Its the Ally McBeal syndrome. Every Wednesday on television, thirtysomething McBeal argues her cases intelligently, has a career on the upswing, is well liked by her peers, is considered reasonably attractive, knows how to have a good time and bonds well with friends of both sexes. Yet a meaningful relationship-let alone marriage-eludes this 21st century woman, episode after episode. And to add insult to injury, her ex-boyfriend not only works in the same firm as her but is happily married to a colleague. Its a story that is finding a familiar echo in urban India. Women in their late twenties and thirties are increasingly finding it difficult to get men they can marry.
Whats gone wrong? According to the last national census, there are more men per woman in India. Yet the cities tell a story of women whose intention to marry is thwarted by just one fact: there just arent enough men to go around in the marital sweepstakes. Says Lynne Fernandez, 37, managing trustee at the Bangalore-based Nrityagram: "I guess it has to do with the fact that women are more educated and economically independent now and so can say its their choice to wait for the right man."