Jab We Met
Tuesday 25 December 2007


Pierced nose. Tattoos. Unsymmetrical earrings. Flats and dungarees. Slapstick sense of humour. Enter Konkona, the heroine of this story. Funny to the boot, Konkona was spark and wit personified.
Now, it so happened that her parents survived twenty four years of her rebellion and Out-of-the-Box ways of life and decided to pass on the torch of responsibility to a 'suitable groom'. And so the groom hunt began. From newspapers to online portals, no medium was spared. And after almost two months of running about priests with horoscopes, they shortlisted a few compatible matches for the hurricane of their eyes
The D-day for the interview came and Konkona was stuffed into a salwar kameez, bejewelled and made to resemble a character just out of one of the popular K-soaps that her mother was an avid fan of. Fluttering her eyelashes, Konkona looked at her reflection in the mirror and winked.
At exactly one hour and five minutes post the appointed time (which is the standard IST, for the non-Indian reader), the groomfolk arrived. 'Dead meat', Konkona pursed between her lips.. For this rebellious young hurricane, marriage was a death trap, which would leave her forever tied up and take away all the pleasures of life, which she had come to love by then. Such were her thoughts as she sat huddled in the inside quarters of her home, where she was strictly instructed to stay, until she was summoned out side by her Mother. But being the curious cat that she'd always been, she ventured to peep into the drawing room, through one corner of the curtain with unblinking Kajal-laid eyes, and was aghast to find the prospective Mother-in-law (MIL), staring directly at her, sitting atop the refurbished sofa, that Konkona had decorated the previous night.
She promptly closed the curtain, obviously fluttered at having got caught at her own game.
After a wait, which seemed eternal to this impatient scuffling young creature, she was finally summoned and she entered with the tea tray delicately balanced between the mountains of pastries, samosas and biscuits and rivers of hot tea, with cream floating on top of them. What a spread.. she thought.. If only Mother is as generous every day.. Silence ensued for one whole minute. MIL was sizing her up. Konkona was trying to pour the tea without spilling it on the prospective groom's brand new imported sneakers. Konkona's parents were wondering what was going on in the minds of MIL and FIL.
And then the interview began.

Q1: Do you know cooking?
Ans: Yes, I do (If only I could trust someone eating it...)
Murmurs of approval.

Q2: What kind o work do you do in Office?
Ans: Java, J2EE.. voice trailed off (An attempt to throw in technical jargons ended in a complete flop show)
Silence.

Q3: What else do you apart from Office work?
Ans: Don't get much time. I come back from the office quite late, due to tremendous project pressure.. (How easy to pull that one off, she congratulated herself)
Slight murmurs and pressure @ workplace vs Women surving in workplaces. A short debate ensued.

Q4: What all books do you read?
Ans: Lolit...No, I mean last I read 'Love in the time of Cholera' by Marquez (Whoops.. Lolita had almost done me in!!)
Murmurs of approval.

Some more silence amidst slurps of tea and bicuit crunches.
"So why don't you two take some time off and talk to one another?"
This was met with a vigorous nod of assent from both MIL+FIL and M+F. "Yes, yes go ahead beta.. Dont be shy.. "
Konkona beckoned with a sly smile to the bespectacled bakra "Come lets go" and added with a whisper "Its showtime folks!"

One inside she studied the twenty seven year old YYM+YYT grad who obviously having floated in single land for so long had finally given in to his parents' wishes of seeing a girl. And so Konkona started doing what she was best at. And what better victim could she have asked for than this shy guy who had the 'single jingle' literally enveloping his whole demeanour.
'So, any boyfriends?' (Ouchie.. how many do I mention without hurting your sentiments shy guy?) Added with a smile..'Hmm... Would I be sitting here in that case?' (That was close!) That sounded acceptable to this cute looking geeky dude, who had something vaguely Kintish about him.. Was it the hair.. Or the nose.. Or the fidgeting hands.. Konkona kint her brows in concentration, but was not able to decipher..
'So do you have any questions for me?', shy guy asked.
Konkona replied quietly 'No, I belive conjugal life is a a journey of self discovery' (Whaat?! Konkona was nonplussed at what she just spoke! What had come over her?)
'Yes, I agree to that. So is yours a very religious family?'-shy guy again.
'Yes. In fact I do prayers each day along with uttering the holy chants as part of my initiation into the religious world' (Now, this ought to stop immediately Konkona! It was as if an invisible remote was controlling her! She reprimanded herself and ordered her senses to come back under her control.. 'So what, you like him too, isn't it?' A shy voice inside her spoke out). Konkona was shocked as she realized what was happening! She couldn't fathom that her best laid plans were getting dumped in the bin.. She made one last deperate attempt
"I had one boyfriend.. It ended recently.. I am still heartbroke!"
"Ohh.. thats bad.. I can understand how tough it must have been for you. I hope you get over it soon..."
Konona nearly fainted..

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And when she woke up, the whole world seemed so different.. It took her a long time to realize what had happened.. The sharp shears of fate had subtly cut away her girlhood from her womanhood, in a way that both stayed together even after thay had been cut apart... Maybe her plan had indeed achieved its target.. Will he ever come back?.. She felt miserable without knowing why.. She desperately waited for that single mail from her shy guy..

She still waits.

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