And despite her initial misgivings about online dating, Dipti said her “dream came true,” in marrying her husband.
The film’s directors, Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra, who are both Indian American women and won the festival’s award for new documentary director, are trying to overturn stereotypes about arranged marriage.
“One of the things that we’ve been ‘battling’ has been the old-school and biased notion that all arranged marriage in India is somehow forced or associated with child brides,” Khurana said.
Though these women ultimately have a choice over their prospective mate, they still feel pressured to get married.
Despite the major changes and modernization India has undergone in the 70 years since its independence, cultural norms toward marriage haven’t changed much.
But it was our mutual friend, a white woman from Oregon — not our families — who played matchmaker.
When I explain this to them, I know it is not the answer they expected.She also noted that arranged marriages might not be built on romance, but that doesn’t mean these couples lack feelings for each other. However, women often do get a raw end of the deal; whether or not a marriage is arranged, women “are the ones to compromise the most, expected to ‘adjust,’ move cities, give up or negotiate their careers, leave their families,” Khurana explained.At the center of the film is the conundrum of how young Indian women reconcile the modern aspects of their lives, including their educations and budding careers, with the tradition of arranged marriage.She was just two months past her seventeenth birthday."I had a friend and when we were 14, she said to me, 'I have a secret,'" she says.“None of them thought [remaining single] was an option, or could imagine their lives as unmarried women in Indian society,” Khurana said. So, if not to her, somebody else.” Meanwhile, Amrita confronts the realities of what she has gained and lost through her marriage.