Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reminiscenses on the Eve of the Eve of my anniversay

In about 48 hours from now, the missus and I will have been married 18 years. Eighteen years! It seems just yesterday that we were sitting shyly in her uncle's house, discussing God, competitive strategy and favorite colors in an attempt to assess if we were compatible.

For those of you who were born in modern times, arranged marriages included a 10 minute "now boy and girl can talk" session, post the horoscope matching and family background verifying. Till that moment, the ship would be steered exclusively by maamis and maamas. It was only after they adjudged the thing securely in the bag that the prospective protagonists were allowed to have an unsupervised conversation.

We were ushered in to an inner living room. My heart was thudding like the proverbial bass drum. The missus perched some ten feet away on the sofa across the coffee table. Her eyes, I noticed for the first time, were a deep greenish-brown.

I smiled weakly. Completely wacky thoughts were running in my mind. What if I were to burp or something? It would sound so loud. Would she run away in disgust? Had I buttoned my shirt properly? What if she suddenly started singing?

She returned my smile with a shy one of her own. There was just the hint of a dimple on the lower left side of her mouth.

Silence.

I could sense that she expected me to say something but my mouth wouldn't open. I could see her smile wane a little. "I hope he's not a deaf-mute, not that I have a anything against deaf-mutes, just saying" she seemed to be thinking.

I decided to ask her what her hobbies were. Always a good ice-breaker. I opened my mouth to speak and to my complete mortification, heard myself asking "do you believe in God?"

"Yes. Don't you?" came the reply.

Between you and me, what with one thing and another, I've never been able to swallow the God bit. In my dreamy and romantic youth, I had often fantasized about meeting God and demanding, successfully, to be transformed into (at various times) a champion sportsman, a world-famous actor and an irresistible sex symbol but I never managed to achieve the level of gullibility which enables people to go so far as killing each other on the basis of completely unsubstantiated hypotheses.

"Yes, of course" I lied.

That seemed to be the right answer. She smiled again. I managed a grimace.

"What is your favorite color" she asked

To this day, I don't know the right answer to that question. If I'm pouring out a beer, it would be "Golden brown". If I was seated at the local Shetty hotel it would be the "dal tadka" yellow.

"Blue" I told her (or possibly green, don't really recall)

That seemed to please her. I was emboldened. My turn to ask her something. Hmmm. I wasn't clued in to Hindi movies too much, but I knew "favorite picture" or "favorite actor" would be a good bet.

"So, have you read Michael Porter's "Competitive Strategy"?" I found myself asking her.

She turned her eyes plaintively to the door, willing someone to come in and rescue her. And luckily her aunt walked in.

"So? Done?"

"Yes" we replied unanimously.

Little wonder then, that this marriage has lasted eighteen years, and shows all signs of lasting another fifty. Really solid foundations, as I am sure you will agree.

55 comments:

gauri said...

Awww, happy anniversary to you guys - and many more to come! Simplicity is indeed a charm, eh :)

g

Gradwolf said...

Wow eighteen years?! Wish you many happy returns of the day, Mr. Shenoy. More so that we keep getting such blog posts ;)

naren said...

Thanks. It's wonderful, it is.

azaxacavabanama said...

Hahahaha! Happy Anniversary!

preeti said...

cho chweet! you are such a romantic. happy anniversary!

The Neverknown said...

congrats. may the god you (don't) believe in grant mrs.shenoy the serenity to survive this blog (and the blogger) so that we may continue to read it

Idling in Top Gear said...

Happy anniversary, Mr. & Mrs. S.

Ashok said...

Haha. Porter's competitive strategy worked, I notice :) You must find out if other grooms were in the race and you won.

anantha said...

Congratulations. You sir and Mrs. S!

Some of us will be inspired by this recollection. Bookmarking for future reference! Heh!

r said...

Happy anniversary, Mrs. and Mr. S :)

Disclosure: I came here expecting another #shenoy ;)

v_soin said...

ah yes i expected another shenoy too. happy anniv.free

gauri said...

@r:
Another #shenoy after 18 years might be a little too much to um, expect - although nothing that can't be worked out between God and competitive strategy.

sachita said...

"not that I have a anything against deaf-mutes, just sayin" PC even in thoughts? Good one. Happy Anniversary.

Like Krishashok here, I want to know about the others who were in the race too:)

Aruna said...

Many Many happy returns of the day.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!! :)
18 yrs?!?!Hmmmm... Mrs.Shenoy is indeed a strong woman!! ;)

-Priya

Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

Awww :-D

parthicle said...

...so that's the secret is it?
Wife: Did you buy the vegetables on your way home from office?
You (having obviously forgotten to): The servicultural identity fell off the particulation.
The kids walk into the room and you are saved.

Anand Ramachandran said...

After reading this, I seriously suspect Sheela must have said 'No thanks', and her parents wouldn't have heard the first part.

Srinivas said...

You will be together more than 50yrs from now...Hearty Wishes for your 18th Wedding anniversary.. btw the Porter question is only to impress her ???

Conspiracy Theorist said...

Wish you and your wife a very Happy Anniversary...

But you have made me scared s@#t of this whole "soirika" business considering that i'm noit james bond myself.. Appreciate if you can give us bachelors-soon-to-be-married types some pointers to come out unscathed during these kind of sessions with a potential life partner in your next post...

cheers,

Sid said...

If the Aunt hadn't intervened, was your follow up question, "Based on your current assessment of me, what is the threat of substitution to my prospects?"!!!!

Happy Anniversary to you both.

Raj Jayaram said...

Very nice! Wish you a very happy anniversary.

Dilip Muralidaran said...

Kick ass, this blog post is like watching an old mohan padam! :P

Jatkesha said...

Awesome. Congratulations Mr and Mrs S. Can we hear the other side of the story too from Mrs. S?

Sriram said...

How sweet :) Seriously man, both u and the missus are one hell of an awesome couple (if ur blog posts are anything to go by, and I'm sure they are)... May the mayhem continue.. Have a great life ahead :)
PS: like i_r_squared, I too expected a #shenoy.. force of habit :P

Not Specified said...

A very Happy 18th Wedding Anniversary Mr. Shenoy and Mrs. Shenoy!!!!

Hope you're prediction of another 50 years of togetherness comes true :)
Poor Mrs. Shenoy :)

dAm0n said...

HAHHA!! LOL!!! Ur ques indicated how confused u wer!
Adv HAPPY ANNIVERSARY !!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary! What did you get her? :)

The Cloudcutter said...

Congratulations Naren and Sheela! You guys rock.

Giribala said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

Saranya said...

Happy Anniversary! :)

bpsk said...

Congrats Naren! Here's to the next 18!!!

payoshni said...

awwwwwwwwww...Congratulations to both of you :)) here is to another 18 years..and then another 18..and then some more :D

Abirami Rajendran said...

Congrats! here's to many more :-)

Atrisa said...

Ah! You give hope to the younger generation who is fast losing faith in the fact that stable relationships can still exist :) Enjoy your special day!

nourishncherish said...

Happy anniversary to you both. The best thing about the "You can talk now" part of it is, I am pretty sure some paati is glued to the door, listening in. If they aren't, they sure are agonizingly close, when you open the door. You can't confront them, since they would have the hearing aid ready and bellow "WHAT?" in your ears.

Anyhow - enjoy the jolly years ahead. Just reading your posts, you guys seem like an amazing couple.

Sandeep said...

LOL :D

Chutney said...

YOU GUYS ARE SO CUTE! :D Here's to 18 and very many more happy anniversaries! :)

Drenched said...

ZOMG. This is by far the sweetest and the funniest ode to the missus that I have read by you. Happy Anniversary! May the madness never end. :-)

thenewbnb said...

awwww :) happy anniversary.

first time here, i like your style. very refreshing read after a long time. all this after reading only one post ;)

Jaskirat said...

Happy anniversary!
Competitive strategy, lol!

RukmaniRam said...

hahahahahaha. this is hilarious and adorable at the same time.

18 years. awesomeness.

Prash said...

Nice post! Congratulations and hope you had a very good Anniversary!

Soundar said...

Brought back fond memories of my own one and only such foray.

having rehearsed for it, I took control of the conversation, was forthright, confident, articulate and funny.

You can guess where this is going right?

Seventeen years later, 'ahamudaiyaaL' (as we say in Tambram circles) is the one who is forthright, confident articulate and is the arbiter (with a keen silence) of what is funny.

Bea Walker said...

To the suave Mr. S who holds the secret of wooing with competitive strategy, and to Mrs. S who did not let that unbelievable starter faze her :).....Happy Anniversary!!!

mentalie said...

ah yes, the rock solid foundations of the great indian marriage, a shared appreciation for god, blue and michael porter. thanks you for the tip. i must brush up on my competitive strategy. in the meantime, happy anniversary :)

Chethana said...

Hey,
I had read one of your previous posts on where you briefly touched on your first conversation with the Mrs. I had then wished that you had narrated more elaborately.

Now I have the whole story :-)

Cheers, you guys.

vanwinkle said...

aww i m off target!!ah better late than never,as they say.. happy anniversary!!:) u re a totally fadoo couple:) cheerio:)

Preeti Shenoy said...

Came across this blog because of Twitter buzz and really liked this post :)
Especially so as we will be celebrating 15 years of marriage on 27th of this month.

Happy anniversary!
Cheers
Preeti

maami said...

Charming recap!

My favourite part during summer holidays as a kid would be to enquire details about the song my mum and aunts sang when the 'boy' came to meet them.

I was keen to break into song when mum dragged in an unsuspecting character once. She said, "Be modern and talk". And as the world now knows, I am very shy when I talk and after that dose, I thought he'd flee. Alas, he phoned me each night until I ran.

Sigh, this magic is reserved for the chosen.

Happy Day, Mr & Missus S!

Spaz Kumari said...

yuvaar orey hot, and yuvar missus is orey hot(ter), and together yuvaar like vanilla icecream and chocolate syrup. jeshtu perfect.

happy forever, mrs. and mr. shenoy.

Karadi said...

what will happen if Swami Vivekananda stepped into Ustad Bismillah Khan's shoes?

we would get narendra 'shehnai'

Maddy said...

charming session - I assure you. and congratulations...ours was by comparison a regular (though not exactly movie style) love marriage...

Puneet said...

:D Happy anniversary! And I don't want to be a party pooper but *whispers* there's a typo in the title -- you're missing an "r" in anniversaRy. :)

Zishaan said...

Michael Porter, really? :-)