Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Never marry a writer

Or at least someone who spends a lot of valuable time in (valuable?) dreaming and foreshadowing. :-)

This weekend saw me munching goodies (and that is the single point of the event that is framed well in my mind sans blurry edges) at a ... what do you call them? Well, lets just call them the "interested family". So we were at the house of the "interested family" and I was quite busy munching on goodies like "ribbon pakoda" and "thengai barfi" and "badam milk". I had reason to munch on the latter as well - very well prepared liquor of saffron and badam slices.

Seated on this side was my mother serving as sole protection to her little lamb-boy who was, as disclosed earlier, munching on goodies. On the other side (other side of the goodies) sat (quite upright) father, mother, sister and the cynosure of the "interested family", a young lady whom we shall all call (but not loudly) G. Now G was quite well trained for this event and definitely gushed with customary shyness and "No, no" and "Yes, yes". Her father was all praises about her, while her mother ensured that every statement from her husband received a nod of approval from me. Nodding also helps move desiccated food down the foodpipe.

G's sister was a darling and I would have adopted her had the situation permitted such actions. She too was all agog and jumping as she thought she was supposed to. She giggled at the right times (which always coincided with my looking at her) and whispered (probably nothing) into her sister's ear, prodding her sister to look deeper at the carpet pressed at four points by the table with goodies.

Talk turned to my profession and the other matters I professed to. I was as businesslike as a Marwari under a pile of Lays chips. I shot out numbers, statistics, trends, forecasts and more often, technological babble. G's father received each shot of incoherent, morsel-coated jargon with widened eyes and must have felt that such jargon ushers in prosperity. I enjoyed giving him more and more of the tell-tale goodness.

G, in the meanwhile, looked pretty and comfortable in the well meant cordon assembled by her family. Occasionally, she raised her head and I wonder whether she ever got to taste the barfis. I offered one (no, not the plate, just one) to her and she declined it saying that she wasn't hungry. What? Were these items on the table, leftovers? :-o It seems she had learnt carnatic music, which was rallied with my mother talking about patents. It seems she was interested in painting, which was sent back to their court with my mother embarrassing me with her account of how I won the Camlin All India painting contest at an age, where marriage was something only adults did! Why bring THAT up now, mom? It seems G wrote a lot of poetry and stories, and I shot my mom's nascent attempt back down her throat with a glare laced with a smile. They won. They had scored one point over us. How did it matter? They were missing out on the goodies, with all their chatter.

Soon my mother looked bored and decided to turn spectator (which she was anyway, just that she was used to switching channels). She suggested that she let the "boy" and "girl" talk for a while and "get to know each other". I was wondering whether I could carry the bowl of ribbon pakoda when all hopes were dashed with G's sister offering to clear the table for the "getting to know each other ceremony". What!!?? Why do I need a clean table? Are we going to arm-wrestle?

We spoke for a while. She asked about what I thought of life, and what I thought of a marriage. I was already wrinkling my forehead and was nearly going to complete her next question of "What do you think about love?" Geez! Why does everyone come there and cause indigestion!!? I asked about her career and why on earth she was even interested in this alliance. She gave me reasons which I found frightening!! She told me things about me, which made me wonder "Who is she kidding?" Then she told me something and all I could imagine was a large room with her lying on a couch and I sitting on a chair near her head with a notepad and pen in my hand. Here goes...

"You know something, E?"
She didn't wait for my yes or no.
"I have always imagined this meeting. How you would walk into the house. A slight gust ruffling your hair and then you narrow your eyes to the wind and smile at me lopsidedly."
"Am I the one lopsided or would it be my smile?"
She laughed sweetly and thought I had a sense of humour, but she didn't answer my question.
"And then you would sit on the couch with your right leg over your left."
But wouldn't that prevent me from reaching over to the goodies? I didn't bother asking her that.
"Mmmmm. Such a clear picture in my head."
She was looking at something over mine and I turned around to spot her father's veshti/dhoti hanging to dry. Huh? That inspired her?
"Do you know?"
Again she didn't wait for my reply.
"I wrote a poem for this occasion. Do you want to read it?"
You guessed it. She didn't wait for my answer and rushed to pick a notebook from under the mouse near her computer. No, real old fashioned notebook.
I read it slowly and wondered what "surreptitious" meant. Lilac blossoms? What did they look like? And "gaze meandering down my heart"? Huh? Wouldn't that mean that I would need to dance my head a lot to ensure a meandering (and I thank my geography teacher for teaching us about meanders in the 8th standard class)gaze? When I came to "And I yearned for you, my heart" I must have gulped visibly for she grabbed the notebook from me in well rehearsed shyness. I nearly choked on my gulp and managed to ask her, "That's it? Was there more to it?" She gave me a pondering look not sure whether to take that as a compliment or a dumb question.
"It was good. Very nice. Very touching."
Thereafter our conversation was like the Sensex in May. We soon realised we hadn't anything in common beyond parents who loved to sing our praise. She soon realised that I had nothing to do with literature or the arts (beyond a stint in that Camlin competition). She had nothing to do with technology or the markets. We surely had nothing to do with each other. G's sister poked her head around the door and giggled as she ran back to... somewhere. We decided to call it off.

I think G's mother's ears were already ringing with loud off-key epithalamion, Burp!for her expression remained unchanged to the "I don't think this will work out" statement that I let lose. G's father was saddened and patted me on my back (I wonder why. Was I coughing?). Mom was diplomatic and pacified everyone like in one of her serials.

As we walked out, a gust did tickle me on its way past and I turned around to see G tear the page off her notebook. As we drove away, mom carefully asked me what we had discussed. I opened my mouth to answer and all I did was burp! Aaah, such fond memories. :-)





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As I said, never marry a writer. :-)

5 comments:

  1. :-D.
    Poor G! Poor E - Even without marrying a writer both of you had to withstand the brunt of each other's cruelty ( = written creations)!

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  2. ha ha ha ... I am sending this to one of my friends - if you dont mind :-)

    Anyways, I've given the answer and reasons - check it out - and THANKS for the compliment on my page :-)

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  3. Not bad..You have come this far..that you went on to at least meet up with interested families! :p

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  4. E,

    Hey, you at least had an experience of meeting up with an interested family... hahhahaaha!!!

    I don't think I could ever have been part of such a thing because I have heard interested girls being told by their parents, "stay away from such guys" ;-)

    hahahah! anyways, my wife married me, a writer. Let's see what happens.

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  5. :-D Let me write someday about my experience. Then we can compare notes and find out which would be a funnier article for our Alvibest! Hey, that gives an idea - How about 'interested families' as a theme? :-P

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