Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Naren gets married - #2 "Seeing The Girl"

In the jolly little community that I belong to, it is customary to "see the girl" prior to getting married. This is actually an euphemism. You meet your prospective bride in the presence of so many senior citizens equipped with x-ray vision that about 90 percent of your attention is on what the hell have you missed? Is your fly open? Is that lassi you drank still on your mustache? Is your hair standing like quills on the fretful porpentine? WHAT? you want to scream.

You just sit however, sweating profusely, while the "girl" who seems to be equally nervous, serves you some piping hot tea from trembling hands. You're just wondering what the proper response is when she spills it onto your lap and scalds the family jools. Are you allowed to scream then? Probably not, you guess. Just a quick roll of the eyes and an "oh, its alright". You brace yourself for the shock but to your pleasant surprise the tea cup is safely in your hands and your gonads live to fight another day.

Then one of the more senior citizens - in our case, 'Utpal Dutt' - invites you to admire the view from the balcony. You stumble in the general direction, too scared to look back but knowing well that the "girl" is following, on instructions from the said senior citizens.

You stand on the edge of the balcony and watch the traffic snarl below. The "girl" is standing opposite you, gazing at the floor. Your heart thuds and makes the blood vessels in your brain throb. After a minute or two of this, you decide to be reckless and fire the first salvo



"I'm Narendra"


Two minutes silence in the memory of those who died for our country

"You live in Mysore?"

Yes, idiot, as everyone has been yakking about outside for the last fifteen minutes.

"Yes", she says.

"What is your opinion on arranged marriages?" What! What are you saying, berk?


Another two minutes silence, this time in the memory of all those who died in Hiroshima

"Anything you want to ask me?" Reckless is my middle name

"Which is your favorite color?"

What kind of dumb question is that? (I didn't know it at the time but this is precisely the kind of thing a woman will base a decision like marriage on.)





"Shall we go back in?"

"Ok. But what shall I tell my parents? Is it a yes or a no?"

I'm flabbergasted at the directness of this. My brain is whirring like a computer as is usual when presented with a "Yes-No" kind of question

"Yes. And you?"

I can almost hear her thinking you look like a monkey but where do I have any choice


As they say in legal circles, signed sealed and delivered.


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

ha ha Narendra.. difficult questions come after marraige... great account...

Good memory as well... I am racking my brains to think of the first conversation I had with my wife...

Preeti said...

Hahahahahahaha@ the Hiroshima bit!

U know what the funny part is? Till now i haven't met any of the 'guys' my parents r lookin out for me...only the parents...and i'm supposed to base my life on 2 photos of guys with constipated expressions and an overdosage of gel or coconut oil or whatever...!??!


Unknown said...

That "in memory of those who died..." part was hilarious! Hiroshima. ROFL! Wait, isn't that an anachronism? Hiroshima was in 1945! This scene must be from 1910! *rolls eyes at Shenoy's forgetfulness*

But seriously, is it all there is to an arranged marriage? You ask each other's favourite colours and decide? What if I meet a guy whose favourite colour is fluorescent pink? Or shitty ochre? :/

@Preeti: "overdosage of gel or coconut oil"
In a pic, you can't tell the difference. Both things look eqully crappy. :P

Preeti said...

@Drenched: How true and now i know...and i really wonder..Do guys EVER smile in photographs??!?

Unknown said...

@rush - Thanks!

@Vijay - Did you have an arrange marriage too?

@preeti - LOL at constipated expression. That is precisely what Sheela thought of me when she first saw my mugshot. These photos used to be shot at studios where the photographer, an ever effusive guy, would say "thank you" after clicking the snap. It has been an eternal mystery to me why the chap should thank ME. Perhaps he felt he could make a few bucks on the side by sending copies to "Ripley's Believe it or Not"

@drenched - You could spend years talking to someone and not know that person. I see nothing terribly faulty with the favoriteness of certain colors being the basis for intimate relationships. Quelle difference, or as they say in French, kee fark painda.

If you get someone who is into fluorescent pink, I guess that solves the problem of who to give your frilly dresses to.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I laughed at 8 am and woke my roommate. The "2 minutes silence in memory of" was awesome!

Reckless is my middle name!! Haha, probably thats what clicked it. ;)

V said...

Holy crap! hahahahaha..

i've heard stories of people deciding on marraige before but this is something else!

if the girl were to drop piping hot tea into my lap, i swear to god, i won't have a choice but to stay single all my life.

Unknown said...

@Preeti: "Do guys EVER smile in photographs??!?"
Yeah, I think sometimes they do. But it's not that nice kind of smile. It's the psychopath-ish, leering kind of smile. :P

@Shenoy: Hahaha! My response (in French too, pliss to note): Kract! Kee fark painda? :P
Wait, what if you have no frilly dresses? And what if the fluorescent pink loving guy is actually gay? :/
Ok, I am too paranoid. I am not even getting married for another 7-8 years and I am already worried about my future life partner's colour choice! Gradwolf is right. I am too idle!

Praveen Krishnan said...

Are you sure this is the actual version? :-) Now, don't tell me, "come on, it's my marriage!!!". This sounds too straight out of a Hindi movie :-)
Totally hilarious :-)

Unknown said...

gradwolf - Thanks!

v- Know what a good nickname would be for a guy who's had scalding hot tea spilt on his lap? Skinless Frank!

drenched - Kract! LOL! And by the way if a guy likes fluorescent pink and is NOT a gay, he definitely needs therapy. If he IS gay, he'll be like one of those sets of Encyclopedia Britannica that pseud people have on their bookshelves - required for show, but never used.

praveen - Of course this is real. If it were a Hindi movie, Sheela would have sung how I was the sindhoor of her maang and I will be hers for seven lifetimes. She didn't sing anything (I was listening keenly)

Confounded-Lady said...

This very very VERY much reminded me of what I endured a few weeks back. :D
Perhaps I'd laugh over it over a cup of tea with the Mister a few years from now..or even better, blog on it and send you the link :)

The silence bit was hilarious. Its really creepy you know...too much of thinking during those deafening silent momnets make you come out with the most absurd-est of statements.
Its like the storm after the calm.

Loved this one.

Jen Kumar said...

Great story from a guy's point of view! I think it's imperative to see humor in these situations as they can be so awkward otherwise!
As an American, I attended one of these meetings near Chennai with a local of that area! Oh my gosh..I so felt for her..the whole experience was from a Tamil movie. I wish I had the humor to pull of a good story telling of that as you had in this scenery! Thanks for sharing!

Praveen Krishnan said... words man :-)
you're a last word freak :-) :-)
"sindhoor of her maang" :-) what a way to wriggle out :-)

Anonymous said...

ROTFL! I loved the pink and blue bit.
My bro and s-i-l was slightlu better. My bro's strategy was to downplay it. The idea was to try and talk the girl out of it. After the knot, is she was like "Hey, stop throwing your socks on the couch" he could be like "I told you that before. If you dint like it, you shouldnt have married me":).


Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

Man, that was a depressingly honest account. I would have expected some Wodehousian bon mots in the balcony - "I say, what ho, old girl." Or maybe some Robert Frost - "The traffic is snarled, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep"

But these kinds of inanities?! Shi-shi-shi, you do a disservice to your image.

Oh well, you are still funny. :-)

Anonymous said...


Amazing how you do it man..makes me laugh loud EVERY single time :D

And yes, that's exactly the type of question a girl will base the marraige on ;)
Thank god you said blue ..haha !

rads said...

Gosh! I drown in work and look at all the comments! I am so late :( *sigh

Very sweet and very honest. But seriously, that's all the jabber that went on? :--)

Unknown said...

@confounded - you went thru this? my best wishes! What's his favorite color?

@Jennifer - It's immensely funny, looking back. At that time, however, the feeling was similar to having passed through a largish fire.

@ok - You know, directly after marriage, the bashfulness disappeared and very hard-nosed policy decisions started getting made, like socks on the floor, undies in the sink, making the bed everyday....

BPSK - I was a bit like Gussie Fnk-nottle back then, tongue tied. LOL at the Frost!

Unknown said...

@always - Yes. One shudders to think of what would have happened had I chosed another color, say, fluorescent pink or aquamarine. She'd probably have instructed security to throw me out.

@rads - that's practically a complete record of the proceedings! Honest!

Shubzi said...

In the usual league of hilarious......*two minutes of silence in your honour*

Anonymous said...

I had come in and read your posts, and was duly impressed.
Now I have the opportunity to comment inanely!
A too-short piece of a great story.

Maddy said...

holy cow - and i was picturing a scene with the demure girl sitting cross legged and singing 'chinnan cheru vayathinile....' as in meendum kokila...with coffee served in steel glass and dovarah...that is too hot to even touch...