For Matrimonial Purposes [Kavita Daswani] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Anju wants a husband. Equally important, her entire family. Buy *For Matrimonial Purposes* online, For Matrimonial Purposes Kavita Daswani Plume Paperback pages. June rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars . Spirited, elegant, fun, with an enchanting authorial voice, For Matrimonial Purposes – a first novel which was the subject of a fierce international auction – is a.

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For Matrimonial Purposes by Kavita Daswani

Anju wants a husband. Equally important, her entire family wants Anju to have a husband. Her life in Bombay, where a marriage can be arranged in a matter of hours, is almost solely devoted to this quest, with her anxious mother hauling her from holy site to holy site in order to consult and entreat swamis and astrologers. Paperbackpages. Published June 29th by Plume first published ffor To see what your daswwani thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about For Matrimonial Purposesplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about For Matrimonial Purposes. Lists with This Book. Entering her mid-thirties, Dsawani has proven to be a failure as a daughter. Sure, she has a successful career as a fashion publicist.

Sure, she has remained a “good girl” despite living by herself in that den of iniquity known as New York City. But she’s failed to do the one thing that would define her worth and ease the anxiety she’s causing her ultra-conservative, ultra-orthodox parents: And it’s not Anju’s fault. She’s fasted, she’s prayed, natrimonial Entering her mid-thirties, Anju has proven to be matrimobial failure as a daughter. She’s fasted, she’s prayed, she’s presented herself as meek and submissive.

She’s allowed her mother to drag her to every swami, fortune teller, and holy man she can find. She’s had her birth chart read, her destiny foretold.

She’s tried to lighten her too-dark complexion. She’s attended parties and reunions and the weddings of others, in the hopes of making a match–all to no avail. She’s even tried online matchmaking for Indian couples only. What will it take for Anju to meet the man that others assure her has been born for her and, in the meantime, how can she balance her traditional Indian life with her increasingly independent American one? Other reviews have listed two primary problems with this book: And, yes, this certainly isn’t the type of novel that is going to deeply move you or offer profound insight into Indian culture.

It also has an ending that is predictable and wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly. However, the aforementioned criticisms are a little harsh. First, the issue of Anju’s personality, which to me is not a misstep on the part of the author, although it could seem that way to an American audience who would prefer a headstrong and fiercely independent protagonist eager to break the shackles enslaving her to a patriarchal society.

But Anju is not American. While she has been raised in a family that loves her, she has also been raised to believe that who she is will always be defined by the man who protects her: She has not been encouraged to become a fully realized person and therefore is waiting for her other half, who will define her existence by setting the boundaries of what her life will be.


It should not be surprising that this protagonist hesitates to break with kavitw religion and her heritage, despite sensing something is amiss with the expectations placed upon her. That she is uncertain, cautious, and hesitant makes her seem more real. Second is the classification of the novel as mindless chick lit.

Okay, I can’t defend the chick lit part. And there are moments in the narrative when I became a little impatient with Anju’s focus on designer shoes and the world of high fashion. But it could be argued that not accustomed to having a voice or at least not confident enough to always use itAnju is using fashion to communicate her values and her inner life to others.

At home in Bombay, Anju tries to look the part of the fashionable and worldly expatriate, eager to show that she has become more independent, less constrained by social mores. Yet, while attending fashion matrimnoial in the U. Anju uses fashion in an attempt to attain balance and define herself: And the novel, while perhaps simplistic in its presentation, is not mindless.

For Matrimonial Purposes — book review

Anju knows she is not just a disappointment because of her inability to marry; she knows it goes back to the day she was born: Oh, God, she had delivered a daughter as a first-born. The unthinkable had happened” Despite being a disappointment, Anju is not unloved and does not want to alienate her family by cutting all ties with her heritage and her customs. Her loneliness and alienation is real and will only worsen if she marries a white man, effectively becoming estranged from her family, or if she marries an Indian man whom she cannot love nor respect.

And it’s very easy for Americans as just about every American character in the book does to think that a family that would expect you to enter into an arranged marriage or to define yourself by who you marry doesn’t really love you. But that’s a bit hypocritical, no? For all of our supposed independence, isn’t our culture just as marriage happy, just as eager to be one half of a whole?

Think we’re not as guilty? Say Yes to the DressThe Bachelorat least a dozen Disney princess movies, and a wedding industry that sells fairy tales for a price that could put your first born through college suggest otherwise.

I knew and know plenty of women who can’t wait to get married because that’s what they’re supposed to do. They believe that’s when they’ll become who they were always meant to be–wives and mothers. The “arranged” bit isn’t necessarily there, but a woman in her twenties is perpetually asked questions about her relationship status: And this connection is what Daswani makes work for her in For Matrimonial Purposes.

By presenting us with a protagonist with one foot in New York and the other in Bombay, we may see a bit more of ourselves in Anju’s experience than we’re comfortable with. All of the American superiority begins to deflate as we begin to realize much of Anju’s plight may also be our own. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder Jul 02, Petra Eggs rated it liked it Shelves: An Indian girl from a very wealthy family inherits a curse and no one wants to marry her.

The story is about how the very rich spend money on impressing other people with clothes, jewellery and parties, and the importance of a good meaning expensive astrologer in getting an arranged marriage. But when you are cursed, it doesn’t matter how much money your family has and how desperate they are to marry you off, no one presentable will present themselves. The mothers for it is they who decide w An Indian girl from a very wealthy family inherits a curse and no one wants to marry her.


The mothers for it is they who decide who shall marry whom can get all the material goods and a pretty face elsewhere, minus the curse. So the girl leaves India to strike out on her own and goes to New York where she ends up in a glittering job as a fashion publicist Paris, Concorde, Blahnik as everyone does in a chicklit novel, and eventually finds a man to marry.

The author attempts, not very successfully, to give the book depth by turning it into a moral story – the heroine must find herself before she can find a husband. She needn’t have bothered, it was a fairly enjoyable piece of fluff anyway.

View all 4 comments. Jan 09, Trupti Dorge rated it it was ok. Only then is she able to persuade her parents to allow her to move to New York, where, she hopes, she will not be viewed as a failure. Making a new life, alone, will be hard, but if the stars align, she may even find love-on her own terms.

Anju is born in a family in Bombay-India, where girls are supposed to get married the moment they cross their teens. Or at least the search for a prospective bridegroom should begin.

She is hauled to many get-togethers, be it a marriage, a sangeet, a post-marriage party or an engagement, for this is where Indian girls and their parents supposedly HUNT for grooms. The perfect boy is the one who has a good job, good family, does not have any bad habits, is rich and yes, is obviously an Indian. All the girls want to marry her handsome brothers because they are rich and good looking. As Anju turns 26 and is still un-unmarried, she decides to go to New York to study.

And she stays on after studies to work and finally becomes a fashion publicist. She tries all sorts of things, putting herself out there, trying on-line sites and so on without any positive outcome. In fact I think Kavita Daswani is a good writer with a good sense of humour. The endless efforts that her parents make to get her married are hilarious. In fact, I liked the sense of humour in the book quite a bit. It was the carpet statements that suggested that all Indian girls get married when they turn All Indian girls look for rich and handsome husbands.

Nobody marries out of love.

All the married Indian girls do not work and the only worry they have is from where to hire the third maid. That all Indian husbands do not passionately love their wives. What century were you living in? I actually checked back to see what year this book was written in. But this was a little too over the top.

I am not denying that arranged marriages are still prevalent in India. I am just denying the fact that all marriages are arranged. Not that there is anything wrong in an arranged marriage.