It All Started From A
Finally after rejecting 7 girls and getting rejected by 12, my parents believe they have found the
perfect match for me. The final match which I got, her name was Aleya. At least the name
sounded pretty cool to me.
I never liked attending social ceremonies, even if it meant free food. But I attended that
wedding reception, of one of my distant cousins, along with my parents. As I was getting
comfortable in the midst of hybrid perfume odors. Which, actually smelt, pukish. I found
myself talking to an unknown person.
She said she was my aunt from mother's side. I did a mistake of asking her how she is related to
me. She explained me my entire family tree. I was thinking she definitely qualifies for some kind
of world record. I was recollecting the chapter of Graph Theory where we had to create trees
and nodes. Anyways, back to my story. When she was telling me how I was related to her, I was
actually looking over her shoulder seeing a teenager, beautifully wipe his hands in some lady's
dupatta. When she finished her graph theory, she pulled my cheeks and said, "So that's how
you are my nephew, handsome". "Did you just call me handsome", I asked myself. "Wait!!! Did
she just pull my cheeks? I am 27 for God's sake", I added to my thought.
As I was going through all these, she poked me in my abs and said, "You are next". First I did not
understand, later I understood, she was referring to me getting married. I ended the
conversation with a smile.
My next encounter was with a guy, probably in his late 50's. He was not related to me by any
means. So that meant fewer questions. "What do you do?", the guy asked. "I am in investment
banking". "Wow! I am in a bank myself. Standard Chartered", he replied with a mouthful of
smile. As if he found someone of his clan after many years. "How much are they paying you?",
he asked next. I wondered should I answer that. I hardly know this guy, apart from the fact that
he a lost banking soul. He can be a kidnapper trying to know how much ransom I can afford.
"Enough to spend the month", I replied with a smile while looking at the waiter, hoping he
would understand that I am uncomfortable. He patted my shoulder and said, "That's ok son. I
understand". "Big deal", I told him mentally.
"So.....you are next. I guess", he enquired with a cheeky smile. What's with old people and "you
are next" thing? At that point, I wanted to say the same to them, but in a funeral. He was
explaining his work to me as if he was thinking of handing over his empire to me. I was nodding
as much possible. "How much nodding does a guy need to understand, that I am not at all
interested in a single word or spit that is coming out of his mouth", I asked myself. I think he
heard my thoughts, and called to some "Mishraji" and went to him. I left a sigh of relief.
The hall was getting hot due to the crowd. I took a cup of coffee and went over to the balcony.
As I was enjoying mild breeze, soon saw mom calling me from a distance. Then I saw she was
surrounded by some overweighing aunties. "Great!!" I said to myself. It is one of those times
when mom uses me as a bait, to make her friends or relatives jealous. Frankly speaking, I too,
was pretty happy with my current financial status. "Come beta, they want to see you", she
shouted. "Wow!! More psychotic, rib poking, 'your next' oldies", I said to myself softly and went
to mom with a big elastic smile. As if I am overwhelmed with their presence.
As mom and her friends were talking, I was nodding and smiling in a very neat synchronized
way, so that no one understands how badly I wanted to leave this place. Mom explained my
job; I don't like cigarettes and so on. When mom was done selling me, it all happened. Someone
poked my abs; someone pulled my cheeks and then the famous "you are next" speech. I was
not listening what they were telling until they all ended in a group giggle. One of them
understood I was uncomfortable and said, "Stop teasing him, you go beta. Enjoy the party".
"What's there to enjoy", I wanted to say. I gave another of my patent smiles and took my
loneliness to the lonely balcony.
Dinner was pretty good and digestible. We left late. It was a weekend so the time did not
bother me much.
It All Started From A