WD Series – Wall staring champion 2011
From the way we talk to each other and the the way we look at each other through the convenience of Skype, there has been considerable audience speculation that
a) we have been courting each other for years in secrecy
b) we may not have the patience to wait till the wedding, and just elope and
c) we will one day kiss our computer screen so hard that sparks will fly… as the circuitry holding the computer screen would fry
This is why, when we tell people that ours is an arranged marriage, many people react with a bewildered ‘wawasat?’. But indeed it is the truth.
For those of you who are unaware, arranged marriage is still the norm in India. And pennukaanal, or the bride-seeing ceremony, usually marks the starting point of the event. It is when the groom-to-be, along with a cohort of assorted relatives, visits the bride-to-be at her house. As documented in countless movies, the process consists of the girl bringing in tea, serving the guy who smiles at her, an act which is immediately followed by her giggling away back into the house. The next time they see each other is usually at the actual wedding. Presumably, the selection process is based entirely on the quality of the tea. For some reason, apparently, good tea implies a good bride. Sadly, lactose intolerant grooms have been historically handicapped in the proper bride selection protocols.
However, the real life pennukaanal events are surprisingly different from the reel life counterparts. The one that we had was markedly atypical both from real life as well as real life. Rhine had just returned from an office party the previous night, and was considerably nervous throughout. Her nervousness was only amplified when she noticed that I was hardly looking at her… From third party accounts, I spent most of the time staring either at my shoes or at the walls…. “Dammit”, she thought, “what’s so interesting about our walls? Is something written there that I have never observed?”
As it turns out, Rhine’s walls were not any more fascinating than the next one… nor were my shoes of particular interest. I was just slightly preoccupied with some other things, God only remembers what. But I didn’t realize that my preoccupation was that evident until much later.
By the time we left Rhine’s house, she was thoroughly convinced that I wasn’t interested in her. When she got word that my family and I were indeed quite interested, she went through these four stages – surprise, doubt, denial, skepticism – in rapid succession (the more astute among you lot would have figured out that doubt and skepticism are essentially the same thing, but I’m going to ignore you for now)
She was nearly convinced that I was agreeing just to please my folks. Not being one to speculate without data, she then proceeded to call me up the next night to interrogate the truth out of me. What was planned out as a one minute yes or no question led to our first real conversation. It took me roughly two full hours to convince her that I did indeed like her of my own free will, that I wasn’t parroting my parent’s opinions, and that I was definitely more interested in her than her walls.
You will be glad to know that she has agreed to overlook my staring at her walls that day, and that she would be formally forgiving this act by the summer of 2043.