Adult supervision

This edition of the newsletter is inspired by parents, and a possible hypothesis on how covid might have impacted their role in the marriage market.

Pre-lockdown, my days were typically filled with talking to lots of people about getting married or getting their kids married. While the ones who wanted to get married are still vaguely motivated to meet people, at least virtually and so on, but the parents, I tell you - are GONE!

Guess what’s keeping them busy these days?


and this…

Mostly because parents are either oblivious or in denial that chatting before meeting is legit. In their generation, talking to people without meeting them is unheard of. Yeah yeah, they are aware that chatting before meeting is possible with advent of technology but if they are presented with a choice, they’ll prefer to meet in person before “finishing everything there is to say”.

I hate to admit this, but I miss talking to them.

I missed them so much, that I made a video pretending to be them. It’s in memory of parents I met pre-COVID. While funny, it’s true. Truth tastes yuck. So sorry.

If you thought this video was distasteful, I’ll tell you why. I sort of have a love hate relationship with parents - not mine, just the character. Now, this could stem mostly from my own experience - technically my parents always let me do what I wanted except there was always guidance available on tap. I mean, that’s the job description anyway right? It’s like tying a noose around a cat and asking it to run while you hold the other end of the string, and stay put. What will the poor cat do?!

Story of my life. Story of your life. Story of most Indian kids’ lives it seems…

Parents project their desires and preferences on us, both knowingly and unknowingly. In the marriage market, this becomes counter-productive unless you live with your parents after marriage and they outlive you. I once wanted a client to meet a girl, and he reluctantly agreed because his parents had previously vetoed that girl due to horoscope issues. Given that he’s a grown man, he decided to still meet her, but obviously he couldn’t get himself to meet her again. Whether he felt the noose tighten around him or it was something else, no one can tell.

Three months into the pandemic, I am slowly starting to see parents come back into the market. Now, I don’t know if it’s because Ramayana got over or not, but they’re coming out all right. But I am pretty sure the pandemic has changed them irreversibly in a few ways:

  • If the kids have been away from home, the parents are now more confident that the kids will be just fine even if they were to single forever or at least a while

  • If the kids stayed at home, despite appreciating the solace of keeping them close at such times, the parents see a stronger need for the kids to be out on their own

  • There are also parents who’ve made peace with their kids being single knowing that it’s only going to get tougher to be otherwise in the days to come

  • Also, parents are far busier - what with the 24-hour trippy news of increasing covid cases and complementary WhatsApp forwards. They can barely keep up with the ever-growing list of home-remedies, forget matrimonial profiles

  • Parents also possibly hate me thanks to my video that was released during the lockdown, and they don’t call me anymore

If anyone’s freaking out, it’s single people who’ve been sick of isolation.

The proportion of self-made profiles on all matrimonial sites is gradually increasing. I don’t have any numbers on this, but I’ve sufficient anecdotal evidence from my assistance service on M.B.A.

It is a pleasure I tell you to not have “more” middlemen/women. Things are more efficient now, but the downside is that I was far more forgiving of parents judging people based on skin colour or caste. I am no noble ho, but I wish things were different.

Can I change anything at all with Dinner Club? Only time will tell.

More from Shapely Gal

Projects I’ve been working on:

Here’s a little sneak peak into my various projects:

  1. Dinner Club - Over the last 10 days, I think I have managed to gather a reasonable sample set of people to run this blind dating experiment with. I’ve a lot of work cut out over the next few days before the launch, but I am so very excited about it. If you haven’t signed up yet, you could sign up here. I could use some help on this project. If you know people who are looking for side projects and have some skills in marketing or tech, send them my way.

  2. UNBOXED - I recorded a special edition of UNBOXED with my good friend and actress, Madhuri Braganza (Mads). This is a candid conversation about love and relationships, and how Mads has evolved through it all. Subscribe to the Youtube channel to be the first to watch the video.

  3. Ask Priyanka - This week, I’m giving out some tips and tricks to make a great impression on a date. These videos go out every Tuesday.

  4. Ask Auntie - This week, I’ll be talking about identifying fake profiles on matrimonial platforms, and how to steer clear from them. Video go out on Fridays.

  5. Arrange your own marriage - We’re at the half way mark of this course. This week’s episode will cover an effective methodology to find the right balance between staying active in the marriage market vs overdoing it. Videos go out on Thursdays.

Shapely Gal is a weekly-ish newsletter that discusses love, relationships, marriage and the various markets these are traded on. This newsletter is a concoction of observations, theories, ideas, real stories, figments of imagination and sometimes just rants on romantic relationships.