Blog post by Kishor LN and Megha Sreeram
Hello all. I am Megha, a girl in her twenties who is on the cusp of falling into the trap of marriage. Given below is a slice of my life from somewhere into my future. The scenario here is the “ponnu paakurathu”, or as I would like to call it “Adult-approved sight adiching”. When I say future, it includes all possible permutations and combinations that could happen. So with the usual caveats, read on.
Hi. I’m Kishor. As my fellow writer (remove this fellow-writer nonsense, will you?) Megha explained, this is our take on a not-so-hypothetical scenario and we believe we speak for all the guys and girls from Tamil Nadu when we illustrate what goes on our minds. Throughout this post my thoughts (mind voice for the people back home) will be typed like this and Megha’s will be typed like this. We also have a narrator (the third wheel) who types like this. So without much further ado, I give you “Bajji Sojji”
Our story begins on an ordinary day with ordinary people going about their ordinary chores. But it wasn’t an ordinary day at the girl’s house. Let us see what she is up to…
“Amma leave me alone. Five more minutes please!”
“Wake up, it is already late”
“It is just 5 AM and it is technically midnight. Why do you inflict this torture upon me?”
“Stop your complaining and get up and get ready. They will be here soon”
“Why do I have to go through all this? They need to know and see the real me and not the dressed up, fake Meg that you are trying to whip up”
“Stop being an Adhigaprasangi and get up now and come and help me in the kitchen.”
Meanwhile at our guy’s house. Two hours and 25 minutes later…
Okay so the time is 7:30 AM. Amma said we need to be there at 8:00 AM and it takes 10 minutes to get to their house. So if I wake up in another 10 minutes it should be fine.
I am not combing my hair into a tight ridiculous plait. The maximum I can do is to wear the nice clip I bought last week. I cannot do anything just to accommodate this extra load of jasmine flowers you have got for free from somewhere, Amma.
What? I have to shave? Aww man!! That is going to take a whole extra two minutes and I just shaved three days ago. What is it with moms and intolerance towards stubble their sons have?
Should I go with green (yuck!!) or the safe bet maroon? Pink is a disaster and how about beige?? I can be rest assured that he can’t complain, for he won’t know this shade at all. Would it be construed as symbolism if I take up black? Will Appa kill me if I choose black? Fashion magazines are not wrong to say choose black when in doubt. Of course they have no idea of Indian parents breathing down their necks with fire. Fine, I will go with maroon, it looks pleasant.
Hmm…Red or Blue or Green? I guess I am wearing brown pants, so matching that would be…..Green it is!!
Dad and I’ve been in the car for like 5 minutes now and still Amma is getting ready! I thought this ceremony was for me!!
So this is it. I am going to be paraded like an elephant in those festivals in Kerala. Fully decked up with one thousand onlookers. Everybody gawking at me, with each focussing on one aspect, giving me no room for any adjustments/covering ups whatsoever.
Our guy finally makes it to the girl’s house. He is greeted at the door by an excited crowd of elderly people. Our girl is hiding in her room catching glimpses of our guy through the crack in her door.
Oh no! I see lots of old men. Which of them is the girl’s father? Oh there he is extending both his arms walking towards me. OK think quickly!! Should I shake his hand? Maybe I should fall down on his feet? Do people do that the first time they meet? Should it be a quick North-Indian style touch the feet or a full-fledged South-Indian sashtanga namaskaaram topped with the Brahmin way of inserting a synopsis about themselves in the form of Abhivathiye?
He looks okay. Not bad. His Facebook DP wasn’t deceptive, although I would have loved to see that stubble on him. Okay, why is he giving a weird look? Is he confused as to what to do? Poor guy, looks like a sheep surrounded by a pride of lions. My telepathic sympathies to you dude.
Quick look at Appa, maybe he will know what I should do. Why is he looking at me and looking at the Father’s feet? Is he telling me something? Now he is slightly tilting his head towards the guy’s feet.
Hahaha! Dumbhead! Obey your father. Catch his reference and just go for the feet yo!
I got it!! A plain old Vanakkam it is. Heh! They are going to think I am so traditional.
Phew ! Finally. I thought guys find girls complicated and here is one instance where a guy found another guy complicated.
Ah! Snacks time. Let me see how he reacts. Honestly i would be surprised if he reacted at all, given the stupid forward messages alone that fills our chat conversation. No wonder Skype betrayed us by ruining the connection at that time. Sigh! Even technology understands such things.
Alright Meg, here is the deal….If he picks sweet first, well he is quite mature and stable. If he picks Karam first, he is hot headed and naughty.
There we go! Sweets and savories. Finally!! Let’s dig in. (Picks up one of each in both hands)
Okay, this was totally uncalled for. This is just alpam!!!
I agree with Meg here. What an alpam?! (Hey! I was hungry) (That gives you no reason to eat with both your hands!!) Quiet you two! I am trying to narrate a story here. OK this is where our guy sees the girl in person for the first time.
Here she comes. Thank god she looks the same as she did in the photos. Now let’s give her a sharp smile. I think she digs it. Wow! Is that coffee for me? I think I had too much snacks and it is not sitting well. A coffee now might be a bit dangerous. I’ll politely refuse. Yes, she will think I am not a glutton.
What a douche! He eats like there is no tomorrow but he refuses my coffee? That itself is one strike down. Which sane person refuses coffee??
How lovely! She is so persistent. Playing a little power war eh? Well two can play that game. I am going to strongly refuse. Why is my dad joining in? Taking her side? Haha well played but I am not budging.
Constant persuasion from my extended family and I was not good enough for him huh? Who is he playing with? Fine let me sit for a while. My legs hurt.
Ha! Won that round. Why is Amma having an annoyed look on her face? Must be the coffee. Good thing I escaped.
As the people finished having their filter coffee (except for me of course). You interrupt me once more, guy and I’ll pour the hot coffee over you (Hehe). That goes for you too Meg!! I’m not even going to say what happens next…
Why is her brother bringing in a Mirundhangam? And her Paati is bringing in a Veenai. Wait! Are they serious? A kutcheri? But I know diddly-squat about Carnatic music.
Why should I sing?? I do know to sing, but am I asking if their son sings? People, I say! Sigh. Okay this is embarrassing now. I was hoping I could get away with a two line pallavi but nope. My dearest family wants to have a replay of margazhi mahotsav here. God! Please let this be over soon or at least vaporize me.
After an enthralling kutcheri where even paati got to display her music chops by singing and playing the veenai at the same time…
That wasn’t too bad. Maybe I’ll give her some comments. She will be impressed.
“I feel your shruthi didn’t connect at places and the sangeedhagals could have been a little shorter. Definitely need to have the aalapraju more open.”
Is he serious? What on earth is sangeedhagals? And Alaap Raaju is a singer and his statement opens up to funny interpretations. Wannabe Ananth Vaidyanathan, sans the jibba!! Just smile and nod Meg.
At our guy’s insistence (read persistence), the elders let the couple talk to each other alone for a while.
Finally! Some alone time.
Personal Interview round. May be he will talk about his plans. Would he ask me to stop working after marriage?? What if he doesn’t want me to work at all?
Wait!! I have no idea what I should talk to her. I clearly didn’t think this through. OK OK we’ve got this. Let’s just be casual and talk the first thing that comes to my mind.
“Do you drink or smoke?”
Eh?? Wasn’t that there in the profile itself? Did you read my details at all or did you just waltz into my house with the aim of figuring all these out in this 300 seconds?
God!! What was I thinking? I should never be allowed to think.
Maybe he was just joking. I’ll indulge you.
Okay thank god she thought it was a joke. Laugh with her. Cool now just save this with an easy question.
“Do you watch movies?”
Yes, that should give us something to talk about.
Seriously?! Let me try being sarcastic here!
“Nope. Not at all.”
What? No? Wow I have no idea what to talk now. Is it too early to go down? We should probably stay here for 2 more minutes. Awkward silence it is!!
Would checking the watch be a rude indicator? I think I know everything I want to know, and I don’t want to know anything else lest I change my mind about him. One dose of awkwardness is fine enough and I don’t want to make my contribution to it.
After the awkward silence finally ended (Thank god for that!!) It was time for the guy to leave
Okay, time to leave. I think I’ve made some really good first impressions. I like this girl and her family. I think I’ll say yes once we get home. Don’t want to seem too eager. Let me say my goodbye.
Did he just call Appa, Mama?? Does that mean he likes me for sure now?
Idiot!! What were you thinking? Why did you call him mama? Okay he looks pleasantly surprised. Maybe he will think it is just a common thing to call someone that. I like him already. Let me give him a hug.
Yo dude! You shouldn’t have hugged him now. He was going for a handshake. See? Now my Appa’s hand is caught awkwardly between your colliding bellies.
Our guy finally got into his car before things could get anymore awkward (Hey!!). Our girl hid behind the door to catch one last glimpse of our guy before he made his way back.
Let me catch a proper glimpse of him from here, he wouldn’t know that I am looking at him. I wish he had a stubble. Oh damn! He caught me. I should learn to hide better (mental notes) and what was that sly smile doing on his face? Was that for me? Well, it could have been worse. I think I will say a yes, he seems adorable. Oh damn! Why am I pink? Meg, incorrigible you are!
I am sure she will be thinking about me all day. Hehe.
And that ends our awkward tale. The two eventually got married. Don’t let the shy nature of our girl or the doofus our guy was in this story fool you. They had a few surprises in them, but that is a story for another time…
PS. Any marriage proposals to the two authors should directed to them individually 😛