Crunch.. mind quickly thinking ‘bloody hell, who is Shah Bhano and what did they do to her..is it too early to help myself to the next thatai or should I make some sort of a remark at this stage to show I am not really that dumb?
And boy was I smart. Here I was, a freshly minted MBA from a Top B-School in India. The young man opposite me was from the same school as well, give and take a few years. He was also from my community and fit my and my parent’s requirements of a groom to the T.
In which case, why was I not feeling anything but a slight wish to escape the increasingly stifling confines of my room?
When I was told that it was time to bite the dust like all Indian girls my age, I handled it the only way I knew – making a list of all desirable characteristics in a guy and then throwing numerous tantrums pointing at every shortfall in every potential groom paraded in front of me.
If I thought that my parents where picking out the worst specimens on earth, was I in for a rude shock when I signed up online.
Looking for fair, luvely girl who will be my best friend for life
I come from an educated and broad minded family. I am open to both Iyer and Iyengar girls.
I would like who will help me soar into the sky to reach my ambitions.
Our son is fair, IIT-IIM,,cooks well, is an investment banker who lives abroad and any girl marrying him will the luckiest person on earth
Option A - Archies cards inspired freak
Option B - self-deluded bigot.
Option C – What about me, you MCP?
Option D – ‘No girl is good enough for my son’
Option E - die alone eaten by Alsatian dogs a la Bridget Jones diary
Yet more and more friends were leaving the singleton brigade and walking into the gloaming, glowing.
Another list zeroed in on the various reasons that the right guy was eluding me
1. I belonged to the wrong community. Everyone in my community is an MCP. (Ha, like any other community in India is any different)
Sigh. Getting into B-School had proved easier. Being shuttled around like a football in between all these reasons was my ego which had rapidly began shrinking to the size of a tennis ball.
Finally I gave up the search in futility. Various relatives had stopped asking my parents about my wedding and had concluded that I would burn in singleton purgatory. Instead of feeling like the family pariah, I felt nothing but plain relief wash over me.
Why was I so happy instead of anguished?
Time for more lists
I was thinking of getting married
1. because it was the right thing to do when you reached the correct age
Conclusion – I am not getting married since the above reasons seemed completely inane.
So began a happy existence getting to know the long ignored me. It turned out I loved travelling, hanging out with friends, trying my hand at new stuff and basking in the pride of being an independent woman. And finally when I got to know me better, I realized after all that I would like to give marriage a shot someday because it seemed like fun if you were with the right person.
Of course, that meant getting back into the game. But no more looking for The One like a desperate Dan Brown character looking for the Freemason’s secrets.
It would be more like reading or travelling – something I would enjoy doing but which would not consume my life. The really fun part of my thus-far distressed love life finally began.
Dating, it transpired was not the shrewd psychological game designed to assess a person’s suitability as a life partner over the course of an iced tea at Barista. It could be just plain fun and anyone who seemed intelligent and interesting was fair game for a movie or coffee.
So it was when D came along a long while later. He was definitely intelligent and interesting and probably at an earlier period would have had me stressed about not meeting every single criteria in the Mr. Right list. D also turned out to be smart, kind, fun and we had a vibe that no list could have predicted or I could have missed entirely by being focused on the end result rather than the person.
So it was that we got married.
Of course it turns out that ‘happily ever after’ is a state not caused by marriage but rather by two people working on it. But then, that is a whole new story in itself…