Those who haven't read Part 1 and 2, please read them and then come back here. Don't be like one of those annoying characters in Harry Potter cinema audience who look at Hagrid and say, "Dai machan, adhu dhaan da Vaaldemartu!"
We stopped Part 2 at the point when M had become my die-hard blog fan and had awarded me the Booker prize in the hearts of his hearts, as distinguished writers of mythology are fond of saying. After this point, M and I exchanged a series of emails on various subjects like Art, Literature, Politics, Culture, Cinema, Beliefs, Principles etc. We really ought to publish them and put Nehru Chacha's Discovery of India out of business. These days, a typical conversation between us goes like this:
GB- What to do for lunch.
M- Aiyo. Yesterday's sambar. How much is there?
GB- Enough. If you don't take sambar for today's dosa breakfast.
M- Ok. We'll eat it with molagapodi. Or shall we eat cornflakes?
GB- No boiled milk. Shall I boil the new packet?
M- Bore. Let's eat bread.
GB- Bore. But can you make omelete?
M- Ok. Bread-omelete.
Stage direction: GB and M exchange victorious smiles on having resolved a problem of mammoth proportions after an informed and deep discussion.
So anyway, after these high-level subject matter discussions in which we both acted like this wasn't a ponnu-payan paathufying session over the internet which was arranged...horrors of horrors....with the full knowledge of our parents, M finally decided to come down from Pune and meet me. We both decided to meet outside our respective homes and were ready to put our feet down and go against our parents' wishes. But disappointingly, both sets of parents were okay with this. As a consolation though, my mum disapproved of me meeting M in a cinema theatre (Sangam Cinemas, if you must know) and I got my chance to protest such backward behaviour by the older generation.
We went for Pasanga pillim. And then to the beach. And then back home. (You paparazzi people, stop asking for details.) The parents in the respective houses asked guarded questions to their respective hot-headed offspring. A direct question like, "So did you like the boy?" would have prompted an eloquent speech on how marriages, as much as Menaka Cards would like to proclaim, are not made in heaven and of course, the rap song of our generation- PLEASE GIVE ME MY SPACE.
On the following day, M and I once again met at the beach and I did a dramatic book reading for him from Aana and Chena. Since I was increasingly becoming a traditional good Indian ladies, I decided to exhibit my talents. I can't sing, I can't dance, but I CAN make a variety of faces that have proved to be a hit with many of my friends. If you're interested in trivia, N once wrote a picture story for the Junior version of the magazine inspired by my talent. The story was called- The Faces I Can Make. So I showed M two varieties of Hanuman faces- adult Hanuman and Bala Hanuman; various ways to move eyeballs and eyebrows; Garuda face (after all, I was working in a place where the mythological aura hangs over one and all) and many many more. After these two very poignant dates, M went back to Pune. The respective sets of parents were worried that their respective offspring had not said anything about marriage. Did they, they asked each other, like each other? Do we, they asked each other, ask them this question?
M and I certainly liked each other, but was it enough to go ahead and get married? Wasn't marriage an institution that turns intellectual individuals into people who can only worry about lunches and breakfast? Didn't we know enough people who were divorced or staying together only because of the kids? So after some skirmishes and discussions all round, we decided to tell our parents that it wasn't going to happen. Hearts, old and young, would have broken across borders if I'd been in Pakistan and he'd been in India. But let's just say hearts were broken across the two ends of the city of Chennai.
And then, we promptly started mailing and talking to each other again without the knowledge of our respective sets of parents. This was more like it. We were cool now. We were rebelling. And we were like making our own choices dae. We weren't doing no arranged marriage crap machan. M came down a couple of times to Chennai after this and we had the mandatory secret dates to ensure that we were being clandestine and 21st century. A lot of ramayana and dramayana later, we finally told our parents and decided to get married, with their bewildered blessings.
The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker » The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…