It was a hot Saturday afternoon. Maithry was busy in her room preparing her quarterly performance report. Just then her mom came in “putty, r u busy? Pay a visit to the beauty parlour, we have a visitor in the evening”. “hm..ok” grumbled Maithry.
The visitor – the prospective groom who was to come at 5.30 arrived at 7.30 & blamed the Bangalore traffic for the delay. Now, after savouring the special dishes served the prospective groom & Maithry went to the terrace to “exchange” their views………maithry noticed her neighbour – a north Indian lady peeping out of her window to get a glimpse of the prospective groom.
Prospective Groom: hi, let me say a few things about myself first. U might be knowing I am working as manager in the QC dept. of this famous biotech co., I joined there as a store keeper for a paltry salary u know!? I have climbed the success ladder with lot of hard work & years of efforts. I have achieved soooo much though I am just a science graduate. I am a self made man u know.
(She wondered…. is he speaking to me or addressing a bunch of fresh recruits in his co.)
PG: I am a happy man now…but I was happy when I had nothing as well. That’s the principle for my life…be happy whether u have money or not. I have never borrowed a single rupee from any one in my life. I may lose my job one fine day then also I will be happy & I want ‘you’ also to be happy in such a situation as well. I am not bothered about u r qualification & u r job. Its upto u to decide whether u want to work or not.
(She thought “why is he speaking as if I am already his wife! she wanted to say that she did her engineering from the education loan that her dad got & she has got a career graph that’s any bodies envy……..but kept quiet)
PG: ours is a big family you know….I have got four elder sisters who are married & settled & two elder brothers who r not married…. they r not financially very well & am supporting them. I want you too to take care of them very well.
(she thought is that an order or what?! she thought of asking why his brothers were not married.. but thought that is none of her business & so kept mum)
PG: I respect elders very much. I want you also to respect everyone in my family & you should treat everyone of them with high regard………. & I think its my responsibility to take care of my parents. Isn’t it the duty of children to take care of parents? What do u say?
M: Agreed…By the way…. my mom said u r parents live in u r village.
PG: oh ya… I was alone here na…& am quite busy with all my responsibilities in the co. I am the manager in the company na…..but once we r married my parents will come & stay with us. You must “take care”of them very well. They r quite aged & isn’t it “our” responsibility to look after them...hmm?
(Maithry wondered why his English came down from corporate level to friendly chat)
M: hm... I too want to take care of my parents. May not be now. But perhaps in their old age
PG: (gave a startled look & mumbled) of course ….your parents should also be “respected”.
Maithry thought it was enough & wanted to end the conversation but the guy suddenly remembered something & started of……
PG: do you watch TV? I like S M Janakiram’s serials very much.
Maithry: hm… (She wanted to say I hate serials & prefer watching NGC or MTV if she had time but she didn’t)
The guy suddenly shifted to Kannada
PG: nanige yavdu ketta abhyasagalu illa…nanu thumba adarshagal iro manushya…
Nan helidna hege nambtheeya?
(maithry thought of asking him how will he - believe her …but kept quiet)
Prapancha ninthirode nambike mele alva….ond sala commit madkond mele adakke baddhavag irbeko ….nambike droha madbaardu….alva…neenen heltheeya?
Maithry felt a bit giddy & she knew the dialogues he hammered were lifted from one of those TV serials that he watched & she felt irritated by the way he addressed her…she thought… English is a strange language …u can’t make out whether it is ‘neenu’ or ‘neevu’ when somebody says ‘you’.
She had had enough & said “shall we go?”
PG: Ha ok…nimge yenadru prashnegalidre dharalvag kelbodu… feel free to ask me….any time…
(Maithry felt his tone has suddenly mellowed down)
‘ha khanditha’………..said Maithry & started walking down the stairs…without waiting for him to lead the way….
The time was 9.30pm & Maithry came into the balcony after her dinner. Her north Indian neighbour seemed to be waiting for her…. peeping through the window, with her face lit up with excitement she said ............
“kyaa decide kiya Maithry…ladka tho bahuth smart hey…bahuth fair bhi hey…. bilkul chocolate hero hey….”
M: ha didi …par zyada chocolate khane se danth mey sadan ho jathey hey…….heyna?
Isn’t it true dear….she is Maithry living in 2008 & not Savithri of the puranas. & wonder why men still try impressing a girl by being Sri Ramachandra prabhu ....with all those double standards of the Ramayana intact!!!