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Here the author writes about her rendezvous with different men as her mother tries to find a suitable groom for her.
India is a country where we love marriages. It’s like we just look forward to someone getting married. We love the good life don’t we, at someone else’s expense. So, everyone tries to nag someone to get married. I am 31, ofcourse by many standards, too old to find a suitable guy. But then, the pursuit continues.
As I did not meet someone whom I could marry, I was very okay with signing in to the matrimonial portals. Like many hopeful and anxious mothers, my mother signed me in, on every matrimonial site India has to offer. She registered on all of them, spending a lot of money. And each day, she looks up for a son in law. Sometimes the groom’s family call, sometimes she does. Here are a few stories, that happened. And nothing is fictional here.
My mother is always full of hope with every call. She is almost sure, when she makes or receives a call. I still remember this one call Mom made. This guy had a business in Mumbai and was educated in one of the finest institutes in India. The only reason he refused to go ahead was the fact that I was a writer. He was not comfortable with a wife who spent so much time reading and writing. My mother only said, “You are not comfortable with a woman who has a mind of her own.” I hugged Mom harder.
Then, there was another guy who spoke to Mom, after going through my profile. (Yes, my Mom’s number is given for all contacts.) He too was from Mumbai and was vice president at an MNC. So, after talking to my mother and giving all the details, he said that he would call me at 8 pm. Before that, he would inform his parents (Ya! Arranged marriages work that way).
Mom called me up, and told me everything and I sensed joy and hope in her voice. But all crumpled down, when he texted my Mom, that though his parents were okay with everything, his mother was not comfortable with one thing that our sub-caste was not the same. She did not want the bloodline to be tampered with. She apologized for it.
I just smiled and told Mom, “Maa, do you really want me to marry into a family, where people are so conservative?” “Anyway they were not the kind of people we could associate with, so smile. It happened for a good reason.” I could sense Mom’s disappointment, but then I cheered her up, with something funny. She smiled at the end of the conversation.
Last July, when Mom was in London, she found a match for me. And I tell you, this is epic. This guy looked perfect. On paper he looked like the perfect match. When I spoke to him, it all looked perfect – until I met him. So we met at Connaught Place, Delhi – one of the busiest streets in the city. We met at a coffee shop. The moment I saw him, I learnt my first lesson. Not everyone puts up the real photo. Old photos can be air brushed and used as profile photos. So, I realized that the photos that were sent to me, were from his younger days.
As I conversed, the gentlemen found me much taller. So, he was grumpy. I kept my smile on. He asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said, “No, I am single.” Then he questioned me on if I had friends and where did I go with them. I said, yes, I do have long standing friends, and mostly we go out for lunch and dinners. He specifically asked me the names of the places, I visited.
Once I told him, I asked him back if he had friends and where did he hang out. He replied, (I swear I am not making it up), this is what he replied. He said, “I don’t have any friends, because if you have friends they keep inviting you to parties where people drink and smoke. And you have to invite those people to your home too. So, I prefer to stay with my brother.” I just thought to myself, how can smoking and drinking make a person bad? It can be a bad habit, but does it define another person?
Then the conversation carried forward, and I asked him if he had a girlfriend. He said he always complied with his parents’ wishes, and they wanted that he married a woman of their choice. Then he talked about his work and day. He slept for 5 hours, worked for the rest. Played tennis for an hour with his brother from 4 to 5 pm. I asked him how he would manage to give time to his wife. He replied that his brother was going to London and that one hour he could give his wife.
I excused myself saying that a friend had fallen sick and I needed to go.
So, here I am today, tucked in my bed, writing to you and still single. And trust me, the stories continue from there too, but that is another story I will tell another time.
But do I hate those men? No, I don’t. In all honesty, I don’t even think of them; I just take them as some stranger that I bumped into for a few minutes never to know again. I really wish they find what they are looking for. For, life has taught me to wait. For sometimes, things take time.
What is it that I look for in a guy? I have been asked this question a lot of times. The answer remains the same – partnership and a man I can talk to, long hours together. The rest can be managed.
Like Scarlett O’Hara, from Gone with the Wind, I too believe, “Tomorrow is another day.” And this journey, I promise to keep you all posted about.
Cover image via Shutterstock
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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