If you sit alone and think about it, it would be very hard to agree to the fact that you’ve grown up. I’m 23 years old and life so far has been a blur. It only seemed like it was yesterday, when I first went to school and peed my pants; when I first made a friend; when I first picked up a cricket bat; when I first got beaten up by the cops. Just kidding about the last one.
So I was shocked when I got a marriage proposal at a Bharathanatyam dance recital of my sister not too far long ago. A reasonably old man approached me after the programme.
Here is my best attempt of an English translation of what happened:
Old man: The girl who danced today, what is her name?
Me: Riha Giri
O: So, what is your name?
Me: My name is Aahir.
O: Aahir, A-A-H-I-R?
Me: Yes. (I was shocked he got my spelling right. 90% of my teachers in school and college didn’t get it right in the first try.)
O: So are you her musical accompanist?
Me: No no. I’m her brother.
O: Oh okay. Where do you guys stay?
Me: Close to Koyambedu, Virugambakkam.
O: Are you an Iyer or Iyengar?
Me: (Umm, awkward but okay) I’m an Iyer.
O: Are you studying?
Me: No, I finished studying.
O: Oh, then are you looking for a job?
Me: No, I’m working.
Me: In Bangalore, for Snapdeal.
O: Snapdeal.. Snapdeal… Ah yes. I’ve heard of it. Good company. But why Bangalore? It’s too far. Why not come back to Chennai?
(Now who is he to ask me to come back? I still couldn’t make out what he was getting at. Maybe he wanted some sponsorship?)
O: Aval Upma is really good in the canteen today. You must try. Before you leave, buy some and go.
Me: Yeah sure, I will.
O: Tomorrow, they have Mangalore Pongal on the menu. It’s very good. You must come tomorrow as well.
Me: (Maybe he’s the caterer and he’s doing some marketing) I’ll definitely come.
(He went and came back a few minutes later)
O: What is your star sign?
O: What is your Gothram?
Me: (I told him my Gothram)
(This is where it hit me, that this grandpa was marriage matching)
O: So what is your age? 24?
Me: No no. I’m 22. (I was 22 at that time)
O: Oh, then a few more years can pass, right?
Me: For what exactly?
O: For your marriage only.
Me: Okay what??
I had to somehow get away, and when I told my parents about this shortly afterwards, they were only laughing. They’ve heard of people approaching parents before. But approaching the candidate directly is a first of sorts. Imagine my state if I had been a girl. My parents would be seriously considering alliances. “Go ask that grandpa if he’s got a grandson he’s looking a match for”.
Yes, it’s not even that far away. Many college mates of mine are getting hitched left, right and center. It’s kind of scary when you think about it. 20s is the age to explore, they say. Marriage is a big responsibility. Something that my inner conscience would scream “It’s for adults”. Though I’m 23 and independent, I’m in no state to manage myself well, let alone have a dependent. I’m sitting here enjoying bursting bubble wraps, sleeping for 12 hours a day, going out with the guys, splurging at will and watching football matches every weekend. And then there are people my age having kids and living happily. Or not.
Food for thought. Until next time.