post wp-admin edit 264381

An Indian Wedding (Part 1)

Where do I begin …

I got married in the lovely Rajasthani city of Jodhpur in India in December 2014. I had an arranged marriage. We met in person over 3 days in April 2014, and we said “yes” to each other on the second day of meeting. I can sense the collective gasp from many of you reading this. How can anyone make such a huge decision in 2 days? They must have been under so much pressure to decide! How is this even allowed anymore?! Well, to be fair, it wasn’t an arranged marriage in the truest sense of the word. Allow me to explain.

See, back in the days when my parents got married (more than 30 years ago), their families made the decision for them. The boy’s family would get references for good matches, and then once they like a match, they approach the girl’s family with a proposal. Both families meet for afternoon tea, and in that same meeting, the couple get to see each other in person. The decision is made that same day, or very shortly after. You didn’t really have too much of a choice. But now, parents do all that a matchmaking service would, with the added benefit that they know you extremely well. They do all the legwork for you, scanning hundreds of profiles, crafting your “biodata” (rather like a wedding résumé) and conducting extensive background checks on potential matches by speaking to dozens of people. That’s really what my parents did over the course of 2 years. I highly doubt any matchmaking service would go to those lengths!

Of course, with advancements in technology, parents can now put profiles online at websites such as or to access a larger pool of matches. And when you go on to such portals, you can further refine your preferences by categories such as, non-smoker, non-drinker, vegetarian. In India it is still common for families to prefer matches from a similar community; for instance a Jain bride for a Jain groom, a Brahmin for a Brahmin and so on and so forth. So back to our story. We met online, through one such matrimonial website. Our parents exchanged our email addresses, and we started chatting on Google Hangouts. The first chat was so awkward – and so many thoughts swirled in my head. This is nuts. Why am I doing this? I don’t even know if I want to move to the US. He too had doubts of his own. She is a lawyer. I’m not sure I like lawyers. At the time, I really didn’t think that much would happen – after all, he was in San Francisco, and I was in Singapore. The probability of us meeting seemed pretty low. We continued chatting for about 4 months without meeting in person. Fast forward to April 2014, the day of our in-person-meeting (of course, our parents were there).

Although I had been speaking with Sagar for a long time now, the first meeting was still weird. There were many awkward silences. And then, after fumbling around topics for some time, the topic of travel came up. We spoke for hours at length, switching from this place to that place. His love of mountains and backpacking, and mine for cities and architecture. Throughout it all, our parents kept reminding us that this was our decision and ours alone. They were there just to offer friendly advice. Well, on the second day, both of us knew that we couldn’t gather any more information that our conversations over 4 months had given us. I wouldn’t say our hearts were “aflutter”, but we liked each other. And that was enough.

I hope my account helped you to realize that the Indian cultural practice of arranged marriages (in the vast majority of cases), aren’t forced decisions. And we believe that there is much to be gained from the wisdom and experience of our parents, who have walked the road before us.



I’m Veerangna, and I currently live in sunny California with my husband.  My parents are Indians living in Singapore, and that’s where my brother and I grew up.  After studying Law at King’s College London, I spent a few years working in law firms in Singapore before moving to San Jose.  For fun,I am learning to play the Piano, and have recently developed an interest in hiking.  My new appreciation for nature has helped me become a calmer person – I do believe in the healing power of Trees!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Christmas bonsai plant

Que Sera, Sera

While “uncertainties” is not the favourite word for anyone, it is a fact of life. With so many festivals despite the chilly winter, perhaps our ancestors are trying to pass down some wisdom to us: to appreciate life as it gives and make the best of it as we can.
TCG social media

The Human Library: Real People With Real Stories

Before the internet, social media, and mobile devices took over our world, many of us spent our growing up days frequenting the libraries in search of knowledge. I love going to the libraries, so much so that I even volunteered to be a school librarian during my teenage years. A library to me is the…
TCG buildings

The Big Idea in Innovation

Chang’an (长安), Luoyang (洛阳), Nalanda, Alexandria, Athens, Rome, Paris, London, L.A., cities of the ancient and our modern worlds. What do they have in common? They either were or are centres where people gathered to exchange goods and ideas. Governors and residents of these cities integrate and assimilate new cultures and customs into their local…
TCG food

Discovering Stories Behind New Dishes

A delicious meal with good company is one of my favourite moments in life. Growing up in South East Asia, I was fortunate to have been introduced to a wide variety of cuisines, notably Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western. Later, as I explore the larger world around me, discovering new cuisines have become part of…

Super DEI Heroes

Thanks to live-streaming, I had the opportunity to watch Joe Hisaishi’s (久石譲) World Dream concert in Tokyo. Hisaishi is a Japanese composer and musical director known for his works with his friend, Hayao Miyazaki’s (宮崎駿) on Studio Ghibli’s animated films (e.g., Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, etc.) To many, Hisaishi is a modern-day legend.
Map - Greenland and Africa

Pondering on Our Own Truths

Since young, I was always drawn to ancient maps. When I was living in London during my undergraduate days, I enjoyed looking for old maps in the antique shops along King’s Road. Today, I have two world maps on my walls reminding me of my dream to travel the world. Now, what if I were…

What We Can Learn from Kendo – “The Way of the Sword”

Few knew I’d practiced Kendo (劍道) during a period of my life. It all started with a Manga (Japanese comics) I read when I was little during a school holiday. I was intrigued by the self-discipline of this martial art and the tenacity of the main character. Years later, when I was working and living…