so check who binds forever – arranged Marriages for a happy life ?

Young people who are willing to start a family with another person and live a life-long marriage should think about it first. There are many factors to consider.
First and foremost character, appearance, physical and mental health, behaviour, education, origin, family history, financial security, career, attitude to life, resilience factor, responsibility, courage, courage, etc., to name but a few. Young people who have not yet acquired life experience and maturity may be at risk of being blinded by love and overlooking all these things. So it would be a random decision, controlled by hormones.
It is precisely to avoid such mistakes and later complications that adults should support young people in choosing their partner. This important task is mandatory for the family and close relatives.
This also applies when the parents have prepared their children for the four phases of life.
In the first phase, the children should be children. Play, learn, fool around, be cheeky and curious, experience adventure and have fun.
In the second phase, they learn general knowledge and what responsibilities, duties and rights are.
In the third phase, they have to earn money and start a family.
In the last phase, they help their relatives and move on to a relaxed life.

What happens if you make a preselection for the young people and introduce them to their possible future partner? In this case, no matter who they choose, the chances are good that they will lead a healthy and safe life together. One can say that the chances are higher than with a random principle
If someone wants to invest your hard-earned money in shares, he does not make his decision according to feeling and belief, but analyses the company, studies its previous successes, strategies, products, etc..
Shouldn’t one be even more careful when starting a family than when investing money?
With the help of an arranged wedding in my Indian family, I would like to introduce the Indian way of partner selection.

I haven’t reached my teenage when my family started preparing for my aunt Sedhu’s wedding. My aunt got wind of it and fought hard verbally against it. She wouldn’t marry anyone the family would put in front of her. She would marry just like Savithri, a movie heroine who had chosen her husband herself. The family listened to her protest, but the heads of the families did not let themselves be dissuaded. They raised this issue at every possible opportunity and were also looking for a good ‘Marriage Broker’. At that time I lived with my mother, sister Chithra, aunts, uncles, grandparents and children of my aunts. Shekar, Ravi, Kala, Kanthan, Sathish, and Meena were my cousins. My father was employed in the administration department of the government in Bangalore and was for a suitable house for us there.

திருமண தரகர் Marriage broker
My aunt Sedhu was seventeen years old. One day when a well-known marriage broker knocked on the door, my aunt sent him away briskly. He told her offended that he guaranteed not to reappear even if she reached marriageable age.
Nothing remained hidden in our family for long, somehow they got wind of any pranks, inappropriate remarks or actions in public. Once, when I and my friends from the CSI school (Church of South India) bought a red banana (red skin and yellow banana fruit inside) on the way to school on the corner and ate it, somebody peached on me at home. My Amma (mother) was angry when I came home because I had eaten at the roadside. In our Samudhaayam (community) you don’t do that, we don’t eat at the roadside, I got the answer.
My aunt was also spared nothing. The offended marriage broker must have drummed it everywhere, my aunt was instructed and insulted from many sides so that she was sad for days on end.
A week later a round man with a broad grin appeared at the door. My great-aunt received him and offered him Decoction Kappi (boiled coffee sweetened with sugar cane). We children knew immediately that he was a broker. He wore two, three golden rings on his two hands. He had left the top two buttons of his shirt open and let his thick gold chain casually glitter out of his shirt. His laughter was loud and burst out of him for no apparent reason. He looked like a Rakshasa (demons from Indian mythology) and I didn’t like him.
My great-aunt Thilagavathy asked her youngest sister, my favorite aunt Sedhu, to bring some Vadai and Samosa to the fat guy. He had a quick look at her and asked my great aunt what her name was, her age, sign of the zodiac, her school-leaving certificate, etc. He laughed loudly and announced that he already knew some suitable bridegrooms and that the wedding could already take place after four full moons and before Diwali (Festival of Lights).
Aunt Sedhu quietly disappeared into the kitchen, as if she wanted to hide there and she seemed disturbed. We children went to her and stood very close to her to show her our solidarity. We all didn’t like the fat guy we called Gunda (villain).
Our Periyappa (great uncle), husband of Aunt Thilagavathy, asked the Marriage Broker some questions and sent him away.
Only then did it become clear to the children that our dearest aunt should be married. Also, Periyappa did not like the procedure and the boasting of the broker. He said we had to keep looking for a reliable broker. He would ask the priest in the evening in the Nagerkovil (snake temple).
Aunt Sedhu seemed somehow relieved. Sedhu Chithi, as we called her (Chithi = aunt), was funny until this incident, played hide and seek, jump rope, race, and hunt with us, she was our commander and playmate at the same time. Now she seemed serious, grown-up and thoughtful. We all suffered a lot. Also, the superiors of the family noticed that we didn’t walk so loudly and wildly through the corridors of the house anymore. There was a depressed mood in the house.
At that time we all lived together in one big house that belonged to my grandparents. Her household consisted of five cows, a rooster with chickens in its harem, and a cat that had come and stayed. On the last Friday of each month, farmers who had leased my grandmother’s rice fields came to pay their rent. They did not pay with banknotes but brought rice sacks full of unpeeled rice grains, coconuts, and other agricultural produce. They also noticed that something was going on. My grandmother informed them very quietly so that we did not notice anything exactly.

Aunt Sedhu was no longer allowed to run around and play catch and hide with us. She was made older overnight. When she left the house, she had to be dressed traditionally, walk slowly and never alone. Someone always accompanied her, sometimes it was the cleaning ladies or one of us when she visited her friend in the house next door.
Once we saw her standing rooted in the fountain in the courtyard. She stared at the house cat and sometimes it shook its head as if the two had been involved in a conversation. What is wrong with her, we children asked.
This time was so formative that I can still tell you about it today as if it had been yesterday.

ஓணம் திருவிழா – Onam Festival
It was just before Onam Fest, the biggest festival in the state of Kerala. It is primarily a harvest festival and is celebrated according to the lunar calendar from the end of August to the beginning of September. The ripe golden rice fields and gardens are lavishly blessed with bright flowers and fruits. The weather is humid, but warm and sunny. At this time of year no distinction is made between Hindus, Christians, castes, peasants and princes, everyone celebrates merrily. The women wear cream-coloured saris made of silk or cotton with a gold border. The men wear white shirts and shorts (six metres of cotton fabric, also with a gold border).
Aunt Sedhu found comfort with her friends during the preparation for the grandiose festival and during the rehearsals for the Onam dance.
I couldn’t be there for my aunt’s Onam dance with her group, because my mother took us to Bangalore to visit the house my father had chosen for us.
My father’s name was Raghavan and he came from Marthandam, a picturesque town in the state of Kerala. His father was a Siddha Waithiyar (naturopath). His name was Subramonian. My father took me to Kathakali folk dance performances. My sister was not allowed to go because some scenes showed fighting and my mother did not want her to see it. They were not only fighting scenes but stories about heroes, gods, and mythical creatures. It also taught me how to avoid and fight cunning, deception and envy.
After we had returned from Bangalore, I told my cousins in detail about the stay.
My aunt was also present at my stories but pretended not to be interested. But then, when we were shopping or going to the market, she asked me a lot of questions that helped me to watch events closely and describe them later.
My father and grandma didn’t get along very well. My grandmother was very strict and commanding in the matriarchal society still practiced today. I was very proud of my father because he did not allow himself to be commanded. He avoided quarrels of any kind, he was like a rock in the surf.
A few weeks after we had returned from Bangalore, we had to go to a wedding with relatives. Before that, everyone in the family had to be redressed. That is the custom. We boys hated it, but the girls were very fond of it.
After the wedding ceremony, Aunt Sedhu was introduced to many relatives and friends. Our aunt was beautifully dressed. She seemed shy, but also somehow happy and proud. She laughed with her friends and took us in her arms as if she was protected by us. It was a beautiful day and we were happy with her. We children were allowed to run around and stuff our bellies with lots of Ladus, Vadas and other goodies.
Also at the temple festival she was decorated with jewellery and silk saris and we saw her cheerfully giggling with her friends.
But she refused to talk to her relatives about her wedding. When it came to choosing the groom, she resisted and remained stubborn. Nothing could be done. Even my mother, who had the best connection to Aunt Sedhu Chithi, was desperate.
My father came from Bangalore and informed us that our house there would soon be ready for occupancy. My mother was not particularly interested in wedding preparations. My parents would argue quietly from time to time, believing that we wouldn’t notice. One day my mother said strictly that she would not go to Bangalore until her aunt was married. My father said nothing.
On each of his monthly visits, he brought mangos and other fruits and sweets that we had never seen before. I shared the fruits and beautiful things with my cousins. But once I kept four of the Alfonso mangos just for myself and ate them all that evening. They were so delicious. Sekar, a cousin of the same age, son of my Periyamma (great aunt), told on me. As punishment, I didn’t get any Payasam (sweet noodles cooked in milk) that evening. The next morning I got sick, had stomach pains and diarrhea. A whole week went by, I complained all night, my mother cared for me. I wanted to see Aunt Sedhu, but she was isolated by us so that she wouldn’t get infected and get sick.
The doctor gave me syringes and tablets, it didn’t get any better. Only after ten days did I get an appetite and slowly recover.
It was then the Pongal, the harvest festival.

பொங்கல் பண்டிகை – Pongal Festival
All unmarried women were allowed to cook sweet rice pudding in front of the temple and if it succeeded they were allowed to shout ‘Pongalo Pongal’ loudly. My aunt was good and screamed loudly so that everyone could hear her. She promptly received a reprimand from her grandmother. But her Pongal was praised because she had used fresh coconut milk, sugar cane juice, and other spices and ingredients and had created a new recipe.
My aunt seemed happy, we children noticed that her full attention was diverted to a man unknown to us.
That couldn’t be a bridegroom candidate. Because she had a problem with all of the men chosen by the family. What was that?
He played with us Gilli Thandal, a game with stick and stone and that so elegantly and skillfully that we had respect and esteem for him.
We were amazed when the aunt told the family that she could imagine a man like this as her husband. Everyone was immediately happy and told her that they agreed. Aunt Sedhu moved into the center of the family. Everyone was especially kind to her and all her wishes were fulfilled. Perhaps they were afraid that she might change her mind again.

After that it went quickly, the man our aunt had chosen was accepted as the bridegroom. His parents came with entourage and asked for my aunt’s hand and the ‘Nichchaya Thambulam’ (engagement ceremony) was properly celebrated in our house.
Unfortunately my mother, my sister and I could not be present at the wedding because we had moved to Bangalore in the meantime. My father had been promoted and he hadn’t got a holiday. My mother was very sad, but at least she had witnessed the engagement party.
Only after two years could we go back to our ‘native place’, our home. There I learned the whole story about the wedding of my aunt. It was very interesting and slowly I understood the peculiarities of our family and our traditions.

Kaarthigai Festival
It was early December and the Kaarthigai Festival of Lights was celebrated. It is a festival in honour of the God Aarumuga with the six heads, the son of the God Shiva. It is celebrated on the day when the constellation of stars, Pleiades (six stars), takes place on the full moon. Women pray for the well-being of their husbands (husband, brother, father, son, grandfather…).   Whenever possible, the women return to their homes, go to the temple and light oil lamps made of clay at the nearby river. They then leave them floating on leaves and pray for the mental and physical health of the men in their family.
It is a festival for women. My mother took my sister and me to Nagercoil, our ‘Native Place’. Aunt Sedhu had come to celebrate this festival with her sisters and mother. The preparations for the festival were in full swing. There, my relatives told me how my aunt had fared the first year after the wedding.
It must have been an exciting time, but our mother did not tell us anything about it. When I confronted her about it, she said it was none of our business. She was always like that, very proud of her family, telling only the good things and introducing everyone to an impeccable family.
My favourite cousin Kala, only one year older than me, who lived there at that time, knew everything in every detail and told us.
Not even half a year after the wedding, our Aunt Sedhu visited her mother, without announcement, without a suitcase, without a man, but with a girl friend, as she claimed. It turned out later that although she was a friend, she was actually only a maid to my aunt’s in-laws.
The aunt’s parents-in-law were very nice and treated her very well, but not her husband’s older sister. Sedhu could not stand the commanding manner of the sister-in-law and the bad treatment. Sedhu Chithi grew up in a sheltered family as the youngest nestling, had a lot of freedom and could speak her mind cheekily. In her husband’s family, however, a different wind blew. Her husband loved her but could not assert himself against his sister. He was more of a quiet, poetic, nature-loving person.
His sister, on the other hand, was older than him, enterprising and felt like the ruler of the house.
The roles were reversed between the siblings. Now he should slowly take over the business of his father. The family was wealthy and earned its fortune by wholesale trade in cooking oil. They owned a large, stately house with employees for house, yard and kitchen. Sedhu got a maid to take care of them. Sedhu did not have to cook either, because they had a cook. Sedhu was bored and waited for her husband, who came home in the evening completely tired and smelled of all kinds of oil. He told her about the business events and that he could only recognize the quality of the different types of oil by the trickle of oil on his tongue. All this bored Sedhu even more and her way of talking freely and being funny made her sister-in-law envious.

After a few months, the disputes escalated. Sedhu made friends with the housemaid of the same age. This did not suit the sister-in-law and she admonished Sedhu to keep her distance from the domestic workers. In one of these verbal, ambiguous hints and accusations, Sedhu came to know that her supposedly own decision to choose her husband was not necessarily her free decision. The sister-in-law revealed to her that the in-laws had hired a matchmaker and found Sedhu.
Now, however, the sister-in-law described the matchmaker as a good-for-nothing, for he should have chosen a better, docile and strong woman for her brother. That must have been a shock to my aunt. She suffered from being treated badly and unfairly by her sister-in-law, but she must have suffered even more from knowing that her husband’s choice had also been manipulated by her own family.
When I heard cousin Kala say that she had a fabulous story to tell, I was shocked and did not understand exactly what had gone wrong. It must have been that when a matchmaker contacted our honorable family, everyone had conspired behind Sedhu’s back to make a secret pact.
So the man of their choice was brought into play so randomly. Now I also understood why everyone easily accepted Sedhu’s selection. Truly an honorable family. I was disappointed, angry and could understand Aunt Sedhu.
If the man doesn’t bring his wife back within seven days, he doesn’t want her anymore, that was an unwritten law in society at that time. Well, seven days passed and no man came.
On the eighth day, before sunrise, he appeared, completely tired, his clothes crumpled and his face unshaven. He told Sedhu that it was only after his return from a business trip that he had learned what had happened to her. He took the bus that same evening to pick up his beloved wife and apologize to her for his sister’s behavior. Then the rain had washed away a bridge and he had to walk a long way with other travelers that night. Now he was there, but completely exhausted.
Two days later, everyone learned that the married couple had returned and were soon to set up their own household in the city.
In the years that followed, Sedhus’ family grew and she was blessed with four children, three girls, and one boy.
Another thing – my aunt Sedhu gave her only son the name Suresh.

Last but not least – Divorce rate in India is 1.2%

A verse from the “Lied von der Glocke” by Friedrich Schiller:

Therefore check who binds himself forever,
Whether the heart finds its way to the heart!

Also, the old Indians knew about the importance of this statement.

No one teaches a Volcano how to Erupt… No one teaches a Tsunami on how to Rise…

No one teaches a Hurricane how to Sway… No one teaches a MAN or a WOMAN how to choose a WIFE or Husband!!!


In a British bar, a short discussion on arranged marriage took place as follows:
English man: How could you marry a woman before knowing her?
Indian man: How could you marry a woman AFTER knowing her?
End of the discussion!

Klicke hier um diese Geschichte in Deutsch zu lesen 🙂




Indian wedding hands with gold

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