For Matrimonial Purposes

For Matrimonial Purposes

by Kavita Daswani

Anju wants a husband.

Equally important, her entire family wants Anju to have a husband.

  • Language: English
  • Category: New York
  • Rating: 3.34
  • Pages: 288
  • Publish Date: June 29th 2004 by Plume
  • Isbn10: 0452285526
  • Isbn13: 9780452285521

Read the Book "For Matrimonial Purposes" Online

What will it take for Anju to meet the man that others assure her has been born for her and, in the meantime, how can she balance her traditional Indian life with her increasingly independent American one? Other reviews have listed two primary problems with this book: the lack of a clearly defined personality in the protagonist, Anju, and the perception of the novel as a piece of fluff with little to say. First, the issue of Anju's personality, which to me is not a misstep on the part of the author, although it could seem that way to an American audience who would prefer a headstrong and fiercely independent protagonist eager to break the shackles enslaving her to a patriarchal society. While she has been raised in a family that loves her, she has also been raised to believe that who she is will always be defined by the man who protects her: first her father and later her husband. At home in Bombay, Anju tries to look the part of the fashionable and worldly expatriate, eager to show that she has become more independent, less constrained by social mores. Anju uses fashion in an attempt to attain balance and define herself: she does not want to lose that intrinsically Indian part of herself in America, but she does not want her desires and dreams to be subjugated to the search for a husband in her homeland. Anju knows she is not just a disappointment because of her inability to marry; she knows it goes back to the day she was born: "And then I slid out, with a minuscule slit instead of the wormlike appendage my mother had been looking forward to seeing. And it's very easy for Americans (as just about every American character in the book does) to think that a family that would expect you to enter into an arranged marriage or to define yourself by who you marry doesn't really love you. By presenting us with a protagonist with one foot in New York and the other in Bombay, we may see a bit more of ourselves in Anju's experience than we're comfortable with.

But when you are cursed, it doesn't matter how much money your family has and how desperate they are to marry you off, no one presentable will present themselves.

Anju is born in a family in Bombay-India, where girls are supposed to get married the moment they cross their teens. All the girls want to marry her handsome brothers because they are rich and good looking. Its basically an endless parade of arranged marriage meetings for Anju and her family. Okay, I guess my tone is a little sarcastic here, thats not because I did not like the book. In fact, I liked the sense of humour in the book quite a bit. What I didnt like about the book? It was the carpet statements that suggested that all Indian girls get married when they turn 20. All Indian girls look for rich and handsome husbands. All the married Indian girls do not work and the only worry they have is from where to hire the third maid. I am just denying the fact that all marriages are arranged. People who know nothing about Indian culture or who dont care what image she has created will like the book.

Toward the end of the book, Anju finally gets her man, but is disappointed that he wants to get to know her and fall in love before marriage. For me, Anju is one of the msot annoying characters I've ever read and she's told old not to know what she wants and how to obtain it.

Berawal dari ramalan yang menyebutkan kalau Anju baru akan bertemu jodohnya setelah berumur 26 tahun, perburuan pria pun dimulai. Ketika usia Anju bertambah dan status lajang masih nempel, perburuan pun jadi makin gencar sampai pria yang nyari istri dengan kriteria pembantu pun disodorkan. Kepanikan orang tua yang memiliki anak perempuan berusia di atas 30 tahun dan masih berstatus lajang diramu dengan menawan di buku ini. Semua usaha Ibunya Anju terasa nyata dan membuat saya tersenyum sendiri.

I didn't hate the characters; I just couldn't care less about them. Mine had become a life lived on the outside.

She has been a fashion correspondent for CNN, CNBC Asia, and Women's Wear Daily, has written for the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune, among many other publications, and has been the fashion editor for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.