In the jolly little community that I belong to, it is customary to "see the girl" prior to getting married. This is actually an euphemism. You meet your prospective bride in the presence of so many senior citizens equipped with x-ray vision that about 90 percent of your attention is on what the hell have you missed? Is your fly open? Is that lassi you drank still on your mustache? Is your hair standing like quills on the fretful porpentine? WHAT? you want to scream.
You just sit however, sweating profusely, while the "girl" who seems to be equally nervous, serves you some piping hot tea from trembling hands. You're just wondering what the proper response is when she spills it onto your lap and scalds the family jools. Are you allowed to scream then? Probably not, you guess. Just a quick roll of the eyes and an "oh, its alright". You brace yourself for the shock but to your pleasant surprise the tea cup is safely in your hands and your gonads live to fight another day.
Then one of the more senior citizens - in our case, 'Utpal Dutt' - invites you to admire the view from the balcony. You stumble in the general direction, too scared to look back but knowing well that the "girl" is following, on instructions from the said senior citizens.
You stand on the edge of the balcony and watch the traffic snarl below. The "girl" is standing opposite you, gazing at the floor. Your heart thuds and makes the blood vessels in your brain throb. After a minute or two of this, you decide to be reckless and fire the first salvo
Two minutes silence in the memory of those who died for our country
"You live in Mysore?"
Yes, idiot, as everyone has been yakking about outside for the last fifteen minutes.
"Yes", she says.
"What is your opinion on arranged marriages?" What! What are you saying, berk?
Another two minutes silence, this time in the memory of all those who died in Hiroshima
"Anything you want to ask me?" Reckless is my middle name
"Which is your favorite color?"
What kind of dumb question is that? (I didn't know it at the time but this is precisely the kind of thing a woman will base a decision like marriage on.)
"Shall we go back in?"
"Ok. But what shall I tell my parents? Is it a yes or a no?"
I'm flabbergasted at the directness of this. My brain is whirring like a computer as is usual when presented with a "Yes-No" kind of question
"Yes. And you?"
I can almost hear her thinking you look like a monkey but where do I have any choice
As they say in legal circles, signed sealed and delivered.