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Yesterday I received a call from unknown number – Hello, is that Pravin? Yes I said. “I’m Ms Gautam [name changed], we connected that time etc”. We talked for about 10 min, that lady (though belonging to the Art of Living community) almost abused many unknown AoL devotees.

The lady never told name of her daughter. Yes that is true. I was contacted earlier, that time too she circumvented the question. This “arranged marriage” is a strange business – watch video below. Before you select whom you like, you first select he/she should be from which caste, what education and yes even at some place “salary”!? I was watching “Timepass” a Marathi movie recently. Two kids in their teens fall in love watch movie for what happens next. The movie ended with same questions on my face. We decide caste, social status and status first rather than the choice of guy and the girl. Things are very subjective and here goes my story.

I registered on renowned matrimonial sites of India. I know they are in business, yet their constant push bugged me. It was bit disappointing, when they called me during weekdays. Anyways, what frustrated me using those sites was – stereotypical approach of considering me of one community rather than a prospective educated groom. I have written about it earlier too, especially against hypocrisies of my community – Lingayats.

I came across two sites and thus deleted my profile at traditional sites. The sites are – ibluebottle.com and ZoobyDooby.com (ZD). Both are different, interesting and refreshing.

BlueBottle is good but wants salary to be disclosed (seems awkward if one makes selection of bride/groom on salary as first criteria!). Second, you cannot search and connect on BlueBottle. BlueBottle has full personality test; what is the guarantee that someone will be able (intentionally or unintentionally) to answer all subjective questions correctly. On the other hand, ZD has a poor interface and is slow. The positives – BlueBottle puts profession as primary whereas ZD gives you chance to go through profiles. Especially ZD does a wonderful task of matching interests and profile interaction (Facebook profiling) based on an analytical engine. Watch the video how ZD works here.

Just to give you an example – I follow the Art of Living and first person I see on ZD matches is a devotee of AoL. Is not is surprising and interesting? Let me add – when we search prospective bride/groom, we do it based on what we think we like. However, ZD learns from our social network and helps us interact and discover. Interestingly it’s free!

I believe we are all born equal (unlike Hinduism’s caste system based divide). I feel good when I see ZD and BlueBottle believing and doing things accordingly. In long run it would help our society to get away from our “preconceived” notions of what we should like and towards what we naturally prefer.

Disclaimer – company in which I work has invested in ZoobyDooby