- Punjabi Khatri well settled family of South Delhi is looking for match for their 1984 born/ 5 ‘2’ daughter. Running independent family business. Caste no bar.
- Khatri, 33, 173 CMS, Director, lives in South Delhi, father is an industrialist. Looking for a compatible match.
- Punjabi Brahmin, 190/5.11’. LLB. MBA, CA Final, Lawyer, South Delhi. Seeks well qualified girl.
Can you find any similarity in the above three matrimonial advertisements published in the Delhi edition of Times of India on October 29, 2023?
Well, the south Delhi factor unifies these advertisements.
If you scan through the matrimonial advertisements that are published in Delhi-based English and Hindi newspapers, you will find a plethora of such advertisements where the advertiser has ensured that ‘South Delhi’ is incorporated in the advertisements.
This is a clear-cut announcement that the families of would-be grooms and brides will welcome proposals only from south Delhi residents. This is also a subtle message that people from other areas in Delhi should stay away since their proposals would be rejected.
It is an undisputed fact that south Delhiwallas look for grooms and brides for their children inside the notional ‘four walls’ of south Delhi and want to establish ties only with them.
Says Vani Aggrawal, Director of 7knots Matrimonial, a marriage bureau, “It is almost unthinkable for any south Delhiwalla to marry outside ‘their Delhi’. They feel comfortable with south Delhiwallas. Yes, over the last couple of years, they (south Delhiwallas) have started considering Gurugram as their own to some extent and consider marriage proposals from Gurugram residents too.”
Writer and astrologer JP Sharma studies horoscopes of prospective brides and grooms in hordes during the wedding season.
Says Sharma, “South Delhi residents always look for their would-be Bahu (daughter-in-law) and Damaad (son-in-law) in south Delhi. Their world starts from Dhaula Kuan and ends at Friends Colony. Due to their south Delhi syndrome, they even give matrimonial advertisements mentioning south Delhi. The mention of south Delhi is a clear sign that the advertiser is not willing to meet you if are not from that part of Delhi.”
Matrimonial advertisements appearing in Sunday editions of newspapers often carry advertisements with the mention of ‘boy/ girl’s father or family owns house/ kothi/ floor in south Delhi’.
What is important that during our study, we did not find even a single advertisement in which the advertiser had mentioned his/her west, north, east Delhi or NCR connections?
Of course, there are posh areas outside south Delhi like Preet Vihar, Vivek Vihar, Nirman Vihar in east Delhi; Model Town, Shalimar Bagh, Pitampura in north Delhi; and Rajouri Garden, Punjabi Bagh and Janakpuri in the Punjabi-dominated west Delhi.
“Well, south Delhiwallas don’t want to spend their energy in finding match outside south Delhi,” says Vani.
The case of Sudhir Malhotra, a businessman based in east Delhi, is really interesting. He shifted to Lajpat Nagar Part 3, a couple of years ago when he started looking for a suitable match for his daughter.
“I had to take this drastic step after a lot of discussions with my wife. We reached at a consensus that since our daughter is a very accomplished banker and earning very well, we would be able to find a suitable match for her only if we live in south Delhi. Luckily, we were proved right as we found a very successful businessman-boy while living in south Delhi. Our son-in-law’s family lives in East Nizamuddin. I am sure if we had continued to live in east Delhi and searched for a compatible match for our daughter, we might not have succeeded.”
Malhotra continues to live in Lajpat Nagar even after his daughter got married according to his wishes. He is now thinking of buying a house in south Delhi. In east Delhi, he owns an independent house in Defence Enclave (near Preet Vihar) but he is ready to settle for a floor in south Delhi.
Author and social scientist Aroon Kumar, who has been closely observing the mindset of Delhi society for the last several decades, is of the view that Delhiwallas are rank class-conscious people. For them, address matters greatly. They think that your class changes if you live in south Delhi even if it is in some Central Government employees’ residential area.
“It is not easy to change that mindset. Over the years, many posh areas have come up in places other than south Delhi and NCR. Yet, living in south Delhi gives another kind of high to Delhiwallas,” feels Kumar.
Berry, a manager working in the classified department of a leading publishing house, reveals that those who own a house in non-south Delhi areas hardly mention their south Delhi connections while giving matrimonial advertisements. Further, they are open to suitable match from any part of the city. But, this is not true for south Delhiwallas. Their first, second and third choice is south Delhi only. Marrying outside south Delhi is ‘below their dignity’.
Of course, this is another kind of apartheid that is going unnoticed. Who would challenge this blatant apartheid in the marriage market?
Vani is not sure whether south Delhi residents would consider others as their own while looking for a match for their children in the near future.
According to her, “Some youngsters are breaking the rule and moving out of south Delhi though. However, they are very few.”
Balram Sharma, an Uday Park resident, also runs a marriage bureau. He, however, is doing this service on a charitable basis.
“Trust me, people of all castes and religions in south Delhi have similar thinking when it comes to finding a match. They don’t want to go beyond south Delhi. It is a fact that cannot be disputed,” says Sharma.
The temptation to live in south Delhi is there among very large number of Delhiwallas notwithstanding huge parking issues and cramped space due to massive commercialisation. They are convinced that south Delhi address gives them huge edge socially.
“If you live in any residential colony near or beyond Ring Road in south Delhi, then you would be considered a special person. I was staying in IPEX in east Delhi before moving to south Delhi. When I purchased a floor in Safdarjung Enclave, my friends told me ‘you have arrived. Now your class has changed’. That was something I was not expecting,” reveals Ajay Shukla, a film-maker.
He says that people from south Delhi are very unsocial people. They think it is big deal to not even know their next door neighbour.
Astrologist Sharma says that east Delhi or Jamnapaar in local parlance is like ‘third world’ for residents of south Delhi.
“My view is that the south Delhi factor becomes important when parents look for a match. They still live in dark ages. However, the liberated youngsters are not interested to marry within south Delhi only,” concludes Sharma on a positive note.