Thursday, April 17, 2008

Naren gets married - #3 Courting disaster

In all great works of history (like this one, for instance) it is important to be impartial and tell you some bad things about the great one being historied, so that people know that the great one is for real.

You know, the main problem with, say, Akbar is that all his historians would go on about how wise he was, how fair, how brave, how kind and so on, causing skeptics to wonder if the guys who wrote those things weren't made to sit before a large chap with a sharp sword and irascible nature. If only those historians would have told us that Akbar used to wash his undies in the sink, or make loud noises while eating his Jodha Special Khichdi, one might have believed the hagiographies.

So, in this post, we shall recount a few shortcomings of our great hero, Naren. These were discovered during courtship.

The courtship started with phone calls. I started getting calls from Sheela which initially were

1. How are you?
2. How are your parents?
3. How are your sisters?
4. How is Bombay?

To which my replies were

1. Great
2. Great
3. Great
4. Great. How is Mysore?

Great, she would reply and I would go around town with a smug expression for being such a smooth talker where the fair sex was concerned. "Regular Casanova you are, my lad", I would say to myself, though not aloud as one did not wish to brag.

This, I later found out, wasn't quite the standard. I made a trip to Mysore where we went around the quaint little city with its broad avenues, stately homes, large royal people and places known as Iyengar messes which did an all you can eat for Rs.5/-

These things form a bond, as you'd readily appreciate, and Sheela and I started talking a little less formally. I still got electric shocks when her hand accidentally touched mine, but now they were the regular 440 V shocks, not the 12000 volt killers of the early days.

"Tell me something about yourself" she'd say and I would go

"Er, Well, I, well, you know, that is to say, I think Ayn Rand is a terrible writer". It speaks highly of young Sheela's character that she did not pick up a rock and bean me with it, though she came within an ace of it. Breeding will tell.

Eventually, I learnt that I was supposed to have qualitative opinions on things rather than quantized, deterministic responses. It was not cool to go to a store, see one shirt and buy it because it is your size, you can afford it and it does not have a frilly collar. Those are necessary conditions, but not sufficient. One had to see twenty seven of them, decide which one is better, which one is not too loud, too soft, too dull, too bright and so on.

But, dear reader, while I was nowhere in the top league as a shopper, I managed to perfect the art of talking to girls. Here is a primer

1. Never say yes or no.
2. Begin all your sentences with "I think"
3. Agree with everything she says.
4. Rephrase an opinion you have heard your fiancée utter and quote it back to her. She will think you are sound. For example

She: I think Madhu aunty is such a snob
You: Ithink, you know, I don't know if you agree with it, it is such an impulsive thing to say, but you know Madhu aunty? I think she's a snob.

And she will fold you in her arms, shutting her eyes, and thank God for giving her such a sensitive and SOUND fiancé.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Shenoy, a comic strip about a man and wife won't be a bad idea. Narendra Shenoy joins the league of Bill Watterson and Scott Adams. I can see the headlines already.

Vijay said...

Narendra, this is getting better and better..I have one thing that happened to be in the "courtship" phase... wont say what it is yet... just so I can see if it happened to you as well...

P.S: Do all these posts have Madam's blessings?

PREETI said...

Hahahahahahaha! The Tales of Mr.Shenoy never cease to amaze...

and yea, the comic strip would work out perfect too... ;)

Drenched said...

ROFL!!! I agree with Gradwolf's idea! Do a comic strip. It's gonna be a hit. :D
SOUND? Hahaha, reminds me of this bookmark I saw with a cousin once. It read: "My English is sound. In my wife's English, there's only sound."


Swetha said...

Those are some sly moves!

It was such a cute post, you should consider writing Fiction :D

V said...

hahahaha, dude, i gotta take down these pointers.. my loud mouth has got me into trouble innumerable times and my only defense has been "i was just telling you what i thought" which apparently is not the right answer.. like you mentioned, it should change to "i was just telling you what YOU thought"

Praveen G K said...

Mr. Shenoy, are you sure that your better half doesn't see these posts? Or maybe 440V shock waves would get transformed to 440000 killer waves :-)
Nice post, eh :-)

SK said...

First time here, your posts are hilarious! :--)

>>You: Ithink, you know, I don't know if you agree with it, it is such an impulsive thing to say, but you know Madhu aunty? I think she's a snob.

Did you actually say that? :--)

OK said...

Maybe you should divide the entire story into 20 chapters and develop a course. It could be titled "How to keep your fiancee for 3 months without getting fired".

Rada said...


Such wisdom! I wish you had posted this 20 years ago & I could have saved myself quite a bit of heartache!! :-D

Nice post. First time here!


narendra shenoy said...

People, thanks for all your support. Today, 17th of April, I complete 16 years of happily married life, happily defined as married without a single instance of a broken jaw, dislocated hip, contused and lacerated wound and other marital hazards so common among the Neanderthals.

The wife has no clue I spend hours typing slanderous stuff like this (I think she believes I'm downloading pornography) and as you can well imagine, if anyone should tell her to read my blog, my eye might be much blacker than it normally is.

If you are into blackmail, send your ransom notes discreetly to If not, have a drink on me!

Anonymous said...

awesome! let me be the first to wish you! happy anniversary mr. shenoy!

may you continue this journey for years to come! and of course, don't forget the blog.


i seriously think a print out of all the blog posts about Missus is a good idea for a gift. Even better would be a book of them. But that maybe you could wait till you are 25(both of you i mean).

PREETI said...

Happy Happy Anniversary to you AND your Missus!

And yea, echoing gradwolf, PLEASE don't forget the blog!

Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

16 years? Congrats, old chap. Wish you very many years of the same, non-broken jawed bliss!

narendra shenoy said...

@gradwolf - Thanks for the wishes. And thanks for the comic strip suggestion. I'll make a few panels and put it up on the blog. Who knows, maybe I'll be the next mickey mouse.

@preeti - Thanks, babe!

@BPSK - Thanks, brother.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

quite the smooth talker eh? seriously, you should have called this post "naren the babe killer" would be killing the babes yes, maybe not quite the way you have envisioned tho.

incidentally i had done a whole series on matrimonial meetings a couple of years ago - will dig out link and share ( not propaganda no..i swear!) ..more becoz u will realize how much worse it is if you are a femme!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

happy anniversary!

Rada said...

No nervous tic-s?
No palpitations?
No waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat?

Way to go, man!

Happy Anniversary!


Drenched said...

Wow! Anniversary et al, huh? Congrats!! What did the missus get? If it's less than something like three-four diamond sets, pliss to be giving her email id. Some smart people would like to incite her. *polishes her horns*
Perhaps when your marriage turns adult two years from now, you can hand her your full-fledged book, written by Naren, the Smartass Wodehouse-ian.

Praveen G K said...

Mr. Shenoy, A very happy wedding anniversary :-)

Maddy said...

man - did u really mean that - that ayn rand is a bad writer...that i wont agree with, but the rest i agree with...

happy anniversary to the two of you...

Lakshmi said...

With your art of speaking to girls perfected, you would escape those dislocated jaws etc. for another sixteen years, provided Mrs. does not stumble into this blog. Happy Anniversary.
First time here. Impressed enough to know that it won't be the last.

narendra shenoy said...

Thanks a million, everybody.

Cynic, it will be interesting to see this from the woman's point of view. I'm keeping an eye skinned

Rada- I do suffer from those symptoms, but only once in a while, like when I have something stupid like buying a membership to a timeshare or spilling coffee on the white silk shirt.

Drenched - The missus is getting the cheapest watch I can get away with. We went yesterday to a place called "Swiss Boulevard" which gave me a few heart attacks. I'm trying to interest her in something by the Chang Ho Watch Company so reputed in GuangZhou and sold in great profusion by a dear old man outside Malad Railway Station. But wily old Sheela is still not convinced they are better than Tag Heuer.

Praveen - Thanks!

Maddy - Thanks! I still think Ayn Rand is a poor writer from a skills point of view. Her "philosophy" is another thing.

Lakshmi - Thanks! One gets by!

rads said...

Happy anniversary! Wishing you and the Mrs another fun-filled 16 and more ahead! :)