I forgot to tell that my relatives were also busy in performing their duty as my kindred during that period. After many layers of their filtration based on bride’s qualification, her age, her family social status and of course their own larger personal interests, they managed to push a bride party, as it is called in marriage circle, to my house. It was a late Saturday afternoon when evening was getting ready to spread. I had just cleared my huge stock of laundry which had piled up for last three weeks. I was about to start my lunch. An unwanted knock on the door and I found four people of different ages, weights, attires and different hair colors on my door. It did not take long for me to understand that they were on ‘Treasure Hunt’ and my house could be their ‘Treasure Hunt’ spot that day.
After initial round of introduction over tea and snacks, came rigorous section of interview. Each question was chiseled well with their astute maturity. And some of the questions were like “How long have you been in this company??”; “5 years in the same company??”;”Have you bought any car or house??”;”Can we see your company’s ID card?”;Why did you study in such an average engineering college, why not in IIT?”;”What are your short term and long term aspirations??”;”Why are you not doing MBA when all good engineers are doing this??”. After that interview section, they had realized that I was a medicore candidate and they were at wrong ‘treasure hunt’ spot. But during all that period I found one of them completely silent. He was in his mid-forties wearing “Tide” white dhoti, a deep cream colored kurta and a thick round Tilak of sandal powder. He was chewing betel leaves and his tongue and lips had turned red.
A red rivulet was oozing out from the side joint of his lips to his chin. He was staring continuously from behind, his high powered specs with thick black rims, at my face. I did not understand why he was doing that. Was he looking for any unique signs of potential bridegroom on my face similar to the way Tibetan Karmapa were selected through some signs by their peers?? Was he an expert analyst of facial expressions of bridegrooms?? Or whether he was assigned that job to keep a vigil eye on me to detect if I spoke a lie??
They changed the mode of interaction from question-answer session to feedback session but in a unique satirical way. With each piece of feedback, they were trying to dig one foot of grave for me. And their volley started as “My brother in law distant uncle sister in law’s son changed five companies in three years”; “My nephew became manager within four years of his career”; “My brother in law’s nephew got call from India’s four premiere MBA colleges “;” We have four houses within a city”. Neither I had asked for any of these gold plated sentences nor was I interested in any of them. But these nail biting social facts were revealed before me in order to give me social enlightenment but without any demand from my side. They left my house after two hours of rigorous interrogation and they made it sure to spoil my afternoon, evening and even my lunch.
But that disaster did not deter my relatives from putting their network on high alert. They had taken that incident on a very serious note and why not, their prestige was also on stake. So after meticulous filtration based on their well-known parameters mentioned above, few more bride parties came to grace my house with the same hope of winning the ‘Treasure Hunt’ contest. They had more or less the same set of questions but they had their own way of putting it and that was really interesting to me. None of them ever asked about my interests, my hobbies, and my views towards life and society. They were more interested in my degree and my salary slip.
Days passed and months followed, I remained clueless about this whole cycle of events. Marriage looked mysterious to me and the chance of getting a bride elusive. But few question remained there to haunt me. Why should I change five companies in three years to get a bride? Were IITians the only eligible bachelors?? Was bride an engineering concept or a business puzzle as they were so desperate for IITians and IIM guys or an average bachelor like me could not even dare to solve that??
19th Mar, 2011.”Happy Birthday Dear, Gopal” my sister was again the first person to wish me on my birthday. I thanked her. This time I did not pass any resolution. And I had no regrets of fulfilling my first ever resolution in life which I had passed on the same day last year. But The “Treasure Hunt” was ON.
This article is written by Kunal, a Senior Software Engineer in TCS.