An unconventional heroine defies tradition by making a marriage between the strict customs of India and the wild freedoms of America to find her own happy ending.
Hilarious and heartwarming, For Matrimonial Purposes proves that while the search for love takes many forms, the heartbreak and exhilaration are universal. In a sensual whirl of silk and spices, Kavita Daswani takes us from Bombay to New York and back again - in what is sure to be one of the most welcomed debuts of the summer.
Unmarried at twenty-four - and with no prospects in sight - Anju is a great source of worry to her family. Despite the best efforts of relatives, fortune-tellers, and matchmakers to arrange a marriage, she can't seem to find a husband - or at least one she's willing to marry.
Quickly becoming a spinster by her culture's standards, she is eager to escape the community that views her as a failure. After pleading with her parents for permission, she boards a plane bound for the United States and a dream of a career. And although husband-hunting isn't any easier in New York City, at least she's got company
The normal religious marriage was and still is arranged by the parents of the couple, after much consultation, and the study of omens, horoscopes and auspicious physical characteristics. . . . While a husband should be at least twenty, a girl should be married immediately before puberty.
- A.L. Basham, The Wonder that was India
My grandmother was married off two days shy of her tenth birthday.
My mother found a husband when she was twenty. I thus reckoned that if every generation increased by a decade the acceptable age for marriage, I should have become a wife by thirty.
But at thirty-three, I was nowhere close to being married. And it was this that brought much consternation to all, tainting the joy and inciting hitherto-suppressed family politics, at the wedding of my twenty-two-year-old cousin, Nina.
I was at a family wedding in Bombay, the city where I was born and had spent most of my life. My parents and two brothers still lived here, in the ...
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