DESTINY with Riccha Singh Rathore
In times ancient or modern, across societies traditional or more progressive, the skill of matchmaking can be mostly considered as crucial as it is indispensable. Back in the days preceding the 12th century, matchmaking amongst the world’s early tribal groups primarily ensured the inheritance and continued dominance over land, wealth and status. Matters of personal agency, such as the bride and groom’s mutual consent were of little importance, since marriage was chiefly perceived as an alliance to secure and sustain one’s social standing.
But then, an interesting change is reported to have come about in Europe in the fateful year of 1140, when a Benedictine monk called Gratian introduced the concept of individual consent in marriages through his book, Decretum Gratiani. From there on, matrimonial alliances exceeded their erstwhile motives of land and property inheritance, and would have to factor in the compatibility and well-being of the couple involved. Thus, matchmakers would now need to expand their discerning eye, not just to club in people of mutual income brackets, but also the complicated affairs of personality, likes, dislikes, value systems and so on.
This evolutionary turn of match making however, did not necessitate its disjunct with religion for several centuries to come. Socio-religious backgrounds were and still continue to act as key filters in matchmaking processes around the world even today, and given their tenacious contrast with modern-day ideas such as individual liberty and choice, matchmaking as a platform attains greater complexities with the passing of time.
In India, the sacred task of match making retains its timeless sanctity for being a key player in maintaining thoroughbred communities and preserving their future lineages from dissolving outside those strictures of religion, caste and ethnicity. Despite gigantic leaps in the digitalisation of match making and algorithmic solutions to matrimony, many of us steer clear of these domains, and fairly so due to their scepticism vis-à-vis the authenticity and familiarly of a dauntingly robotic mechanism. After all, why would one pour all of their stakes into an opaque area of little accountability? That said, matrimonial websites cannot be denied their realistic position as digital match makers through which prospective matrimonial alliances attain their leads and then manoeuvre the sociocultural exchange as per their own judgement.
Keeping with the times, and the dire need to fill into this lapse within her own community, Jaipur-based entrepreneur Riccha Singh Rathore launched Destiny, a dedicated portal for Rajput matrimony. In her own words, “Destiny is a pandemic baby and it is one of the most wonderful inventions I could come up with during the pandemic. It all started when my relatives started calling me up asking for prospective matches and I realised there was no such formal platform to come together to look for suitable matches within our community. Considering that Rajputs mostly rely on their immediate social circles to find matches, they are often confined to their limited realms. With Destiny, I hope to help the community connect with a larger network and make matrimonial alliances that will enable generations to reap the benefits”.
Upon hearing about the contents of her latest venture, what surprised me as Riccha Singh’s acquaintance was not the novelty in the idea, but in her choice to step up and actually devise a long talked-about solution for Rajput families that intend on, but seldom end up finding. Until now, well-meaning common acquaintances have brought together two families by means of suggestion, perseverance, goodwill, and of course, the favourable matching of horoscopes. This might largely work in the favour of those with easy community access in their near vicinity, but not for the Rajput diaspora in the far ends of the globe, who remain mostly disconnected to such accesses.
Identifying this disjunct, Riccha Singh succinctly describes her intention with Destiny: “Through this digital platform, I want to be able to connect many established and budding entrepreneurs who are working and contributing in the field of weddings. For example, I would love to connect an astrologer sitting in Udaipur and a jeweller in Jodhpur to someone looking out for a match and wedding in the United States. It’s a unique platform through which I seek to connect matches, families and entrepreneurs such that they can collectively flourish and grow. There are also certain event organisers who specifically work on community weddings, such as our decor is very unique and disciplined,” she adds.
Despite the purity of its intent, Destiny is no exception to the usual challenges faced by platforms of such stature, primarily those of privacy and security. The credibility of a match making platform relies solely on its trustability and authenticity of research, both of which depend on one another. In other words, the greater the trust worthiness of a brand, the more participants it attracts. Similarly, the more participants enrolled therein, the more trust the brand emanates. This challenge inspires Riccha Singh to reinvent and restructure Destiny in new ways that would garner both, trust as well as engagement from people within the Rajput community.
More recently, she has also hosted several online interactions with and garnered words of appreciation from prominent members of the Rajput nobility in order to discuss the advantages, challenges and potential foresights of an online match making platform such as Destiny. This panel includes distinguished voices from the houses of Baria, Dhenkanal, Kangra, Jaisalmer, Bilaspur, Baroda, Kota, Jhalawar, Lunawada and many more. Such inputs and assurances from diverse corners of the Rajput community are highly likely to help Riccha Singh steer Destiny through its initial days and help it attain her desired stature as amongst the most trusted match making services of modern-day Rajput prospects within India, as well as in the global diaspora.