Author: Radha Sharma
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 20, 2006
Two essentially Gujarati virtues of owning land and running a business
may no longer be enough to get the enterprising Gujarati boy a bride!
What women in Gujarat now want is a better educated boy, who preferably
does not dwell in a smaller town.
Who would know this better than Ashwin Patel at Udhna in Surat. This
hard working 32-year-old has it all - 65 bigha land between three
brothers, a rewarding textile business and a paying job to boot. His
problem-he is just class XII pass and this has wreaked havoc on his
marriage prospects. Ashwin's family has seen almost 25 girls and all
want a boy who is at least a graduate. "My brother earns more than any
BA, MA pass and does not have any bad habits. But girls these days are
hung up on highly educated guys, even if they earn peanuts," Ashwin's
brother Hasmukh said. Such is the desperation that the family is even
ready to consider a divorcee if she fits the bill!
Vipul Dave (31) of Dakor is sailing in the same boat. "I earn a decent
Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month, but girls do not want an undergraduate
boy," he said.
Vipul has sent proposals to over 30 girls, but in vain. "They want
highly educated grooms, who earn big salaries in big cities, which has
become a bane for at least 70 to 80 boys like me in the community,"
Vipul added. Marriage bureau managers confirm that there is a problem at
hand. In Vina Mulya Amulya Seva marriage bureau in Vasna, there are
2,000 applications from undergraduate boys that are pending. There are
also proposals from 2,000 graduate boys with just 50 graduate girls to
choose from. There are over 500 girls, who are chartered accountants,
engineers, doctors, MA, PhD, who would not even look at an
undergraduate or a graduate, according to Natubhai Patel of the
"I am not ready to compromise on education. Even if he runs a good
business, poor education means conservative, narrow thinking," says
Rashmi Johri (30), Who has done her BCom, LLB from Maninagar and is
looking for Mr Right. "I have got many offers from boys in Botad,
Dwarka and Amreli, but I do not want to settle in small towns as it
would be the end of my career dreams," says Kalpana Darki (28) an MA,
who aims to be a fashion designer.