There’s a basic dictum -which goes something like this – Given enough time, things are not as bad as they first looked. Time puts a positive spin on events. Unfortunately for me, that doesn’t apply. For two days after my “First Official Sight-Seeing Episode” – circa last Saturday, I still reel with “Omigosh” every time I remember it and go red in the face with accumulated embarassment. Like I said before, the only thing which works with unfailing regularity for me is Murphy’s Law -“What can go wrong will go wrong”. I still remember being nicknamed Die Hard in my UG days – because I was always the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time – always catching my friends off-guard in their moments of intimacy with their girlfriends. This was purely accidental – but my friends wouldn’t believe it as I was also the editor of “the Buzz” the college magazine and the next month’s rumour column would often include unsubtle hints about certain eye-witness scenes. That’s me in a nutshell – an unconventional personality who just loves to push the limits of what society’s comfortable with and likely to do something barely predictable.
The point I’m trying to make is – of all the things to go wrong – this was one I wasn’t expecting to. I mean I was on my first official sight-seeing trip to check out a girl -under the proper supervision of both sets of parents – if you know what I mean. And then events took on a life of their own -so that in the end it was a complete Comedy Time. The first thing which happened was a fight with my mum just when we were about to start -regarding my unshaven face- She screamed at me to shave- when I had intentionally not shaved to grow a stubble – for I feel I look good with a 7’0 clock stubble. In order not to complicate things we did the needfull and proceeded straight to Madipakkam to the girls place.
Unfortunately, the girls people had decided to welcome the new prospective son-in law with a brightly painted house and they had just that morning painted the front doors which had stilll not dried (due to the rains). As is my luck I put a hand to the door which came away with half of that door’s paint. So the first thing I had to do when I was welcomed inside was to ask to use the bathroom – even before seeing the girl (getting me strange looks from the assembled relatives).
This screw-up on my part made me so tensed up I even forgot to nibble the sweets provided specially for me which the girls side must have taken as a negative omen or something..
Then they brought in the girl and seated her diagonally to me – so that eye contact between us was kept to the minimum. My Dad promptly started answering calls on his mobile which he kept up throughout the episode. My mom started a little filler conversation with the other concerned parties but couldn’t keep it going indefinitely. And then they started on me. “Arent you going to ask her anything? Come on, feel free, ask her whatever you want? well what about the girl, does she want to ask him something/anything?”. Thus went my mothers prompting for me….What could I ask this unknown, strange girl? “Your favorite movie? Your favorite film star?” Give me a break. How could I ask her the important doubts plaguing me like “If we have a fight after the wedding -will you be content to just scream at me or will you try to break something on my head?” This sort of all-important marital questions cannot be asked in a crowd, right?
Finally, the ordeal came to an end and we left before we used up all the goodwill- my dad still on his mobile – oblivious to everything which had just gone by. There was all the usual bonhomie of we’ll get in touch and we’ll let you know. And once in the car – my mom started blasting me -“Why did you freeze? Why are you so shy? Why cant you talk normally? what will they think of you? They’ll think you are useless”. All this in a soliloquy (and in front of the driver…). Finally my mother asked “Well, what about the girl? did you like her?”. I didnt answer her straight – because I didn’t know how to phrase it. The girl was; shall we say- petite (actually very short) and well toned (very thin) . I’m 178 cms/5’10” and well- built and being extra-large is not something you can accuse me of without reason.
I remembered an old Kanndasan song about Manaivi Amaivadalam – Where he says Porutam udalilum vendum or something like a good pair should match physically too – but tactfully conveyed to my mother that this was early days yet to make a decision based on one option. Let me sample the field -check out two or three other girls and maybe then I’d be able to make up my mind…Meanwhile my mother as advised me to act more confident next time – to sit up straight (not on the edge) look the girl straight in the eye and talk boldly. Maybe next time….