So nowadays the process for arranged scissors has slightly changed, mainly due to the introduction of “modern” communication channels such as the internet and the phone. In earlier days, it was simple – the only way you could check out the counterparty was by way of meeting, and there was a protocol for that. There was a protocol about the kind of questions that one could ask, the standard templated answers to give, the answers you weren’t supposed to give, questions you weren’t supposed to ask, etc. And based on canned questions and canned answers, people would make the most important decisions in life.
Now you have the phone. And the internet. So you have people saying “my son wants to talk to your daughter on chat (sic) before meeting up. Hopefully you are liberal enough to allow that”. The typical answer to this is “what to do? youngsters nowadays are like this, so we have to allow this”. And the boy and girl talk “on chat”. And hope to be better informed than their counterparts 10 years back regarding the most important decision of their lives.
Now, from my very limited personal experience, it seems like some sort of protocol is being established in this “modern channel” also. Neha Vish had a nice article about this a while back on her blog, but I’m not able to find it – about a Sastri who sits behind a girl while she chats up a prospective NRI boy on Yahoo! Messenger, and gives her expert instructions. It seems like the generalized Sastri’s advise has now become part of common knowledge, and has become part of the “protocol” for “modern channels”.
The chat protocol is heavily derived from the single-meeting protocol that I had mentioned earlier. There are canned questions, and canned answers. It is in fact easier to give canned answers here since you don’t need to look into the counterparty’s eyes (though I don’t know how many “couples” actually put eye contact before making the most important decision of their lives). Heck – you can copy paste – or even have a friend chatting for you.
The essence of this protocol, as I see it, is what I call as the “direct approach”. You know that you are checking out the counterparty only for purposes of possible long-term relationship, and not to be friends, so you get straight to the point. One popular quesion seems to be “what kind of girl are you looking for?”. And then they ask about habbits and hobbits and rabbits and rapids, and about hobbies and jobs and career plans and settlement plans and so on.
By becoming part of the standard arranged marriage protocol, what has happened is that “modern channels” have also gotten demodernized, with standard templates coming into the picture. It seems like more innovation is needed if standard good old courting is to be brought back into the arranged scissors scene.
For the record, I’ve partially withdrawn from the market. I have delisted myself from the one exchange where I’d been listed. OTC search is still on but not in full josh. I like things this way, with the only downside being that I’m not getting enough material to fund this series
Here is the link to Neha’s article on Boothalingam Sastrigal – the one that I had mentioned in the blog but was too lazy to dig up the link for.