I celebrate all my birthdays! I just love the fact that I am going to explore more of this wonderful world with each passing birthday! I particularly celebrated my 13th, 16th, 18th, 19th and 20th birthdays with royal pomp and show!
When I was in my 10th grade, my mom called me to her room and gave me a small shocker. At the time it wasn’t one but now when I think about it, it was like making love to a livewire!
So there was me and mom and about a 100(without too much exaggeration…ok fine maybe a bit!) boxes spread out on her bed. We start a conversation about the future. My studies and what I intended to do after that. And then she popped open a grenade from her arsenal kitty.
“For your marriage!” she proclaimed and proceeded to adorn me with a humongous collection of gold (urgh) jewellery!
I just don’t understand what it is with Indian women. Particularly malayalis. The moment a girl shows the slightest signs of a bosom she is herded away from the usual crowd of uncles and boy cousins and “boy friends” into “safe” (according to them) cocoons (though considering the society we live in, yeah maybe we all do need our own, personal cocoons!) slowly metamorphosizing into a lady all prepped up and ready to become wonderfully settled in life!
No ways am I trying to be one of those pseudo feminist rights group member. I do believe in marriage its just my humble opinion that girls are usually programmed into thinking that they have nothing better to do in life other than get married, have children and take care of ones husband! I am just happy to see that most Indian women are at least breaking free of this blight at some point. Applaud yourself ladies! You sure showed them all!
I saw my first proposal when I was 19 years of age. Did I hear a gasp? Well it was fun the first time I assure you. I have always loved the thrill of new experiences. There was always that “what to expect” factor coming into play.
So I got all decked up…and yeah I was pretty tensed. More tensed than I needed to be actually...but then it was my first time so I’ll need a break there.
As per the aunty who brought the proposal, the guy was a catch…I don’t remember what he did but I do recall that he was working in Singapore. I think I was wearing a red salwaar. And yes, it was with heavy work…(Pssst…After a couple of proposals bombed in the same dress, it was cast away as unlucky! Talk about idiotic beliefs or whatever!).
The aunt who got the proposal (let’s just call her JUDAS for the time being) had already arrived and inspected me top to toe and proclaimed that I looked gorgeous. Then another aunty arrived and yet another. Being the eldest girl in the family, my first proposal was a huge affair.
As usual the “Goldwinner” snacks (Pls refer blog: The most awaited banquet) were arranged and I sat there with a million of my relatives around me, anxiously waiting for Prince Charming. It was a special moment for me as well, I must admit. I mean, come on, when is the last time you have relatives falling all over trying to make you happy and pamper you and make you look just right? I felt like a queen…but it was not for long I assure you!
Sccccccrrrreeeechhhh!!! I could hear the boy’s car outside. My stomach was a bundle of nerves!
As tradition has it, the girl must stand in some far corner away from the prying eyes of the boy and the family and emerge like a glorious butterfly only after she is summoned! I unfortunately had to wait on the first floor.
I could hear his and hellos exchanged, god forsakenly idiotic comments and very much forced laughter. I didn’t know it was just a white dwarf to the supersonic explosion of his and hellos, idiotic comments and forced laughter that was to follow me for the many years to come!
As I sat there perspiring a bit, I heard my mum give the dreaded signal to emerge!
Imagine this…walking down an entire flight of stairs with ones high heels meeting the steps in an insane cacophony, add about 12 pairs of eyes fixed pointedly at one and yes, that made my grand entrance!!
I sat across the prospective groom and as instructed, was not supposed to glare at him or check him out up and down. I could not help it…I gave one look and almost burst out laughing. My proposal was quite a catch indeed! One catches whales; sharks and maybe tuna but I had me a sardine! A fair sardine and maybe not ugly or smelly but a sardine none the less! The guy was half my size (and I was pretty slim in those days; sigh!!) and he looked like he was threatened and tortured into coming by his mum and dad (who if I start describing would end up looking too rude!) His eyes were darting here and there and he looked like a lost soul.
The aunties and uncles started jabbering away.
In midst of slurping a glass of apple juice and milk, the guy’s mum said “Mone, Kuttiyude aduthu poyi irrunu samsariku. Ningalku enthengilum parayan indaville?”
(Son, go sit next to the girl and speak with her. You both might have something to talk right?)
The above is a dialogue that will never run short in any malayali proposal!
If the imagined the guy to be any vegetable, I would say he was a beet; because the minute his mother asked him to sit near me, he turned so red, he would have put any county fair beetroots to shame! He just shook his head and stayed put! In fact I don’t even recall him opening his mouth except to accept a forced upon chicken sandwich!
I guess the chapter was closed then and there. Though they did call up after they left saying that they liked me and were interested in taking it to the next level!
My mum brought out her “Magic Excuse Box” and said that the guy was too thin and would not be an apt match for me or some nonsense like that.
I do remember however that on that particular day, for some reason, the sausages tasted extra yummy!