Festivity was in the air, in our home. My father couldn’t stop beaming and my mother’s happy tears wouldn’t stop. I had finally given in to their wishes. After all, for how long can one bear the weight of permanent worry lines on your father’s face and premature greys on your mother’s head.
Yes, I gave in without any tantrums. I gave in to their dream of arranging marriage for me. It was a dream that they had been nurturing since the day I was born. They wanted a groom who had some super amazing stats… good family, lots of money, well settled… All things considered, that is how it worked for them. My parents had seen each other for the first time during their marriage ceremonies!! So, the idea of marrying without love is perfectly ok with them. Love and all that jazz can happen after marriage, they believe. Their long healthy marriage bears testimony to that.
To their misfortune, my education was coming in their way of realizing their dream. I was no longer the sweet and nice little girl but, a woman of 25 with a mind of her own. They can’t trust me to find a ‘life partner for myself and also that I am a bit picky does not go down well with their sensibilities! Plus they have societal pressure to marry me off as I would soon be considered past marriageable age.
I understand the stress my parents were under and I understand their motivation too. For this very reason, I am agreeing to their emotional blackmails and fulfilling my karmic destiny and agreeing to go for an ‘introduction’ meet at the cafe. Needless to say that all this would be happening under the watchful eyes of both sets of parents.
So, here I am, in all my finery sitting across him. When our eyes met… I sighed and thought, ‘Oh, this can’t be happening to me!’ I swallowed back that feeling of shock. Who comes up looking like that for an occasion like this? He had a blank expression on his face. His chin was black with several days’ worth of stubble. I connect stubble not just to a shabby look but also with people who are depressed, untidy and unwell.
I looked at my parents and hugged them mentally, for their eyes mirrored my thoughts too. Sorry dude, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And you lost it. After all, early impressions are hard to eradicate from the mind. When once wool has been dyed purple, who can restore it to its previous whiteness?