Tuesday, April 19, 2011

is it real or just an illusion?

The mystery behind the popular website shaadi.com is one that might never be understood. Is it a scam or the real thing? Do couples actually meet and fall in love or is it one of those moneymaking schemes?
A close friend found true love through the website. After years of suffering and enduring a hard life, a man who was true to his words, contacted her and they fell in love. The traditional methods of communication were used to get to know each other and soon they were headed for matrimony. They decided to meet in Dubai, at her brothers wedding and to her surprise, he not only showed up but proposed in front of the guests. A month later they were married and six months later, they went for their late honeymoon. Many people listen to this story with disbelief and utter skepticism. In today’s day and age, where people meet other people at work, weddings, through mutual friends, does something like shaadi.com actually work? Do people feel the need to advertise themselves and their interests on a website that charges you to do so? What guarantee is there that the person you’re interested in is not lieing or rather someone else? He may have a balding head but his age will say thirty. He may be a taxi driver but his profession will say he has an undergrad in finance. Are these ploys and tactics right when it comes to finding a partner?
On entering the website, you are shown true stories of couples who have made it to the alter. The groom’s side of the story is not very different from the bride’s where they tell you how their life was miserable before meeting the right person at shaadi.com. It seems unreal.
As a part of my research post for my blog and out of sheer curiosity, I opened an account under a false name to find out the inside story. I wrote a different name but shared correct interests and hobbies. The next day, four men took interest in my profile and requested me to upload my recent photo. Are these men real? Who knows? What if the young handsome 002347284734 is in real life a forty-year-old child molester? What if the dashing computer consultant from Canada is divorced and unemployed? How will you find out? Will you talk, chat and eventually meet? Will he actually fly to Pakistan to marry you or call you there? And the website requires you to pay a certain amount to contact these people?
I thought about the many young/middle-aged men and women who seek this venture as an opportunity to find the right one. Is the risk worth it? What if someone traps you or uses you? Use your information for something else? How many innocent minds have been corrupted through this website? And how many people are actually honest? Is it safe to trust someone who lives thousands of miles away? Whose family and friends you don’t know anything about?
My initial response to these requests was a chuckle and there is no way in hell am I paying to get in touch with these men. But those have responded, how can you be sure of their sincerity? Some very concerned parents and siblings have made accounts for their loved ones. Do these men know about this?
Some, I would say very fortunate and lucky people have found companionship through this site. But can you guarantee the same for the rest of the applicants who are still in hope for their significant other?

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