Monday, March 20, 2006

An arranged marriage saga...

See there are better ways to spend a sunday afternoon than having to bathe, prepare tea and wear a plastic smile for people who you don't know (and thank god that such is the case). There I was, half-sleepy and slouching in my shorts on the comp when my father suddenly came in with a disapproving stare and asked me to "become presentable". I absolutely dread when he says this... because it usually means we'd be meeting people, who as rule Iam never become to fond of.

In this case, it was a rather robust sikh family... a robust sikh patriarch, a robust sardarni with her two robust children - a son and a daughter. The purpose of their visit was rather odd... atleast to me, because to my parents it was perfectly "understandable".

See the young robust sikh junior (25) was about to get married and the robust sikh family was going to check out the prospective bride. Now it is very embarrassing in Sikh circles to go see the prospective bride without a bevy of (ok atleast one) "family-friend". This "family-friend" person does a very important job... he "negotiates" the terms of marraige because obviously the groom's parents cannot do it.

Why? you ask... arre, they are the groom's parents na!

Anyways, since the robust sikh family did not find any "friends" to do become the "family-friend", they decided to hire... er, ask my folks to step in. Why? Because they are acquaintances and so what if they are not "sikhs" - at least they are panjabi (no, both are not same... very different). I do not know what is more embarrassing... going to see the prospective daughter-in-law without a "family-friend" or going there with someone who obviously will never invite you for family-dinners!

But nevermind, that's just my take.

The Plan - Basically first my mom, the robust sardarni and her robust daughter will go to "check" the prospective bride. You know the ladies-shadies of the house will go first, while the men will stay away! So, they went... and I had to play host and prepare tea for the groom-to-be and his father, as Dad kept chatting with them.

For my part, (they were showing - Jo Bole So Nihaal yesterday on TV)... I played the song "Iam a Jat, kar du tight tere nut" at full volume. (translation: Iam a Jat {sikh}, so I'll tighten the nuts of your head). But nobody got the clue... sigh!

Eventually - Mom came home, and the whole party socialised for a while. The robust sikh family went off. I was later informed that the marraige proposal did not materialise. Why I asked...

"because the girl is 5 feet 6 inches" replied mom.

"so?"

"so, they want a man who is atleast 5 feet 11"

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Couple of things to be kept in mind...
A) This post is NOT a work of fiction.
B) The groom-to-be's height was about 5'9"
C) Both the "groom and bride" to be, were extremely well-educated. Both had completed matriculation; a feat that a huge percentage of our country's population cannot!
D) The picture of the happy matrimony is certainly not theirs!