Nandini. Fondly called ‘En’ amongst friends. All of 27 years of age and raring to go. Takes life in her stride and nothing, I mean nothing can fail her. Supremely confident about her self, a good daughter to her parents and very very popular amongst friends. You will meet En in all her avatars and see her frequently appearing on my blog from time to time.
“Hyperventilated parents. Annoying aunties. Gossip aunties. Show-off cousins. Confused guests. Gatecrashers. Ill-mannered waiters. Accusing brother-in-law’s wife’s mother. I had to constantly keep reminding myself that it’s ‘me’ who’s getting married.” That was all the light hearted conversation En was having with her friend, Priya who had just tied the knot.
She took a sip of her Cappuccino, looked at En and said, “Are you deciding to get hitched sometime soon?” En was now looking at one of her closest friends with a great deal of resentment as she continued, “You must meet this friend of mine… he seems perfect for you.” En wondered to herself, ‘Did she not say, exactly 10 minutes back about how it should be ‘your’ wedding?’ But that was not all, Priya was now ranting about how En’s biological clock was ticking and that she should put everything else to rest to look for ‘the’ man. Now, En had no clue whether she would even like this guy or no… but one thing that she was close to being sure was that, she liked her friend a lot less in the last 10 minutes.
And as she kept raving about this ‘dude’, came the more interesting part in the conversation. Priya ran her through a complete detailed background history, talking about his education… which school he went to, his current job profile… how he started his career… where… why… the place he’s based in and how he’s traveled through India, thanks to his father’s transferable job, how he has a hang of En’s culture because he’s lived for 3 years in Kolkata, from age 1 – 4, can you beat that? And then all she had to do, was utter those golden words, “He’s very handsome”. En just kept looking at her, wondering.
She was having a feeling of déjà vu… Barely 24 hours back, En had had a similar conversation with her dad, where he went on about this ‘oh-so-handsome’ Bong guy. I think what was scaring En the most was the word ‘handsome’. She was thinking to herself how the term ‘handsome’ was quite literally old-fashioned. By handsome one would imagine a guy to be tall and fair with a hairstyle that used to be ‘in’ in the Eighties, the ones Moms would like. And as if there was a hidden meaning between those words – ‘He could be a con artist, a wife-beater, a porn star or even a pauper for all you care, but thou shall not compromise on good looks’. In amusement En had stared at her father, thinking how as parents they always kept us away from the idea of ‘boys’ through our adolescent years and now the very people were pushing us towards any random man, even they knew little about, with so much confidence to spend the rest of our lives. ‘Isn’t that weird?’, En had asked herself the question just yesterday, and there she was looking at her friend, still talking about how this guy is so cut for her… ‘How would she know that… Huh? And what’s this big deal about ‘the age’… like it’s a flight to eternity that you’re almost about to miss which will otherwise change your whole life’. She thought to herself, ‘Well, yes, if I don’t get married to a guy who’s so good looking, of course, my image long enough to last a lifetime, would be jeopardised. I would be known as the girl who made the worst decision of her life, or worse still, I would be known as the wife of an ugly man. Oh my god! That would be terrible’. She chuckled.
Hence, the idea of mentally marrying this handsome man who’s sole mission was to be born to marry En, made her spring out of her seat for a meeting with an imaginary dentist. Cavities or no cavities, a dentist is always a good excuse, or so she thought. And there went Priya again, “Oh by the way, I think I forgot to add, his older brother’s wife is a very good dentist. Maybe you could see her.”