Normally when we get our weekly Economist, it’s cover story is something like ‘Crunch time in Libya’ or ‘The growing fear of a second American recession’. Which is why I give it a cursory I-so-understand-this thumb-through to convince myself (half-heartedly) that its (overpriced) subscription wasn’t money down the drain (it so was).

So when I glanced at the cover page this time, I did a double take. ‘Asia’s Lonely Hearts’? Was this the economist? Or had we bungled our subscriptions and got the Cosmo instead? (hallejulah!)

It was the Economist alright and it explored the trend of why Asian women, traditionally brought up with orthodox family values, have started rejecting the idea of marriage. Already the average age of marriage for women in some Asian countries is the early 30’s, compared to 26 years in the US. Moreover 30% or so women in their 30’s in these countries have never been married, compared to just 13-15% in US and UK.

And in stark contrast to the west, where lower income families are more prone to breaking up/never marrying, in Asia the more educated and successful a woman is, the more likely is she to marry late/never marry. ‘Golden misses’ they call such single women in south Korea.

While the trend is still catching on in India, I would tend to agree. I know many such Golden Misses- and some are from conservative brahmin families who have withstood tremendous familial pressure to postpone marriage, sometimes indefinitely.

Why have they done so? The article speculates that its because of the orthodox mindsets of Asian men and families and their rigid expectations of a DIL, which no modern woman finds attractive. Which is true, but I have another theory. And that is called Dearth-of-choice theory. Seriously.

Now imagine that you are a single, moderately successful Indian woman living on her own in a metropolis. And even imagine (you may have to stretch your imagination for this-I certainly had to) that you are a hot, confident, bombshell-with-brains who can get any man in the country. What would your choices be? And how would you react if they ever proposed to you? In tune with the upcoming show on BIG CBS called India’s sexiest bachelors, let’s look at some prime examples:

1. Salman Khan: Pro: He’s got that ribbly muscly unbeatable physique. After all he’s been working out for the last 30 years. Con: Considering that all he’s been doing for 30 years is work out, possible lack of intellectual abilities. Pro: He’s rich! Con: Of course will have to spend most of that money getting Life insurance, Fire insurance, Personal accident insurance, for self and all members of extended family. Pro: Uhm…will get back to this later. Con: Will have to learn to talk in (UK?) (US?) (does it matter?) accented hinglish to bastiwalas and end all sentences with ‘Yo! I Love ya’awl!’ Pro: Errr….. Con: Will have to see his movies!…end of argument. Thanks but no thanks!

2. Rahul Gandhi: While most Indian men are mama’s boys, Rahul is a Gandhi boy which means he’s a mama’s boy, grand mama’s boy, great grandpa’s boy, not to forget the obviously dominating sister’s boy. Plus can’t see self  running behind him in heartland Uttar Pradesh in Jimmy Choo heels. Or pretend to be sad for women who are thinner and wear even lesser clothes. What if  the Congress eventually gifted me the Gandhi Gaddi? Every Gandhi has to be the PM or the PM behind the PM once in their lifetime. Will Soniaji be the future self? OMG! Cant believe that! Also can’t believe that am calling Sonia Gandhi ‘Soniaji’ already. Of course the cash will be plenty and most of it unaccountable, but still, considering the mortality rate, thanks but no thanks. 

3. Yuvraaj Singh: Have you heard his mom, Shabnam Singh? Thanks, but no thanks. P.S. In case of doubt refer to arguments under ‘Salman Khan’.

4. Ranbir Kapoor: Sure, its easy to get lost in those baby browns, but think about competing with Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone. and Neetu Singh. And Karisma. And Kareena. And the next Miss India. Really I’d rather enrol in the next female WWF. Thank you. But no, thank you.

5. Siddharth Mallya: Isn’t he the guy whose idea of an average female is a Kingfisher Calendar girl? Plus will have to give up Heineken and Johnny Walker for Kingfisher and McDowells. And fly Kingfisher. And support Royal Challengers. Ok. Thanks, but no thanks

6. Karan Johar: Seriously? Well to be fair there can be benefits of a platonic marriage like that. Imagine marrying your richest best friend. You can chat all the time, go shopping together, fight over fashion advice, bitch behind his back,  compete for the same guy….OMG! Imagine marrying your best friend. Thanks but no thanks.

Now you understand the plight of the Golden misses? With choices such as these, celibacy is far more attractive.

Married men out there, take a bow. The best are, truly taken.

To read a man’s take on this, visit Shrijeet’s blog here. I promise you, it’s hilarious.