The earlier chapters can be read here.
The initial disappointment over, my dad got back into the search mode with a renewed and additional vigour. The dining table conversations between my mum and dad and my weekly telephonic conversations with them, centred around this theme only. I was always told about some profile or the other. At one point of time, I couldn’t even guess my dad’s mood just by hearing his “Hello”. I could feel his smile if there had been favourable developments and his irritation if things were not moving the way he wanted.
Meanwhile, I went to Delhi on a official visit and stayed over the weekend. During the course of dinner, I found my dad to be in a very non-communicative mood which happens when he is worked up over something. I decided to speak to my mum about it later.
When I brought up the topic, the reason was just as I had suspected. My dad was worried since things were not moving the way on the Search front. My mum said,” Enquiries come, we talk over the phone, we send the horoscopes they match and then we send photographs. Just when we think that something is going on positively, they don’t want to proceed further. Anyway, its late now. You sleep and we will talk tomorrow morning.” I gave her a hug and went immediately to a deep sleep.
It was almost 8 AM when I woke up in the morning. The morning was bright and sunny and so was my dad. He was in a good mood and all the grouchiness of the previous evening had vanished. I was having my morning cuppa and was skimming through the newspaper. When I reached the Classifieds section, I could see tick marks around some advertisements in the Brides Wanted column. I smiled inwardly and when I looked up, I saw my dad was still sitting there. He looked as if he wanted to tell me something. I folded the newspaper (newspapers not folded in the proper manner irritates my dad to no end and I didn’t want to cloud his bright face ) and made some small talk. Then I asked him, “Dad, is there something you want to talk to me about?” He took the cue and said, “ Ammu, I have been wondering why there has been no progress on your marriage front. There were many alliances which were on the verge of getting finalised but didn’t materialise. This was bothering me for so many days and yesterday night it struck me…”
“What?” I interrupted. Unmindful of my interruption, he continued, “We would need a set of your latest photographs. We have been sending your photographs which were taken a couple of years back. Now that you are here, lets have your new snaps taken.”
Ah, I knew this was coming topic but unfortunately I didn’t expect it during my 2-day visit. Actually, I have been resisting this part of the arranged marriage for some time now. I am ok with taking my snaps for the form-filling and other official stuff but somehow I couldn’t get myself to go to the studio all dressed up in a sari and get myself photographed and send it to people whom I never knew existed.
Ah, little did I know that I would be doing precisely that not once, not twice but FOUR times. Strange are the ways of life.
To be continued…