In January, Multani, a rifle shooter and a model, unexpectedly encountered someone she liked online.
She already knew 32-year-old Imran Garana, but connecting on the app and the knowledge that the other person was also looking for a partner, gave them both the confidence to talk about taking their relationship to the next level. Garana and Multani, both of whom live with polio, had met on Inclov, a new Indian matchmaking app for people with disabilities and health disorders.
"When you're working, it's really difficult to meet people," Thakur said. "It's not like a flirty or just everyday kind of party," Mittal said.
"From the girls' side or boys' side, they are both serious about finding a life partner." Indian immigrants tend to look for the same religion, caste and region, Mittal said.
"I've seen so much that blows those stereotypes out of the water," said Jasbina Ahluwalia, a Bay Area matchmaker who serves the South Asian community. "Separating one's own priorities and values from expectations of others -- family, parents -- I think can be very challenging," she said.
Even if parents approach her, as they sometimes do, the first consultation must be with the single person, in private.
"If someone says,'I want to find another Indian,' I ask why," she said.
Ahluwalia doesn't necessarily advocate a wholesale break with tradition, but clients need to have thought through their answers.
When an Indian gets to a marriageable age, "aunties," who are not necessarily related, start looking out for potential life partners.S., create profiles listing their children's personal and familial information -- including caste and religion -- on sites like Bharatmatrimony.com, which has more than 20 million profiles worldwide. "There have been a lot of more modern inventions trying to achieve the same goal as matchmaking by'aunties,'" Harlan said.The website's CEO, Murugavel Janakiraman, said 10 percent of clients are immigrants to the U. Such inventions, she said, are "a reaction to the fear that kids will make inappropriate choices and suffer the same divorce rates that the (U.S.) does in general." Parties like Mittal's can serve to either continue or break tradition: Singles might click with somebody outside their caste, or they could meet more of "the kind of people that your parents would like you to marry" than they might in everyday life, Harlan said.Thakur's parents encouraged her to go the singles party, even though they had wanted to arrange a marriage for her when she was younger.Garana lived near Multani's hometown Surat, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, and seemed to fit the bill. It is also one of the few dating apps for people with disabilities in the world; another well-known example is the online community Dating4Disabled."While I had tried several matrimonial websites, I couldn't find the right person," of Inclov, said.Within Indian culture (which is predominantly Hindu), marriage is as much about families coming together as it is about couples coming together.Hinduism orders families into four major castes and thousands of sub-castes, each with their own particular ritual role or profession.Now that she's older, her father is more open-minded about who his daughter marries -- "but it has to be an Indian," she added, and preferably from one of the higher castes.Thakur herself is also more open to arranged marriage than she was when she was young. It's basically semi-arranged." Thakur's desire to marry reflects Indians' traditional values at a time when only 51 percent of American adults are wed, according to 2010 Census data.