The perfect rishta can be expensive
Finding a proper match these days has become an onerous task. People mostly rely on ‘marriage wali’ aunties who keep on advertising in different newspapers.
Most of the marriage bureaus operating in Pakistan are fake. They post ads in newspapers, ask families to fill out registration forms, take a large amount of money and never send a single family. They don’t even bother to pick up your phone when you call them after you have paid their fee.
Quit playing games
Some of my friends have had bad experiences with S Assoc. and Mrs K in Islamabad. S Assoc. ask families to fill a form, charge Rs10,000 or more and never bother to send anyone to their clients. Mrs K registers and charges everyone a hefty amount, but only sends proposals to Kashmiri families. She once sent a family to my friend’s house and it turned out that the family was visiting almost every house in town. To everyone they would say, “Our son is gone for a course and he is in the air force.” Some air force people, who knew them personally, said that the family is fraud and a friend of Mrs K and that she is sending them to almost every client.
A conveniently forgetful shaadi aunty
One day, the mother of an old friend of mine, suggested meeting such a Mrs A, whom she considered a ‘specialist’. Upon calling her the impression that she got was that the lady was very polite and well-mannered. She asked my mother to take me along with her and pay her a visit. She met us very politely, took our numbers and the ‘fee’. After seven or eight months, my mother gave her a reminder call, “Bhabi, have you done something? We came to your place some months back?”
“I don’t remember you!”she said rudely and hung up the phone quite rudely.
My mother was shocked and asked some other women who had contacted her. Mrs A, apparently only registers ‘beautiful girls’ but takes money from everyone. When my mother contacted her again she replied, “I don’t even remember you and your daughter.” My mom gave up. Last week my mother happened to bring up the topic with some friends at a party. They all said the same about the match-maker being a fraud. They said she had taken money from them and never gotten back. This lady used to have a very good reputation some time back. Sadly, she has lost that now.
Everything is for sale
From four bureaus in the past, the list has now expanded to nine bureaus in the city. But some feel that marriage wali aunties are all frauds. “People are cheated in the name of social services and in getting a legitimate reference but these marriage bureaus only work to make money. The government should take stern action against such marriage bureaus who are openly cheating people in order to earn money,” said a friend of mine. Many say stated the have paid a lot of money to these marriage bureaus, but haven’t received any response. These bureaus always tell you that these matters “take time.”
The strange thing is that usually one is pays after some service is offered, but these bureaus always charge money first. They justify this by saying that calling people and talking to them incurs a lot of expenses. Does it really cost Rs 10,000 or more to make some calls? We know local call rates all too well.
The lesson is that marriage bureaus are a fraud and raise fake standards for people. When one asks these bureaus about their stance they say that families come to them asking for girls who look like Hollywood stars and models.
These bureaus are privately owned and run, without any government registration. Worried parents of aging girls are their most-frequented clients and ‘victims’. They mostly attract worried parents with their ads in daily newspapers and classified sections on Sundays.
The government must keep a check on such people and should not allow everyone to open bureaus. Each one of them claims to have 15 years of experience and just makes good money without actually doing anything.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.