Is arranged marriage any worse than Craigslist? One smart and feisty woman’s year in India looking for a husband the old-fashioned way reveals a rapidly changing culture and a whole host of ideas about the best way to find a mate.
Anita Jain was fed up with the New York singles scene. After three years of frustration and awkward dates, and under constant pressure from her Indian parents to find someone, she started to wonder: was looking for a husband in a bar any less barbaric than traditional arranged marriage? After all this effort, there had to be something easier.
After announcing in a much-discussed New York magazine article her intention to try arranged marriage, Jain moves back to India—the impoverished, backward land her parents fled—to find a husband. At age thirty-two, and well past the cultural deadline for starting a family, Jain subjects herself to a whole new onslaught of expectations. Marrying Anita is an account of romantic chance encounters, nosy relatives, and dozens of potential husbands. Will she find a suitable man? Will he please her parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins? Is the new urban Indian culture in which she’s searching really all that different from America?
With disarming candor, Jain tells her own romantic story even as it unfolds before her, and in the process sheds new light on a country modernizing at breakneck speed. Marrying Anita is a refreshingly honest look at our own desires and the modern search for the perfect mate.