Interview of Sahil Thaker, Author of “Dating & Marriage Diaries in Urban India”
An engineer in qualification and a writer by choice, Sahil Thaker took on myriad aspects of dating and marriage in today’s urban India in his debut book Dating and Marriage Dairies in Urban India. Neither a story book nor a novel, the book is a no nonsense guide to finding your perfect partner as he describes. In the book, Sahil Thaker pictures how the reality of finding a loving, caring, attractive and perfect spouse is far different from a fairy tale. He supports research and studies on dating and marriage in India with overwhelming facts in a very straightforward manner. There is no convolution in his depiction. SliceofRealLife catches up with Sahil Thaker to share with you his views on the real scenario of dating, how marriages happen in India and how it is different in the USA. Here are excerpts from the interview of author Sahil Thaker:
Congratulations! How are you feeling as a published author?
I am feeling fairly good. It’s my first book so I have jitters but it’s a really good feeling.
Who or what motivated you to hold a pen and debut as an author?
I always had flair for writing and over the years many of my friends and family did encourage me to write but I never thought about it seriously. I had been writing on dating and marriage but wasn’t sure if any publisher would publish it. Finally, I found a good publisher who was ready to help me publish this book.
What made you choose to write about dating and marriage in India? Why not any other topic?
Based on my experience as well as those of several of my friends and relatives, I realized dating and marriage in India is nowhere near what is shown in Bollywood movies or fictional novels. I wrote this as a book based on personal experiences and did a lot of research to provide readers with a valuable book which might just change their lives for the better.
You lived in the USA for six years. How is the scenario of dating & marriage in the US different from that in India on socioeconomic grounds?
It’s very different. For example, people in India are very rigid when it comes to dating or marriage with a lot of family pressure. In the USA, parents never interfere in their grown up children’s lives much, nor do they dictate whom they should date or marry. For people in India a good government or private sector job is considered to be the ultimate guarantor of financial security but in USA people have seen NO JOB (including government ones) are safe. Out there, people accept you based on who you are as a person and not your bank balance or job.
What do you think about the extravagance of big fat Indian weddings?
I personally find it ridiculous that so many people indulge in ostentatious display of wealth during weddings. In many cases it is the girl’s parents who often have to foot the bill for this. There is an entire chapter devoted to this in the book. I encourage readers to read about it.
These days there are many online dating platforms and mobile apps for dating. Have they made it easier to find a right partner? What do you think?
Yes. It can cut short a lot of time and effort which was earlier involved. You get access to very wide pool of candidates which you can shortlist based on your expectations (age, height, income, geographic location etc). But one has to be careful about online dating as you have no idea if the person is genuine or not.
Do you think that arranged marriage which sticks to traditions and customs even today is a healthy practice?
I have been asked this question so many times by my American friends and co-workers while I was living there. They are still completely baffled by the fact that people just marry someone selected by their family without hardly knowing them properly or whether they like him/her or not. I feel if someone wants to go down the arranged marriage route then parents/family should introduce the guy and the girl, let them date and see if both feel comfortable with getting married to each other.
Inter-caste marriage is still a taboo in many places across India. How can it overcome social inhibitions and barriers?
For that to happen, people’s and society’s mindset needs to change for the better. Nobody has a choice regarding which caste they will be born into. It is said that a person is not great by birth or lineage but through his or her actions.
You are a qualified engineer. How did your transition from engineering to writing happen?
As I mentioned before, writing was always a side hobby and now finally I found a good publisher who was ready to publish my book.
What is the response to your maiden book so far?
It’s been good so far. There have been several positive reviews on www.amazon.in and www.dailyhunt.in from the readers.
What is your next book about? (If you have already panned)
Currently I do not have any plans for the next book. I need constructive feedback and encouragement from my readers to write a next one.
SliceofRealLife.com thanks author Sahil Thacker for the opportunity to interview him and wishes him all the best for his next venture!