It all started with a Quarrel.
For the last few months, Duttas of Dakhineshwar were
under huge tension. It prevailed over their home and even
spread toxically over nearby regions.
Even the Chatterjees, Biswass Kumar, Gangulys who
stayed in the same colony were in much tension.
The Duttas in the same colony (even some far away
Duttas too) were exceptionally worried. They even tried to
extend their helping hand but Ayantika’s angry expression
always dampened their spirits.
Thanks to a sudden fit of anger, a few glasses were
broken, the red-faced bunny lost his ears and the tense state
of affairs continued.
It was about Marriage. The god damn thing which every
girl hates (at least in front of others) and parents immensely
‘Sono Mouli, Tomake ebar oi chele tar songe dekha kortei
hobe....R kotidin ei bhabe cholbe’
(See Mouli, you have to meet this guy...how long will
it go like this)
Sitala Debi, Ayantika’s mother, was shouting at her.
According to her it was the most suitable alliance and she
had been talking to them since six months and now it was
'I have told you a million times that I don’t want to get
married right now. Dad, please make mom understand.’
Tears rolled down her cheeks.
Soumendra Narayan Dutta, Ayantika’s dad, was the
umpire of the fighting match and was doing his duty quite
efficiently and gracefully.
‘Please don’t cry Mouli, you don’t have to marry now.
Just meet the guy once, no harm.’
‘Mira Masi called up, that guy has sent you an e-mail,
go check it and reply,’ Sitala Debi snarled. The fight ended
(at least for that day).
Ayantika just didn’t want to marry. Not at the moment.
Not until she landed a job with a decent government bank.
She didn’t have much in her hand though. At the doorstep of
the twenty first century, the marriage of a daughter remains
the prime concern and an extremely vital occupation of every
middle class Bengali family.
Marriages are made in heaven and arranged marriages are
made in Bharat Matrimonial or The Sunday Ananda Bazaar,
that’s what they claim .At times the relatives play an important
role bringing in their very distant relatives claiming to know
them very well even when the last telephonic conversation
between them happened two years back! Power packed ads bride
needed for the only son of Highly qualified Chartered
Accountant,also knows scuba diving or looking for MBA, IIT,
CFA, for only sister, very fair, very beautiful.' At times it is
slightly confusing whom is the ad for ?Is it for the Chartered
Accountant father (who from the bottom of his heart really
wants to remarry and throw out the wife, a 1960’s model),
or his son or his daughter!
The father of the bride really has a hectic job finding
a decent groom but then it’s a question of her whole life.
So the drilling starts. The mother of the bride also does
her part... No,No...This guy won’t suit you at all. His uncle’s
daughter eloped with a local hooligan. The expectations make
it tougher to find a suitable match. He is just 5’3...So dark,
how can he manage with this meagre salary?
The bride or the girl at times adds her own requirements
and specifications-Dad, I want a tall guy, size does matter.
Please Ma, I want to marry an engineer. The list gets bigger
The Father of the groom is a bit disappointed as his son
couldn’t find a suitable girl by himself by the age of thirty.
Useless Fellow, can’t find a girl after so many years. The mother
of the groom has started crying for she has already lost her
son to some imaginary girl who plays black magic on him,
thanks to Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (A popular
television soap). She can’t sleep at night.But then she has
to get her son married. Mukherjee Da’s wife was saying the
other day, 'How long will you keep Nakul unmarried? Marry
him off or else he will start doing all nonsense.'
So the search begins - Groom wanted for extremely fair,
extremely beautiful, extremely calm and quiet girl, MA,
Diploma in dancing (only at night clubs!), Also knows
stitching (couldn’t even stitch the first button of her shirt,
Always open!).... At times the father and brother play a big
role in the ad...Father retired; very well known professor of
very well known college(bucks! Flowing!)....Brother IIT,IIM
blah blah (More bucks! Flowing!)
The groom always had some secret criteria which now
comes forth. She must be very fair like Priyanka whom he
proposed to eleven times with no luck, Should have a very
good figure (Hmm.. Like Payal, the Delhi chick who had
twenty boyfriends in just three years ), should be very homely
( and also shake her hips with me at Night clubs )....And so
the search goes on...and on.....
----- From the novel ‘AUTUMN IN MY HEART’
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