We took a ride with a Careem rishta aunty and this is what happened

She bragged she could get us a man of any profession we desired, ranging from an actor to a businessman

Our Correspondents July 19, 2017
We took a ride with a Careem rishta aunty and this is what happened

KARACHI: On Wednesday morning, Careem users woke up to a push notification saying "your rishta has arrived". Just like everyone else, The Express Tribune was curious to find out how the service worked and what it offered.

So, it was no surprise that we were quick to book a 'rishta'. The ride was booked an hour in advance and reached us promptly with the rishta aunty N* in tow. The four of us got into the car and began our conversation with the aunty, who was clad in a green shalwar kameez and wired spectacles -- much like what we expected.

It seemed as if the rishta aunty had already scanned us head to toe as we crammed in the car awaiting her to surprise us. She looked at us the way a doctor looks at an X-ray, examining all aspects to make sure no detail was missed.

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After exchanging pleasantries, the aunty asked us about the type of men we wanted. She bragged she could get us a man of any profession we desired, ranging from an actor to a businessman.

It seemed as though the rishta aunty was more of an FBI or CIA agent for her knowledge of single men and women around the city was fascinating. She boasted about how her inventory consisted of rishtas of any kind; from actors to businessmen to doctors.

She spoke fondly about the wonderful world of rishta aunties where the demand and supply of good rishtas are infinite, and all you had to do to meet "the one for you" was to answer her unlimited questions about yourself. So there, she bombarded us with questions about what we did, where we lived, and whether we were actually serious about getting married. When we asked her what the appropriate age to get married was she responded, "There is no right time, marriage can happen anytime.. just look at those in villages." To this, we replied that early-age marriages were not just a village phenomenon, but they happened quite often in cities as well.

The aunty offered us her number and email address, asking for our numbers and pictures in return. At this point, she took out her phone to photograph us -- we told her we'd rather send her better pictures of us through Whatsapp, but she continued persistently.

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We then quizzed her about the possibilities of arranging a second marriage for a male friend of ours, to which she replied, "Yes this has become very common in Pakistan with men marrying two, three, four times." No, rishta aunty. Polygamy is only allowed in certain cases, and you most definitely should not get someone married a second time in your Careem car.

"Rishta aunties never give guarantees," she told us when we asked her of the possibility that the option we get to meet is already married, or would want a second and third marriage later. Ouch! Rishta aunty has terms and conditions, and we could imagine the tiny disclaimer in the picture-perfect Careem advertisement, "*We do not take responsibility for failed marriages or bad experiences through this.*"

She asked us if we don't trust 'rishtay walas' and that's when we realised this is serious business for her. Upon request, she also revealed the charges that her agency asks for and thus far she has arranged 10 successful marriages. The charges depend on the 'value' of the individual -- and if the match is arranged then the final charges range between Rs40,000 and Rs50,000.

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"This is a community engagement initiative that will last two days. It rolls out in Karachi Lahore and Islamabad today. Basically you have to pre-book a rishta ride, where a matchmaker will join you on your ride," Sibtain Naqvi, Head of Public Affairs at Careem, told The Express Tribune.

"The matchmakers are professionals who do this for a living. They'll take your information and ask you what kind of soulmate you're looking for. Then they'll get in touch with you later. But Careem's responsibility stops at the contact point."

The rishta aunty was keen to talk for longer and get to know us better but it got too serious too soon.

In short, we don't think anyone's going to opt for this service if they're considering to find a serious match since everyone on Twitter seems to think that this is a marketing tactic, however, if your lucky stars match the names on the rishta aunty's notepad you can find love in a Careem.


Baligur | 6 years ago | Reply won't dating websites make this service obsolete? it does seem very old fashioned in this day and age and the irony is that a ride hailing service is involved.
Bunny Rabbit | 6 years ago | Reply The poor match making aunty was only trying to help.
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