It’s been gently suggested to me that one of these days -- if and when I want, and all in the spirit of no-harm-looking -- I meet a certain Aemrika-based 27-year old doctor for wedding purposes. Of course it’s only if and when I want. But that I must face it, I’m not growing any younger.
Ha. Ouch. But okay, agreed.
Except as far as dubious analogies go, it takes two-three years to build a flyover, correct? And then it’s up, traffic is smooth, people reach their dinner tables on time, and everyone’s nerves are miraculously intact.
Great. So now I can’t help compare flyover-upping time to how long it takes for enterprising families to zero in on good catches. And I’m thinking by 2010, if work starts now, there should be significant progress on both fronts, even if so far all we have is flying dust.
I have to say that unlike my earlier squeamishness, I’m sort of looking forward to meeting these shaadi-candidates, even if just a little bit and mostly out of curiosity. I keep hearing stories about freak shows masquerading as normal people. It makes me want to meet them myself. I love the horrific anecdotes, and am quite looking forward to building my own treasure cove.
It actually started sometime back. A couple of months ago, I was forwarded some merchant navy chap’s ‘bio-data’ to just see if I was at all interested. Scrolling down said ‘bio-data’, a salary-subhead called Present Emoluments popped up. So never mind that these emoluments seemed like lots and lots of money, just who, why, and again who, uses words like present emoluments? There was a photograph as well, with the backdrop of a firang oil tanker, and this emoluee chap, standing with hands on his hips, had flawless skin! Pink cheeks as well, but he was just too fair for me. Too fair, hadn’t run a spell-check on his silly bio document, and I didn’t like his shades. Proposal busted. Period.
And then last year, I was to meet one young buck pilot – family-friend son; lots of those, floating around, just waiting to get married apparently. Except I’d met this buck the year before; polite chap, I remember thinking. Offered me a drink and asked what I was doing later, and that maybe we should catch up. Sure, I said, nodding as nervously as I do when I have no idea how else to tap restless energy. Much later, his mother, (and mine!) were insistent I go to their place for dinner, but I think the heebie-jeebies caught up nicely, and I no-thank-you’d my way out of that. Next time pucca, yes aunty, just too much work these days you know…
And that was that. The sum total of how close I’ve gotten. Which isn’t too bad compared to the mini-hell some of my friends have faced -- for being adamant and ‘feminist’ about not wanting to get married this early etc. Some of these feminist types are eating humble pie, and come November, will gear up in red and gold, and have their friends dance to kajra re on upcoming sangeets.
Good for them, we’re all very happy, and the invitation cards with the subtle ganeshas are lovely. Me, I’m still dodgy. Worldviews are scattered, and perspectives might still be warped.
I don’t actually think I’m too young to get married. Mentally unequipped, is another matter, but I’ve been oscillating between a few lines of thought for myself, and am still uncertain which one to pick.
One is of course, I could meet this doctor, rubbish him – or not actually, but say meet him or subsequent rishta boys and gauge -- over four spaced out lunch and dinner dates-- how much compassion lies in the recesses of this man’s heart who has food stuck between his teeth. I could manzoor-hai the offer, and in a year perhaps, settle for a non-spectacular sedentary life with imagined earnest office-going man, continuing my freelancing frolic.
Ten years into the monotony, I could fancy myself as Francesca Johnson, farmer’s wife in Bridges of Madison County, who when asked by exotic outsider Clint Eastwood what I like about my husband, I could think and think and think only to come up with a “well, he’s clean.” Except in my case, no torrid affair with Eastwood is going to follow that.
Differently, I could up the optimism a notch, and do this my way, without being introduced to alien boys via the parents, and without later being able to blame them for statistically-plausible soured relations. This would mean, in roughly the same fly-over time span – giving myself 2 years tops, bio-clocks a tickin' and all that -- I’d have to zoom in on an equally well-earning boy, with a plus-point of a side-smile, the build to carry off linen, and the brains to crack a joke. Compassion requirement stands, and I could keep fingers crossed and not delve too deep about how it was meant to be. Not linger on the what-ifs, or imagine live-in scenarios with exes who redefined reckless charm and didn’t need cologne to allure. With enough nurturing and fresh air, I could even grow used to telling husband-at-hand that he’s loved, and before turning out the lights, not doubt that veracity too much.
One way or the other, and cynicism apart, maybe starting out with doctor types and examining those intricacies isn’t the worst way to set the future wheels in motion.