I was well settled in my career, enjoying life and still healing wounds of my broken relationship from college. My parents decided that it is time for me to get married. Honestly, I was also excited with the idea of creating a profile on matrimonial site and finding my soul mate. So, after a few months I got this expression of interest from a guy. He was the perfect guy according to my parents- same community, MBA from top B school, hi-flying job, common relatives. There was a sudden wave of thrill in my house. He was like a Godsent match for me.
But, reality dawned when the kundali was matched. I was the so called “Manglik” and he was not. His mom (Great Indian Mom!!) did not want to risk the son’s life by getting a Manglik DIL (Daughter-in-law). I think probability of death is higher in car accidents, bomb blasts and cancer than marrying a Manglik girl. But, after all she is the “MAA”. Then, the common relatives had to intervene to encourage her to consult a “Pandit”. Somehow, the Panditji convinced her that I am not a threat her son’s life (Life Insurance companies- are you listening? He is a potential sales hire!!).
A meeting was fixed for us by our families in a suburban mall. I was dressed like a princess by my family. I reached a few minutes early, checked myself in the mirror and waited for him at the entrance. There were butterflies in my stomach. Will he be the one? If yes, then will I be married to him in the coming months? Will there be “love at first sight”? I was absorbed in my thoughts and was jolted back to reality by the ringing phone. I answered and was greeted by a deep voice on the other side. He had reached and was looking for me. I scanned the crowd and spotted one guy on the phone wearing a brown jacket. I waved and he waved back. We had seen each other’s picture. I anticipated a warm “hello” with some exchange of playful glances and a bit of chemistry. If only wishes can be horses…
He walked towards me, said “Hello, let us go to the food court” and walked ahead. I was confused and did not know how to react. I was expected to follow him. I scurried in the crowd to spot and follow him. He was marching ahead and I was trying to keep pace with him. (Whatever happened to the charming and playboy breed?). After a sprint, we reached the food court and found a table. I will now have chance to look at him closely and get mesmerized, feel nervous and shy (Ohh- some addayien and sharmana like the yesteryear’s heroine). “You can never kiss him” was what my inner voice said when I stared at him. The puritan in me snapped at the inner voice for being lustful and for prioritizing physical pleasure over emotional bonding. I made a mental note to correcting the old adage- Love is not really blind ;-).
He was a short guy with average (Ok, I will be honest, below-average) looks, narrow squinting eyes and ugly lips. “Ladke ki shakal nahin, gunnas dekhne chaiye”, my Mom’s word echoed in my ears. I decided to silence the inner turmoil and focus on the task oops guy at hand. We made some casual conversations about work, likes, dislikes etc. He was a boring conversationalist also. I narrated my weekend activities to him and then eagerly waited for him to share the same. He smiled and replied “I do pretty much the same” (You Moron- I go for waxing, threading and facials over weekends. Do you also do the same?). He talked about some complex physics-related book he was reading and went on to describe the theories from the book. I restrained myself to get up and run from my seat.
After some drab conversations, he stood up to get some refreshments for us. Wait a minute! Is there something wrong with his jacket? It was unusually tight on his stomach. On closer observation, I realized that he had a big paunch. Yes, you read it right- “A BIG PAUNCH” which was almost the size of a big watermelon. Left alone, I convinced myself that he is the “Perfect Guy and a Godsent match for me”. I sensed that he was nervous and uncomfortable. I guess he had also sensed that this conversation was going nowhere and this was not working for us. He spent a few seconds checking his phone and told me nervously that one of his friends is here to handover some stuff to him. He needs to collect it. I said ok. He asked me if I would like to wait. I volunteered to accompany him hoping that we will come back and continue our conversation.
As we reached the ground level of mall, he turned around and asked me “How will you go home? I can drop you in my car?” I was taken aback- “Go home?!!! When did we decide to end the meeting? Maybe, he decided in the elevator. Should he not make me a part of that decision or at least announce his decision to me?” He was anxiously waiting for my answer. The modern, educated, career woman in me voiced her independence by saying that “Thanks, I will manage”. After exchanging pleasantries he started walking towards the parking lot. I was left standing- dumbfounded, confused and disappointed in a crowded mall. All this just happened in a few minutes. I was not disappointed because we did not click or our meeting did not achieve the desired result. I was sad because “THE PERFECT GUY” was not chivalrous enough to end it on a better and friendly note.
With a heavy heart I reached home. My mom answered the doorbell and looked at me in anticipation. I ignored her and stepped inside only to realize that all my family members are in the living room and waiting for me to announce the results. I smiled, gathered courage and told them that it did not work out. This was devastating for my mom. She could not understand why? He is well educated, belongs to the same community and a good known family. I tried explaining that I did not like his looks; he is a boring conversation maker and leads a non exciting life.
My Mom could not comprehend the above reasons stated by me and after all “Shaadi ke baad toh sab theek ho jaata hain”.
“But, he is PERFECT”, my Mom reasoned.
“Yes, he is PERFECTLY IMPERFECT” is what I said to myself while stomping back to my room.