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Are marriages made in heaven? What would you call the ‘proposals’ and ‘bride seeing’ meetings so peculiar to India? Here’s my funny story.
It’s a story of how many times I was rejected in marriage proposal. It is a funny story actually.
So here we go.
I worked at an MNC in Kolkata for 3 years. Immediately after I completed my corporate MBA, my parents felt that it was time for me to get married. I looked forward to it, and while attending my friends’ weddings, I told myself that one day I will also get my soul mate. I was a single soul, with no one I wanted to marry at the time, so my parents decided to start searching for a suitable groom.
A profile was created on some matrimonial sites, advertisements were put in newspapers, and some socially active aunties were alerted to this development in our household, so that they could keep out a sharp eye on possible proposals. Honestly, sometimes I felt as if I were a product to be advertised for getting the proper client, but there it was!
I was rejected multiple times, for some strange reasons that did not make sense to me.
Once I was rejected for my dark skin & complexion. I wondered – I wasn’t rejected at the JEE for dark skin & complexion, my college did not reject my application for dark skin & complexion, my company did not judge my ability depending on my dark skin & complexion… then why did these grooms have a problem with it? I felt heart broken. Some aunty suggested to my mom that I be sent for some grooming session in some parlour! Truly speaking, that does not help either.
The second time I was asked my subject wise marks! In 4 years there are 8 semesters and almost 48 subjects. I could not answer that. Immediately rejected. You won’t believe me, for the next meeting with a groom’s family I wrote all my marks on a small paper, and hid it among the pleats of my saree just in case! It was just like the exam days. Not to mention that I was an engineering student!
By this time, I had got rejected so many times that I felt as if I was just like an anonymous unclaimed luggage bag revolving on the luggage belt at the airport, waiting to picked up by anyone.
When all hope was lost, a gentleman who came to know about me from a matrimonial site called my father, and asked to arrange a meeting. Immediately I took leave from work, and came home to Durgapur. Everyone was happy. Finally the day arrived and I dressed in a red salwar that exuded (I hoped) positive energy. I hoped “HE” was also coming with his parents as I was going with mine. I was finally get to see my would be husband. We decided to meet at a restaurant in a place 30 kms from Durgapur – my parents and I made that journey to meet them.
I was pretty excited and started day dreaming as usual, and hoped that my dream came true. There was a gentleman along with a lady waiting for us. In our community it’s considered OK not to have the groom at the first meeting, after all, his parents would “see” me and decide.
The first question asked by the lady was why I was working hard even though both my father & brother were earning in the family. Actually I have no idea what to say to questions like this – I gave them the world’s most idiotic answer anyone could ever think of: I said that since I have done my engineering, I was working.
With a disappointed face the lady asked me why I had gone for engineering and wasted so much of my father’s money! She was a BA pass, and still could manage the family so well that her son was working in a high paying job!
This time I gave a confused smile. Then the gentleman in a sarcastic voice asked she didn’t apply for a job too, since all the other members of the family were out for whole day, anyway! Certainly she must feel lonely? My mother just smiled, as we didn’t want to handle any rejection anymore.
To regain control of the situation, my father changed the topic and asked about their son. That was the biggest mistake of my father’s life. For the next 2 hours, we heard of nothing but their son’s life story beginning from nursery. Those 2 hours seemed like 100 years to me. Neither my parents nor I were able to speak a single word during this, and we just listened to them. I kept looking at the wall clock in the restaurant. I was not sure about my parents, but I was feeling hungry. The coke and that little piece of pizza had got digested in my stomach long ago! I was hungry, I wanted to pee very badly, and most importantly my ears needed some rest.
In the course of the conversation I said that I was staying at a PG at Salt Lake, and that it’s a posh area in Kolkata as they had never been to Kolkata. Immediately the lady’s eyes opened wide, and she asked, “What you are doing staying in a pros area?” She only calmed down when my mother explained the difference to her.
That done, the lady now began to the terms and conditions for marrying their son. Can’t wear sandals at home, need to wake up early, forget about jeans & salwar and wear only saree, always be presentable, can’t laugh loudly, can’t say a word against the male members, only one visit per year to my paternal home, never call their son by name, AND most importantly, no office after marriage!
I was done. Fortunately they were possibly tired now, and ended the conversation. Actually that wasn’t a conversation; that was a lecture, by a one-sided speaker. Before we left the restaurant, my father settled the bill as they showed no inclination to pay half of it. Clearly, they thought it was our job to please them.
As I stepped out of there, I breathed a sigh of relief. While walking out of the restaurant I noticed that the lady was trying to read something written on a signboard: “Drive slow, accident prone area” I hope she read the word ‘prone’ correctly, and NOT something else.
After we got home, no one in my family ever spoke about them again. I sometimes wonder: did they ever find a match for their son? My sympathies with the son and his would be wife, with these kind of parents! I was well rid of them!
Header image is a screen grab from the movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
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