Samosa for the Arranged Souls VI
Intro and Chapter 1: The Mark
Chapter 2: The Call
Chapter3: The Talk, Chapter 4: The Biodata, Chapter 5:The Picture
and after a very long delay......... now here is
Chapter 6: The Meeting
Having poured over the resumes(sans coverletter), err...biodata that is, as well the sifting through the piles of pictures , you family is now at a point where they can offer you choices....multiple ones too.
As a girl, who would you like to meet?
a)Highly educated young looking Master's student from a well off family who might forever be studying
b)Orphaned engineer who looks like your dad and lives in a different country
c)Home grown,filthy rich, businessman with an inclination towards wearing pants upto his armpits to cover up the potruding belly
d)Brooding Uttam Kumar(famous dreamy Bengali actor) look alike but skinny chain-smoking journalist
As a guy, which girl would you prefer?
a) Tall, big boned, shorhaired lawyer who is pretty but doesn't smile (atleast on camera)
b) Short, high school senior with a gorgeous body and a rich daddy
c) Dark skinned doctor with beautiful big eyes and long black hair
d) Skinny business student with blonde streaks in her hair in a leather jacket
"But what about the person behind the picture?" - you exclaim at your parents. "I don't know what sort of person that is! "
Smirking and winking all the way, your parents tell you -thats exactly why they have set up a meeting with his/her parents.
"The parents? I don't care about them! What about him/her?"- you mutter, but only under your breath because you know very well that no one meets without a chaperone in MAM, atleast not for the first meet.
After multiple excited phone conversations, a meeting place gets chosen. Choices in this case are limited to a mall or a restaurant.
On the appointed day, you can choose dress like you always do thinking that the other person should like you for who you are, but rest assured that your mom will definitely inject a bit of her own fashion sense either through neatly side-parted oiled hair and full sleeved formal shirt(even if its middle of the afternoon) for the guys or ample strokes of pink blush on cheeks and equally ridiculous amount of jewelries (to show off the good status of your own family, you see) for the girls.
Hold on tight, you are now officially on your way for a blind date with butterflies-on-sugar in your stomach.....and your parents are there too! If that wasn't enough, they have decided to bring your older married siblings/uncles/aunties along for the ride, just so they may partake in the judging-of-the-other-party while enjoying your pitiful attempts at conversations with the opposite s_x.
Now in the stone ages this 'meeting' usually happened at the girl's house where 'conversations' were generally along the lines of -
'Hello" as the girl walks in with refreshments for everyone while her mother points our she has cooked it all.
Girl and guy are both studying the floor intently as the guy's relatives ask the girl the very important questions that they are sure the guy is dying to know.
Questions like :
"So what are you studying" (a warm-up question since they already know the answer )
"Beta(girl) can you cook" "How about embroidery?" someone else pipes in.
"Do you read the newspapers?", asked the 60 year old uncle in the group.
"Do you read the religious scriptures everyday? Can you recite for us chapter such and such"50 year old aunty solemnly enquires.
followed by...."I think we have an agreement".
General hugging ensues.
They live happily ever after never having uttered more than "Hello".
You may relieve yourself of the look of horror at this point.
Those were the 'old days'. Thats how the parents got married. Some girls never saw the guys even.
Things are different now.
For one you may sneak a peek at each other.....while everyone is pretending to be best friends.
26 year old Rashida says that she was actually allowed to go for a brief stroll with the guy her parents took her to see while everyone else slowed down behind them.
"So what did you talk about?", I ask.
"He asked me what I studied", she replies.
Rashida rolls her eyes and says, "He also asked about my interests and hobbies" "I told him that I liked to listen to music, cook and knit"
"Err you don't knit Rashida", reminds the surprised me.
"I know! But I couldn't tell him I like to go rollerblading now can I? Mom says its not a suitable womanly interest."
"So, what did you learn about him from that meeting?"
"Nothing. His uncle caught up with us and started asking me questions about my school."
Not everyone is as lucky.
The Meeting ....continues next time. Stay tuned.