Meet the parents!

When ‘they’ came!

I was told the previous night that someone was coming to ‘see’ me. That’s what we call it in India when we are arranging a meeting for fixing up a marital alliance. Everybody knew that it’s too early for me to even think of it, and that I had no plans for marriage right now. So, I asked my parents why were my ‘prospective in-laws’ visiting us in the first place when it wasn’t gonna lead to anything. I was then promised that it would be nothing but a Sunday brunch with random relatives.

Next morning, when they arrived, I was taking shower. As I came out of shower, I heard my parents singing out eulogies for me. Holy crap! My feet were too frozen to go downstairs and enter the room amidst the eulogy session and do a ‘meet the parents’ there! I called up a friend to tell him I was feeling shy and scared by the heavy weight of the sights of everyone around me in next few minutes. He told me to relax and better concentrate on recipe of Samosa, so that I can narrate it when people do not believe that I prepared them, which of course I hadn’t.

For the ease of writing, the prospective in-laws will be called Mr and Mrs. Mr asked me the break up of my salary. I literally had no clue. Every month when salary arrives in my salary account, I silently transfer a fixed amount in my dad’s account, pay my credit card, mobile and other bills and have a look at the amount left, to decide how I am gonna live in the coming month! So I could not divulge details on this question of Mr, which seemed to have left him in some doubts. Mrs asked me if I wanted the girl to work after marriage or stay at home. What the hell was I gonna say to that.. I simply told them that I had’t even thought of any of this, there was nothing I could comment. But my SBMA blood was boiling now after being a part of gender activities in garhwal! so I did probe them why they want me to decide what she wanted to do after marriage. They were so typical. They repeated the exact same thing what my parents had said to the other party in such meetings when we were looking for alliance for my sister, ‘हमने तो कह दिया है बेटी से , अभी घर में रह, बाद में ससुराल में जाके कर लेना जो करना है , as if in sasural, she will have her will!

In fact at this point, this struck me for the first time that if I end up marrying into such a family, I will be having two set of similar parents, & families both of which will be of thinking wavelength different from mine. Handling one itself is taxing, what I am gonna do against the power of two! I am sure that any alliance through my parents will present this power of two. So I gotta find someone before I get overpowered by the power of two.

I forgot to mention the eulogy that was harped in my presence. “Our son has no bad qualities – doesn’t drink , doesn’t smoke, doesn’t eat non-veg.” None of which was true! I noticed that this has been happening ever since I could remember. Is it that my parents did not know that I do all these, or that it’s a formal ritual to make this statement in such meetings? I remember hearing about a guy in Kumaon who could not get married after 35 because of his honesty which made him mention in every meeting that he drank.

What are these arrange marriages, if they begin with hiding things? How come a sea of humanity believes and respects this kind of institution when majority of these marriages begin like this? It seems to be a done thing, an unwritten rule. I discussed with some married couples and they told that of course no one affirms when asked such questions as ‘do you drink’, ‘do you dope’, this is how it works always.

Towards the end, the most embarrassing thing happened. I thought I would not need to blush or anything. But how could this be complete without that. My parents asked me in front Mr and Mrs when we should go to see the girl. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I thought it was just a brunch, I could digest the questions of marital enquiries, but ‘meet the girl’? I gave the best blush possible. Mr and Mrs told me not feel shy, and that I could visit them anytime, and that I could meet her in Maaaaalll also. I had blushed enough now, did not know what to do next because don’t-feel-shy commandments were being issued from all directions now!

At this critical point, I was saved by a phone call, which we all knew must be from didi. I ran before my dad could pick the receiver and thanked her for calling, which I never do otherwise! I spent as much time on call as I could as against usually telling her in 5 mins that I was hanging up. As I finished with the call hoping that festival downstairs must be over by now, my parents and other parents came upstairs in my room to see the rest of the house. Anyways, they left soon expecting that we would visit them in the evening to see the girl, which my parents were eagerly looking forward to.

It’s intereting for me to now that for the first time, I kinda felt empowered. I kinda feel that I am now in a position when people will wait for my decision, although everyone comes into this position at least once, so it’s not really a big deal. But it was my first time. Was it because I am an Indian male or that now I am of marriageable age?

After they left, mummy asked me ‘क्या करना है ’?
‘what do you mean क्या करना है , it was only for formality, we were all clear that nothing will happen out of it’
My dad added, ‘क्या पता पसंद आ जाए तो कर भी लें’.

By now a filter was already plugged in my head to ignore the talks around and enjoy my soap ‘how I met your mother’


Why should New Delhi mean just NDMC supervised area?

My mom came to Delhi as a young bride from a small village in Haryana about 40 years ago. After all these years later, now she hears about Common Wealth Games being hosted by Delhi in 2010. Yesterday evening, she reflected, “यह खेल कनाट प्लेस में हो रहे होंगे “. (I think that these games will be held in Connaught place)

WHY? This woman spent over 40 years of her life in this city, voted for different governments, paid taxes for everything she consumed. Yet the places she lived in are never considered to be ‘Delhi’?

I hear about Bed and Breakfast scheme of Delhi Tourism. I hear about ‘Shera’, the mascot of the games touring Delhi. I hear of baton of Common Wealth Games doing rounds in different parts of Delhi. I hear and see these things only through news papers and televisions. Why can’t I see them with my eyes in real, without going at least 15 kilometres to see the celebration?

When will the places like Uttam Nagar, Sagar Pur, Raghu Nagar, or for that matter, all places on the left side of the wide sewage drain that separates Janak Puri area from the ‘others’ be counted in DELHI?

Or will Delhi always mean CP, ‘DefCol’, GK, Rohini, DU etc?



My first film after I returned to ‘world’. Actually this is the first film I watched in theatre after more than a year. So my negative feedback could have been more had I been regular to theatre. But I was in cinema after like ages, so I was enjoying the sounds and big screen. In fact , I was imagining how my first film will look like on this screen. I wish I could screen my Swades Ki Khoj in that auditorium. I was just wondering how different scenes and different sounds in the film will appear.

So here it is. Photography, no doubt, is awesome. The blast scene in which Prithvi & Sara die is shot with awesome seriousness which the scene deserved. There is one thing that I carry back with me on my way to home from theatre. In this case, it was the song, ‘more piya’. I am sure I am gonna hum it for quite some time now. Another awesome thing is Katrina Kaif. I loved her with that deep red bindi. How beautiful can a woman with no make up and just one bindi! In all the ethnic wear, she showed a side of her beauty which I was unfamiliar with for so long.

BUT. Yes there’s BUT. The film had way too much violence. It brought so much of hopelessness. Agreed, all those dirty games take place in politics, but not in a span of 2.5 hours. Indira Gandhi & Rajeev Gandhi and many other Gandhis did not die in hours of each other’s assassination. So at one point, it all looked unconvincing. I felt like now any one could kill anyone at any point. I was expecting every single character in the film to die in the next shot! How could Sara or Katrina not be kidnapped & raped in the revenge game. How could Bharti & Sara move around openly in the New market in a time, which to me appeared, no less than a curfew. The scene with Bharti & Ajay in the end sounded so much artificial & farce because of the Mahabharat analogy they were trying to bring. The resemblance was uncanny.
Worst part, after playing in so much of dirt, Samar or Ranbeer Kapoor did not show a sign of remorse or guilt in the last scenes.