Disclaimer cum warning: This is a pretty long post full of (perhaps loony) theories. So, read it at your risk :).
Thanks to the festival of colours Holi, the ‘hump day’ was declared a holiday. So, I decided to humor SA as it had been a long time since I had met her.
We made a beeline to our usual haunt – a chat shop where we devoured two delicious plates masaala-puri and then proceeded to loaf around. Since we both had lotz of time to kill, off we traipsed to the aisles of Food-World.
After our purchases, hers some house-hold items and mine food (what else?), we dashed to our usual bandi where the lady in charge dished out hot and spicy meNasinakaayi bajji. We sat munching our bajjis in silence at our usual corner overlooking a part of the main road and watching the evening traffic buzz past. SA was the first to break the silence, “So, what’s up with you? Too much work aa? You are looking really pre-occupied. Anything important on your mind? Or should I be asking anyone important on your mind?”
“Why do you ask me when you know everything?” I questioned with a smile.
“Oho...... full hunting aa? So, guy finalized aa? When are you getting married?” was the next question.
“Aha...... keLodu noDu...It’s as easy as picking apples na....” was my sarcastic reply.
SA’s next question took me by surprise me, “I am curious to know as to why you did not accept your colleague’s proposal. Isn’t he smart enough?”
Surprise -> yuxtreme shock. As far as I knew, I had revealed the details of this particular episode to only two people.
“Oho.....what else has Mom been telling you?” I demanded.
SA hastened to assure me, “She is just worried, Chitu. And since you belong to this so-called forward generation, I wanted to know the reason.”
“Well..... firstly I do not know him at all – he is my colleague’s friend. And secondly, he belongs to a different caste. “
SA: “So? What made you say no? The caste part?”
Me: “Hmmmm... ya. It’s too much of a compromise on my part.”
SA: “Marriage in itself is a compromise. Right?”
Me: “Hyuck hyuck...Don’t remind me of it.” On a serious note, “You know what? There are quite some habits which we pick up sub-consciously from our parents. And who teaches our parents? Their parents..... and the cycle continues endlessly, especially if the ‘student’ is as interested in learning as the ‘teacher’ is in teaching. If you marry a person from a different caste, and especially a not-so-broad-minded at that, you end up explaining each and every action of yours, which can be quite irksome. And this, if not handled maturely, can lead to dissent. For example, I find it hard to explain as to why a bath is necessary after a hair-cut. It’s something which I have gleaned from my parents without any questions. Or the solace obtained in chanting some shloka.....
True....I admit that there should be some amount of compromise involved. But the question is – to what degree? Should it be so much that I should start living the life of someone else as completely opposed to the way I was brought up?
And it did not help matters that the guy was all brawn and no brains.....” I finished in a rush.
SA: “What is the guarantee that it does not happen in an arranged match as well?”
Me: “SA...you are scaring me!”
After slowly munching another scrumptious bajji, “Reminds me of Bullock-Cart theory – something which I have loosely coined for Amma’s philosophy. It takes a pair of sturdy bullocks to pull a cart properly. It’s too much to expect that both of them should be the same on all respects. But at least, they should complement each other. If one fails, the other should pitch in and pull. Trouble arises when expectations are not met or are not clear. Consider a situation if one consistently fails, either genuinely or by intent – the entire burden falls on the healthy bullock. The journey continues smoothly as long as the healthy one pulls the cart without any complaints, the most prominent being ego. Once this emotion rears its ugly head, the journey becomes awry."
SA: “You are forgetting the driver of the cart. Doesn’t he have a role to play?”
Me: “Aahhh...how can I forget? Unfortunately, there’s no control over this particular rider. After all, destiny is all powerful and cannot be controlled.”
SA was silent for some time before she spoke up, “Chitu, I know that you are mature for your age. But sometimes I feel that you think too much. Sometimes it feels as if I am talking to your grandmother.”
“Tee hee....you should know that better SA. After all, my grandmother was your mother,” was my teasing riposte to my Mom’s sister.