The fine art of catfishing and how not to find a wife in 2015


It’s 2015, but people are still looking for spouses the old-fashioned way. The old-fashioned way, of course, being like this:

Let’s face it, everyone has a picture of their ideal mate in mind together with a list of deal-breakers, but it takes a certain kind of egotist to be quite so specific. And last week, this guy’s ad – in which he outlined exactly what it was that he was looking for in a wife – went viral after a Twitter user uploaded a screengrab to the social media platform and captioned it “douchebag of the day”.


Kholvads are understood to be a sect of Indians who claim to be descended from Italians – the by-product of having both their lands and bloodlines colonised back in the day, so they say.

After seeing this ad, one girl decided to school this particular Kholvad on his fussy nature.

Kholvad 1
She claimed that maybe it was taqdeer – fate – that they met, but all he seemed to care about was the fact that she claimed to be an aalima – a woman learned in Islamic Studies.

He totally fell for it. And Fatima (most likely not her real name) really got into it – escaping the conversation by claiming she had a croquet game to play (as one does).

Kholvad 2

The next day, the conversation resumed.

Kholvad 3

but it had barely begun before it was over forever, as “Fatima” outlined her own outlandish requirements and responded with a whole lot of feistiness, before saying goodbye, forever.

Fatima explained that she and her friends were accustomed to playing snooker after Ishraaq (a short prayer performed just after sunrise) – again, as one does.

Kholvad 4

She let him down slowly. While he was definitely a “haaro poiro” (directly translated, “good boy”), the poiro Fatima is looking for is ideally a Brad Pitt-lookalike with shoulder-length hair (a zulfa) and a glorious beard (is she being fussy enough yet?)

Perhaps some panchat aunties in his family – these are the old, nosy and troublesome ones who love drama and consider themselves the ultimate matchmakers – are a better port of call for Kholvad guy to find his dream girl than the local newspaper’s classifieds section.

Catfishing isn’t very nice, but perhaps this has taught Kholvad guy and his ilk a little something about subtlety.

– Featured image: By Thomsonmg2000 via Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I liked the structure of the article and explanations of the terminology. I remember the documentary which took its title from an off the cuff story about how fisherman use catfish … didn’t know that “catfishing” became the verb. But technically this would only be “catfishing” if Kholvad guy was deceitful in his ad … our croquet and snooker playing aalima on the other hand!

  2. Biggest load of crap that I’ve ever read in my life. The girl that responded was born in a stable. “Maaf this, maaf that. I dont even message male family members”. Really? How idiotic. She doesnt seem pious. She just sounds like an inbred freak.

  3. Pray tell us what you deem is an acceptable method or way of finding a spouse? I don’t see you criticising the bachelor or other methods that people you perhaps find a more western approach more acceptable?
    I ask you this…. how have you become judge and jury on other people’s choices. As a journalist for such a shoddy publication I’m not surprised that you chose to humiliate an individual by publishing his number?
    You claim that this guy published it himself…
    Did you find that out for a fact?
    Did you phone this individual and confirm that it was indeed he who published the ad?
    You have and cred as immature irresponsible schoolgirl that is standing on the privileged side of the playground.
    You have bullied and humiliated these people especially by publishing his number on your Facebook and Twitter page.
    He was pranked, but you, who calls herself a human rights activist chose to harm an individual by publicly humiliating him.
    Shame on you!

    You Don the hijaab in your pictures but your actions speak of a western mentality. Do you think dating on campus is better then what these two have chosen to do?
    Who are you to decide?
    Freedom of press and speaking ones mind has social consequences. I hope you realise that. I don’t expect an apology. I’m acting as a muslimah who has the ability to see the other side. It’s called critical thinking. I’m not sure if you aware of this. Your point of view is immature and childish.
    Perhaps a publication such as the daily Sun is where your calling lies, because many are outraged at how you’ve chosen to write this article and the tone you chose.

    You speak of the village in kholvad and again you use supposition and your immature theory…probably based on what mummy and daddy told you and musings of people on campus… again. …responsible journalism requires research. .. don’t simply write what you think. When you speak factually…attempt a little bit of research… Google is very helpful. If you’d like the Web address I’d be more then happy to provide it.

    You should sit and ask yourself what could the potential consequences be if i write something. Wars have started because of something someone wrote.

    Reflect and consider…..or else get a refund from Wits

  4. @Reyaaz and @madeeha: you are aware that Fatima isn’t real and this person is pranking him.

    @farhana: do you find the ad as follows:
    1. Sexist
    2. Objectifying women
    3. Belittling women
    4. Demeaning women
    5. Insulting the sanctity of marriage and it’s purpose
    6. Lacking subtlety and humility
    7. Arrogant in its tone
    8. Disrespectful to women

    What’s the right way to get a bride? Perhaps as the author suggests, give the nosy aunties something to do. Even be specific on her looks as this is obviously the main criterion for him. But DON’T go to the local papers and ask the “Beautiful pious women” to what’s app their “extremely stunning pictures” to you. Does anyone see an obvious contradiction in asking a pious Muslim woman to send a strange man their pictures?? A little bit of subtlety goes a long way. Being careful of the tone you portray also helps. This sort of ad is a magnet for pranksters and hopefully it will teach Mr Kholvad a lesson in humility and more important respect.

    @Farhana you make some points in your emotional response but resorting to ad hominem attacks on the author (western mentality; calling her a hypocrite; get a refund from wits; shoddy journalism) dilutes your message

  5. @Ed – I think the mistake was to only make reference to catfishing at the end of the article and then only as an aside to state that “catfishing isn’t very nice”. Time was take to explain all other terminology that may only be familiar to SA Indian Muslims – but leaving this to end and in just one sentence, placed the guy in poor light and Croquet Aalima as the heroine. Sure she exposed his quest by having her own dubious ideal of a pious husband (which was funny), but his ad was aiming for the tiniest of demographics in any case: beautiful, pious AND willing to send pics over whatsapp! Despite his method and easy fun that can be made of his chosen flies to catch his fish, most readers would wish him well – there is a bella ragazza out there for him – but your readers clearly didn’t learn who was doing the catfishing.


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