Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just to make it see sunlight – Part 3


The Coffee, The Lunch….Oops, Just Coffee
There is one good thing about life. More often than not, it gives you a second chance. Internet helped in my case.
I got yet another chance. I might have been bad but my credentials were good enough for me to get me matches after matches.
This time, the prospective match was working for 6 days a week with company in Pune. After 4-5 attempts, we finally managed to fix a meeting. I reached the meeting point right on time only to realize that when god made eve, he cursed eve and her entire breed with slow watches. I had to roam around alone for half an hour.
This time, I had come with loads of tips from family & friends. Mom had prepared Aloo Paratha and Rajma for lunch but I decided to give it a skip. After all I was going for a lunch date. I was surely not going to let them down.
We had already decided to go for a lunch. Finally we met.
“Are you very hungry?” she asked.
“No, not at all” ‘You are going to meet her. So don’t just eat, eat, eat and not talk’ my sister had advised rather ordered.
“We can go to CCD and have some coffee” I suggested.
“Okay” was her cold reply.
We went to a CCD and started talking. Rather, I was doing it. This was the first time in my life when I was interacting with a female and my listening skills were not put to an extreme test. There were a few questions here and there from her side.
“May I ask something?”
“Sure” I said.
“What kind of a wife do you want working or non working?”
I was quick to give a well rehearsed reply.
“May I ask something now?”
Show interest; ask intelligent questions, show that you are an enjoyable company were the advices for me.
“What kind of a husband do you want working or non working?”
I never miss a chance to show my humor and expect others to find some sense in it.
A killing glare was all I got in reply.
“So what are the plans for future?” she asked.
“I want to get married.”
“No, no I mean career plans”
“I will do my job”
“No, I mean will you stick to the same company or switch jobs”
“Well money is my God. Whoever pays me more, I will work for him” Wow, this shows how serious I am professionally.
Finally I gave up talking after half an hour or so.
“You seem to be of quiet kinds.” Its not I, but she said to me.
“Is it? I really appreciate your observation.”
Next half an hour we spent sitting almost quietly and avoiding each other.
Finally I broke the silence.
“Where do we go for lunch?”
“Do we necessarily have to go for lunch?” and I could see all my friends and family banging hammer on my head.
Damn. Not again. Where did I go wrong?
Part 4 to come soon...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just to make it see sunlight – Part 2


Back to India – In Suppu’s words
My assignment on client site got over and I returned back to my motherland. Although my boss wanted me to stay for some more time but I have a good enough reason to say NO.

I joined my office in Pune, the city I have always loved. Be it its weather, crowd or whatever. It used to be a small and quite city but economic growth has pushed its name to the list of “growth centers”. It will always be a small city because it lives in the shadow of its neighbor, Mumbai. Anyhow, you must stay here for a considerable period of time to get the feel of any place.

But I had a few issues at hand before I could tackle the real issue. First, I had to find a shelter and since length of my stint was not decided, this was even more difficult task. I wanted to stay alone and had loads of condition for the place I was going to take on rent. Anyhow, after 3 weeks of search, I managed to find a place. I soon got an assignment in office as well, met some old friends and made some new ones as well. I started enjoying life to the fullest like any bachelor does. Life was going great till……

The Doctor, the Sister and the Mother

“Hello. Where the hell have you been? I have been trying your number since yesterday.” Dad yelled on phone.
“I had gone to Matheran over the weekend. Phone was not working there.”
“At least you should have informed me.”
“Oho, what happened?”
“Nothing. Get a pen and a paper. I have a few things to tell you.”

There was a new proposal for me and dad wanted me to meet the girl and her family. They had already discussed everything over the phone. The girl, a doctor, was staying in Mumbai with her family. She had two younger sisters and parents in her family. Thankfully, they had mailed me the bio data and snaps of the girl. I liked it. Dad told me that I will have to meet up with her. “Wow, a date that too legal”, I thought.
I was going to Mumbai to meet up a few friends over the coming weekend and decided to finish off this encounter then. Next two days I spent preparing for the meeting, physically as well as mentally. Went to a parlor, took a haircut and few other treatments and more importantly a proper bath before all that.

I also jotted down the possible questions that I was going to ask and practiced the interview. Deep down inside, I was thrilled. I was thrilled to be on the other side of the table i.e. being an interviewer. Well, I expected so.

The moment I landed in Mumbai, there was a twist in the tale. My dad had asked me to go to her house and meet her. I disagreed as I was not going to meet my “could be would be” in front of the moms, the aunties, the sisters, the brothers and god knows who all. But then her father called up and said I can take her out if I want after meeting their family. Finally I agreed. I had to.

There was another twist. The marriage proposal was also for girls’ younger sister as well. Man. This is crazy. Is it a big bazaar sale or what?

I knocked at their door. After couple of minutes a middle aged lady opened the door. Had I not immediately told her my name, she would surely have taken me as one of those painful salesmen. It was girl’s mom.

I was greeted and the prospective mom-in-law started talking. She talked and talked and talked. And talked. All I could understand was that they were staying in Sharjah for 30 odd years and her husband was earning in millions. Now they had to come back to India because of family reasons, her husband was trying to setup a business here without much luck and she didn’t like it here at all. She just kept talking about Sharjah and how it was million times better than India.

She sounded so unhappy with her husband’s decision to move to India that I wondered if she would elope with me, given a chance.
“Damn, I want a wife of my age, not my mom’s” I thought.

I had switched onto a sports channel where they were showing Natwest 2002 final’s highlights. “The mother’’was talking non stop. Also, she was promoting her younger daughter more than the elder. I was waiting for elder one to appear.
She did. She appeared with tea. “How typical of the situation” I thought.
“Who is watching cricket” she asked as soon as she sat.
“I am” I said and switched off the TV.
“No, it’s Okay.” She said.
I switched back to Natwest 2002 final’s highlights.

Within 10 minutes she disappeared. “The mother” started again. I kept hoping that she will ask me and her daughter to go out and have a chat. But it didn’t happen. After two hours of lecture on Sharjah, I decided to leave.

When I was leaving she asked, “How did you like my daughter?”
“I didn’t even talk to her.”

“But you didn’t speak anything.”
“When did you let me speak?”

A return glare forced me to catch an auto and run away.
It was a total chaos. The proposal was for the elder girl, the promotion was for the younger girl and the only interest was shown by the genesis of both.

I told my family about the meeting. I came back to Pune and slept. Next two days went expecting the call from them about the result. I was again preparing my answere “Aaah….give me some time,”, “I want to meet her once…err may be both”, “You know, it’s a big decision and I have some more proposals waiting, Give me some more time to think” etc etc.

I was also deeply analyzing the pros and cons of the proposal and doing all sorts of what could be done.
“The girl has said NO” dad said.
“What? Why? How? And more importantly, which one – younger or elder?”
“What which one. They didn’t like you. What the hell did you talk there?”
“Arre, how can they refuse? I didn’t even talk to the girl for more than 2 minutes. We just saw each other’s faces and she disappeared. It was not any better than her seeing my photo which she definitely liked. Otherwise she wouldn’t have met me” I argued.

“Shut up!!! If you are seeing some, tell us” Dad said. He has rarely had so high opinion about my abilities.
“But do not get us insulted like this every time. Last time also you did something horribly wrong and only you know what you did this time. Dad yelled. “You told her mother that she talks too much. She said that the guy doesn’t have any etiquette.”
Shit. I was just showing my sense of humor and she laughed so loudly at my joke that entire Thakur Village was staring at us.
Damn. In first case, it was “Mr. Brother” and here is “Dear Mother” Why do they do this to me?
Pressure was mounting on me.

Part 3 to come soon...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just to make it see sunlight – Part 1

Like any other normal human being, I always had a dream and believed it would come real which is to be famous. Not that the dream has died but it’s the belief part which fading real fast. And when I realized nothing else was likely to make my dream come true, I thought of trying my hands at writing. This is when I thought of coming up with a book. But it had to have a topic – the book I mean.

One of my friends, impressed by my writing skills, suggested an idea – matrimonial searches. Incidently I was just out of this process of soul-mate searching and he was deeply engrossed into it. Someone has said – your perception of the world is decided by your circumstances. That someone is me. Anyhow, we both believed that entire world is aware of/bitten by this matrimonial searches bug and would go crazy to read stuff about it. We decided to collect our experiences in form of a book.

But as usual, this entire idea flopped. He moved onto the land of hope and I was always hopeless. We had scribbled a few pages which cannot be called a book. Anyhow, today it struck to my mind that those pages must not die virgin. They must see sun light. So I will be posting those stories one by one here.

A brief background of the story –

Mr. Swapnil Sharma is a CA – MBA working in some MNC which has posted him in USA. He is an ideal boy in his family’s eyes who is untouched of any vice like smoking, drinking, non vegetarianism etc. His family has started to look for a bride for him. They have fixed up a meeting with the brother, who is also in USA, of one of the prospective matches.

Here is how the story unfolds.

I reached the pre-decided place to meet him. “Mr. Brother”. I was around half an hour late. Hence, I called him up and apologized for being late just to find out that he was also in the parking lot next to me. He had come with a friend and we had decided that I would drop him back to his friend’s place which was near by.

“Mr. Brother” was not a man. He was a sky scrapper with such a big tummy that I could sleep inside that. I always wonder when and how do people grow so big? What the hell I was doing when they were growing.

He came towards me, greeted me warmly, put his arm around me and said “Come, let’s go.” With my five foot eight inches height and a lean figure, it was looking as if I had misbehaved in a bar and the bouncer was politely kicking me out of it.

We went to the restaurant and ordered some vegetarian dishes. Hesitantly I asked if he is a non vegetarian. He was more than happy to reply positively and we contributed in reducing Pacific Ocean’s population.

He started telling me about his family and sister and all I could get was that it’s a “Size does matter” family. As per him, his sister was 5’8” but, we would make an excellent couple. May be they believed in literal sense of gender equality.

Anyways, we hit off really well and he was a good company. I reminded him to send me the Bio-data and some snaps of his sister and he casually said, “First thing when I reach home.”

“Do you booze?” he asked before leaving and said “I am sure you do” even before finishing the first sentence. You cannot say no to beer on a Saturday evening. No one can. He took me to a good pub and we had beer.

My guess was right. Beer was the secret of him looking like a mutton shop. The amount he had, I have not had in an entire month. And after he had his share, he was like a barrel full of beer himself. He could barely stand. Then I realized why he had come with a friend. He didn’t like mixing drinking and driving.

Finally I paid the bill, got him inside my car with some external help and dropped him to his destination.

“Do you drink?” was what my mom asked even before saying “Hello”.

“No”, as always I replied.

In some of families in our country, drinking is a taboo. You drink means you are a rowdy, wife beater and shame on the society. You should be ostracized. And if it’s your only and soon to be married son, better watch out because it’s a crime worth getting punishment in the court of relatives. Although, the punishment would just be defaming that hardly holds a value for you. But for parents, the amazing Glenn Fiddich is not a stress buster but a dark patch on the upbringing they have given to you. I drink just for enjoyment and have been doing it for year without my fellows knowing it. They don’t know means I don’t drink. They are happy. They don’t know means I can drink. I am happy. It’s a win-win situation. This kind of interrogation about my drinking have been raised a couple of times and I have simply lied for the happiness of both the parties.

But why is it today? And that too the first thing in the morning.

“No Maa, I don’t. Please let me sleep now. Its just 6 AM. I will call you in some time.”

“No you do. You have always been betraying us.” Sounds of crying. How come all the females cry on the drop of a needle? From where do they get so much of stamina?

“What have you done? Now we cannot even show our face to anyone.”

“But what happened?” I asked. Why suddenly this? How has she got this idea? Who told her? Who the #@$@#$ told her?

“You met him yesterday, right? His father called us up today.”

“Okay”

“He said that your son drinks”

“No but….,

“And smokes”

“Err…

“And is a non vegetarian. Your son might be having good credentials but he cannot get his daughter married to such a spoilt guy. You have let us down Suppu. Why?” and it went on for next half an hour. BTW, Suppu is my nickname.

“Shit. “Mr. Brother”. Sala…no, not sala for sure. He had called up their parents and told them that I drink, smoke and eat non veg. That is why the the tsunami is getting imported to US from India. “Mr. Brother” @#$%$%#$%. Did he tell them about himself? He looked like a cannibal who ate every bit as if it was the last on earth, drank as if he was on a mission to finish off alcohol on this planet. On top of that, I paid the bill. After all that, I was rejected even before I had filled up my application form. Damn.

Man, the game looks much trickier than I had thought. Anyways, the first match was abandoned before the first ball was bowled and I was fined heavily by the referee.

Part 2 to follow …