I dreamed of Sushi spread all over the house, in every room, kitchen, living room as I bated for breath and running for my life. Mom and Dad, Sushmi and her parents are having Sushi and even our dog, Laila, was not spread. I woke up brutally and the thought of meeting her parents during the evening was haunting me. Fuck!!!!What am I going to tell to convince the Kaul family about financial security and my love for their daughter?
I sit in the living room and some stupid army, civilians tussle was aired on NDTV with anchor Barkha Dutt taking some army panelists to task. As Barkha was anchoring, I couldn't help notice how hot and sizzling she is and she is older to me. I wonder whether I have a fixation for older women and whether they are misplaced cougar in ma life to make me secure? Do I want Sushmi to mother me? Am I secure? I wonder!!!
"So, young man, what do you think about the natak this Barkha Dutt is doing?' Kaul Saab (Sushi father) took me by surprise.
He opened the lid of the Dewar whisky I gifted him and he poured the liquor in two glasses for both us. We say cheers and as I took a sip, I said, "She is right and the army men shouldn't have mishandled civilians in Kashmir. Guess, when you wear uniform, you think you can wield the power of arrogance on the people....", I almost stopped in my track, realizing the offensive harm I've done to the man. For fuck sake, he is the father of the would be bride and he has been an army guy for 40 years, fighting on the Line of Control. Why am I compromising my chances with the old man.
He got up, lit his pipe and took a walk, to and fro in the living room and switched off the TV. He came back and slinked on the sofa, "What? Are you out of your mind? Do you know if young people like you can sleep safely in the city and the country, it is because of the sacrifice of the Jawans. The army men were there to maintain peace since there are strife in Kashmir."
I nodded and was like this man is out of the arm and what he is doing here. He should be serving in the army and sacrifice his life for the country. Sushmita overheard the conversation and was coming to sit near me when her mother dragged her as I sit facing the whole family for a barrage of questions. Sushmi grinned at me, showing her displeasure of rubbing her dad's shoulder the wrong way and her mom has just nodded at me coldly. There is something called cold shoulder, I bet.
Major Rajveer started trimming his moustache and pulled his chest, I thought he should participate and will win hands down senior Mr Punjab contest, spoke as if he was giving some marching orders, "So, young man, let's get down to serious business. You have decided to marry my daughter. But, you are not working and how will you make my daughter's life secure plus there is a huge age gap between both of you. Is your family fine with this?"
"Sir, I am starting my PR firm?"
"Have you started?" the old man was getting on my heads now.
"I mean yes, no err, I will soon start," I stammered.
Sushmita intervened and there was a heated discussion in Bengali with her mother. Major Rajveer was intimidated by the wife.
I took the plunge and said that since it's my life, I already spoke to my parents and after all, it's our lives. We have decided to get married and maintained that I am starting the PR firm in a month. We love each other and many people in their generation run away to get married and, at that time, many guys were not even financially secure, I said. I was obviously referring to major and his wife who eloped to get married.
They look shocked and Sushmita was amused. Major Rajveer spoke to his wife in Bengali and I couldn't get a word, they must have deliberated for an hour as was sitting, getting tensed. I felt like sitting in an office, begging for job with this huge interview session. What!!! Are they going to make a bid for their daughter? For fuck sake, I am not King Rama of Ayodhya who has to lift the bow to make Sita mine.
Major adjusted his moustache swirling from an end to another: "Fine! My daughter is being stupid and it's entirely your take." His wife added: These young people think everything is possible with them and both of you bear in mind, if something goes wrong, you got yourself to blame. This army major sternly told me, "Welcome to the family." He poured a single scotch in his glass and, man, my glass remained empty. What a loser!!!
We met at my parents house in Bandra and there were six of them sitting at the dining table. Sushmita brought her parents along and I was surprised how the senior citizens were bonding when I thought that there might be a tussle. Sushi's parents were narrating their love story with mom telling, 'So cute' while Dad was laughing loudly. Dad and Major Rajveer bonded over whisky and we thought how they were kids, age divide and community differences. Parents can be biased and forget about their romantic escapades, I thought.
It is my marriage. I am wearing a gold Sherwani and Sushmi is beautifully draped in a red saree with loud music, alcohol flowing freely. I so wanted to gulp a glass to break the stress and this whole wedding business is getting on my head, riding on some stupid horse and dancing my way to the hell. I hate the Pandit who was chanting mantra for hours and wanted to kick him in the ass. I couldn't make any sense of the wedding chants and it's just not my thing. Sushmita was giving me threatening looks and I was smiling, knowing what prank I played at her residence in the morning. She is going to kill me for sure. After all, who is the groom who does such cheap antics on the wedding day. We were tired of receiving gifts, wedding cards and getting felicitated by guests.
We danced with the guests and were cautious not to be too cozy with each other. Sushmita whispered into my ears, "I want to kill you and what kinda crap joke was that. We should go and speak about in a while." I acted normal with a what. She replied that it's not funny.
Sushmita walked towards the newly married room in her red lehenge as I followed her. I was stopped by some relatives who pinched my cheek. I finally made my way and she looks pissed making her wait. I held her hand and kissed her. She pushed me and kissed her on the mouth again. She smiled seductive and looks so beautiful. She slapped me on my head, "You moron, why did you do that?" Dad was not amused at all and wondering who sent him this stupid t-shirt. I laughed, "What it was gift from the Jamai?" She laughed. It's another thing that Major Kaul never found out on the t-shirt that I slipped beneath the main door with a 'With Love' note. I so wanted to look at the face of Major and it must be embarasing. I took my revenge on the father in law with the funky tee 'Rules for dating my daughter.'
PS: The idea was given by my FB friend Garima Srivastav Nag.