A 30-something urban Indian woman, S's mostly entertaining and extremely frustrating attempts at getting hitched through a matrimonial website!
*Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any persons married or not, as the case may be, is entirely intentional.
So that was the first reason that I decided to start the new year with a new post but the other more hilarious reason- and of course if it's more hilarious it is also needless to say all the more scary!- was a timely call from an unknown number. Many of you know that I mostly conveniently ignore calls from unknown numbers which is what I did as usual. But I also now send off a text (more expensive, but more cautious) asking quite rudely, 'who is this?' And so I did with this unknown number. I got a reply the next day, which made drop the phone. One of the ghosts of the past (aka a donkey- this is how the father now routinely refers to them- from the year gone by) had been resurrected. Some of you will have heard, or have your own, various versions of this story and about this character; some of you will remind me how stupid I was to share my number so readily with this character (I know! I know!); all of you, I suspect, will soon be laughing (at me, of course!) till your sides hurt.
So who was he? Sometime way back in May I had a couple of brief conversations with a Bengali gentleman-BG (or not, that is for you all to determine) who made it clear to me that he wished to make me the 'queen of his home and heart'. He also said that he would like to be my slave- I suspect it wasn't just me, he would have been any woman's slave. The first time we chatted on messenger he said he was in the army. When I asked him what he did or if it was strictly hush-hush, he said this was confidential work but he was involved in building essential infrastructure to combat the Chinese threat and he would tell more as and when we were to meet. As an aside, the Chinese would do well to simply lurk on various messenger applications to get at India's defense secrets rather than invest in anything more complicated.
More on BG- he wanted to tell me what he liked about my profile. He thought I sounded confident and very down-to-earth and I knew what I wanted. It is, of course, another matter entirely that for someone who supposedly knows what they want I always manage to get this wrong. Then came the big one- he thought I sounded like I had, and I quote, a 'dominating streak' and he could be my slave if I liked. Okay so this sounded somewhat suspicious to me. When I said I didn't want any man to be my slave (I know- what was I thinking! Just take what you can get and... Run!) he tried to convince me that this would be nice- to have someone at my beck and call. He continued in the same vein saying that he thought women were goddesses and the woman he would marry would be his Goddess! At this point I was definitely squirming.
The parents were excited that I had, after a gap of many months, even spoken/ chatted with anyone and I was subjected to much questioning at dinner time with the sibling adding his bit with the dramatic drumroll (Gosh, these things leave such horrendous scars). I mentioned that I was a little worried with the whole 'I can be your slave' bit. They all looked askance at me. Then the pater familias in all his wisdom pronounced that perhaps this man genuinely felt that women deserved a better deal than they usually get and this was his way of expressing this. I was not convinced but agreed that I was maybe being a bit quick to jump to conclusions. The next day we spoke on the phone and the conversation was relatively harmless but perhaps even more detrimental to India's defense establishment- he said he was in Bengaluru getting some more training on I forget what. At this point he again tried to convince me of his slave-mistress ideas and I said very clearly that I believed that marriage was a partnership of equals (Oh, what a fool am I) at which point the conversation ended. But it did not end there.
A couple of days later we were again in the midst of an (ahem) engaging conversation on messenger wherein I was suddenly sprung the question of whether my feet were beautiful. Now, how does one answer this when one doesn't even know the man? Feet are personal dammit! More to the point, should one even answer? My fingers froze above the keyboard and I adopted my therapist voice and asked
"...and what makes you ask?"
"I find me women's feet very erotic :)"
Before I could come out of shock and frame a coherent reply I got "Their hands are also very erotic and their eyes too. So are your feet erotic, are they beautiful?"
This was getting way out of hand, or should I say foot! I was now extremely uncomfortable discussing my feet with this unknown man. Then
"Do you have to go out in the hot sun to work?"
"When you come back at the end of the day with tired feet I will wash and massage your beautiful feet for you :)" YIKES! This was a whole new level of personal now. There was more, "I will make tea while you rest your beautiful feet and I can be your slave and you can order me about."
I had now decided that he was definitely a foot fetishist and I did not want my pure, unsullied feet to feature in his nocturnal (or otherwise) fantasies! Oh no, not my feet (and hands and eyes, for that matter!) I said that we seemed to have very different views regarding marriage and it would be difficult to reconcile them.
That evening at dinner the pater familias asked whether the sibling would get in touch with friends in Bengaluru who could check out the BG to see if he seemed worthy (!) of my affections at which I first gagged. I recovered myself to shriek no! and that my first impressions were quite accurate. They all raised their collective eyebrows at me. The father then asked 'You mean we should have preserved B's dog collar and leash for your prospective husband?!' (B was our much-loved and much-reviled black Lab who now lies six feet under in the garden) At which they all started laughing and I was the butt of much leg-pulling for the entire weekend- 'Ah, she needs a whip' 'Oh chains and handcuffs would really do it' 'Black leather, yes!' And mind you this when I omitted all reporting of the feet issue. I hid from BG on messenger and he made no attempt to contact me. Until now, that is. I took my time to reply in which I finally said that I believed that it is very difficult to get to know people when one is not in the same town. I think he has got the message since I notice that I am no longer on his interest accepted list. YAY! Relief.
I hope to have more for you all soon. Comments as usual are welcome and do drop me a line if these updates interfere with the even, calm pace of your lives.