We all go through a lot of similar experiences. And while we bond over similar interests, the overlaps in our concerns and experiences bring us closer as well. Here’s an experience that I had, being a single girl in her 20s. Did you go through the same?
Aww.. Excited about scrolling down to find cheesy pick up lines for your next date? Sorry honey, D.I.L. is Daughter-in-Law here. Disappointed? Guess what, life knocks you over once in while, and sometimes, you get knocked up as well! But that’s not the story here either.
So, after last night’s firing from my parent’s side, today was Mr.X’s family’s turn. I woke up suddenly because of my mom’s voice and for a change, she wasn’t shouting to tell me how late it was. As I looked at my phone, I realised it was almost noon. I was puzzled how I wasn’t told to get up early. Almost as if she read my mind, my mom explained,“We thought fresh lagegi if we let you sleep.”
“Oh! Why was this concept of beauty sleep not practised all my life?” I wanted to ask. Then, I noticed she was carefully placing a saree on my bedside. She had conned me into buying that one for my cousin’s marriage. “Saree acchi lagti hai beta, remember Deepika’s saree in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,” she’d said.
A Whole New Day
For the first time in my life I wasn’t excited about wearing new clothes. That had never happened, but I guess these two days had ushered in a long series of “there’s a first time for everything”. Anyway, somehow my mom managed to drape that saree and handed me over the solitaire earrings to finish the “the first look”? And as that happened, my mind was singing a self-pity song on loop, saying, “You are going to be slaughtered today, you poor lamb.”
After all that, we reached the venue for the “meeting”. And I have to admit, my father had done well. I wondered why he’d never arranged a birthday party for me this grand! After making us wait for about one and a half hour, Mr X with family entered the room, full of pride and with judgemental eyes. I wondered if they reached for movies this late as well, or was this their idea of making a VIP entry?
That’s when the party began. Dad asked them to have a seat, and told the waiters to overwhelm their plates with various delicacies. And they started eating as if they’d been fasting from morning. Out of politeness they said, “Bhai sahaab, aap log bhi kuch lijiye,” and I thought to myself, “Haan, bhai, we know humara hi maal hai! But thanks for giving us the permission. We are so obliged!” And with that cue, my parents took some snacks as well.
But, I couldn’t eat. I had lost my appetite last night only. Plus, I was afraid that I will puke because of the disgust I felt. So, I just took a cup of coffee. Once they were well-fed, after two-three servings of food from the waiters and ego-boosting from my parents, “Aapne toh kuch khaaya hi nahi.. Khaaiye na”, the interview begins.
Mr. X’s father, let’s call him uncle ji, clears his throat, and it goes quiet instantly. Like, when a project manager comes around, and employees stop gossiping and start working. Okay, calm down , I told my blood pressure. Play cool.
Uncle Ji starts with the easy ones, “You live in Bangalore?” Monosyllables would do, right? “Yes.” Pause. He is in thought again. My parents gawking as if it’s a TV show. Mr. X is looking at me from the corner of his eyes. Enjoying the view, haan?
Next question, “You want to pursue masters? Like MBA?” Not bad, they actually might be open-minded. “Not as of now. I enjoy working in tech as of now. Would stick to that for sometime. And then will think about M Tech or MBA,” I replied. Now the fun begins. Uncle ji, with horror on his face says, “You don’t want to do MBA?” Did I say no? Do you need a hearing aid, I want to ask? “Don’t know. It’s been only an year, that I have been working.” “But, don’t you think you should know where you want to be?” Not here in this room, for sure. “I have time to figure out.” “Hmm.” Was I just subtly notified, being a software engineer is worthless?
“What are your hobbies?” “Reading mostly.” “So, what about shopping?” You have been married to woman only, right? Certainly, she looks like a woman.. “I thought, that was implicit.” I reply with a not too big shy smile.
Next, it was aunty ji’s turn. Can I ask for a loo break? But hell, there are no cheat sheets hidden in the washroom! After imitating her husband’s posture of an examiner, she asked, “Do you want to work after marriage?” Did we just decide my fate? “100%.” “Okay.” She responds.
Next, “how many girls live with you, in Bangalore?” “Four.”
“So, it’s a PG or a flat?” “A flat.”
“So, you live in sharing?” “Yup.” My dad looks at me on this. Probably “yup” isn’t allowed. It’s a military camp!
Aunty ji was just warming up. “So, you are used to sharing a room. Hmm.” She is talking to herself, I guess, so I choose to stay quiet. She is happy about that. She asks next, “Do guys come into the flat?” Hain? Did we just travel back in time to the 18th century? “Sometimes.” I reply sheepishly.
Wrong answer, it’s third degree time. “Why?” she follows up.
Because they are friends? And we invite them? “Sometimes to drop me from office when it gets late or when we have plans.” Not bad! Lying is becoming easy now.
Sawaal ka sawaal hai
“So they come in the afternoon or evening?” Anytime we have plans. For night outs too, I was tempted to say, just to see her kyunki saas bi kabhi bahu thi reaction. “Afternoon.” She looks satisfied now. I wonder, what would have happened if I had answered ‘afternoons’.
This was character round. Now, was the time for ghar ke kaam round.
“So do you have a cook there?” Obviously!! “Yes.”
“So, is it a male cook or female cook?” Try finding a decent cook in Bangalore, it’s not easy. “Male.” Judgemental hmms all over the room.
“So, you must be having a maid as well?” “Yes.”
“Looks like, you live a comfortable life.” She retorts. Yeah, I can afford it, you know! “Yes. It becomes difficults manage everything.”
Ek crore ka sawaal, sorry, paanch crore ka. “Do you know how to cook?” See, that’s the best part about aunty ji, jalebi jaisi seedhi hai! “Little bit.” I reply.
Pappu pass ho gya moment, because uncle ji says to dad, “Bhaai sahab, ab baccho ko baat karne dete hain. Aakhir mein toh inhi ka faisla hai. Humne aur aapne to jo thoda bahut puchna tha, puch lia.” I chuckle inside. “Kisko lallu bana rahe ho, uncle?
I get up on my mom’s sign, looking at my unfinished coffee, with a sigh.
About the author:
This blog has been authored by Nikita Jindal. A Kindle fan-girl, Nikita is a master software engineer, an avid reader and a lover of all food vegetarian.