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Posted by : RioZee Saturday, April 22, 2017
Scene dates back to 2001. I am sitting in the cafe lounge of Oberoi Grand, at Kolkata. Person sitting next to me is my younger brother in his twenties and myself in my thirties. The gentleman sitting in front of our table is a gentleman in his fifties or so. That chat revolves around aimless topics. We all are awaiting eagerly for a new entrant at the table, daughter of this gentleman, for a brief chit chat. It's been half an hour already and the wait was taking a toll on my head as I should be boarding train in two hours and train would certainly leave without waiting for me. Here we were waiting.
For those who didn't get why this set up was arranged, I must elaborate upon it. My younger brother was to meet a girl, talk to each other and if both agreed, a pure Indian matrimony would be the end result. My mind delved back onto the delay and rising chances of train leaving without me.
Till the girl enters the scene I must tell you about the gentleman in front, the girl's father. He had come to take an interview of my brother and at the time he had entered the office, my brother's face was deep inside a big watermelon he had been eating in pure Indian style, with all the juices dripping upon the newspaper placed upon his lap. It was his pure Indian upbringing that he avoided use of spoon and fork in eating. He always enjoyed licking fingers sumptously while eating. Gentleman could have rejected him outright, but he had agreed for the meet up with his daughter and here we sat waiting for the girl to arrive.
Soon a gorgeous model in high heels and stunning looks entered the scene hurriedly towards our table. I looked in dismay towards the gentleman, mind trying to digest the lineage to this absurd looking man. She excused herself for the delay and banged head on to the points on agenda. I gave a cursory glance at my brother and could understand the dismayed bewildered look. It all came as a shock and I just waited for the dust of the storm in the mind to settle.
She had a pleasant air of curt ambience around her and the start of the talks by her was in no way Indian and I can say with certainty, "it left the ultra western culture way behind."
I had some mugged up questions, which I had thought of asking, and then deciding the outcome after weighing in her answers. My questions had just vanished in the storm and she started the topic by asking question boldly directed at her would be future mate, that is, if she passed him in her exam. She had transferred the game in her court.
I remember her first question distinctly reverberating in my ears, "what are your expectations from your life partner?"
I thought my brother would say something of devotion, ultimate love, faithfulness, delicious cooking, touching feet of elders, worship in house temple early in the morning , never scold, and what not......,mind was still busy searching virtues amply needed in housewife, but the the rash answer that came up froze my mind, "No expectations at all." he had blurted.
I looked at him with stern eyes, as if to silently hint him to regain his senses.
Her second question came instantly, as if duly satisfied with his answer, "How will you keep your life partner?"
Again my mind started looking for more proper typical Indian answer, like I never like to be disobeyed, whatever frugal means are there, she has to make the best out of it, and mind you, never complain, etc. but the answer by him sent my mind into a tizzy..." She will always be in my heart, and in house she will be at liberty to do whatever she pleases."
I understood that my brother had fallen for the outward beauty and he cannot be shown any sanity of inner beauty of the heart.
My mind delved in to a flashback,, where a German fellow passenger had become my friend in train journey and we had gotten talking on various topics. This man was ISCKON devout and a follower of Lord Krishna, denouncing his Christian beliefs. He had confided that he loved the Gita, and Indian preaching, and was baffled by the culture such the Indian women touched the feet of their husband and seek blessings. He had gone back to Germany with his new ideologies, and had asked of his wife to touch his feet and seek his blessings and his Doctor wife had divorced him the same very day. How I had pitied his misconceptions.
Here, I could sense his heart slipping by into an unknown territory, to let his mind be crumpled and bequeathed in chains for life and I was merely helpless. I knew this one sentence would crop up and it did appear sooner than expected, both young birds excused and left our table to chit chat in solitude, as if made for each other. I was left with the old gentleman to carry on the silent sips on coffee which had just arrived.
People may think of Indian and Western and more Indian or less Indian, but ultimately we are Humans with big Heart.Lufthansa has set the ball rolling thinking Indian with #MoreIndianThanYouThink