My quest to find Mr Right online

Published: January 11, 2012

This is not about Memogate or about Zardari. This issue is bigger than them all, the most frequently asked question in our country.

For the last couple of years my mother has been asking me the same questions:

“Have you met someone?”

“When will you start looking?”

“Are you getting older each day or younger? (Umer ja rahe hai k aa rahe hai?)”

The worst is when she tells me that if I don’t find someone for myself, she will do it for me. An image of Mr Kohli from Bride and Prejudice pops into my head after this declaration (shudder).

You might think that I am talking about the biggest issue in Pakistan. But no, this is not about Memogate or about Zardari. This issue is bigger than them all, the most frequently asked question in our country:

“When will you get married?”

Yes, that’s the one.

On my recent visit to Karachi, my sweet father, my biggest supporter, came to me after his Fajr prayers and said:

Beta (dear child), if you like someone – even if he is from a different faith – just convert him and marry him. Your happiness is supreme to me.”

I was pleasantly surprised. I decided to search for my Prince Charming and avoid kissing all the frogs.

I did what everyone believes in; if you don’t believe me, Google it.

I searched online for a Muslim introduction agency also known as as online rishtay wali Aunty (match-making aunt).

After a little apprehension, I joined the site and it opened a whole new world for me. Here, I could observe without being visible myself, search all I wanted for my future spouse. But within two weeks I realised that not many people on these websites are seriously looking for a life parter. I have forgotten the number of  profiles I saw and the guys who contacted me. But after months of searching, I can easily classify the kind of people you will find on these particular websites. Here is a list for your amusement:

Mr Perfect

This guy is a high achiever, has done well academically and will not marry a girl who is not pursuing professional goals. He hints ‘no picture no replies’ in his profile, which means only girls with extraordinary beauty should contact him. Of course, I don’t stand a chance here so I didn’t contact Mr Perfect.

Mr Know It All

“I know I am your dream man. I will take you places and we will see the world together but if you want me to be your typical Bollywood hero, you are not my princess.”

If you respond to Mr Know It All, he will have his own assumptions about your life. He will show his disapproval  particularly if he sees people from the opposite gender engaging with you online.  Of course, women are born to compromise.

Mr Player

This one is the worst kind and he is present on every single website. You cannot resist to accept his interest as he is very civil in his initial contact mail. He has the gift of  gab. However, once he calls you, his mannerisms are enough to put you off.

Mr Serial-hunter

This one has been looking for years and not because his criteria are strict. He just wants to be your chat buddy, raise your status to add you on a social networking website but  never bothers to really know you. And oh yes, he is judgemental too.

Mr Asia

This guy has recently come to the UK for studies or work. He is looking for a British girl only. If he is younger than you, he will say:

“I have no issues with age. You sound wonderful.”

Mr Mature 

This one is either divorced, a widower or looking for a second wife. He doesn’t want to know you, neither does he want anything from you. He is in it to win it. Scary!

Mr Bratish

Aha! This one is ridiculous. A second or third generation desi who considers himself British. He dislikes his roots and any connection that reminds him of his origin. He will only marry ‘The British’ professional girl. He would also brag about his citizenship. Now honestly, if you want to marry someone does their citizenship really matter?

Mr Hindustan

Well educated, well-bred, second or third generation Indian guy who never notices your origin and realises you are a Pakistani after you tell him, after which he goes:

“No you don’t sound like a Paki”

Kick his ass then and there.

Mr striving-to-be-a-good-Muslim

I have nothing against guys being religious, but this guy is from another planet. He was born and bred in England, had a very confused upbringing and is now looking for a Muslim woman to guide him to the path of heaven or lead him to Jannah (paradise).

Interesting bit on his profile:

Drinking: Yes

Smoking: Yes

Children: One

Marital status : Never married

My reaction: Run!

Going through these profiles and speaking to a few guys over the last few months made me realise that Mr Right is not present on these websites. He is straight from a Hollywood movie or a romantic novel.


Samreena Shah

The author has a Masters in International Commercial Law. She is currently residing in England and preparing to do a PhD.

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