"Bharathi. Be ready. They could be here any moment." shouted Bharathi's mom Mrs. Durga.
They had done this whole thing a dozen times before and still every time she did this, she felt panicky. She wondered if at least this time it could end happily for all. Her thoughts were cut short by the arrival of the Blue Sedan outside their house. From the car Ramani's parents alighted followed by a beaming Ramani. Durga and her husband Mr. Krishna welcomed them into their 600x600 hallway. Ramani's parents sat on the couch for the couple even as Ramani sat on the single chair facing the 42 inch huge Philips HDTV. Durga could sense that the drama had just begun.
After 10 minutes Bharathi entered the hall with a silver dish with 5 cups of chicory coffee and sweets and savories which nobody would touch. Some things never change with time and perhaps this tradition was one among them. A bored Bharathi sat on the opposite single chair facing Ramani wondering what was going to happen.
"So all looks fine. I believe that the silence of the groom and bride seems to say that all is well and we can take the next step" said Ramani's father Mr RaviPrasad looking at his wife Mrs Raji. Whoever wrote that silence is a sign of acceptance may rot in hell thought Bharathi.
"Yes Sir. Please tell me what you expect from us." said Mr. Krishna as-a-matter-of-factly.
"Well. Apart from taking care of the marriage expenses, you would have to have to gift a car and flat on Ramani's name and they should be handed on the day of marriage. And I assume that you do have 250 sovereign gold in addition for marriage" said Mr. RaviPrasad.
He was talking to them as if they planted and grew money on the trees outside their house. But Mr. Krishna felt that this was better than the previous party which asked for 10 crores and 500 sovereign Gold. At that time he felt like killing them and dumping them on moon. But then there was little someone could do in these circumstances.
"Ok Sir. We are fine with it. We will get the date of the marriage and engagement fixed from our astrologer and call you soon." said Mr. Krishna looking at Mr. Ravi.
Durga could not believe herself. When she got married, she was allowed to enter the house only after her father got them a brand new car. It was a humiliating experience for Durga to see her father's lifetime savings go into thin air in a day's marriage.
She was sad and happy at the same time. Sad because all their savings would be spent on their son Bharathi's marriage and dowry to marry that girl Ramani. Happy because as a woman she felt that although the redemption was only financial and not emotional....at least there was one now.
P.S: Read this and wondered what if and why not.