Monday, August 30, 2010

How I'm getting married Pt4

(Ok, enough of a back story has been given into the people and events involved in the groom-hunt process. So, I’m going to skip to the part where I met some potential husband-might-be-s at home. These meetings deserve a post each not because the boys were that interesting, only because the event itself was interesting.)

The first time I had to meet a boy at home was May Day 2008. I remember this distinctly because I cancelled on coffee with two of my best and oldest girl friends who I hadn’t met in a very long time just to meet this person. I threw such a huge temper tantrum at home. Turns out that the boy in question, let’s call him A, had a post grad degree in Engineering, works (I think he still does) at L&T and was about 28 at the time. The proposal came to us courtesy my mother’s aunt, who I consider eminently sensible and love to pieces. Everyone was thrilled and my grandmother was gushing over the whole event. My grandmother (maternal) has been in a weird state of mind ever since my grandfather passed away in 2003. She wanted to tom-tom her mourning widowhood to the world. She was also severely depressed and was slowly losing her memory courtesy of a family history of dementia. By 2008, her condition had worsened considerably to the point where most of what she was saying was very in the moment rather than genuine. As of 2010 she thinks I'm cocky because I'm pretty and rich, so I get away with being arrogant and ignoring her all the time. To her, now, 11am and 10pm are the same. That's a whole other can of worms I don't want to open right now...

Prior to A coming home, my parents had gone to meet the A’s aunt and uncle, who live in Chennai and with whom A was living, and arrange for a suitable date for the both of us to meet. I didn’t even know that this was happening and when I found out, I lost my head. I mean, I’m the loser that’s sticking her neck out for this nonsense; will it kill you to at least tell me that this is going on? The response to that is that I don’t need to know and it doesn’t concern me and that it’s an adult thing. Erm, WTF! So, I had to bottle up my indignation and figure out what to do next. That’s around the time when my household went a little nutty. My mother was telling me to wear some “appropriately modest” outfit or some such thing. We finally settled on a salwar kameez that I had no issues with. Then there was the question of jewellery, this is the point where I started yelling my top off. I refused to wear anything but earrings. My mother said I should wear a gold chain. I refused. My mother insisted and said that if I did wear a chain, it would be for the best as she would stop nagging! I gave in at that point. It was too much of an effort to bother any longer.

Our apartment got a good dose of spring cleaning. Everyone got dressed and in the middle of getting the house ready, my grandmother slipped and fell and knicked her forehead! I thought it was a sign. My aunt was yelling because my grandmother was being careless (she’d broken her shoulder a month ago, so we were stressed enough as it is looking after her, last thing we needed was another injury). My brother was thoroughly amused and was plotting his entertainment and joke schedule for the evening (my brother is the guy who everyone loves because he’s the good-looking smart mouth that won’t stop talking and making some lame joke about something lame.) My father was putting on his best father-of-the-bride face. My mother was breaking her head over what to make for tea. And I was seething in a corner, dressed in something green, if I remember right. The guests arrived and that is where this story really begins.

Now, when a potential groom comes home, every half-intelligent Indian girl is expected to display a certain amount of coy. I, of course, possess no such delicate trait! I walked right out when the guests arrived and said hello. My mother, rolling her eyes, kept signalling that I go back inside. I didn’t catch that communication and stood around smiling and avoiding looking at the character that walked in my house in a two-toned purple shirt, black jeans, a ¼ Afro and an f-----g handlebar moustache. Then it was juice-serving time. I went around with a tray of juice, smiled at everyone I served it to and once again took position in some inordinate corner of the living room. All around me people were saying polite things to each other and so on. Finally, the pronouncement was made, “Let them sit alone and talk no?” And we did.

See, this was the first time I was ever doing this, so I was trying very hard to hold back my chortles (no other word really, I was on the brink of some serious laughter.) The conversation lasted about 45 minutes. Apparently this is a very serious thing in such a scenario as this implies that the boy and girl have a lot to say to each other. What people don’t realise is that when the girl in question is a non-stop-mile-a-minute ass like myself, 45 minutes is just a blip and a testament of my skills at eking out a conversation with myself when faced with awkward silence. From generic where do you work, the conversation steered into expectations and so on it was here that A said some truly priceless things like – “I party, but only with boys” (WTF does that mean? I, for one, would have some serious issues processing that); “Your brother talks a lot. Actually, at home, apart from my mother, no one talks, we’re very quiet (I figured then that I wouldn’t last in this situation); “Your brother is a flirt. I’ve seen him with girls in college” (This character was doing his final year M Tech when my brother was in college and has seen him talking to his friends and has hence judged him. Judging my brother = you’re out of my life forever after). However, the clincher was…

… “Your eyebrows have a nice shape. Do you go to the beauty parlour often? How often? Once a week? Every day? Once a month?” (I replied with, “How often I go is not your problem really.”) This comment of his was said in a very snide tone. The kind of tone that made me want to drag him by his moustache and drown him in the Cooum! To add to that, he mentioned something about meeting a girl who was in possession of 100% character (I think in the Malayalee male chauvinist dictionary that means, “She’s a virgin and she’s a docile cow who’ll be quietly obedient and doesn’t care if she has a moustache”). Questions about character in such conversations seriously bother me. Men in this country date women like me and marry the virgins. Girls like me, in Malayalee English we’re called Freaky Girls (Pl don’t be laughing), are the kinds you don’t take home to your mother. By virtue of living a regular city life, wearing smart clothes and speaking English, we’ve ruined our chances of ever getting married to a traditional Malayalee boy. (Note: Traditional Malayalee boys are pigs. They don’t know the R in respect when it comes to women. I won’t be tied to something like that forever!)

After this conversation, it was time for the visitors to leave. I told my father I would never marry this person, even if I was being held at gun point and to please tell them that I didn’t like the guy. My father, brother, aunt and mother were all of the same opinion, so A never became my husband. Which leads us to a boy we’ll call V…

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