Going back home after months is always great. I cannot describe the feeling in words. I enjoyed a lot, ate a lot more :) . But this time my trip home proved to be a bit different, something that I could have never imagined. One of my cousins was getting married; it’s a love marriage (the first one in my family). The guy is from some other caste, and so, as expected, initially everyone was against the marriage (yes, people are still narrow minded and bother about castes). But my cousin was firm at her decision and everyone had to agree. I last met K (my cousin) when she was in Bangalore. She said “I have now opened the doors for the younger ones in the family like you. Life will be easy for you all now (wink-wink). “
I said “thanks but I don’t need this” and wished her for her new life.
So it was the first day at home and I was having dinner with my parents:
Dad: So how is work going?
Me: It’s going good.
Mom: How are the people in your office?
Me: They are quite cool. Have made a few very good friends in office. I am lucky to find such friends.
Dad: What is the effect of recession in your company?
Me: Not much in India, though people are losing jobs in US office.
Mom: So did you hear about K?
Me: She is getting married naa?
Mom: Love marriage.
Me: Oh yes, I know that. I met her in Bangalore.
Mom: And the guy is from some other caste.
Me: Yes I know. So?
Mom: No, nothing.
(After a long pause)
Dad: So what are your plans?
Me: I haven’t thought about it yet. I have just joined office. I will think about higher studies later.
Mom: Dad is asking about something else.
Me: (gave a confused look).
Mom: So what do you think about marriage.
Me: It’s good that K is getting married. Even if the guy is from other caste, it should not bother anyone now. We should act like mature people.
Dad: Mom is talking about your marriage.
Me: WHAT?? (wdf!!)
Mom: Yes, we were thinking ……..
Me: (interrupting her) I don’t want to get married for another 4-5 years.
Dad: Of course, we are not asking you to marry now.
Me: So what were you both thinking?
Mom: We were just wondering if you have a girlfriend!!
Me: And what made you both think so??
Mom: You are in Bangalore from the past 4-5 years. So…..
Mom: So we were just thinking that you might be having a…..
Me: (in a bit harsh way) No I don’t have any gf.
Dad: So you don’t have any gf?
(Now this is too much. They were driving me crazy)
Me: What do you mean by why??
Dad: (he saw me losing my temper so tried to change the topic) Actually we were just trying to tell you that we will accept any girl you want to marry, we have no problem with her caste. You are free to choose any girl you like. We have no problem if you want to do a love marriage.
Me: Thanks, but now can we change the topic please?
Mom: So rude!!
After dinner I came back to my room and was thinking about what had just happened, I wondered what went wrong with them. Next day I went to meet my aunt. (I have countless relatives. I spend more than half of my vacation time meeting them )
Aunt: So how is office going?
Me: It’s going good.
Aunt: Did you hear about K?
Me: Yes, she is getting married.
Aunt: It’s a love marriage and the guy is from some other caste.
Me: Yeah I know.
Aunt: So what about you?
Me: What-What about me?
Aunt: What have you thought?
Me: About what?
Aunt: About marriage.
(By this time it was obvious what she was up to but I tried to pretend as if I didn’t get her point)
Me: (I repeated the same thing that I had earlier said to my parents) Yes, I feel it’s great. It’s good for her.
Aunt: No I am talking about your marriage. (I knew this was coming)
Me: I don’t want to marry now.
Aunt: I just want to ask if you have any girlfriend?
Me: No aunty; I don’t have any gf. (Something is definitely wrong in my hometown. All of them are acting insane)
Aunt: Its ok, you can tell me.
Me: Tell you what? I have nothing to tell.
(Now I was getting really pissed off)
Aunt: Ok if you don’t want to tell me now then fine. Just remember that you can tell me about your gf anytime. I will talk to your parents and will convince them. Anyways this generation of yours believes in love marriage more than arrange marriage.
Me: Thank you very much, but I have no such intentions, I haven’t even thought anything about it now.
It was then that my little cousin came back from school and my aunt changed the topic. When I was leaving she asked me again: “Do you really have no gf? I am sure you are hiding something from me.”
I decided not to see her again in my life till I get married or get a gf.
Then I met R (one of my cousins). She is the one who tells me all the inside stories of our families and everything that is happening behind my back. But as they say - nothing comes for free. I have to bribe her all the time for the info.
Me: Tell me what’s going on?
R: (gave me a confused look)
Then I told her everything that had happened to me in the past two days.
R: Oh yes, you don’t know. Now everyone has changed. All thanks to K didi.
Me: What has changed? Who have changed? Tell me in detail, will you?
R: After her case, all are saying that it’s ok if children chose their better-halves on their own. Then they were talking about you. They were saying that you must be having a girlfriend. You are away from home from such a long time so they all are under the impression that you have a gf. And the best part is that they all are ready to accept any girl you want to marry with, they have no problem with your love marriage. Cool naa?
Bhaiya aapki toh nikal padi. (wink-wink)
Me: I feel people have gone crazy. They have nothing to do so they started discussing all this crap for time-pass. They should better utilize their time and do something useful rather than discussing about me-my life.
R: So rude you are. Ok tell me do you love anyone?
Me: Naah I don’t. I believe this love is a time waste. There are other better things in life to do. I have hardly seen any people in love getting married. Usually they end up in marrying someone else. Why to waste your time for all this? Love sucks and so does the love marriage.
R: Bhaiya you know what?
R: You suck big time.
Me: Get lost.
R: You get lost.
(Believe me people it’s very difficult to win from your younger ones)
I came back home, was tired, went to my room, consoled myself by imagining that this place is infected with some kind of contagious disease which is attacking people’s brain and making them crazy. I need to be very careful.
Few more days passed and to my relief everyone behaved normally. I thought all this is over and now I can live peacefully at home until the other day when my uncle came to meet me.
Uncle: So how is office going?
Me: It’s going good.
Uncle: Did you hear about K?
Me: Yes, she is getting married.
Uncle: So what are your plans?
Me: (On no!! not again!!!!)
Now I have decided that next time when I go home, if anyone behaves insanely I am going to tell them that I have married secretly in Bangalore and you people need not to bother about me any more.
I just remembered this forward. It goes something like this:
At wedding parties the uncles and aunts pull me by my cheeks and say “you are next”
They stopped when I started doing the same at the funerals.
All you people out there who are interested in love marriage but don't have anyone to fall in love with. Check this out.
(NO he didn't pay me for this.)