Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happily Every After?

Today 7.30 AM

In a room just for her

It was quite convenient that everyone had left the room to see the groom coming back to the mandap, while other relatives were busy in the other dressing room chit-chatting and telling each other how they had made their respective husbands buy their costly necklace or ear ring or any obscure piece of jewel on their body.

She was alone. All alone by herself. She saw herself in the mirror.

The light red color sari which was filled with chamki work did go well with her medium complexion. She was woken up early in the morning at around 5 AM like in the army camps and the beautician had started polishing her up. Her job was possibly the toughest in the whole arrangement as she had to show something that was probably non-existent or hidden. Perhaps that’s why even her scrooge like mother did not mind paying up the fat bill of 7500 Rs that she charged for those 2 hours of work. The last thing she wanted to hear was some groom's relatives grumping and complaining about the girl's complexion.

She had a mehendi in shape of a peacock which started from her arms and ended in her tiny fingers. She might have appreciated the work of art on any other day and even on any other person (although she might have felt jealous), but maybe not today. Even the 30 sovereign gold distributed equally on her body failed to accentuate her on one possible area.

Her face.

She felt like as if she had forgotten to smile. And then she thought about him. She wondered what he was doing now.

Yesterday 7.30 PM

His house

Actually it was a tough choice. He had to decide with his limited experience and knowledge. He had done it only very very few times before, but today he needed it. When he used to see it in the movies, he used to think "What a piece of crap", but today it appeared logical. No wonder they tell that art is inspired from life.

He had to choose between Bacardi rum or the Black label. He wondered if doing an inki-pinki-ponki between them would freak out the shop-boy. So finally he decided to go by instinct and logic. Since it was apparent that his life had plunged in darkness, he decided to make it darker with Black label. Logical eh?

After having bought 2 packets of Ruffles Lays and some mixture he did not care to read name about, he went to his room and locked himself up. His roommate was off for night shift and so he was alone. ALONE. He could do whatever he wanted and he was his master today. He remembered seeing an 80's English movie named "8 million ways to die" and wondered if it was all true. Were there really so many possibilities?

Throwing towel on reason, he decided to pursue his current mission.


Today 8 AM

Her younger sister accompanied her from the bride’s room and she was beaming with pride and happiness. Apparently her parents were happy as their freak show was going as planned and their ego was satisfied. The relatives were happy as they would be getting 2 square royal meals and something to gossip about for sometime. What about the girl's happiness hereafter? Who cares.

The place was filled with smoke because of the religious rites being performed. It was convenient for her in a way. Even if anyone would ask why her eyes were moist, she could shift the blame on the smoke. Another option was to say that she was feeling sad for missing her parents from today, although she had little doubt that she was lying enough to get a season ticket to hell. The groom was busy chanting the mantras and even his eyes seemed moist.

She may or perhaps may never know the real reason for his tears. Who knows if he too was victim of circumstances like her? Perhaps that why we humans should never invent a mind reading machine. If they ever prepared one and if it were to be out in the markets, imagine what kind of a catastrophe it could bring on us. No one would even pass an interview, no one would get elected, no one would get married (save a few) and murders could be on the rise.

Scary enough.

She had reasoned and argued with her parents that her choice was correct and that he was perfect. But it never seemed to reach their deaf ears. All they wanted was 'her welfare', 'her goodwill', 'family status', 'relative’s loose talk', 'her sister’s marriage later', ‘what will society say’. She had just one reason on her side and they had so many. The balance never seemed to be tilted in her favor. If she had decided to step out for good, she would be branded 'traitor', 'selfish' and every other thing in the lexicon that is available for making someone depressed. But when her parents state their reasons even if they are for their own, they are 'reasonable' and 'caring'.

Love was still a taboo subject in the second populous country on the face of earth where Vatsayana wrote Kamasutra and epics like ‘Ambikavati-Amaravathy’ were written and Taj Mahal was erected. Most parents in India physically live in the ipod age and their minds and egos are still left in the rock ages.

Welcome to the world of Indian marriages.

The first thing every parent wonders when told about love is that it is infatuation. And even if not the immediate question raised is ‘It will wean over with time’. As if arranged marriage comes with some kind of bond where groom pledges never to ditch the girl.

She wondered if like in those old hindi movies where the hero would appear out of nowhere and drag the heroine out from a forced marriage, he would come on a horse or maybe disguise himself and sit smiling next to her. As she sat near the groom, she slowly turned her head to see his face.

It was not him.

Yesterday 8 PM

There were almost 90 channels on his cable connection and no channel appealed to him. He could not listen to one song and could not watch one scene. The rest were all mega serial shit that he never gave a damn about. Either way they would show 'love triumph above all odds' stuff which would only add fuel to the fire in his heart.

Why do they make movies like that where after the entire struggle the couple remain happy ever after? How many happen that way? Even if they do, what are the other consequences? What happens after marriage is the same as it happens everywhere and anywhere between any couple. No one cares a damn if an arranged marriage goes haywire. Why point out failed love marriages?

He failed to understand what was wrong with him. He was intelligent, smart, decent-looking, earning well. It was the same stuff they were searching for their lovely daughter. Infact he had additional qualification of loving her and caring for her better than they could have ever imagined. Yet he lacked in one important criterion. He was from a different section of society. Seemed as if having born to his parents belonging to this section of society was all his crime.

It’s like a vortex where we get trapped and no way seems out. No one gives a damn if they stay happy later. What matters is NOW. What matters is 'what will all our relatives say', 'what will the society say' as if they share all our emotional burdens. He could not blame her or himself and it was not right as well. They had tried their best. It was just that they were one of the few pairs who revolted against a huge system.

The Black label seemed to be doing what it was intended to do in first place. Make him asleep. He did not want to wake up tomorrow to remember that it was her marriage and that he was not next to her.

He rested his head on the pillow nearby and plunged into deep sleep. A sleep where he could imagine anything. A sleep where there were no boundaries, no limitations, no one to reason any logic, no one to care about.

A dream and a parallel universe where there were no parents or relatives who boasted and talked of status, caste, creed, color or anything obscure. He was alone....alone with her.

"Boy or a girl?"


"Why not a boy?"

"I am a boy. So shouldn’t you have a girl.?"

"Hello....I am a girl.

"Yeah. I want one like you."

"Why do you need another when you have me with you?"

They laugh at their silly joke and smile and hug each other.

P.S: Inspired from too many real incidents…past, present and future

P.S1: தமிழ் படிக்க தெரிஞ்சவங்க கொஞ்சம் இங்கே போங்க


Vg said...

Post heading very impressive da.. :)
True write-up.. :))

N!kh!l said...

Its not very tough to relate to this. Well written.

Dreamzz said...

:) nice..

Gopinath Sundharam said...

Hey Mask: Very well written. Same notion here.

Ramya Ramani said...

Hey u Posted here good..Nice one..BTW was that your first try in Tamil? Hilarious :)

Preethi said...

very nice... loved it

The Journey Home

Divya said...

wow......what a flow of writing, amazing:))

really really im much impressed by the way u hv expressed the real inner feeling of both that boy & girl!

Hats off:)))

ambi said...

Very good write-up.

enna ore peelingsaaaa irukku..? wat is the matter? :p

came from blog-union only. one more kudos for that post.

KK said...

small'a yezhuthina naangalum padipomla :)

prithz said...

The ending was powerful enough to induce a lump in the throat.

Nice label for the post :)

Write a happy ending story for ur next post please :)

Anonymous said...

very very very well written. I must say you did a great job here. I was with both of them with thier thoughts.

The point about people still living in the past was beautifully brought out.

The whole "what will society say" is so overdone in our middle class households. To hell with society. If its not us they gossip about its someone else. They are never out of people to talk about.

I agree. We as a generation should move out of this mould. I hope we do!

Priya Iyer said...

:(( good one...

Gargling Garbage said...

Reality stings! We try to rise above the circumstances that hold us captive, yet pain and helplessness drag us back to our ever accustomed gloom!

Touching story, bud :) ... Got a great depth to it!

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Adada...Is this my friend? Jokes apart...

For the 1st time intha pagela sirikiratha thavira sirichiktey yosikira maari oru post :P

Applause! :)

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

//The first thing every parent wonders when told about love is that it is infatuation. And even if not the immediate question raised is ‘It will wean over with time’. As if arranged marriage comes with some kind of bond where groom pledges never to ditch the girl.//

Awesome..sometimes i feel it wud b gr8 if the world is fast forwarded 2 20+years so atleast by that time ppl come out of the conventional thinking abt marriages! :)

Anu said...

beautifully written... cud so totally relate to it!!

its really a wonder how people decide to give up what matters the most to them just because of this damn thing called "society"


beautifully written...loved how u moved so easily from his thoughts to hers, from yesterday to today.

You brought out their sentiments so well that anyone could really emphatize with them... and I agree- I jus dont understand Indian parents' mentality about marriage- but I think things are changing... Its about time!

Priya Iyer said...

hi harish!

as a sort of dedication to blogging and bloggers, i wish to compile a list of my favourite bloggers and some of their blog posts i really love. do i have the permission to link to some of your old posts? please do let me know. thanks.


Vijay Ganesh said...

80% of indians wont get married without the parent's arrangement !!!

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Alo..any body here ;)

Harish said...

Thanks madam :-)

Thanks mate :-)

Thanks man

Thanks Boss :-)

No pa. Have written some before...quite long back :-(

Harish said...

Thanks :-)

Indeed it was heartfelt and i guess it showed :-)

Na...chumma daan nga na. Edaavudu peelings a azhudanum pola irundudu.

Inna panna thalai. sogam peria pochchu...so kadhayum perisa pochchu :(

Even one month later your request, I am working on that. Will tell you when I write one :-)

Harish said...

It is goddamn hard to do it. I guess 3 generations before people were trying to break free...and we still are. Guess it some stupid curse :(


I tried my best

We all screw the present by living in the past. Wish it wld change.

Harish said...

Welcome to India and its hypocrite society :-)

"but I think things are changing... Its about time!"
We have been saying this since independence :-P

The pleasure is all mine :-)

Bingo :-)