So, I am finally overcoming inertia to write this much-in-demand (ok ok…can’t you let a girl flatter herself?) post on my groom-hunting saga. So…where do I start? Ah…I know just the way to do it!
Circa July 2009
After extensive discussions on the whys and the wherefores of their darling daughter having so much fun, the parents decided it was time to find an appropriate scapegoat for me to get hitched to. Of course, they were delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to indulge in this exercise, like all other Indian parents. Had they known then that this exercise would turn out to be unending, they might have been a little less excited about the whole affair. Then, one day, mummy dearest sat me down to ask me what kind of man I wanted. She might as well have asked me to calculate the distance between the earth and Alpha Centauri to the 16th decimal. That might have been easier than to explain what kind of man I really wanted. How on earth a girl is supposed to answer THAT question without sounding superficial, materialistic, indifferent or plain inappropriate is anybody’s guess. Add to the fact that men don’t really come pre-configured to specifications, and you have a rather difficult situation. Come to think of it, it would be rather convenient if we were able to configure men to specifications, like buying a laptop on the DELL site. Tall, dark, handsome, knows to cook, doesn’t mind earning less than wife, will do the dishes…but anyway, I digress.
Barely a month after I agreed to an arranged marriage (yes, I did protest, if you must know), the mater came to me with the profile and photo of a potential groom. I was hitting the panic button at the idea of being married, and yet desperately wanted to like him. The guy in question, let’s call him Potential Groom No.1 (PG1) for convenience’s sake, was quite good-looking. He had an impressive enough profile for me to agree to meet him. I took his phone number and he already had mine. I can’t remember now if it was he who called or me, but over a telephonic conversation, we determined (electronically) that electronic means of communication could prove to be dicey and decided to meet.
Owing perhaps to my upper middle-class upbringing, which taught me that food is five-star hotels is strictly restricted to conferences and parties for which others would pay I was surprised when he suggested we meet at one that was barely 5 minutes from my office. I agreed, for want of a better reason to say no. Those who know me also know I am a punctuality-Nazi. Keeping to my usual habit of arriving anywhere 5 minutes ahead of time, I was not very happy at realizing that PG1 was with clients, having chosen to squeeze in some last-minute meeting between the previous meeting with clients and the meeting with me. I ended up waiting a good 10 minutes, each minute grating on my nerves more than the previous. I would probably have been happier knowing he was stuck in traffic or something. In hindsight, the fact that he put his stupid client meeting (at 7.00 PM, if I may add) ahead of meeting me, should have given me a heads-up. But, let’s just say I can be dense when it comes to such things. In hindsight again, I suspect that he probably scheduled that client meeting just to make sure he billed the coffee off to the office; middle-class upbringing and all that, you know?
The meeting got off to a pleasant start, despite by slight annoyance at being made to wait. After the mandatory disclaimers that this was not something we were comfortable with, we got down to the nitty-gritty of discussing likes and dislikes. He asked me about my interests, and true to my nature, I spoke for about 3 minutes (yes…I am sure it was only 3 minutes) about my blog. He listened with an intelligent and interested look in his eyes. When I finished, I asked him about his. And this was when I realized that he could out-talk me in any talkathon! And he ONLY talked about work. About how his multi-billion dollar bank gave out multi-billion dollar loans to multi-billion dollar companies and about how loans were sometimes syndicated and so on. At this juncture, it becomes necessary to point out that seven years of university education, along with several hours of 8 AM classes on Macroeconomics and Economics of Defense (in peak winter with sub-zero temperatures) have helped me master the art of sleeping with my eyes wide open, and with an interested and intelligent look on my face. And yes, I do realize that this is probably exactly was HE was doing during my three-minute talk on my blog as well! And I admit that this is exactly what I did the fifth time he mentioned his multi-billion dollar bank with multi-billion dollar clients!
Now, this should give you a fair idea about where this was headed. After about an hour and 15 minutes, an hour and 12 minutes of which he monopolized talking about his damned bank, we decided to end the meeting. I might still have subjected myself to one more round of negotiations had he not said anything beyond good night that evening. But, he chose to damn himself and said, “Nice to have met you. And to be honest, I like you. And am ok with you as well. You can tell your parents. But, I am not sure I want to get MARRIED to you.”
Erm…what he was suggesting is anybody’s guess. But I decided I couldn’t live with a lifetime of discussing loans, syndicated loans, corporate financing, mergers, joint ventures and acquisitions. I have enough of that at work, me thinks! So adieu to PG1! Now, I realize that we’re through with just one potential groom and many more to come. So, will sign-off here and continue this saga with episode 2! Until then, ciao!