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Showing posts from 2014

Do the stars get it right?

“100% success – download kundali matching app now” says an sms that I received this morning. It’s the marriage season again and even though we are in the twenty first century, the kundali matching business continues to flourish in this season. It has definitely become more technical with computerized kundalis made in seconds and reports being available online. There are mobile apps for this as well. As per a UNICEF study 2 years back, 90% of marriages in India are arranged. Most of the hindu arranged marriages begin with the kundali matching as the first step as this system is considered the perfect way to predict a successful marriage. We can accordingly imagine the magnitude of the kundali matching industry. The kundali matching often leads to discovery a lot of doshas (ill effects of star placement) and pandits make a lot of money helping people going through ceremonies to get rid of these doshas.For the uninitiated, please refer to the description of gun milanhere to understand th…

And one for the Mrs...

The cleaning lady wanted me to fill some forms for her so that she could get an identity card for working in the apartment. She gave me her voter’s card and asked me to copy details from it. Slightly bewildered, I looked at the card twice. Her name on it said R….a Bewa. “Bewa” means widow in Urdu and I found it odd  for someone to have a family name like that. When I asked her she told me that her husband passed away a few years back and since then in all the official documents her surname is written as Bewa. When he was alive she used to write her name as R…a Bibi. I was stunned. It was a tragic reflection of marital status overshadowing a woman’s identity.
After the initial shock, I brushed it off as something that perhaps still resides in a certain economic strata. After all, the women around me have moved on from the evident stamps of wearing a chooda, sindoor and bichuwa to declare their marital status to the world. They don’t even change their surnames after marriage.
I would hav…