This V-Day was supposed to be different. After all, it’s been 24 years in the making, at the very least. What we didn’t suspect was just how different! Since in all probability we’ll all have our very own ball & chain in place for the next one, it was supposed to be the one V-day to rule them all. There we were - single, swinging & loving it! In theory. Instead it simply served to accentuate just how different our lives had become from what they were meant to be.
Onward then, to how it came about. For Khushboo and I, it was the first time we were on our own. Literally. In a strange city, with a place of our very own, and most importantly no relatives cluttering up the place. An adhesive family can be quite hard on a girl. The exception for Shruti being of course, that she did have relatives messing about in the city. Not that we were expecting to whoop it up, but somehow doing the same everyday things on a special day makes it worse.
Let’s get to it one by one. Shruti, quite unexceptionally, spent her V-day working late at the office, yet again. Khushboo was forced to have dinner with aunties while the GH caretaker took the night off to celebrate! See what I mean about doing ordinary things on special days?
Finally we come to the piece de resistance – my story. Me, I couldn’t just be satisfied with doing the ordinary stuff I would’ve done any other day. Nooo. I spent the evening gasp *cooking* for my grandfather. As you can guess, I object to those circumstances on several levels. If I have to spend it with relatives, why did I have to cook? And if I was going to cook, why for a septuagenarian? Again doing this on any other day wouldn’t have been so bad (I like to think so…maybe I’m wrong).
The irony of it all isn’t lost on me. Of all the hordes of relatives, my grandfather is the least objectionable one. Or he used to be. I used to love him see. I was his favorite coz I didn’t prattle (his words – in telugu of course), I read books and wasn’t generally a nuisance that most kids are, at a certain age. Then began the Great Search. The entire family decided it was time for me to marry. Unless you’re a girl born into this “great” country, you wouldn’t understand what a hellish nightmare it can be. Let me amend that. Unless you’re a smart, reasoning girl, you won’t understand.
Nightmare how? I’ll show you. What are the first words you’d expect a grandpa to say to his favorite granddaughter, seeing her after a long time? Maybe ask how I was, or how’s my life or something along those lines right? Wrong. You don’t bother with little things like that when you undertake to marry a girl off. He tells me, and I quote “What are those bags under your eyes? Why have you lost weight? We’re trying to get you married and you look like this?”
I ain’t kidding. I was sorely tempted to tell him by the time any groom sees me like that, it would be too late for him. Poor guy, I really do pity him. The groom I mean, not my grandfather.
Any wonder then that after the Great Search began, I’m no longer on easy terms with any relative, not even my grandfather? Even if they’re not aware of it. So far though, things have been working out well for me. It’s been 18 months since the Great Search began & they haven’t managed to find even one mildly interesting character for me to inspect. At this rate, I might even get another V-Day. Till then, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!