A London-based bachelor has plastered himself on huge billboards in streets of London and Birmingham to seek a prospective ‘Ms Right’ as his wife.
Muhammad Malik, a 29- year-old banking consultant of Muslim faith, decided to use billboards to advertise himself after his search using traditional methods proved fruitless.
The purple billboards have his picture as a bearded man, lying down and pointing to a simple, but eye-catching message “Save me from an arranged marriage.”
Malik has also set up a website ‘findmalikawife’ where he outlines reasons and provides his profile. The website also includes a creative video introduction of himself, along with a Google form accepting submissions from those interested for a match.
“I actually did find someone and was planning to get married but when the pandemic hit, my freelance work grinded to halt and I shifted my focus to pivoting my career.”
Now, after settling into his new work, he once again decided to try his luck, but soon the second lockdown hit. He was hoping the website will get desired results and he will be successful in his conquest to find a spouse.
The eligible bachelor assures this is not a prank or a joke, but a sincere attempt to find a partner.
“My ideal partner would be a Muslim woman in her 20s,” though he is “open to other ethnicity” also.
“I just haven’t found the right girl yet. It’s tough out there. I had to get a billboard to get seen!” his website reads.
As Malik is “an only child and look after my mom and dad”, this could be a deal broker.
Although Malik’s billboard urges to “save him from arranged marriage”, yet on the website he has clarified he isn’t against the idea completely. “I just want to try and find someone on my own first.”
“I think arranged marriages have a place and tradition in many Islamic cultures. In fact, there are many studies that show that arranged marriages have many advantages,” he says.
Admitting that he has tried online dating and even finding a match through ‘rishta aunties’. “I’m Pakistani Desi, so the first thing we’re told about is the power of the aunties. But that method didn’t work out”.
Dating apps and a dating events, left him feeling “quite awkward,” he told BBC News.
It was only after a friend suggested he should literally advertise himself, he was onboard to try out this quirky idea.
“I’m creative and love doing the most random and absurd things,” he said, and so he gave it a shot.
Billboards have created a ‘huge buzz’ and Malik has received hundreds of messages expressing interest.
“I haven’t had the time to look through yet,” he said. “I need to set some time aside – I hadn’t thought this part through.”
The billboards will stay up till January 14.