It was a Tuesday when I decided to get this book from my local library to read for my work day. I think I picked this book up because, like every other 20 something Indian girl, there was (is) an immense social pressure to get married. On that particular day, I felt like I needed answers and I have no idea why I thought this book would give me those answers!
So, I did pick up this book and after checking the 5 emails I received(2 junk emails), I began reading this book at 9:45 am.
Marrying Anita begins by describing Anita’s dating life in the US. She is a 30 something, single, never married journalist who had spent her 20s in far off places looking for interesting stories. Now that she’s back in the US, she realizes she misses the company of a man. But all the men she meets don’t seem like the kinds she would want to marry and very few are those that she even wants to date again! To top it all, her parents want her to get married and have already asked her to meet some ‘eligible suitors’ they have found on the matrimonial websites.
Anita decides to take off to India and look for love the old-fashioned way through the arranged marriage system. The book talks about her journey in the ‘New India’ as she calls its. She talks about her friends who are married either through ‘love marriage’ or ‘arranged marriage’ where they seem more at peace with their spouses with luxuries such as house help and freedoms like working, smoking and drinking. On other hand, she also talks about life in India – how difficult it is to rent a flat, finding good help etc. She seems surprised by how little the ‘New India’ is from the US. She does make friends, meet a few interesting people here and there and talks about her search for her soul mate.
I wish I could tell you whether she did meet her soul mate or not, but I was unable to keep reading. Anita Jain’s writing style is interesting but maybe it isn’t meant for those Indians who have been raised in India. If nothing, it seemed a little odd that the ‘New India’ could surprise an NRI as much. The book was more in awe of the ‘New India’ and it would have been better titled as ‘Relationships in the New India’.
While the book helped me pass about 5 hours of my 12 hour day, it didn’t really give me anything to take away. I still am as confused as ever about how you find your soul mate or how do arranged marriages work today. Do you meet the ‘boy’ once or do you meet him many times? Do you get engaged in a week of knowing each other or do you spend a few months together before you make any decision? How do you know if someone is right for you or not????