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?
Wondering if this will be another happy story about some random girl who met her perfect guy and just wants to rub it in and make you feel dejected? No. It’s not like that. I have a very strong feeling you will rather end up finding a ray of sunshine for your life. And now that I remember, the coffee was never even ordered!
So, where were we? Yes, Mr X and I were told to go talk for some 30 minutes or so, to decide our fate. Ridiculous, I know. As we were leaving the room, for “the talk” (our parents kept looking at us like Golum does in LOTR and, that’s not me, exaggerating), my cousin was told to escort us till the coffee shop. And, bam! The fashionista, inside me just committed a crime, after all, who sits in a coffee shop in bloody saree in biting 16 degrees? Oh, yes, that’s me.
So, once I sat down, my cousin just gave me that “you are on your own” look and left. Shit, what the hell am I supposed to say. For the first time, I looked at Mr X and saw him ogling at me like Howard used to at women in the first season of Big Bang Theory! Ewww, right. But sadly, I couldn’t get out of there with that reason.
Mr X dared to start the conversation. He said, “When did you come to Delhi?” “Some days back.” I answered. It’s my turn to ask now, “My father told me that you don’t drink, is that true?” “Hmm. I drink with colleagues. But I lied to your father.” Ohkay.. “By , saying you are a teetotaller ?” I further ask. “I had to.” He replied. Whatever. “Do you drink?” he continued. “Yes.” I say. “But some of my friends told me that you can’t party in Bangalore. Clubs shut down way too early. Delhi me toh party scene is way better,” he added. “But then, we get to take the party back home,” I cut him off in between. And that’s how you do it!
And then the waiter comes, asking if we want something. I thought a coffee will be nice. But, before I could say something, rather anything , Mr X replies, “No. Thanks. Water will be just fine.” Oh, Really! I so missed my credit card in that moment. If I had it my way, I would have slammed him a cup of coffee as well with my plastic money.
Next, he asks, “Are you prepared for marriage? I mean you are pretty young.” And still you are sitting here, my mind shouts silently at him. FYI, he was five years older to me or, rather is.“Don’t know, really.” Change the topic, I tell my brain and ask, “What are your career aspirations? I mean what’s next for you?” This brought a huge pride on his face, “I am doing pretty good you know, making xyz amounts per annum. I am at the top of my game.” Okay, shut up, I want to yell , but he goes on for sometime. After some awkward silence, I say hesitantly, “I don’t think I am housewife material, so if things work out, I want to keep working. Will that be a problem?” “Nahi nahi. Chill hai! Dekh lenge woh toh.” That’s the problem. How can my career be just “chill hai”?
Before, I can retaliate, he asks, “Which was the last movie you watched?” “Piku,” I answer. Another male chauvinist reply comes on my way. “I didn’t like it. First of all, I don’t like Deepika and then, Deepika did a lot of chik chik.” First of all, did I ask your opinion? NO! And then, how can anybody not like Deepika? And just because Piku is about an independent woman who can take care of herself, it comes into the category of “chik chik”? This is a 10/10 nonsense.
Next round, “any relationships I should know about?” he scorns. I so wanted to reply that I had boyfriends throughout my life and there is still one waiting in Bangalore. (I have been single from sometime, btw), but I didn’t really bother. He was making this decision really easy for me now.
Then I think he lost his mind. He asked, “Are you judgemental?” I mean, really. Probably that’s the reason he is sitting here. “Not really,” I replied. I was actually getting interested now, counting how many blunders he will make in such a small span of time to make it easy for me to get out of this mess.
“Are you fuss?” Really, even if I am, will I admit? “No.” I was sticking with mono-syllables now. I was really controlling my pity for him with a lot of effort.
And the final question I was waiting for, “I have a lot of friends, and I travel a lot with them and it’s amazing to be on vacations with friends, you know.” I zoned out as I used to in maths class throughout college. And suddenly these words bring me back, “Are you fun to hang out with?” This guy is definitely high on something! I was offended for a second.
And, then Aunty Ji arrived at the right cue with my cousin behind her. Yayy! This bullshit is over. I got up and followed my cousin and made a puking face towards my mom waiting in the corner.
After another round of “Aapne toh kuch khaaya hi nahi.” and “kal tak batate hain. Bas ab toh baccho ke upar hai,” they started to leave. And Mr X politely turned towards me and asked, “Do you want to meet again or this is it?” I just gave a Colgate smile to see them off. “Not a chance, honey” I said under my breath.
After we reached home, mom and dad started interrogating me while giving me a jacket, so that I stop shivering. Oh wait, I am a human, not a polar bear? Till the time I got cozy with a hot cup of coffee (finally!), they kept on discussing about how they felt and to my shock they saw Mr X in a completely different light. They concluded that he is a well-educated, open-minded guy. They never got to see the side of him, the way I did.
I didn’t give a damn as well, I knew that I will have to put my foot down. And then suddenly Eureka, finally, my father found his wisdom and asked me, “What do you think? Did you like him?” And I told them every part of the conversation (leaving out some, of course), and I was ready to go all “Sheldon” on them with my complete list of “10 reasons that Mr X is nuts” on my fingertips.
But before I could start, dad said, “ I didn’t raise you to be a trophy wife for someone. I guess I wasn’t able to read them correctly. We will call this off. You start packing. You have a flight to catch tomorrow.”
I was speechless, and suddenly all my rage for this carefully executed plot was replaced with relief and peace. Probably another one of “post-this too shall pass” moments.
It’s been some time after all this. I still laugh about all this with my friends, even my parents sometimes, but I still don’t know what to take away from this episode or accident, I should say. Should I generalise the weirdness involved with arranged marriages and the characteristics of men or should I still keep an open mind to things and take things as they came?
The one thing though that I know clearly now is that the generation gap we keep cribbing about all the time is never going to really go away. We may not, rather do not get our parents ways many times. But, we can’t really deny the fact that our parents are trying their best to adapt to our kind of lifestyle.
They may not always get our choices, but I guess they are ready to keep an open mind about them. Why? Because, the way they love us, is of the purest kind, and we take that for granted sometimes. (And, they know it).
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.