A friend of mine who is tall, dark, handsome and has a pretty good salary, in few words a perfect prospective husband, had declared a few days back that his parents were searching the “right girl” for him to get married to. Later, one day, to his total disbelief and annoyance, his boss told him that a man had come enquiring about him, his character, his salary and any due promotions. Very puzzled, we were all discussing this over coffee as to who this spy could be, when a not so close friend of ours who happened to eavesdrop on our conversation told us, that he had been enquired about my friend too from an unknown gentleman. This stranger had even asked him if my friend had any girlfriend. We were left totally clueless and felt like hiring a Sherlock Holmes ourselves. We never found out. But one fine day, a year later, the pieces fell into place and the puzzle was solved. This unknown enquirer was a spy indeed, sent by his prospective wife’s family (His wife confessed to him about this a few days after marriage).
In India, where 60% of marriages are still arranged, hiring a spy to know more about the prospective groom/bride is becoming common now-a-days. If you think you have got the right alliance, you don’t just go ahead and fix the date, you first contact a wedding detective and run a thorough check about his/her background. And these wedding detectives are pretty efficient too. They can tell you all about the candidate’s salary (he can even give you the break-up), his ancestral property, his girlfriends, his sibling’s girlfriends, his hobbies, his habits (if he smokes or drinks) and even which salon he goes to get a haircut. But obviously, each added information means an additional fee.
In earlier days, a family used to get alliance from near family or friend. And the prospective groom/bride used to be somehow known to a person or two from their own family or friend. So knowing about his or her background was easy. You just needed to ask the family priest. But the days have changed; now you get alliances online through match making portals. And it is difficult to know anything other than the information the person chooses to provide in his/her online resume. It becomes even more difficult when the alliance is settled abroad. Before marrying their son/daughter to a total stranger, it is only natural for the family to be curious. And here comes the wedding detectives to their rescue.
Mr Ahluwalia, who runs a private detective agency in Mumbai, says, he takes various cases like pre-recruitment check for companies, criminal cases for the police department etc. but his most lucrative cases are the pre-marital investigations. Many wealthy families hire him for running a background check for the prospective groom/bride.
My friend is happily married to his “spying” wife with two kids and still teases her about it.