My Mom was visiting me in Chennai, and she silently let it slip that my Dad and she were looking for a suitable girl for my marriage. I was shocked to say the least. I know, it is inevitable, but still…

This is another of the real life cases where there is ‘Information Asymmetry’, ala used cars, . But, a more relevant technical discussion here would entail Linear Equations

You can consider the problem of finding the ‘perfect’ girl ( or a boy, for a girl ), as a linear equation, where you are trying to maximize or minimize ( does not really matter ) the objective function, subject to certain constraints. But the similarity ends there.

In Mathematics, you consider all the possible solutions simultaneously, and choose the optimum one. ( In fact, you don’t need to consider all options, as the solution would lie on the boundary. So, you need to consider only the boundary solutions ).

But here, you cannot consider all the possible solutions simultaneously. You have to consider them sequentially. Now, that would prevent you from finding the optimum solution, as do not know if the some solution in the future would be better than the present one. ( Married guys…sounds familiar !!! )

So, what happens is, people decide on some important constraints that need to be necessarily met, something like a ‘satisfysing solution’. It is not optimum, but it is sufficient. Surely, you can not keep looking for the perfect girl, simply because you would soon be old, and be thrown out of the marriage market.

Another way to look at it would be in terms of ‘ local optimum’. That is, in the set of solution that you can possibly evaluate, this is the best solution. In real life terms – Of all the girls you met, or you could possibly meet, or hope to marry, choose the best one, a ‘local optimum’ ( not a ‘global optimum’ ), and then start praying.

I have already started praying !!!