Yesterday was a milestone in the area of Indian girl rights. Yes, you read that right. My mom agreed that I’d have a “love” marriage (as opposed to, say, a “non-love” marriage). She had been furiously searching grooms for the past one year, someone who’d respect me, care for me and watch cricket (and surreptitiously, Fashion TV) all round the clock in the hospital reception TV as I battle for my life in the ICU during the last days. Whatever. I said “no” each time she showed a picture of a prospective serial cricket watcher. (Actually I never did look at the photographs clearly. Okay, I was lying. I did, but didn’t want to get married to an utter stranger.) My dad thought I was being narcissistic and sat down and patiently explained to me that it is the inner beauty that matters. “Ok, so why didn’t I win the Miss Universe contest?” I shot back. He fell silent, and never brought up the marriage topic ever again.
Yesterday, mom decided enough was enough. And so did I. We both decided to end the search mutually. Her search, I mean. Not mine. (Are you kidding me?) And then, as I was preparing to go to sleep, she wearily asked me to search a guy for myself.
“You know, you should have found someone for you while you were in college,” she advised me.
“Too late for that, eh?” I murmured, as I thought of all the sleepless nights I spent, crying silently for my parents to come and take me home from the college hostel. Precious time lost that could have been put to good use.
“Hmm,” she said.
“You should go out and meet people,” she said as a matter of fact.
“Hmm,” I said, not at all liking the way she insinuated that I did not have a “social” life. Okay, I didn’t, but she didn’t have to be so, “in your face” about it.
“Then maybe, you would find someone,” she continued undeterred.
Not at all liking the way the conversation was panning out, I decided to redeem myself of the however-little self-respect I had left.
“You know I’ve been seeing someone…” I mentioned casually.
“Oh,” was her only reply. Gotcha!
“What’s his name?”
Didn’t see that one coming.
“Boy,” I blurted. (I honestly didn’t know why I said that.)
“Oh, what’s his first name?” she enquired.
“Boy,” I said again, and fervently wished I’d sink into a hole under the ground right then.
“Boy as in BYE or BOY?” my mom asked sweetly.
“B.O.Y,” I spelt out patiently.
“Hmm… Boy Boy,” she repeated to herself. I sunk back lower and lower into the ground.
“So what does he do?” she continued.
“Err hmmm, work,” I said.
“Yeah, what kind of work?” she pursued doggedly.
“Office work…” I replied, cringing and mentally facepalming myself a million times.
“Hmm.. ‘Boy Boy’ who does ‘office work’…why don’t you ask him to come and meet us sometime?” she suggested.
“Yeah, eventually,” I croaked, unable to bear the humiliation anymore.
“Good,” she said.
I didn’t reply, because I was fake sleeping by then.
So much for girl rights. Gah!