The “meet the girl/boy meetings” for marriage are really the odd meetings. The idea is to have people talk and understand each other in a very very short amount of time. In Indian context it becomes even more difficult when the parents and relatives get involved. Everybody is looking at the boy and girl and expects them to know each other and talk about their future in front of everybody.
Not only its difficult but rather embarrassing. I for one always insisted that I meet the girl at a neutral venue. However my mother did not approve of it and said that no parent would approve their girl to meet a boy alone.
I found it rather amusing. I wasn’t calling them in some shady secluded space but in a public place. I was being the best of gentleman or what I knew of being the best of gentleman. I talked to them politely. I tried to get most from the discussion and told them everything they asked or did not ask about me especially what matter for a girl to choose her husband.
I even paid for the hotel bill.
During the last 2-3 searches, she insisted that we meet like many others searching individuals. I did not argue. But the results were the same.
As a matter of fact, I found that girls preferred to talk without their family. They were more forthcoming about the type of husband they were looking for without being judged by others. The Indian family structure prefers to give less rights to their girls. Although this is changing fast, we still like to be stuck when the family want to take decision for the girls.
So when Amu’s family wanted to meet, I did not have high hopes. As usual my sister-in-law and mother made the house neat and tidy. Its amazing that our house could be transformed from clutter to highly organized for such special occasions. The time was fixed at 4:00 PM Sunday, 16 January 2011. As always I was always the same person without preparation or special clothes for the occasion.
They came a little after 4:00 PM. She came with her Mother, her elder sister and her brother-in-law. I had already seen her on Facebook. I had sent her my photo in the mail. She was in the same white dress with the green dupatta as in her Facebook photo.
We had some snacks specially brought for the occasion. As expected it was odd. My mother and brother talked to their family understanding their family line-up. It seem my mom’s cousin brother was once their neighbour.
I, meanwhile was stealing a glance at her. It would not been appropriate to stare at her especially in front of her family. They asked me about my job and salary. I asked her what were her expectations. She wanted a man with good heart and stable financially in his life.
I satisfied one condition completely and one somewhat. 1 out of 2 is not bad at all.
My mother wanted to seal the deal and asked me to go in my room and talk. I said a firm “No”. It did not look like a good idea with both of us talking in my room with my and her family waiting outside. I told them I wanted to meet her alone maybe in a day or two.
After the usual discussion on the families and village and the ancestors and our jobs and current bad state of public transport, there came an awkward moment when there was nothing to discuss. A long silence with people looking at each other. Anybody who must have attended this kind of meetings knows this silence.
Finally relief arrived when her mother said that they better get going. I told them, if they decide to go-ahead we will meet in a day or two sometime in the evening.
I took her number. They went away that day with the promise of meeting again.
I decided to meet her on Tuesday as Mondays are always busy.
2 days from that day, life was going for a big change!