything against me?”

He  did not reply. He started picking my calls, but never spoke  wholeheartedly. Even upon repeated questioning, he never told me the reason  for his behavior. I was really depressed and worried.

By then, my parents had already spent so much for marriage, so I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt them.

Finally we got married. And he was gloomy throughout the occasion.

As  per our tradition, the bride should go to the groom’s place after the  marriage. We went to their house. The bed in our room was really  decorated, like the one you see in movies. Finally we got to bed around midnight. He did not talk. I was shy too. I do not know if it’s appropriate  to mention here, but I craved for physical intimacy that particular  moment.

I  asked the reason for his weird behavior. He didn’t speak a word.  Suddenly he started crying loudly. He said he had committed some grave  mistakes. I told him that we could solve it together. He mentioned that he needed a favor but he would ask for it after going to Bangalore.

We left for Bangalore on September 20th. All these days, we never had sex.

Finally, I was told that he had bet huge sums of money on football matches  after getting drunk.  The amount was around 35 lakh rupees. That is a really  huge amount, even for both our families put together. But then, the next thing he told,  was the worst thing I had ever heard in my life. He had bet my  virginity.

He  had bet my virginity against 2 lakh rupees! I did not understand, I did  not want to believe. He said that there was a guy, named Aamir and he  just wanted me to sleep with him and lose my virginity to him. I was  devastated.

I did not know anything. I wanted to go back home and cry. But then, family, my sister, everything came to my mind.

But, have sex with a stranger, because my fiance thought he owns me? NO.
I told him that I wouldn’t have sex with a stranger whatsoever. He told me that he would try to sort the matter out.

I  was completely broken. My first day in Bangalore gave me the worst news  of my life. I just cried and slept. Two  people arrived in at the evening. I was under my blanket. Suddenly I felt someone entering. Then a  guy put in his hands in my blanket. I shouted loud. They got a bit  scared I guess. Those people were having an argument with my husband. I don’t remember a single word of it, but they finally left after 20  minutes. I was still in a state of shock, holding the room door closed tightly.  I never let my so-called husband in that night.

I  called my parents and told them everything at 3 a.m. They contacted one of  our relatives in Chennai who came the next morning, picked me up and  took me to their place. I stayed there for 5 days and now I’m back to Agra. We  have  filed a police complaint, formally filed for a divorce and I have  still not recovered from my Bangalore horror.

I  know I am generalizing, but please beware of alcoholics. He had every  other quality right, but people make stupid decisions under the  influence of alcohol which might sabotage the life of someone else.

What wrong had I done? Even though we were poor, I grew up with respect. My father spent almost 70 percent of his savings on my marriage. Now, lawyer fees and other expenses. What wrong had I done?

I might be considered as a ‘witch’ now. Why? I don’t know. Other people and  the police say that I am doing this for his salary. Would I risk the  respect of my parents, my sisters marriage and my entire life for a  software engineer’s half salary?

Edit – Thanks a lot everyone for the comments, I feel stronger than before. Writing this answer has helped me a lot. I really do not how to repay you.

I would like to make these things clear:

  • I am not blaming Software engineers, even I want to be a Software Engineer.
  • Yes, I am blaming alcohol. I come from a lower middle class family and I have seen the ill effects of alcohol.

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