Say “I do” so he can too

Arranged marriages can be quite complicated, but apparently not complicated enough for some  Indo-Canadians. They're trying to arrange TWO marriages at once, as a way of helping a close relative immigrate to Canada from India.

The ads, mostly in Punjabi, are short and snappy. India-wedding-invitation

Sikh Canadian immigrant boy 29, 5'3" seeks an Indian educated girl.
Only those families
should contact who can provide Canadian matrimonial
alliance for his 33-year-old Indian resident brother, 5'5".

marriages, where parents introduce young people to each other and
couples marry after a brief courtship, are common among South Asians,
but "barter" marriages seem to be becoming increasingly common, too.

In other words: I'll get your son/daughter to Canada, you help get my niece/nephew out of India. [Toronto Star]

No, that's not quite right. It should be "I'll get your son/daughter to Canada, but only if you get my niece/nephew to Canada too, because he/she just can't do it on their own."

They're hoping, of course, to get a PR Card (permanent residency) for their niece/nephew, hoping to play that familiar tune at the wedding: "Here comes the PR Card, here comes the PR Card!"

Jaspal Singh, a cab driver in Vancouver, says he was under pressure
from his older brother who lives in India, to somehow get his son and
daughter to Canada. "I explained it to my brother that it was very
tough, but he told me I was making excuses, that I didn't want his
children to have a good life.

Finally, Singh agreed to place
an ad for his own 21-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter in hopes
someone, somewhere would reciprocate with Canadian matches for his
niece and nephew in India.

It is not only a long shot, it is
also unethical, Singh admits. He says he has told his kids he will not
force them to do something they are not ready for and that weddings
would take place only after they have met their prospective partners
and are ready. [Toronto Star]

Imagine the dilemma for his kids, knowing that if they say "no" to a prospective bride or groom, they are also saying "no" to their cousins, and if they say "yes" to a prospective bride or groom, they are also saying "yes" to an extra mattress in their basement.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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