(About time this thing was done with no? I think so too. I mean, how long am I going to keep on and on about one subject of discussion when there is so much more to write about! shabba! Anyway, this is last in the series, until further events spur more such posts. I'm not married yet, so there's a LOT more to come from me.)
Apparently, when my father came to meet my mother, my mother’s two younger sisters aka my dearly beloved aunts, looked out the window and checked him out. Their report was that he wore nice shoes and hence my mother should just marry this person. My father, in his 30s was fit, what with army training and all that jazz, had this thick mallu-looking moustache, and so on. My mother’s younger brother was convinced that my father would beat my mother up! (Aside: when my mother was in her 20s, she was a babe! Gorgeous dusky skin and doe-eyed beauty. She’s still beautiful. She was one of those unattainables and my uncle thought some rough-looking, brawny, grew-up-in-Kannambra-village army officer may not be the right person for his delicate darling older sister! A look at their wedding picture will tell you that my mother was too pretty for my dad but hell, worse shit has happened in this world so whatever) His logic was, army man, all that rum-drinking would inspire some serious rage that would, in all probability, get re-directed on my mother’s face. It never did. That’s beside the point, but when you’re a brother, you think these things no? Mine doesn’t, but that could be a 21st century, evolution thing or simply the fact that I’m the diametrical opposite of the damsel in distress archetype.
However, my parents did meet and when they did meet, sparks or some such happened and they knew. Hence, a few months after that meeting in December 1982, they got engaged and in November 1983, they got married and continue to live in their version of happily ever after. My grandfather’s prediction of, “He’s an army officer, he’ll be healthy” (!!!!!) came true. My dad’s 61, he’s still fit and his once legendary mallu mane is now kind of balding, his moustache has some grey in it. He inspires my male friends into fitness regimes. They’re too scared to talk to him, but they think he’s awesome because he’s this fit and flat-stomached at his age. My mother went on to be the classic English teacher everyone is in love with archetype in school. She’s now principal of said school.
The thing is, somewhere in this meet suitable boy rigmarole of Indian arranged marriages, some people do find that one person they think they can spend the rest of their lives with and they do spend the rest of their lives with them. Now, I don’t know if it is a generation thing. I don’t know if it is because we’re Indian and family is bigger than just about everything else. I do know that I’ve seen many a happily married arrangedly married couple. In this entire saga, I did meet one interesting boy. We’ll call him R. He was tall and good-looking. Grew up in Chennai, which is an effing miracle because then he’d understand my stupidity and all the galeej nonsense language that I sometimes launch into. We’d both be equally awkward with our Malayalam, etc,etc,etc. I was a little kicked about meeting him. My family was thrilled! We knew everyone they knew and we knew that it’d turn out great. The night before I was on all fours scrubbing bathroom floors clean and mopping the flat clean and spotless. My aunts, uncle, brother, 10-year-old cousin were actively involved in cleaning and deciding the menu. After a lot of debate (Aside: My family is highly individualistic and extremely opinionated about everything. Other people’s lives included. So, something as simple as let’s give them egg sandwiches will turn into a hot debate about the logistics of executing said sandwiches and so on. This menu-deciding process, as you can gauge, took a lot of time) we decided to go with simple breakfast.
I was achy after a lot of cleaning, my parents were MIA, after I hollered for them, my parents descend the stairs and supervise the cleaning, and then add their own two bit worth of feedback and so on. Sunday morning dawns and I went off to an assignment and came back in time to get dressed and everyone was cooking and other such chaos prevailed. Once I was dressed there was no use for me, so I started reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in a corner while everyone was getting ready. So R and family arrive and introductions are made, I come out and smile in a socially appropriate and acceptable fashion. Serve everyone juice and then it’s time to talk to R. So we talked. He was a smart guy. Was as interested in books and theatre as I am. Lived in New York, bought season tickets to Broadway and other such assorted good things in life. I was thinking to myself, if this works, it’ll be good. So they left and everyone had a good feeling about it. My ten-year-old cousin was most impressed with him. My brother was too. It was all good.
In fact, it was all too good to be true. I got a nasty taste of the materialistic side of things when this proposal didn’t work out. I kept asking and my parents kept avoiding the question. I heard from a very reliable source that there was some talk of money etc. I was a little disillusioned after that. I mean, you meet someone interesting, finally, and it has to go awry! I’m still being viewed on matrimonial websites as a potential wife/daughter-in-law. Let’s see what pops up next!