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The ‘catch’, Sunny, ‘saw’ many prospective matches in his search for the perfect bride. But when he found her, was everything going to be ‘happy-ever-after’?
“Come on everyone, get ready quick!” said Mr. Chatterjee. Today, again, Sunny’s family was getting ready to visit a prospective bride’s family. Yes, this was the eighteenth time they were doing this. It had become a weekend ritual for the family. They wanted the perfect bride for their only son.
This was a quest for a bride who would be perfect for Sunny and his family. And Sunny of course was not just any other eligible bachelor, he had the ability to outshine most of his kind – he was good-looking, tall and dark, but then who judges the complexion of men? He owned his own company that dealt in FMCG. The Chatterjees were affluent and popular in elite circles of the town. So, this justified that Sunny should settle for nothing less than a perfect life partner.
The search for the prospective bride began four years ago when Sunny won the “Youngest Business Achiever Award” in the town. They had been to see Anuradha, a pretty woman with dusky complexion. But she failed to impress Sunny’s family, and Sunny could not stand up to oppose his mother who had a fancy that her daughter-in-law should be fair.
Then, there was this Anamika, who was a very fair complexioned girl, but she was rejected by Sunny’s family because she was just a graduate in commerce. Sunny’s father was determined that their son was an MBA from IIM Kolkata, and his wife should at least hold a masters’ degree.
So the third girl in the line was approached. She was Shivani, an independent woman who was working as an editor in an English daily. Sunny and his family liked Shivani, but then she had her hair short. That was not something good. Sunny’s mother’s family would be there during the wedding, and then what would they all say? They would not like such a modern woman, and sure if she is bold enough to cut her hairs short today, tomorrow she would not hesitate to do whatever she likes after marriage. Shivani was rejected, or should we say she had a narrow escape!
Then there was June who got rejected by them for her short height.
Titas was rejected because she could not sing and Sunny’s maternal aunt suggested that since Sunny was a table player, it would be a shame if his wife could not sing.
Anyway, all this went on – the search for perfection and also the ensuing rejection.
Today they are going to meet the Banerjees and their only daughter Manali. They had seen Manali’s pictures. She was ‘pretty, fair, tall and slim’. Her hobbies were ‘cooking, singing, reading books, interior decoration, and painting’. She had done her masters in Economics and was working as a lecturer in a college. “Perfect, just the kind we are looking for!” they said when they saw her profile on the popular matrimony site where Sunny was registered for the last two years.
So off they went to meet this prospective bride. Sunny, his parents, his maternal uncle and his wife and their little daughter Ishaani constituted the group. They were welcomed warmly at the door by Manali’s father and were led to the beautifully decorated drawing room. The families exchanged conversation whilst the servant kept bringing trays of snacks, beverages and drinks.
Soon after, Manali was called. She came and sat on a chair beside her father. Sunny’s family started their round of questions. What are your hobbies? What would you like to do after marriage? We are a very free and frank family, so would you be comfortable with us? Can you cook? Manali kept replying them politely. Soon after, she was asked to have a private conversation with Sunny in the adjacent room. It was the opinion of Sunny’s father, “They will get to know each other better. Our times were different”.
After a short conversation between Sunny and Manali, they returned to the drawing room where their families were sitting and carrying on with their small talk, or rather waiting for the duo to return.
Sunny’s parents were finally relieved that they had found the perfect daughter-in-law. Manali would make a perfect match for Sunny. Smilingly, they thanked everybody and went home. Sunny’s mother already started calling up their relatives of their extended family to inform them all about the ‘gem of a girl’ they had discovered for their only beloved son.
Sunny was happy too. Perhaps, he had liked Shivani or Anamika or Priyambada, but now he reflected that he was lucky enough to wait and listen to his parents so far as matrimony was concerned. They indeed knew the best for him, the best that he deserved – the absolute combination of beauty, grace, homeliness and elegance. He began contemplating his days ahead with the trophy wife Manali.
Just then, Sunny’s father’s phone rang. Mr. Chatterjee received the call, and whispered to his wife, “It’s from the Banerjees. They must be very eager to know what we have decided. Can’t even wait until we reach home!”.
“Tell them we like the girl! So well behaved, such gentle and pretty,” Sunny’s mother said.
But Mr. Banerjee, Manali’s father, said something quite contrary to their expectations, “I am extremely sorry to inform you, Sir. But our daughter is reluctant to marry your son. You must be wondering why she is refusing such a gem of a boy like Sunny. Even I am shocked. But our daughters I guess now set the rules of their lives themselves, and it is as much their freedom to accept or refuse as that of a boy. Thank you for coming. And yes, I would like to apologize once again sincerely for all the trouble.”
Sunny’s father could not speak. Mrs. Chatterjee cajoled him, and all he could say was, “The audacity! How dare she rejects our son, she does not deserve Sunny”.
“She has got a long nose, such women are inauspicious. Thank God, she won’t be at our home now”.
Sunny whispered to himself, “The bitch!”
Image source: Indian bride hands by Shutterstock.
A research scholar in literature. Loves books, music, movies, cats, writing, sketching cartoons and meditating.
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