The Writers Voice
Marriage, a Dilemma
R. H. Sarah
The Dixits, as one can say were the coolest family of New Delhi. Well! Precisely not the right way, but yes they were one of their kind. Mrs Dixit, who worried about her eldest daughter's marriage the time she gave birth to her.
Mr Dixit, on the other hand was a man who believed that whatever happened has to happen in the proper time and proper place...it was sort of destined. Meenaxi of the age of 20 did her MBA. The youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs Dixit was Seema, who kept talking without knowing what she talked.
So, precisely this family was one of their kind, the odd one out, the extraordinaire, etc, etc, etc and so forth.... the words would go on.
Now, since Meenaxi was 20, Mrs Dixit had to get her an eligible boy. The hunt went on and the hunter was only she herself, because Mr Dixit was too busy reading and measuring the ups and downs of the stock exchange for his business. Meenaxi, on the other hand was just too occupied and uninterested about her marriage. Seema was the person left and she would say yes to even a plumber, because she had to get all decked up for the marriage, that was the only concern of hers; whom her sister got married to was none of her business. In short, Mrs Dixit was the hunting dog and hunter too; she did a sort of 2 in 1 role.
"Wow! Another guy, oh dids, please, pretty please, tell him yes", said Seema begging her bored sister.
"Fine I will tell him yes for you, what say?" asked Meenaxi holding her head.
"Oh yes!!!! I don't mind, but mom won't be interested in getting me married", replied Seema as she walked to her mother, who was busy scanning through all the guy's photos and their bio data.
"AHA! We done it, we made 23 lakhs profit in the shares", declared Mr Dixit, who still didn't rip his eyes off the paper. He still sat calculating and Meenaxi thought that her father calculated the number of zeros in 23 lakhs.
"Oho, you na, you sit with this dumb, stupid paper. Your daughter has grown up, but what’s the matter, like a tree; let Meenaxi also grow, what is your concern in it. You act as if we are searching a guy for the neighbour's daughter na", said Mrs Dixit emotionally.
"I would be interested then, if you would be searching a guy for our neighbours' daughter", said Mr Dixit comically, as he joined his family and Meenaxi laughed out. But, Mrs Dixit looked at her husband dangerously and Mr Dixit hid his face in the pretence as if he were frightened.
"Enough, I am going to invite this boy. You know, he's from states and gradually you will become a green card holder. He's also got a business of automobiles and he says here, that he needs a pure Indian girl, who has no grudges staying with him in the US", said Mrs Dixit as she read the letter, which he had send all the way through the States. Mrs Dixit smelled it and inhaling it for a long time, she said, "Oh look the letter smells of USA. One day after you marry him, you will also smell like the letter". Both Mr Dixit and Meenaxi looked at Mrs Dixit with helpless and hopeless manner.
"Mom I don't want to marry a guy who would smell. I hate smelly people", Meenaxi said correcting her mom in a polite manner.
"Anyway, I am inviting him here and you know he is in Delhi for a few days and you know he's staying in Holiday Inn", remarked Mrs Dixit with excitement as she ran towards the phone.
This is just a brief description of what all happens in the Dixit family. Oh by the way, the smelling-like-USA- guy wouldn't be the first guy to see Meenaxi. He must be the 15th or 16th, actually everybody lost count of it. Meenaxi rejected any boy, eligible enough for a normal person. She always found faults that weren’t very much observed by others, for example: A gentleman came all the way from Hyderabad to New Delhi for Meenaxi and she rejected him, saying he was squint. Mrs Dixit couldn’t help staring at his eyes in a very oddly manner, for which the Hyderabadi gentleman had to leave embarrassedly.
There was another gentleman, who came all the way from Australia, for which Mrs Dixit had kept the highest hopes of getting him married to Meenaxi, she went to such an extent where she even decided what to wear, "I will wear a yellow sari, so that my lovely son-in-law wouldn't feel home sick", declared Mrs Dixit to her husband, who decidedly thought of not wearing a yellow sherwani. Poor Mrs Dixit and her yellow sari, they both had to wait for each other, as the Australian gentleman left hurriedly, fully flushed with Meenaxi. On inquiry from Mrs Dixit, about what had happened to him, to give him such a mood, Meenaxi coolly replied, "I had guessed the Kangaroos were the national animal of Australia, as he too smelled like one". Meenaxi’s mother couldn't believe her ears, eyes, almost all her senses, had come to sudden stillness of defeat and more than that it was of disgust, hopelessness that nobody helped her in finding the right man for her daughter.
So, now it was for Mr USA. It was half past 5 and Mrs Dixit gave orders to her servant, Ram kaka. She also instructed Meenaxi of how to go to the hall, when she's called and how lady like she has to appear to the US man.
"And remember no funny stuffs. Beta! This guy will make your life like living paradise. I am telling you; you really had to appear as pleasantly as possible. Make him so crazy about you that he should see you and you only, wherever he sees, he will see only you", said Mrs Dixit who was desperate of switching places only till the man would say yes to her.
"I hope he doesn't see me in you, mom", replied Meenaxi, who wore a pink shalwar Qameez. Mrs Dixit wore a blue and red sari, to represent the flag of USA. Mr Dixit, when noticed it said, "The only thing missing are the stars".
The bell rang and Mrs Dixit was in hysteria, she could faint any moment, "He's here, he's here, oh my God. He's here he's here. Oh what will I do, what shall I say, what shall I say. Oh my God he's here, God bless me,” yelled Mrs Dixit, as she ran to and fro in front of her family. It seemed that the boy had come to see her and not Meenaxi, who stood passively, folding her arms.
"Its ok, its ok. I know he will say yes to you", said Mr Dixit, as he saw such behaviour of his wife.
"Oh keep quiet and please, no, no stupid jokes of yours. I want you to keep your mouth shut", said Mrs Dixit and she arranged her sari in a properly manner and opened the door.
Meenaxi was in the adjusted room with her sister, who by now decided what to wear for the marriage. She went on which parlour and which make up kit she will use on her sister's marriage. Seema was a real replica of her mother; she did what her mom did. Meenaxi was trapped between the two women who had duplicate nature.
"Seema, bring your sister here", Mrs Dixit said politely like a homely mother, who never felt any stress just a few minutes ago.
Meenaxi came to the hall and sat next to him. He looked at her and Meenaxi stared straight into his eyes, for which Mrs Dixit felt that it was too bold, she had to shy and lower her eyes like an Indian lady, like how she did, when her husband came to see her.
"I like it, she's not like other Indian women, who are timid and too bashful. I like it", said the man.
"Oh really, when will he say I love it", whispered Mrs Dixit to her husband, who coughed half way, as she said.
"Do you mind if we both talk to each other?" he asked and Mrs Dixit smiled like a lovely woman, "See my dear sure go on".
"I mean I want to talk to her all alone".
Mrs Dixit got up with an alarming alert and said, "All Alone". She didn't mind that her daughter would be all alone with a boy, who was a total stranger to her daughter. But she was scared that Meenaxi would say something gruesome that will lead him to show the exit door of the house. Mr Dixit too got up, but he was more calm and relaxed, it seemed as if he had read his wife's mind, he silently soothed her, "Its all right dear. Everything will happen, when it has to happen".
Seema, Mr and Mrs Dixit left and Meenaxi took a deep breath and looked at him inquiringly. He was like other Indian men, who go to States and show off more than the original citizens of United Stated of America.
"So what are your hobbies?" asked the man, with an accent, which Meenaxi realised that it was like he's trying to maintain it and it wasn't a permanently nailed on his tongue.
"Nothing much, I like...my mother likes to call all the eligible guys for me and I love to reject them. You now, till today I think I have rejected 16 to 17 guys. I have disapproved them so many times, that I have lost count. I don't know whether you are the 18th one or not. What do you think? I will give you a help line. 'Ask the audience'", said Meenaxi. This guy gave a slight cough and said with a very disturbed way, "Ah...I think I will be the 18th one".
"Oh so sad, I thought you were good, but I am so sorry I hate to spend my life with a man who doesn't believe that he's good", replied Meenaxi and she got up and then looked at him and said, "Please, have something to eat. Mom made them especially for you".
The US gentleman too tip toed and left the premises of the Dixits. Mrs Dixit's sharp ears heard that and she came running, not wishing it to be the visitor leaving.
"Meenaxiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What have you done? What was wrong with him? What is wrong with you? How many times do I have to tell, you shouldn’t insult anyone. Oh, oh I am...I am going to have a heart attack", said Mrs Dixit.
"My dear, please make us a cup of tea and then have a heart attack", Mr Dixit said, he knew that was the dialogue that his wife often used, whenever the guy leaves their house, but it never happened literally.
"Oh keep quiet! It's because of you, you. I am not talking to you. It is because of you that Meenaxi is not getting married. You never take interest in anything, for how long will I have to take matters in my hand. I have kneeled down with so much of responsibilities that I can't take any more. If Meenaxi, God forbid, doesn't get married within this year, then the people will wag their tongues and they will ask if she's all right or not, or is there some defect in her", said Mrs Dixit sobbingly,
"Ohfo, look if she's-" before Mr Dixit could explain, the bell rang and Mrs Dixit hoped that it could be the boy from the US.
"Meenaxi go open fast, open the door fast, who knows it must be him and he must have come here to say he liked Meenaxi", said Mrs Dixit as she did her hair properly and artificially, for namesake she pretended to deck herself properly.
As Meenaxi opened the door, she screamed joyfully, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA".
Mrs Dixit looked inquisitively at the visitor, seeing whom Meenaxi screamed. Seema ran towards the door and Mr Dixit patiently sat on his chair, now staring at the paper with the question of, 'to be or not to be'.
"Who is it?" asked Mrs Dixit impatiently, still expecting the same person.
"Mom, guess, who, its Sapna", replied Meenaxi as she pulled her friend to show her parents.
"Oh its you", said Mrs Dixit unenthusiastically, Mr Dixit hit her with an elbow and she, like a toy starting with fresh battery to play, said "Ohhhhhhh its youuuuuuuuuuuuuu" and then she went down, "If only she had introduced me to a guy, I wish Sapna was a guy with the name of Suresh, Subhash, Rohan", Mrs Dixit said under her breath.
"Sapna, beta. How's everything?" asked Mr Dixit, who noticed that his wife was in mood attending the visitor, so he had to be more approachable and not cold.
"Hey, but what are you doing here?" asked Meenaxi all thrilled to see her best friend in her city.
"I have come especially to invite you for my marriage", said Sapna, as she handed her wedding card. Meenaxi looked at her mother and Mrs Dixit's eyes came out and her mouth was fully open and one could see her full set of 32 teeth.
"To who?" was the first question that came out from Mrs Dixit.
"Ah...aunty his name is Rohan and he's a banker".
"A..b-b-banker? Is it a love marriage or an arrange marriage?" asked Mrs Dixit, her questions came out like as if she were a police officer.
"Who arranged your marriage?" asked Mrs Dixit without keeping silent.
"Mummy and daddy", replied Sapna, she felt as if she were in a torture asylum.
"AHA- mummy and DADDY. DADDY isn't mummy and DADDY also. See daddy", said Mrs Dixit looking at her husband critically and he looked at Meenaxi.
"Aunty, we really hope to see you. But in case if you can't make it, please send Meenaxi at least. Ok aunty I have to distribute this card to other people also. Bye Meena", said Sapna and she left. Though Sapna had left, but Mrs Dixit took the house on her head as she kept on saying, "Our daughter, god forbid, our daughter will become old, but none, but no one will marry her. Why? Because her father isn't at all interested in it, he is totally interested in his shares. Go, you go and check out your shares. I will give you the paper and yes, one more thing tomorrow you go and subscribe to other newspapers also and come. Then we all will also help you in knowing the conditions of the shares of all the companies. BUT! We are not at all concern about the condition of our daughter. Not we, you, you are not. I don't know it is only me and me who is worried about her marriage. If there is a delay, then, then what will everybody say. They will say na, that look the girl must have got some problem, they won't be interested in knowing our side of the story. They won't be interested that every single boy liked Meenaxi, but Meenaxi didn't like anyone. She always finds faults in them. No! Who’s interested? Gossip is all about saying bad only and gossip goes well, if there is a girl involved, it becomes more interesting.” Mrs Dixit by now became emotional and she left for her room.
"God, mom didn’t look happy when she said all this", said Seema as she watched her mother climbing the stairs.
"Well- Meenaxi, I think your mother after our full 15 years of marriage, today whatever she said is right. My dear I think you should get married".
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