As the new year began, people in the streets of London and Birmingham were amused to find a man finding wife on billboards, lying down on a purple screen and pointing at a line: “Save me from an arranged marriage.” Accompanying the young bearded man, wearing a black skull cap, was a link to a website titled ‘Find Malik a Wife’.
Despite the fact that it may seem like a prank or a joke, a closer examination of the website reveals the truth. It is actually an attempt by an eligible bachelor man in London to find his future wife through billboards.
“I just haven’t found the right girl yet. It’s tough out there. I had to get a billboard to get seen!” the website, set up by Muhammad Malik, read. “My ideal partner would be a Muslim woman in her 20s, who’s striving to better her deen. I’m open to any ethnicity but I’ve got a loud Punjabi family – so you would need to keep with the bants,” the 29-year-old added.
With utmost honesty, he also listed what many might consider a ‘deal-breaker’, as the man added, he is a single child and needs to take care of his parents.
Although in the billboard, Malik urged all to save him from an arranged marriage, on the website he clarified he isn’t against the idea completely. “I just want to try and find someone on my own first,” he wrote.
“I think arranged marriages have a place and tradition in many Islamic cultures. In fact, there are many studies that show that arranged marriages have many advantages,” the man said.
The website includes a creative video introduction of himself, along with a Google form for those interested in a match.
His video introduction:
As his billboards created a huge buzz both in real and virtual worlds, the London-based bank consultant told BBC News that it seems the plan is working as he got hundreds of messages expressing interest.
“I have not had the time to look through yet,” he said. “I need to set some time aside – I had not thought this part through.”
Malik admitted that he has tried online dating and even finding a match through ‘rishta aunties’, but things have not panned out for him yet. “I am Pakistani Desi, so the first thing we are told about is the power of the aunties,” he added. “But that method did not work out.”
After a friend suggested he should literally advertise himself, he was on board to try out this quirky idea after convincing his mother.
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