My adventures on Shaadi dot com

Published: October 26, 2010

True love may only be a click away - or so I foolishly hoped

Dear Diary,

It is day one of my attempt to get married online, which as you may know is quite unconventional for a male to undertake on his own.

However, I have decided to pursue this online adventure as I feel the need to settle down, and what the hell, I met my first girlfriend in an IRC chat room so I know there is a good chance this might work out. tells me the odds are totally in my favour. The website claims to be the internet’s largest matrimonial service which has ‘touched over 20 million people’. They also have hundreds of cute little success story boxes snuck into the very design of their site, and I get a money back guarantee on my premium membership if I do not find at least one member who likes me in a month’s time.

I’m feeling calm and confident filling in my bio data. I have ticked the upper-middle class check box, I have lied about my smoking habits, I have made my profile picture public, provided my salary range, my star sign, intricate details of my music taste, tick-marked my personal values as ‘liberal’, mentioned that my friends describe me as ‘funny, intelligent, sensitive, obscure’ and given my height to the exact inch.

The wonders of do not end there, Diary.

Next I filled out the Partner Preference form. I have ordered a woman who is career-oriented, not taller than 5’ 4”, is between the ages of 21 to 25 and has a bachelor’s degree minimum. I’m fairly easy going – I skipped over specifying her body type, skin colour, marital status, sun sign, class status and whether she is a ‘Special Case’, which the site defines as ‘members who are physically or mentally challenged by birth or accident…includes HIV patients’.

Okay, it’s time to begin my partner search. Should I use the city search, profession search, astrology search or the special cases search? I know, I’ll use the smart search which allows me to find a partner based on 24 criteria.

Okay, let me search by education and career. Or maybe not. I’ve been through seven pages of profiles and maybe education and career isn’t the defining quality I’m looking for in my future mate. Lets try religion and social background. Okay, that definitely didn’t work. Maybe I’ll try lifestyle and location. Or maybe age and complexion. No, this is definitely not working. Maybe I should try age? Height?

None of them fit, diary. Some of these women have 33 per cent of the qualities I’m looking for, but it’s computerized! Why can’t I get at least 50 per cent spot on?

Fine maybe I can compromise on height. And perhaps I was too harsh imposing such a strict age limit. Maybe her career doesn’t need to be important to her. Okay fine, I’ll indicate a religious preference even though I don’t have one just to get more hits. Perhaps I should change my own profile a bit to make me more search worthy? Okay, I’ll define my body type. I guess I could be athletic, at a stretch? Perhaps I don’t need to mention my love for metal and jazz, and maybe my liberal values are a turn-off? Let’s change all that just a little…

Three hours later

Dear diary, I have clicked the ‘indicate interest’ button on seven women I am quite sure I would never wish to marry, and my face is on a profile I do not recognize.

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.