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The Indian film star Aishwarya Rai has been accused of promoting a tradition associated with the caste system and "untouchability" following reports that she had "married a tree" in an ancient Hindu ceremony.Over the last six months Miss Rai and Mr Bachchan, 30, have been spotted entering temples in the holy cities of Varanasi and Ayodhya to perform "puja" or prayer ceremonies.Astrologers have said that Miss Rai's astrological chart is "manglik", or Mars-bearing, which, according to Hindu tradition, can have negative consequences for their impending marriage.

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The Bachchan family has refused to comment on the couple's alleged astrological incompatibility or what, precisely, they might be doing to solve the problem.The online dating scene in India is primarily matrimonial websites, predicated on the idea that the first meeting between two paired users will be to chat about their wedding.It highlights a false dichotomy between modern arranged marriages and fairytale love.Last week, I joined Shaadi.com, India’s oldest and most popular matrimonial website.

Call it anthropological curiosity; call it a metric of my own narcissism.

Call it acclimating to the Indian single life after coming of age in the West, where India is often seen as a country of arranged marriages and impenetrable glass ceilings.