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In continuation of the article, here we come to part 2 of “Sleep with a Stranger? Arranged Marriage!”, where we will further explore the concept of Arranged Marriages.
Let’s dive into the topic without wasting any further time.
Fed up with being harassed over dowry demands, the family members of a girl in Lucknow tonsured (or shaved the head) the groom, his father, and the brother on Sunday.
The police had to step in to control the protests in the Karimnagar area of the city. The bride’s family has filed a police complaint after the incident.
The groom’s family had been increasing their demands every day for the last week, said the bride’s father, a vegetable vendor.
“They made these demands five days before the wedding. He refused to marry the girl after we said we couldn’t meet his demands. Don’t know who tonsured his head,” the bride’s grandmother said.
The groom demanded a motorcycle as a dowry. But when he was given one, he did not like the brand and wanted something else.
The bride’s father agreed to give him the motorcycle of his choice, but when he demanded a gold necklace on the wedding day, hell broke loose.
The groom and his father and brother were rounded up and taken to a park nearby and tonsured, said the neighbours. The three were later handed over to the police.
The bride’s family members told news agency ANI that the groom and his relatives were drunk and had misbehaved with them.
Now let’s see some critical parameters, which affect the success or failure of marriage agreements.
Horoscope – Prediction for Marriage’s Success. If both families are wealthy, then the best show is put up by both parties.
In case one of them is rich, then the lesser decadent party will try to project very rosy pictures to show themselves as a deserving match for their son or daughter.
Horoscopes of both girls and boys are matched.
Suppose there is an issue in any one’s or both parties’ horoscope, but both parties want to go ahead with the proposal. In that case, pundits or pujaris are bribed to make NECESSARY CHANGES in the horoscopes in hand to rectify the defect and match it with the other one’s horoscope.
In some surprising cases, we have seen the boy’s mother also try to match her horoscope with that girl to get to her future with that girl after the boy’s marriage.
For Example, will the girl take care of her, will she touch her feet, etc.?
In case the mother’s horoscope matches with her would-be daughter-in-law’s, then under all circumstances, the boy has to say yes!
Superficial Queries. In short fundamental issues discussed are as mentioned below: –
(a) Educational qualification or job or business of both the boy and the girl.
(b) Expectations of girl or boy from their future spouses (in front of everyone). (Now, this aspect is just answered superficially. No one will dare to speak out all explicit expectations with their parents since the talking person from both sides is parents, who talk about every stupid issue required for the couple’s happy family life.)
(c) Future plans of both the girl and boy (that too in front of everyone!).
Money Matters! Now when this issue is finalized, then the discussion topic is diverted to the amount of money to be spent for engagement and marriage ceremony (and dowry too) and who will pay for what?
It’s a sort of Bride’s Debt before Arranged First Night (Part 1 and Part 2).
Historical Meeting of Girl and Boy. When all these aspects are finalized and agreed upon by both the parties, both girls and boys are asked to spend some time together, alone (maybe a few minutes or hours, depending upon how much time has already been spent by both parents talking to each other).
During that time, everyone waits outside, expecting them to hurry up things as early as possible since parents on both sides have already agreed with the deals of the day!
During that time, the girl and boy need to discuss everything and give the final decision (pre-decided even before this historic meeting could start).
Reality. This final meeting is just like President’s rubber stamp, where both girl and boy are briefed beforehand only that the answer must be YES!
In case of any difference of opinion from girls or boys or both, they are forced to find ways and means to compromise. Dictat is already finalized.
If the girl and boy’s parents are comfortable with each other, then there is no option for both girl and boy to say NO!
The issues which are never discussed but are of utmost importance are as follows:-
(a) Sexual Orientation. In earlier times, the girl and boys were supposed (or assumed) to get attracted to the opposite sex.
If the orientation of either one of them or both are towards the same sex or both sexes, then neither the concerned person will discuss this issue with parents, nor the parents will be interested to know anything regarding their sexual preference.
The assumption in this field is very convenient and straightforward.
If you are a girl or boy, you are supposed to be attracted to a boy or girl.
If you are DIFFERENT, then you better deal with this issue on your own.
Now let us suppose, the girl or boy prefers to remain silent about his or her sexual preferences, then “May God save the spouse!” We are sure that hell will break loose on First Night itself.
Courtesy – YouTube
(b) Online Emotional Attachment. With the cheap smartphone, dirt-cheap internet services and availability of different language options in all smartphones or social media platforms, most people in cities and villages are connected to social media.
Starting from the age of 13, both girls and boys begin having partners through various digital social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Lots and lots of digital dreams of love and digital promises are made.
Once you get involved with someone, even though online or long or both relationships, then any other person can never fit in the mental and emotional selection list of marriage.
Even if parents are aware of such online collaboration, during the marriage phase, parents make it noticeably clear with the following statement: –
“My dear son (or daughter)! You will have to marry the daughter (or son) of Sharmaji or Guptaji Only.”
(c) Different Personality/ Physical Choices. Every person on this planet is made different. No two girls or boys are the same.
Some girls are attracted to dark coloured males.
Some girls to fair males.
Some girls to males with a lot of body hair.
Some girls to males with less hair.
Now the same rule is applicable for boys too and needs no further explanation.
Example. If a girl is a doctor by profession, she will have to settle with the male doctor only in most cases.
Some parents will even get emotional over the area of specialization too.
Now let us imagine that a lady doctor of marriageable age is attracted to a fair and hairy male.
But parents, without realizing her choice, finalize someone who is dark and has less body hair.
If such marriage materializes, then that poor lady (doctor) will have to bear with that partner, with unwanted physical attributes (NOT of her choice), throughout her life!
The same rule is very much applicable for males, too and many such examples can be seen around your surroundings.
As soon as the girl and boy decide to go ahead with marriage (more in cases of Forced Arranged Marriages), immediately families on both sides swing into action.
A virtual film set starts shooting up.
The girl’s father is by default made the “Producer” of that marriage film.
The boy’s father is the “Director”, who pulls most of the strings.
The boy’s mother starts preparing herself for a new entry in her life, in the form of a daughter in Law.
The girl’s mother just hides behind the scenes as “Spotboy”.
The main calculations for the preparations start and have been covered in a separate article.
Last Minute Dowry Demands. In many cases, it’s a common scenario that right before the wedding ceremony, the boy’s parents demand the hefty sum of dowry and car (depends on the topic to the case).
Because the boy’s family knows that lots of money would have already spent on the preparations of the marriage ceremony and cannot be cancelled under any circumstances.
Also, it is a big stigma for the girl and her family if the marriage is called off by the boy’s family, under any circumstances. So, if the boy or his parents, or both.
Before jumping onto the main issue, we need first to answer three important and relevant questions.
Celebration before Birth. Have you ever seen a family start celebrating before a baby takes birth or rather before they know the sex (girl or boy) of the baby? No! Why?
Because the extent of the celebration continuously varies and starts only after the SEX of the baby is known.
Actual Question. When we don’t celebrate before the actual result of a significant event of our life is out, why do we consider it normal to spend our life’s savings in celebration even before our daughter’s or son’s wedding night?
Calculation by Birth. In India, as soon as a family is blessed with a baby, the family members’ imagination shoots up immediately to reach the newborn baby’s wedding (which will happen after 25+ years!)!
If it’s a Boy. ‘God is great! Now we can sit and relax. The son will bring home a dowry, and the wedding expenditure will be managed by (sucked out of) the girl’s family.’
On the other hand, if it’s a Girl. The family feels as if God has cheated them, and they start preparing for the next kid (hoping that it would be a boy so that the wedding expenses and the dowry transactions even out).
Some major questions that still hit the family are, ‘What if a dowry is asked for the girl’s wedding, and how much?
How would they manage to collect that dowry?
How will the wedding expenditures be taken care of?
Tirupati Priest’s Dare-Devil Stunt. An Indian confectioner made sure that his daughter truly was the golden girl on her wedding day by covering her in gold jewelry worth more than Rs 4 crores.
The man, who was not named, nevertheless came under fire after it was revealed that he needed a policeman to guard him and his daughter as they arrived at the wedding in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Great Ambani Saga. According to a report on NewsX, the estimated cost of Ms. Isha Ambani and Mr. Anand Piramal’s wedding is around Rs 724 crores ($100 million).
Interestingly, this equals the wedding cost of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1981, 38 years ago.
If someone has the money to spend, NOBODY SHOULD HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH IT AT ALL. It’s their money, and they have the full right to spend it the way they want. They have toiled hard to accumulate it!
As soon as the girl and the boy say ‘yes’ and decide to go ahead with the proposed marriage (more so in the case of an imposed arranged marriage), the families on both sides immediately swing into action and try to copy the Ambanis.
Money Matters! Now when this match is finalized, the discussion topic is diverted towards the amount of money that needs to be spent for the engagement and the wedding ceremony (dowry, too) and who will pay for what.
A virtual film-set shoots up on the scene.
The girl’s father is, by default, made the ‘Producer’ who spends all the money.
The boy’s father is the ‘Director’ who pulls most of the strings.
The boy’s mother starts preparing herself for the new entry in her life, the daughter-in-law.
The girl’s mother hides behind the scenes as a ‘spot boy.
The primary calculations for the preparations start, as mentioned below:
(a) The Celebration of the Engagement. Venue setup, buffet layout, and most importantly, the engagement rings.
(b) Wedding Ceremony. The main wedding ceremony, along with other related traditions such as Mehendi, Sangeet, and so on (depending upon the kind of family), is a significant source of emotional and financial stress for the girl’s family.
Again, there is the venue set up, buffet layout, mandap, a stage with throne-like chairs for the bride and the groom, and so on. Mind you, in some families, the wedding preparations and ceremonies stretch up to two months!
The ground reality of the situation is that while performing all these ceremonies, the girl’s family (and to some extent, the boy’s family) starts letting money flow out like water over all sorts of expenditures.
Irrespective of all the meticulous planning a family tries, the expenditure always shoots up beyond what’s in their hand.
India is one of the world’s largest consumers of gold, and Indians spend massive amounts of money to buy gold jewelry for weddings.
More recently, several wealthy Indians have been seen sporting clothes made from gold thread.
(c) Guests too! The culture of spending has roots that go deeper than this, for even the guests who’re merely there to attend these ceremonies start wondering months in advance about what they would require for the big day.
Whether it would be the summer or winter season, they would buy new clothes for the whole family.
Rapidly growing kids who have outgrown their last-purchased fancy clothes will demand new ones.
‘The gift’ is the next tricky boomerang.
In case the family decides to give money or ‘Shagun’ in a fancy envelope, another million questions crop up about how much would be an appropriate amount?
Some people even maintain a register where they record the details of the gifts or money given by families when they attended a wedding on this side.
So, when one of these guest families becomes the host, the records are consulted, and it becomes a straightforward game of tit-for-tat!
(d) Total Expenditure. A crazy amount of money gets spent by the girl’s family, the boy’s family, and the guests attending the wedding ceremonies. All this currency gets in trouble even before the commencement of the couple’s wedding night.
Mind you, the wedding night, the primary litmus test for the newlywed couple to figure out their compatibility for the rest of their lives, is yet to happen!
But all their family’s savings are gone, spent away for a brief period of merrymaking.
Not a single rupee is left for the bride and the groom!
(e) Bollywood Influence. Blockbuster Bollywood movies, such as “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” by the renowned film director Sooraj Bharjatya, influence Indian families to emulate the clothes, the jewellery, and what not in the best feasible way.
However, the film had earned crores by spending money on that wedding ceremony for the silver screen, but the stupid families, by copying the wedding theme as shown in the movie, took on terrible debts.
(f) Destination Wedding. A destination wedding is an opportunity for the couple to celebrate their wedding at a gorgeous destination of their choosing, away from home.
Couples get married in stunning locations worldwide, such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, and Europe.
If someone has the money, like Bollywood celebrities, a destination wedding is a blind option.
The industry of ‘Destination Weddings’ is a different game altogether, and it costs a bomb!
Double Standards. Throughout a girl’s life in India, she is brought up with lots of restrictions regarding her freedom of social movement, the money in her hand, her choice of education, her willingness to do specific jobs, have friends, etc.
Instead of spending on girls’ education and other life-improving activities, a girl’s parents prefer to save money to put up a grand show for her wedding celebration.
A girl often finds herself confused at the sudden change of her parents’ stand from being miserly to extravagant spenders!
The same father who used to ask her hundreds of questions before handing over any money to her for her requirements suddenly starts spending his life’s savings to the tune of millions for her wedding?
Is this ‘fatherly love’ justified? No! It’s cowardice on the father’s part who is more bothered about his fake social image than what is good for his daughter!
We are sorry to use terms like ‘an ass’ for a girl’s father, but this is the truth.
After he has successfully made an expensive show of the forced arranged marriage, the bride’s father may as well tell his daughter this right before the wedding night:
“My dear daughter, although I always counted the money before giving it to you for your basic expenses, I didn’t matter any money today while spending for your wedding ceremony with an arranged husband that you will sleep with now.
Whenever you asked me for money, I always counter we questioned you about being sure that you would not be wasting it. Still, I never asked any such questions from your arranged husband’s family while spending on expensive gifts (under the table dowry) for them!
Although I didn’t spend enough on your education, just now I have busted millions of rupees to celebrate your wedding!
My dear daughter, today I am asking you to stop worrying about any future requirements that you might have because I have already spent millions on your wedding and the dowry/gifts for your arranged’ in-laws’!
I can assure you that you will not have to worry about anything from this moment on. In case you need anything, please request your’ in-laws’.
Relax now and prepare for the next big game with your arranged husband, who is eagerly waiting for you with his pants down!
BEST OF LUCK, MY DAUGHTER! BEST OF LUCK!”
Most Indian families (especially those of girls) end up taking on loans while preparing for and executing lavish wedding ceremonies.
Families seeking loans for weddings are widely accepted in India, and even the banks clear such loans comfortably.
Many a time, the real hardship and financial burden are realized after the wedding ceremony gets over.
In case the family has more than one daughter, then even God gets stressed over the outstanding post-wedding issues. But the main question remains unanswered. Are such wedding loans worth it?
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