Three weeks later. I was in my office, just like on any other weekday. I was checking out the photos that MP had shot of us all, during the reunion trip. He emailed them to us and while I was looking at them, in my Yahoo! inbox, I noticed an ad flashing in the top-left corner.
It was an ad for a matrimonial site – Shaadi.com – with a beautiful girl, smiling and looking for her perfect match.
Recalling our reunion discussion, I clicked the hyperlink on this ad, which took me to the website. With the default filters enabled, I clicked the search button and, in no time, I was on the result page with many feminine picks. Wow! Some among them were damn pretty, and I wanted to check them all out. But before I could visit the 6th one, I was prompted to register at the website, without which I couldn’t browse through more profiles. The trailer was over and to watch the whole movie you had to register yourself.
"I didn’t have much work that day, so I thought I’d register myself and create my profile on the site." This is what I kept saying to Happy, Amardeep and MP. Whereas, it was actually the other way round. Those pretty faces on the results page forced me to make time in my hectic schedule – which involved project delivery to a client, the very next day.
Someone rightly said, "Three things – wealth, women and…" (I always forget the third one) "… can make anything happen in this world."
So, finally, my profile was on the website. I uploaded a nice photograph and unchecked any checkbox which asked to hide my whereabouts from girls who might be searching for me. I did not forget to mention my professional trips to the US and Europe either. After an hour or so, I was all set to check out those pretty faces again. I set my filters to check out all the Punjabi girls on the website and hit the "search" button.
The results page displayed some 3 digit number – the total number of profiles that matched my search criteria. This was exciting! But I could only check out some fifty of them before my eyes grew tired. Still, among those fifty or so, there were a few whom I wanted to contact. But before I could do so, there came a heartbreaking moment. To talk to those pretty faces I had to make a payment to the site. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Damn!
The only cost-free part was a way to express my interest in them by clicking a button on their respective pages. This would send a message from me to their inbox. But even if they gave me an affirmation to interact, I still wouldn’t get their email ids unless I made the payment. I checked the amount they were asking for. “3000 bucks for the yearly plan! No way,” I said to myself. Then I thought, "I will only pay up if I happen to get good, affirmative responses from those beauties." Till then, whenever I felt like it, I could ping any girl on the website to show my interest in her profile.
This was the beginning of my experience with shaadi.com – at the cost of my project delivery, which I almost screwed up.Download the Cover