Thursday, October 30, 2014


How to Find a Suitable Husband
Musings on Career Women and Marriage Prospects



This happened more than 30 years ago, when I was a “Babu” in uniform, pushing files in Delhi.

A smart young woman, maybe 20 or 21, entered my office.

The young woman said that she had been asked to report to me.

“Me?” I asked.

I looked at her appreciatively, since she was very beautiful.

She smiled coyly at the undisguised admiration in my eyes.

Then, demurely, she said, “Sir, you are the administrative officer…?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Sir, I am a new recruit LDC. I have got orders to join this office. I have come for the reporting interview.”

“Oh, please sit down,” I said.

She sat down and handed a folder to me.

The folder had her appointment letter and various certificates – educational, sports, dramatics.

I saw that she was a very intelligent, well qualified and talented girl. 

She had done her schooling in a KV and her graduation from a prestigious college. 

She seemed overqualified and over-talented for this job of a LDC (Lower Division Clerk.

I looked at the young woman and said: “You have done so well in your graduation – you have a first class with distinction – and you have so many talents and you have excelled in so many extra-curricular activities. You should study further. Or you should try to become an officer somewhere. Why don’t you give the civil services or banking exam or try for some Class 1 Officers post? Why do want to do this clerical job?”

“To improve my marriage prospects,” she said, matter-of-factly.

When I heard this incredulous answer, I was struck dumb.

I looked at her in silence, not knowing what to say.

“Sir, please don’t get angry – I am not joking. It is the truth. This is the real reason that I am taking up this clerical job – to improve my marriage prospects,” she said.

“Can you please explain to me how doing this LDC job is going to help your marriage prospects?” I asked, curious.

“Yes, Sir. I will explain to you. Sir, I am the fourth daughter from a lower middle class family. My father works here in the secretarial service. He joined as an LDC and is a Section Officer now. He is retiring next year. He wants to get me married before he retires. He wants to finish off all his responsibilities before he goes back to his village to settle down there,” she said.


“This is a non-transferable job, Sir, and I will remain in Delhi throughout my life. It will be easy for them to find a suitable boy in the same service – some LDC or maybe an UDC. Both of us will be working in offices here in the secretariat only. We will never be transferred out of Delhi. And we will get quarters in Delhi where we can stay for our entire careers. It is all so convenient.”

“Come on,” I said, “You will easily get an Officer husband.”

She blushed at the disguised compliment and said, “I know Sir. But we can’t afford the dowry for a high status match. It is best for us to remain within our class. Here, everyone wants a girl with a secure, easy and non-transferable 9 to 5 five day week government job like this one. Besides, if I get someone from the same service, he will be elder than me and also senior to me, so he will get more pay than me and there will be no ego problems.”

I looked at her. 

I had never seen so much candidness before.

I smiled at her and said, “I really appreciate your talking to me so honestly. Welcome to the office. I am sure you will do well.”

Six months later she came to give me the good news.

Her marriage was fixed to a UDC working the neighbouring office.

In fact, it was a love marriage – love cum arranged – she had liked the boy and she told her parents and they had fixed the match.

Soon she would be married and her father would retire peacefully, all his familial duties done.

Then she and her UDC husband would get a government quarter nearby where they would probably live for the next 40 years, till they both retired, hopefully as Section Officers.

They could look forward to a blissful married life, commuting up and down to office together, and have a stress-free unexciting secure working life, getting slow and steady time bound promotions, and enjoying all the benefits that come with a government job.

Years passed, I got transferred all over, did so many appointments, met so many people, and this story went into a remote recess of my memory.

Then, almost 30 years later, another interesting incident happened, and suddenly I remembered this story.

I will tell you all about that hilarious incident in my next Blog Post.

Till then, tell me what you think of this story – especially if you are a woman – Do Women take up a Job to improve their Marriage Prospects?

(to be continued in Part 2...)

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is Part 1 of the story written by me and posted by me on my blog on 08 July 2013 titled LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND Musings on Career Women and Marriage Prospects which featured Two Stories - THE SMART YOUNG WOMAN and THE LADY ARMY OFFICER at url:

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