Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Marriage Bureau for Rich People” as Want to Read:
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (The Marriage Bureau for Rich People #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  3,310 Ratings  ·  731 Reviews
Alexander McCall Smith meets Jane Austen in this delightfully charming Indian novel about finding love.

What does an Indian man with a wealth of common sense do when his retirement becomes too monotonous for him to stand? Open a marriage bureau of course!

With a steady stream of clients to keep him busy, Mr. Ali sees his new business flourish as the indomitable Mrs. Ali and
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published June 11th 2009 by Putnam Adult (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Marriage Bureau for Rich People, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaShantaram by Gregory David RobertsSiddhartha by Hermann Hesse
61st out of 529 books — 664 voters
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai HidierThe Contract by Zeenat MahalInterpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa LahiriHaveli by Zeenat MahalDone With Men by Shuchi Singh Kalra
Desi Chick Lit
44th out of 231 books — 302 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Smita Beohar
This book topped the list of ‘Page Turners to pick up in 2009’, published by Hindustan Times. The article said ‘Set in an Indian Marriage bureau and billed as Jane Austen meets McCall Smith, the book is charming, funny and acutely observed.’

Author: Farahad Zama

Publisher: Abacus

Price: 295/-

I grabbed the book as soon as it was out, did it meet the hype & my expectations?

Read on!

Mr. Ali, freshly retired doesn’t know what to do with his time. He has been interfering with his wife’s daily routine
Ceritanya ringan dan datar, tapi cukup menarik. Kasta di India menurut saya seperti ibarat agama bila di Indonesia, bayangkan saja, untuk menikah kebanyakan dari mereka memilih jodoh dari kasta yang sama, sama seperti di negara kita, jika kita menikah bukankah kita juga menginginkan orang yang seiman. Hanya saja bedanya, agama bisa berpindah-pindah sesuai kehendak masing-masing orang, sedangkan kasta tidak bisa karena kasta diperoleh dari keturunan. Hah!!, betapa repotnya.

Bicara soal biro jodoh
Feb 08, 2010 Felice rated it liked it
The brighter than bright cover of The Marriage Bureau for Rich People caught my eye immediately. Look at it. It's lovely. You aren't going to stumble across colors like that in any ho-hum world. It was love at first sight and interest soon after as I read the description. It wasn't purchase at first sight though. My cash once again went to my local.

How wonderful when my instincts are right. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People is a delight with a conscience. Mr Ali has retired from the Indian civ
 Δx Δp ≥ ½ ħ
Buku ke-8993

Pertama, covernya cantik. meski warnanya (merah hati tua) kurang pas, seharusnya lebih cerah, tapi gambar dan lay out hurufnya ciamik banget. bahkan, jika dibandingkan dengan cover dr buku luar, kayaknya yg edisi terjemahan lebih maknyus.1 bintang

kedua, judulnya juga menarik. "Biro Jodoh Khusus Kaum Elite". Ternyata kesulitan mencari cinta tak hanya dialami orang miskin, orang kaya yang mestinya tidak mengalami kesulitan mencari cinta (baca: pasangan). kata siapa uang bisa membeli se
Nilam Suri
Jun 22, 2010 Nilam Suri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop, romance
Buku ini memberi saya cara pandang baru dalam melihat kebudayaan India, yang selama ini hanya saya lihat secara sekilas dari film-film Bollywood.

Masyarakat India memiliki pandangan yang cukup konservatif dalam memandang pernikahan, bahkan anak yang mencari sendiri jodohnya dianggap kurang ajar,dan melanggar tradisi.

Dan bagi mereka, jatuh cinta dilakukan setelah menikah. Menikah karena cinta dianggap sebagai sesuatu yang memalukan. Lucu juga ya.

Buku ini mengambil point of view Mr.Ali, seorang pe
I expected to enjoy this more than I did. The first half contained a lot of detail about the marriage bureau, but not much character or plot, and I almost set it aside. Luckily the second half improved.

In his retirement, Mr Ali needs something to do with all his free time. He decides to set up a marriage bureau - a matching service - at his home. (Why?) The business takes off and he finds that he needs to take on an assistant, so Aruna (who has her own unfortunate romantic history) begins worki
Jennifer S. Brown
Jul 12, 2009 Jennifer S. Brown rated it really liked it
I have to say, the book fooled me a bit; I thought it would be more literary, but really, by the end, it was a basic chick lit romance. However it was so cleverly disguised in the society and cultures of India that I was seduced.

Mr. Ali is retired and decides to supplement his pension by opening a marriage bureau for arranged marriages. His assistant is a young woman whose family is unable to afford a wedding for her, so she must remain unmarried. Mr. Ali has a son who is involved in protests, c
Apr 01, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People was a welcome breath of fresh air.
Thoroughly enjoyable and pleasant read. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about this book. This was just a nice quaint story and exactly the right fit for my mood right now.

Mr. Ali has retired from his first career and has hung a sign outside the door of his house and started a second one. Mr. Ali has opened a marriage bureau. What is a “Marriage Bureau” you ask? In the Ali’s South East India community most marriages
Jul 21, 2010 Mery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mery by: ☮E=mc²☮ htgkvkkviholmvobsvzighxofyyzmw
Shelves: punya
Bukankah kekayaan itu dengan banyaknya harta benda, akan tetapi kekayaan (yang hakiki) itu adalah kecukupan di dalam hati. -- Nabi Muhammad SAW (HR. Bukhari). pg. 5

Ini buku direkomendasikan oleh Qui :D
Tumben-tumbenan itu anak ngasih rekomen buku drama. biasanya Stephen King. =))

Beli sudah lumayan lama, tapi baru sempat dibaca sekarang. Jujur saja aku suka banget sama covernya. Unik. Warnanya juga bagus.
Buku ini ringan, bukan seperti drama-drama lain. Aku suka dengan jalan ceritanya, karakter t
May 05, 2009 Lena rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lena by: Goodreads first reads
Shelves: fiction
Mr. Ali is a bored retiree in a coastal Indian town who decides to open a matchmaking service to keep himself busy. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People paints a slow-paced but engaging portrait of the lives of Mr. Ali and his family, their assistant Aruna, and the clients who come to seek out their services.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the access it offered into the exotic complexities of Indian culture. The rituals of marriage arranging provide a fascinating window into the lives of
Aug 02, 2009 Sheela rated it did not like it
Shelves: south-asian
This novel, which is about an old man in India starting a marriage bureau to keep busy in his retired life, was bland and boring. Though set in modern day, the story and the plot lines were old-fashioned and didn't keep up with the current times. The one story line that illustrated the emergence of a new generation of Indians was not explored well enough. The writing was repetitive and written as if the story was translated from another language into English. The author was trying to focus on ...more
Untunglah saya tidak lahir dan hidup di India! Itu pikiran pertama yang melintas saat membaca buku ini. Kenapa? Duh, mau kawin aja ribet banget! Nggak heran jika Biro Jodoh Khusus Kaum Elite yang didirikan Mr. Ali setelah dia pensiun, laris manis.

Bayangkan, menikah atas dasar cinta itu tercela hukumnya! Jadi kalau mau menikah, jodohmu harus dipilihkan oleh keluarga atau mak comblang atau yah...pemilik biro jodoh. Karena banyak sekali yang harus dipertimbangkan. Kasta, penghasilan, jumlah anggota
Sep 17, 2014 Tze-Wen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zama's debut novel reads like a modern day version of Pride and Prejudice, but he takes us to the thriving East-Indian town of Vizag instead of a more Western setting. Although there is plenty of romance to go around, many other issues are slipped into the narrative to keep it from becoming just another chick-lit. And believe me, it really is more than that. Granted, the book doesn't offer any serious in-depth discussions of controversial (?) topics, but the clash of the traditional and the ...more
Sep 26, 2010 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"
Shelves: southasia
I finished this book yesterday afternoon and have already begun forgetting it.

Not that this was an awful book. In fact, fans of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and its oeuvre would probably find this book's simplistic writing, facile plot, and exotic setting charming and quaint. For a curmudgeon like me, though, books like this are way too lightweight. I felt like I was reading a children's book.

"The Marriage Bureau for Rich People" basically offers up a slice of life in an Indian village. Mr
Jun 10, 2010 Miz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Mr. Ali finds retirement to be less than thrilling, he decides to fill his days by running a matchmaking service to help arrange marriages. As the service grows, so does the breadth of the story. Whether helping a clueless client understand how best to present himself or arguing with his wife over the behavior of their activist son, Mr. Ali's finding retirement less than relaxing.

Though the book is an easy read with a happy ending, it touches on a number of interesting themes in an easy ha
Retnadi Nur'aini
Apr 22, 2011 Retnadi Nur'aini rated it really liked it
Rezeki, jodoh, maut ada di tangan Tuhan. Tentu saja, ini merupakan aksioma--suatu kebenaran yang tak terbantahkan. Namun, karena dalam agama Islam Allah juga menganjurkan umat-Nya untuk berikhtiar, maka kita juga harus berupaya menemukan jodoh kita dan tidak duduk duduk diam saja berpangku tangan.

Salah satu bentuk ikhtiar yang diyakini Mr Ali, seorang pensiunan Muslim di India, adalah dengan membuka biro jodoh. Dengan memanfaatkan ruang iklan surat kabar, setumpuk kartu pos, dan beranda rumahnya
Farahad Zama, satu lagi penulis India yang sukses setelah hijrah ke Barat (London). Pria kelahiran Vizag, India, ini sewaktu masih di tanah airnya bekerja di bank. Lalu, kariernya membawanya mendarat di London yang kemudian menjadi tanah airnya yang kedua.

Tampaknya, pergi dan menetap di Barat, merupakan impian kebanyakan orang India, seperti digambarkan dalam film/novel The Namesake karya Jhumpa Lahiri, penulis India lainnya yang telah lebih dulu menuai sukses di Barat (Amerika).

Tetapi, walaup
Apr 05, 2010 Truly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Semoga perkawinanmu langgeng!
Chiranjeeva soubhagyavatee bhava

Ucapan dan doa yang selalu diberikan bagi pengantin baru

Pada awal cerita hingga setengahnya buku ini masih bercerita mengenai hal-hal yang ringan juga lucu. Hal-hal yang sering terjadi disekitar kita. Setelah setengahnya, baru hal-hal yang serius muncul.

Kisahnya sebenarnya sederhana saja, mengenai bagaimana sebuah keluarga muslim di India membuka biro jodoh dalam usaha mengisi waktu luang setelah pensiun. Cerita sederhana ini diramu de
Dec 27, 2010 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-authors, 2010
I picked up this book expecting it to be a bathtub read, and it was. It was also angering in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

For one thing, it would have made a better play than a novel. Half the book takes place in one of three main scenes, and with the focus being on relationships, the play format would have done the topics presented a great service.

Secondly, the characters are seriously two-dimensional and I can't bring myself to care about them at all.

This goes doubly for the Activist!S
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. The title does sound very "McCall Smith"-ish, or even Vish-Puri-ish, but fortunately it was not written by a Westerner winking over the heads of his characters to the Western reader, saying, "Aren't these people cute?" The characters don't speak pidgin English, either, which is a relief--and makes sense since they are speaking to each other in their own languages.

It's not a mystery novel, just a life-novel with a light touch--which touche
Mia Prasetya
Pinjaman dari Momo, rekomendasi oleh Qui.
Yang pasti saya suka banget dengan covernya. Lebih bagus ketimbang versi barat sana.

Masalah cerita ternyata cukup ringan, membahas tentang seluk beluk perjodohan ala India. Sempet bingung sih awalnya, ini buku mau dibawa ke mana ya arahnya?
Konfliknya cukup datar dan ga sampai bikin hati deg-degan. Yang ada sih saya ngeces terus. Bagaimana tidak? Setiap adegan yang berurusan dengan makanan diuraikan cukup detil oleh sang pengarang. Pengen makan manisan ja
Jun 22, 2009 Cathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: multi-cultural
A charming village story, one that hits the right notes of character and setting. No big surprises, but the experience is so engaging I can't imagine any real complaints. A sincere recommendation.

Marriage is a most sacred relation...Remember the verse in the Quran: Your wives are a garment to you as you are a garment to them. The garment is worn next to our bodies; so should a husband and wife be. Just as a garment hides our nakedness and defects, so should the husband and wife keep each other's
Sep 17, 2009 Geetha rated it really liked it
A delightful book ! Mr. Ali, having recently retired, starts a marriage bureau to keep himself busy and out of his wife's way. His assistant is Aruna. The story revolves around the marriage bureau, Mr. Ali's family and Aruna's family. The book has a simple plot and is an easy read. There is plenty of humour. But the book, I found is deceptively simple. There is so much wisdom in the book about life, and relationships in general but marriage in particular. The message of the book about marriage ...more
May 25, 2014 Jerica rated it it was amazing
I really didn't have a clue what I was getting into when I started this book; the back cover didn't tell me much about what type of book would be. I bought it on sale at BAM and it has sat on my bookcase ever since. Today I was looking for a book to sit outside and read on the porch;I grabbed this one and settled in. I read the whole thing in just over four hours. I was blown away. This book may be fiction, but it taught me so much about a religion I knew nothing about. I am going to recommend ...more
Sep 07, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. It was a gorgeous and fascinating slice of South Indian life. Particularly focusing on marriage and family relationships. I feel like I got a glimpse into what it would be like to be a woman in India. There were stories of hope and also some sad pictures of the harsh realities many face there, but overall an uplifting experience. The narration couldn't have been better. The musical lilt of Indian-accented English was so beautiful to listen to--it even seeped into my ...more
Indrani Sen
Jul 26, 2016 Indrani Sen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: india
A very sweet book with a positive outlook. How contemporary India is balancing her past with her future. A very well written, very sweet story based in Vizag. The characters are well drawn, if not very deep. Thoroughly enjoyed.
indri juwono
Feb 15, 2010 indri juwono rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ayu yudha
Recommended to indri by: lulu rahman
Shelves: asia-land, a-gift
#2010-13# hadiah dari lulu

Bagaimana mencari jodoh yang sesuai dengan keinginan anda?

Salah satu caranya adalah melalui biro jodoh. Di India, untuk agama Hindu dengan sistem kastanya, agak sulit menemukan calon mempelai yang benar-benar sesuai. Perjodohan untuk menemukan kompromi yang terbaik. Humor-humor cerdas yang diungkapkan dalam buku ini datang dan pergi, dijalin dalam sudut pandang keluarga Muslim India yang memiliki biro jodoh ini, namun mereka sangat berpikiran terbuka terhadap perbedaan
Niratisaya Niratisaya

Halaman pertama cukup menyita konsentrasi. Maaf sebelumnya, tapi pada saat membaca halaman-halaman pertama, saya langsung menutupnya dan membatalkan niat membaca. Baru seminggu kemudian saya memutuskan untuk meraih novel yang tersimpan manis di tumpukan buku baru ini. Bertekad melanggar kebiasaan saya untuk membaca dengan tertib, dari halaman pertama sampai akhir secara berurutan, jari-jari saya langsung membuka Bab Satu dan membacanya pada saat itu juga hingga halaman terakhir. Pagi-p
Valerie Penny
Apr 20, 2015 Valerie Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People is the debut novel by Farahad Zama set in the beautiful town of Vizag in South eastern India. The author was born there in 1966 and the colourful coastal town with a contemporary marriage bureau prove a perfect backdrop for a splendid array of characters making sense of all sorts of pride and prejudice, and the ways in which true love will not quite let go. This is a witty and big-hearted debut novel, which I would not have chosen had it not been book of the ...more
Jul 09, 2009 Gypsi rated it really liked it
With The Marriage Bureau for Rich People, Mr. Zama brings the reader into the colorful world of present-day India, where some marriages are still arranged and caste and/or religion can still be a factor in deciding a good match.

Our protagonist, Mr. Ali is retired and his retirement has begun to weigh on both him and his wife. To fill out his free time, he opens a marriage bureau. This will function as a time saver and be more discreet for those who would like to advertise for a match for themsel
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri, #1)
  • Imaginary Men
  • Bitter Sweets
  • Ladies Coupé
  • Family Planning
  • Indian Maidens Bust Loose
  • The Village Bride of Beverly Hills
  • Bombay Time
  • Darjeeling: A Novel
  • The Hindi-Bindi Club
  • Girl Mary
  • Bollywood Confidential
  • In the Convent of Little Flowers
  • The Second Death Of Goodluck Tinubu (Detective Kubu, #2)
  • Love Marriage
  • Daughter of the Ganges: A Memoir
  • Desirable Daughters
  • Det är något som inte stämmer
Farahad Zama was born in Vizag on the Eastern coast of India in 1966. After obtaining a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering at Kharagpur, near Kolkata, he moved to Mumbai to work for an investment bank. An arranged marriage to a Vizag girl soon followed. His career took him to New York, Zurich and Luxembourg and finally brought him to London for six ...more
More about Farahad Zama...

Other Books in the Series

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (4 books)
  • The Many Conditions of Love
  • The Wedding Wallah
  • Mrs Ali's Road to Happiness

Share This Book

“There is no point in getting rich if we lose our soul along the way.” 23 likes
“We struggle so much for money, power and love, but the world doesn't care. It just goes round and round in its own circle” 11 likes
More quotes…