I think 80% of the people who advertise in the matrimonial section of newspapers and magazines sound funny and I don't think they even realize it. I am thinking thats because the ones who give an ad there are not the ones who are actually in the market but some well-wisher does that job for them. So they don't sound honest most of the times and they end up sounding funny. (Remember I said 80%?)
If a guy says "Wanted - a girl who looks like Aishwarya Rai and can do some good cooking in the house for a fat guy", that sounds honest. Fair enough. Hey, no one has the right to find fault with this as its upto the individual to say what they expect of a life-partner and one needn't be politically correct though this guy would probably get married when pigs start flying. Instead, what you see is something like this. "Wanted - a slim homely girl for a slightly plump, good-looking guy". If you look at the actual meaning of homely, the dictionary would say "plain or unattractive in appearance" but in matromonial lingo, it means a girl who puts the home first or a girl who does good house-keeping or a girl who has a neatly oiled, combed and plaited hair with no lipstick or a girl who doesn't have a boy-cut/short-hair/bob-cut or one who doesn't wear a sleeveless top and a tight jean. It could mean any of the above and slightly plump most probably means fat. And if someone can't be categorised as "fair", he/she is automatically "wheatish".
And you also find - "Wanted - a girl who is traditional yet modern for a teetotaller earning Rs....". I don't get what traditional yet modern means. Very subjective indeed.
Coming back to "wheatish", the equation "fair skin = beauty" is so ingrained in our Indian minds that it would take at least 2 centuries for people to think otherwise. Why blame the person who advertises thus, can anyone realistically think they'd get married if they specify they are dark? Thats sad but true. In fact, guys at least have a repreive sometimes. (If you get a fat pay check or have inherited some property) But girls have to be fair-skinned. Wonder how this fair-skin obsession started!!
When the parents of yet-to-be-married-but-in-the-market people meet, they discuss how difficult it is to get their kids married these days. After all, they say, this generation expects a lot. But how many of them would agree to a love marriage without fights or tears? We, 20 somethings and 30 somethings, are the ones that are sandwiched between arranged-marriage-only and love-marriage-only generations. We gotta be traditional yet modern I guess.