Find_Love.com by Neeta Iyer
Love in the times of Dot Coms. What matrimonial websites have done to the groom and bride hunting is that it has widened the horizon by giving choices and this can lead to funny situations when these people meet in person. Everyone puts their best foot (and photos) forward on their profiles and the reality can be very different. Author Neeta Iyer writes a fictionalized personal account of a Radio Jockey in Noida in her later 20s who along with her family is looking for a perfect groom for herself. She meets a series of perspective grooms through various websites, through radio interviews that she conducts with celebrities and through relatives & family friends.
Chapters in the book are her individual encounter with each of the men she met. She has tried to be humorous while describing the rendezvous, still managing to communicate the frustration of going through the process that also has hope hidden in it. She takes you through the mental preparation that she goes through before meeting a person, including checking his FaceBook page, discussing his profile with a trusted friend and deciding what to wear. The meeting either leaves her hopeful and dreamy eyed or a bit disappointed. Sometimes she meets the family when the boy is not in the same town and then a kind of long distance conversation happens through technology. While most profiles look just perfect on the surface, it is when they interact that they figure out many other things that are not spoken on the profiles. To me it felt, it could be a problem of the plenty and the awareness of the fact that many more choices are available at any point in time. Eventually, in a fairy tale ending she meets someone who is right next-door and who had already been in love with her. And as they say when things fall in place, everything just acts perfectly and this boy also walks into her life in a perfect way and sweeps her off her feet. All is well that ends well, and this end was like Mills & Boon ending with a very practical twist. May be it is like Noida’s very own Bridget Jones’ story.
Minus a bit of exaggeration, this can be story of any urban independent girl in India today. The relationship that a young independent woman has with her family, friends, profession and professional colleagues has been well depicted. Noida as a backdrop of a story could have been any other urban center, I would have liked to see more nuanced depiction of the same, it is now a city and hence a culture in itself. But having said that it is not really the story of the city, the story just happens to be based in the city. Key instruments in story are technology bits – the social media pages, the chat applications, SMSs and of course the matrimonial websites.
Urban independent women would find a lot of resonance with this story. Urban men trying to woo them can probably take a few cues from the story.
A light fun read.
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