I knew all along that I will be having an arranged marriage and I was prepared for that. The first time this topic came up was when I had finished my graduation. My maternal grandmother did the honours of initiating the discussion. But good sense and my good luck prevailed and I proceeded to complete my MBA. I got a job offer which required me to stay in Chennai while my parents were still in Delhi.
I was so preoccupied in settling into my job, I hardly noticed the initial 2 months whiz past me. I was thoroughly enjoying my work, my new found monetary independence and the time I was spending with my friends. I was blissfully unaware of the sudden turn life had in store for me.
One fine evening, thoroughly contended after a good day’s work and an early dinner with a classmate, I was settling down for the night with a book I had been wanting to read for quite a while. It was a thriller and I was quite engrossed in following the clues the murderer had left in the story. So, when my mobile rang, it kind of startled me.
My mom was calling me and after taking a moment to collect myself I answered the call. After initial inquiries on my health and work, she said,” Ammu, your dad wants to talk to you”. Sometimes, one does get an intuition of something important about to happen and when my mom said this line, immediately I was sure this was going to be serious. One more reason was that, whenever my mum& dad start plotting and I was involved, my mum let my Dad do the talking. I can never say no to him.
I said, ” Ok, what is it about?”. ” He will tell you himself. Just a sec”, is what I got in reply. I could feel the tension in me rising. In a moment, I heard the rich baritone of my dad’s voice.
Dad: “Ammu, how are you doing? All well at work?”
Me: ” Yes, Dad. Fine. How are you?”
Dad: ” Achcha, listen..we are planning to register your name and the horoscope with this matrimonial service centre. I guess its the right time now to start searching for a suitable groom.”
Me: ” But, dad, isnt it a bit early? Atleast let me complete a year at work.”
Dad: ” Ofcourse, it isnt as if you are going to get married tomorrow. We are just starting the process. And we are only registering your name and you know there is a long process involved.”
Me: “But, dad…”
Dad: ” No ifs and buts, Ammu…Its high time now. You wanted to do your higher studies after graduation , we said yes and then you wanted to take up this job in Chennai and we let you do so. Now its your turn to listen to us. Ok”
I couldnt reply to the finality in his voice. I whispered a barely audible yes.
Dad: ” What? Hello..Hello..”
Me( weakly and meekly): ” Yes, Dad”. There, the Project Ammu’s Wedding kickstarted – not with a bang but with this weak yes
Dad: ” Good girl. Have a good night’s sleep.”
And the line was disconnected. It is left to anybody’s imagination about the ” good night’s sleep” I had.
To be continued…