Me: What’s this?
Baba: Oh this? It’s a matrimonial ad your XYZ aunt wrote for you!
*Grasping the chair feigning a heart attack – but then the recent reading that people who suffer heart attacks below thirty survive but lose their hair, holds me back from extending the drama further*
Me: What? *pulling the chair to sit and drawing the paper closer*
Baba: *looking at me bemused* “It’s nice, see… So sweet of her Na?”
Me: *If looks could kill look* “Have you got a scolding from Ma early morning that you sound so disoriented?”
Not even waiting for an answer from Baba, going forward to read the ad aloud –
20+x years, fair, soft spoken, beautiful, well settled in Mumbai, Bengali Brahmin girl looking for an equal match for similar community. Contact parents settled in Kolkata at __________________
Me: *Grunting and smiling* Have you read this Baba?
Baba: *Unaware of the devilish intentions* No darling, but it looks nice. Am thinking of going ahead if you like it. What say?
Me: *Knowing Baba is in a full mood to take my trip* Hmmm… can I sit with you to tweak it a bit?
Baba: *Oh! Finally good sense has prevailed on my daughter look!* – Sure darling.
Me: *Sitting out with the pencil* and getting into the school teacher –paper correction mode.
“Ok … Fair– Baba haven’t you taught me that skin colour shouldn’t be a determining criteria? And that a person who selects you for skin colour doesn’t know that beauty is skin deep? If this remains Baba it would be compromising with your principles. So I am sure you also want this to be struck off!”
Baba opening his mouth to speak but then the scratching out was so fast and moving on so quick that the reflex fell low.
“Ok .. beautiful – I am not beautiful Baba… and you always wanted me to be addressed as smart. Baba will I be a show piece on the mantel? … this is so against the concept of humanity Baba… it’s against my ethics, do u want me to compromise?
“And – soft spoken! Plz Baba I am your daughter and a lawyer!!!!”
Baba giving me a bemused *I am getting where this is heading look* simply nods.
“Who said I am well settled??? I live in a dump in Mumbai, travel via local trains and barely hold a position of responsibility in my organisation. This misleading information is criminal Baba and how can me the protector of truth do this?”
Well settled in Mumbai
Baba maintains the status quo reactions.
“Brahmin … community … BABA … didn’t you teach us to be cosmopolitan? Didn’t you say as long the family is good, community shouldn’t be a problem? Weren’t you the one who accepted the Malloo SIL with open arms … this is not you speaking for your daughter Baba!”
Bengali brahmin …. similar community
Baba *putting off his spectacles* and looking around for Ma. Looking glad that she is not a privy to this conversation.
“Equal match – the term should be defined Baba.. I mean you’ll spend so much giving the ad and then matches will come which are not ‘equal’… such a waste na Baba? And what might be equal to you might not be equal to the reader and then the tussle begins … this is ambiguous – let’s strike it off to save you from trouble Baba!!!”
Baba *giving a small sigh* So what is left darling?
Me: 20+x years girl
Baba: You have any problem with that? *smiling eyes serious face look*
Me: Na *I’m the most adjusting daughter look* … how does this look Baba? Can we show this to XYZ Aunt tomorrow?
Baba: Hmmm… can we spare her and pretend you never saw this? *I am not really in a position to lose siblings look*
Me: “ok…” *I shall keep quiet just for you look*
Baba: “and yes can you just throw this paper before Ma discovers this?” *Kindly oblige the poor married man look*
Me: “Sure” *Anything for you Baba – look!*
*Tearing the paper into a million pieces and giving a devilish and triumphant look as the garbage bin is flicked open with the foot!*
That’ s why I love father’s … they are so logical!!!!