New Delhi, Feb 3: Indian bachelors keen to get a taste of married life can now log on and apply for a virtual wife online in a scheme that offers a glimpse into changing Indian society.
Bharat Matrimony’s biwihotohaisi.com (an ideal wife) site allows men to choose from four different types of wife and then receive automated telephone messages from them that reflect their character.
The first candidate is the devoted Ritu Gharwali (Ritu Homemaker), 23, whose saccharine entreaties to "please eat your lunch, I have made your favourite dish" would make her the ideal Indian housewife in conservative circles.
Matrimonial advertisements in Indian newspapers and websites, still widely used to find prospective partners, often feature men seeking "simple, homely girls with good family values."
There’s a more feisty version of Ritu for those wanting a more challenging partner in the form of 25-year-old Bijli Thakur (Electricity Thakur) who is described as "Dominating. Bossy. Control-freak."
While Ritu Gharwali pleads with her hard-working husband to come home for dinner, Bijli Thakur angrily threatens to "send your bed to the office if you don’t leave soon."
While these two characters would be clearly identifiable for men of older generations, it is the other women who offer the most revealing insights into the changing characteristics of modern Indian womanhood.
In a country where arranged marriages are still the norm and dating is often frowned upon, matrimonial websites are big business.