When we were searching for a suitable match for my elder sister and me, the only two things my family ever bothered to know about were:
1. Guy's education
2. Family's reputation , which was limited to 'they must not be having a criminal background, not known to have cheated someone, and the society doesn't see them in bad light.'
And I am glad I have been brought up on such strong pillars of beliefs.
When I told my family, that I like him, and would want them to consider him as well. They first grilled me to know whether he fulfills all 'my' criterias, and also tested me if my liking was just another passing attraction or a genuine feeling. They met him and asked him the same two things, how does he feel about me, and how serious is he in this. Not once did my father ever ask me his salary, or even what his father does, or what they have in terms of property. He just judged the guy. And, from there on my family heartily accepted him without any questions asked. There is this ease with which my family accepts people, as their own. And I totally love it, for our love doesn't depend on someone's social status, or income brackets, or position. They don't judge people.
When I look around, and happen to observe the criterias of families actively searching for life partners, I feel disheartened for they already have criterias in place with Income brackets, or the locality in which their house is, or the valuation of the family in the market.
A relationship is set on a foundation of materialism.
This is no different from asking your doctor to get your baby with this and that features....you know, custom made or made-to-order babies.
Well, all I can hope is that with turn of time and with the immediate surroundings that I live in, I do not change for the worse or give away these ideals of my family. All the time, I wish the 'Jain' (Kothari) in me lives.