Jan 26, 2011

A couple of drinks and Cutieboy

I had made a brief mention of Cutieboy in one of my previous blogs. Nothing much. He was my first crush in college. It seems that same old crush is showing its sexy face again. Sorry this is going to be a really long post. The gist of the post is in the above four lines.

First I shall brief you about Cutieboy. I saw him first in the railway station when I was waiting for a train. I was on my way to attend an interview for admission into college. I see him; a cute young boy of approximately my age carrying a suitcase and following his dad. I noticed him because he was cute and wondered whether he would also be attending the same interview. He and his dad seemed to be in a hurry. My train was late and so I assumed they might be going on a different train.

When I reached my destination, I saw them alighting from the bogey just before mine. Again I wondered if he was not my competitor. The fact was confirmed when I saw him next during the interview. By the time both of us came out of the interview, our dads had become acquainted with each other and other Malayali parents. As seventeen year olds, we kept exchanging glances. We didn't talk to each other. And I thought he was a haughty cute boy who would talk only to hot girls. (Later only I realised that he was a very shy boy and he hardly spoke to any girls).

The selection list was announced and my name was there in the list. Alas, Cutieboy's name was not there. He was 2nd on the waiting list. On the day of admission, I see him again. It seems two students had opted out of the course and hence he got through. Lucky Cutieboy! (Did I pray that he be in my college? I don't remember).    

College started and I got acquainted with Cutieboy. Like I said, at first I had thought that he was a conceited bastard. It took me some time to realise that he was the type of guy who took time to get friendly with other people, that he hardly spoke much and also that he was not a smart one. The fact is he is an eye candy and nothing more than that. We started talking to each other as his close friend R was also a close friend of mine and we were all mallus. (Mallu guys have this way of sticking on to other mallu girls. But gladly I was chucked out of the Mallu gang in my class as they found that I was not a stereotypical mallu!). R was a very funny guy and great to talk to. He would always have something interesting to talk about. In contrast, Cutieboy hardly spoke anything until he was spoken to. And that too some short inaudible sentences. That too he spoke because I was such so garrulous that it was difficult not to talk with me. Or even if he spoke anything out of his own initiative it would be utter nonsense. Some weeks (or rather days) into college, my impression of Cutieboy had changed and my crush had passed on from Cutieboy to other well deserving boys.

Third month of college. It was a couple of weeks after Cutieboy's birthday. We were having a mess table conversation about Cutieboy not giving a treat on his birthday. Then it turns out that he already gave a party to the guys. We were a couple of girls and we acted cross at him for not giving a treat to us. (This is typical Mallu boy behaviour! They have this weird notion of separating boys and girls. Boys party with boys. Girls party with girls. So stupid!). I bug him a lot about the treat thing and how I was looking forward to his party.

The next week I am called home by my parents. I'm happy to go home (still not gotten over my homesickness). I should have realised that something was amiss as I had gone home only a week before and was advised against coming home every now and then and to concentrate on my studies. I thought my parents were missing me. But that was not the case.

I had been given my first mobile phone when I started college. As a stupid first time mobile user, I gave my number to all the senior guys who asked for it. Do I have to mention what followed? I began to receive a lot of anonymous calls and a spam of anonymous dirty messages. So I thought it prudent to change my number and gave my sim card to my dad to attend such calls as he felt. It seems the first message he received was from Cutieboy and it went like, “Hey RB! Great to know you were looking forward to my treat. I think I shall give you a treat today evening. Hope chicken biriyani will be fine." (Was Cutieboy asking me out? Btw guys, chicken biriyani was the most expensive item on our college canteen menu). My paranoid parents thought I was having an affair with Cutieboy. It seems he sent a couple more messages and the last was," Where are you? I'm waiting in the canteen." To which my Dad replied, "I am in E#@$%*%$^." I bet Cutieboy would have been thoroughly confused. He had seen me only that afternoon. (My room-mate later told me that she had received a message from Cutieboy that evening asking whether I had changed my number, but she didn't bother to reply as I had asked all my friends not to give my new number to anyone). So because of Cutieboy I ended up listening to two days of my father's thrashings and my mother's lectures which consisted of "All these boys just want to have fun with the girls. After they get what they want they will throw you off. RB, you should not let them use you."  There was also deduction from my parents about the meaning of an 'evening treat'. When I got back to college and asked Cutieboy about the sms episode, he just shrugged it off. So I thought it would have been embarrassing for him and never asked him that again.      

This is how a chicken biriyani looks like, which Cutieboy wanted to give me a treat. I have wondered Chicken biriyani? Why?

In due course, we became good friends. We would tease each other and pass stupid notes in torn pages to each other during class. And yes, we would flirt with each other. (Or rather I would flirt with him).

But the problem with Cutieboy was that he was as slow in his studies as he was with anything else. So he ended up with a quite a few complementary papers and after that went into oblivion. We had occasional hi-bye talks. But we never sat in the same class to pass notes to each other :-( Besides I had other men to attend to.

Then I finished college.

Last week I went to my alma mater. I decided to catch up Yakov who had also turned up in the City. Lucio was also there in the City. We decided to have a blast like the good old times (These two guys were my greatest drinking partners). Yakov, Lucio and I head out to the latest pub opened in the city. Lucio tells me he has invited Cutieboy and another guy Blotch also. I'm a bit apprehensive as I will be seeing Cutieboy after such a long time and I don't know how he reacts to women drinkers (that is another aspect of mallu guys. They believe they guys are entitled to all the fun and the girls are supposed to be docile and to put up with all the shit of the guys. Women-drinkers are labeled sluts. I think I shall have to write a post on this!). I didn't want to be labeled a slut. That too by Cutieboy!

So then Cutieboy enters. He is looking as cute as before except that he has put on some weight and is growing bald. He sees me and looks a bit surprised. I don't know whether he was surprised for seeing me or for seeing me in a pub. We exchange our hi-byes and the usual, "How have you been doing?" "Long time no see" etc etc. It turned out that Blotch was also a mallu! So it is three mallus against the rest of India.

A couple of drinks later, Cutieboy starts to open up. He begins to talk. Yes! He is talking! He is starting a conversation and maintaining it! Thanks to the whiskey, he has lost all his previous inhibitions and my… I just love it. He is talking interesting stuff (or is it the whiskey which made me feel that what he was speaking was interesting). And I love all the attention he is giving me and all the things he is telling. He told me how he had a crush on me in first year and almost asked me out. It was too good to hear! It was general euphoria for me and I drunk couple more extra! And I was careful not to let out that I too had a crush on him. We laughed over how we were in first year and all the stupid things we did. It was nice.

This is what makes Cutieboy to open up....

 All of us were nicely drunk and in the euphoric stage when we left the pub and we decided we needed to get drunk more. We bought more drinks and ended up in the terrace of Lucio's apartment. All of us drunk till we got dead drunk. And this was the first time I drunk so much of liquor. This is one of the best memories with these friends and made special because of Cutieboy.

The next morning when we got up, all of us were back to our normal self. Cutieboy was back again as his the shy cute eye-candy self that he always was. We said bye to each other.

I was not leaving the City until the next evening. In the evening I received a call from Cutieboy shyly asking if I wanted to hang out and go for a movie. I am a stupid girl as I always was and always will be. My reply, "Cutieboy, no movie. I have come to get drunk and we shall get drunk." The movie thing didn't click me. He meant it as a date! When I met him he was still in his reticent boring self. It took a couple of drinks to get him into the 'mood'. We got drunk that evening too but there was Blotch also with us and I got Cutieboy to speak up more. I discovered a lot more things about him and we had many ideas in common. And he didn't turn out to be a moorachi mallu male chauvinist that I had thought him to be.

Now I'm back home with the sweet memories of Cutieboy. My crush for him is reblooming. But would I be able to seriously like and respect a guy who has not yet passed his course and who is comfortable to talk with me only after a couple of drinks? I don't know. I shall wait. But at present, I don't want this nice feeling to go away.

Jan 18, 2011

Facebook - the Saviour

"I didn't know the role of social networking forums in the modern Indian arranged marriage. Now I am enlightened!"

Next battle is against a South African. Seeing his expression in the photo, he looked like a loser playboy. The smile showing all his 32 teeth was itself a turnoff. And he had kept the first two buttons of his shirt open to show his hairy chest. The rest of his shirt showed his flab bulging out of the tight garment. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! Disgusting! But my very knowledgeable mom goes, "He's the same profession as you" (As if success of the marriage had anything to do with profession!). " He seems to like you very much RB. He has given his email id for you to mail him". "His parents are teachers so he would have been brought up really well". My mom has this soft corner for teachers' kids as she herself is a professor's kid and she believes that just because they are teachers' kids they would be impeccable. What rubbish! I gave her a few examples of teacher's kids turning out to be real bastards. "Those are all exceptions".

I didn't argue. Anyways the guy was in South Africa and he'll be coming only after a couple of months. I have time I thought. But for this I didn't have to rake my brain. Facebook did it!
 Armed with the email id, what does my mother do? She searches him in facebook. She has been recently introduced into facebook and has become an avid facebook fan. She has been adding friends and aquaintnces very enthusiastically. I, for my part, refused to be friends with her. Mothers should be banned from being friends with their kids in facebook. As if real-life stalking  was not enough, now mothers can keep a tab on their kids in cyber life also! Coming back to the teeth showing loser playboy, my mom finds him in facebook quite easily. He has put the same monstrous photo as his profile photo. She finds that he is what he has told- profession and education wise. And she is impressed until she checks out his photos. (I should say it was very stupid of him to keep his album visible to the public). After seeing the photos my mother's opinion of him changes from impeccable disciplined teachers' kid to philandering womanising drunkard!

 Thank You Facebook! Providence must have sent you.

Now my mom has decided to scrutinise all my wannabe husbands through facebook. She thinks their info in such public forums will give us a small idea of their personality. I found out that my mom is not the only one with this opinion. My friend's sister had got married recently. She tells me that their family went through facebook and orkut mania. Not just inspecting the guy's profile but going through all his friends in the friends list also. All his activities, comments and whatever visible were scrutinized. As if a ghost in his past may suddenly jump out of facebook. Guess my mom is far better than them.
Now my mom is behind me for changing my facebook profile photo in which I thought I was very pretty (Going by the comments of my friends). "Mamma, what is wrong with that photo? It was taken by best friend P. All my friends liked it."  " RB its pretty. But there are other photos in which you are prettier and more beautiful. Put them." I kept my profile photo. Its exhilarating to irritate her.

This post will be incomplete if I do not mention that I received three friend requests from wannabe husbands. When the first friend request came, I had no clue who he was. No mutual friend. So send him a message asking if I knew him. Pat came the reply. " I have seen your profile in the matrimonial column. Like your photo. So searched you in fb." Boy, I was furious. Furious that he had the audacity to not only stalk me on facebook  but to send me a friend request also. I didn't give him any reply. I rejected him as a friend. He was clever enough to get the message. To the second and third requests, I didn’t bother to respond.

Jan 17, 2011

Style Check

Hi guys,
I've won my next award in this blogging world (I sure like blogging)
Caterpillar at Musings and Confessions of a Wandering Mind has given me the Stylish Blogger Award. I request all of you to check out her blog and discover her like I did.

Now coming to the part where I 've to share stuff about myself ( I'm afraid all of you will realise how uninteresting a person I am).
Still, here we go...

1. I used to pick my nose when I was at Kindergarten.
2. I used to eat my nose-pick or that's what my Dad says ( when I think of that I go.. YUCK!)
3. My favourite colour is blue. And as I an extension, I like the clear blue sky, the clear water in the lakes, and the blue jays.
4. I can go on watchin TV without doing anything else. Without even drinking, eating or bathing.
5. I like the smell of the first rain, when it falls on the much thirsty mud.

At last to the interesting part, where I get to choose the Stylish Bloggers who deserve this award.

And the award goes to...

So now that I've got this award, there's presure on me to live up to the image ;-)

Jan 13, 2011

Finding my voice

I found a way to stop my parents eating my head over the next eligible bachelor. The proposal in question had been suggested by my aunt B (why is it that all these aunties want me to get married. More than my parents, they are worried. I guess all they want is to show off their new sarees before it is out of fashion). The boy is the nephew of my aunt B from her husband's side. He is now working as an engineer in the US (Again US!). My aunt can vouch that the boy is a really nice 'Indian boy' and out of all 'American' influences (what she meant she alone knows, if only she could be more descriptive and not use such meaningless words!). My parents say that what she meant is that he had been born and brought up in India and that he had had no girlfriends. No wonder! I have seen him when we were kids and he looked… well, I don't want to comment on someone's looks as I believe beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Still … In short he was not my idea of a prince in shining armour (I guess every girl is entitled to her own silly romantic idea of her husband). When I say that to my parents, they don't get it. They are of the opinion that I shall eventually like him. "All that glitters is not gold". That is my mother's favourite dialogue. "If he was a handsome young man, then he might have had lots of girlfriends. Since he is not…” I don't understand that logic as I know that a lot of bad-looking guys in my college had really busy weekends. And some of the good looking ones were the ones inside the shed. So that point was baseless. "Your B auntie never liked J uncle. She was crying uncontrollably on the day before the wedding. Look how happy she is now." And I wondered why she wanted me also to marry someone I didn't fancy. Oops, sorry! She didn't know that I don’t like her nephew.

Still my parents pestered. His photo was sent via email. Photo of him with full skiing gear and poles, standing in front of a car with snow all around. (Exploiting my obsession with snow). "Look beta, now you can ski in the snow with him". But he looked the same. Or even worse. I didn't want to marry him. I didn't want to go skiing with him. My parents didn't stop their pestering (I really admire their perseverance).

They were saying, “if you say yes, then we shall ask them to come over to see you". Bloody hell! They kept bickering morning evening morning. And I couldn't imagine waking up next to that piece of flesh for the rest of my life. Is it for him that I saved up my virginity? So many opportunities flashed across my mind. No, I shan't allow that to happen.

The next time my parents started the topic, I gave them a piece of my mind and yelled, " I'm never gonna have sex with him! If you want to proceed, you go ahead! It will only embarrass you. Either I will say no in the church or I will reach US and divorce him giving impotence as the reason!”

And that was it! They never spoke to me about him, again.
Sometimes all we have to do is to use our voice.

P.S. This was the first time I used sex in a conversation with my Dad. Ah! That was so liberating! 

Jan 11, 2011

The story of a friend- an obituary

This post is dedicated to a young bride. (This incident happened a few months ago and the girl was my senior in school).

She was a young girl who got married less than a year ago. It was an arranged marriage and her parents had selected the groom. He was the only son from a decent Hindu family with a stable job in Infosys. Her father had to give most of his earnings as part of the dowry. But he didn't mind as he believed this to be the right match for his daughter, as he believed this guy would protect his daughter and keep her happy for the rest of her life. 

Little was he to know what was to follow. She was tortured. Reason being dowry. He had given so much dowry beyond his means at the time of marriage. He had given them whatever they demanded. After the marriage, the in-laws wanted even more. Nothing could satisfy their greed. They considered the bride and her family as a bank; a bank from where they can loot and they won't be caught, where they can withdraw an infinite amount without having to return ever. The more the father gave, the more they kept asking. The last stroke came when they asked after milking the father to the hilt. The father was already in debt. The girl was sent to her 'maika' to ask for more but she had no heart to ask her family. She didn't say anything to her father or mother. Went back to her in-laws empty handed. Her disfigured body was found in the railway track the same evening. Was she killed by her in-laws or did she commit suicide.  Her hapless parents buried her disfigured body.

Jan 3, 2011

My first …

My first 'pennukannal'. I don't know if its technically correct as the literal meaning of pennukannal is 'girl seeing'. It is the term given to the custom when a guy and his family/ friends come for the first time to the girl's family to 'check out' the girl. The reverse which should be called 'cherukankannal' does not exist, for the simple fact that the girl or her family does not visit the guy or his family to check them out. Weird norms!

So I was subjected to this centuries old barbaric tradition. Phah!! Its akin to the custom of the king of Zanzibar who has a new bride every year and who selects her from other virgin beauties by watching them dance topless ( I have wondered what criterion he uses- the jumpiest boobs, the most erect nipples?).

I knew I couldn't escape from the pennukannals and the rest of the weird stuffs associated with an arranged marriage. But I wanted to prolong it as long as possible. I wasn't ready yet. I didn't realise I had to undergo this torture. I had thought that my parents would arrange it in some restaurant or a coffee shop where I can meet the guy alone with some privacy. They seemed to be more orthodox than I thought. Thus I decided I shall take it in good humor and derive fun out of it in my own way.

So about the guy who was coming to check me out (It sounds very tacky!). He sounded sane enough. He had migrated to the US in his teens. Now, he was working as a research scientist in the NASA where he was completing his PhD (and PhD after engineering too!). Or atleast, that's what he had said in his ad. And that’s what got my parents and my immediate family excited. In fact even I was overwhelmed after hearing NASA as I was a fan of the series 'I dream of Jeanie' and had liked the guy who played the NASA scientist. This guy had only one preference as regards the girl and I clearly fulfilled that. I was given a gist of his vital stats; his height, weight, skin color etc. They could've told me his dick size and his 'mileage' too. That would've simplified it.

I knew about his coming for the pennukannal after I came back from my night duty. He is expected to come in the evening. I asked my parents to shift it to some other day as I wanted to sleep badly (my much deserved sleep). But to no avail. "He will be going back to the US after one week." OK! Whatever!  

I had not yet got ready by the time my dad arrived from work. I was sleeping. He had to wake me up (he rarely wakes me up or enters my room). He asked me to get ready soon as they boy and his contingent were on their way. I wore a brown salwar-kameez and put my vegetable print dupatta on one shoulder. I applied only eyeliner as part of the makeup. But when I mom came from work she wanted me to change the outfit as she thought this was a simple one. Mind you, I had received quite a few compliments wearing this salwar-kameez also. I refused to change. Let them see me the way I am. Anyways, there was no time. My mom was clearly agitated. Not only about my outfit, but even about the snacks, beverages, settee, dining room, table cloth. Everything! Which drink to be given first? Juice followed by coffee or tea followed by juice. Anyways, I was saved from the embarrassment of taking the drinks to them. I thank God for that! My aunt, uncle and a cousin had also arrived. Another cousin and his wife were expected. Man! The pennukannal was a trip. Really!

Then, they arrived. He had come with his mom, aunt and uncle. I saw him from my vantage point in the dining hall. His eyes were wandering about for the 'girl' as soon as he entered the house. Our eyes met for a second just before he sat in the settee. He was ok. No wait! He was actually quite good looking. He looked like Cutieboy who was my first crush in college (and who later turned out to be really dumb). He had worn a formal full sleeved shirt with his sleeves rolled up to his elbow. Its weird how we girls don't notice the man's pants. I can't even remember whether he was wearing pants or jeans. I shall fix on pants. And he had spiked his hair (and I thought, “Daddy, if you are going to select this guy, better start liking spiked hair." My dad so hates spike hair and low waist jeans.)

Soon, I found myself sitting opposite to him in our living room. (contrary to all those bollywood and mollywood movies which show the boy and the girl speaking to each other in a secluded room in the house with all privacy). We were not at a distance where we cannot be overheard. Nevertheless I found the 'interview' quite amusing. In fact, I enjoyed it upto a point. I had decided to let him a have a hang of my mind-penetrating stare. I had found that guys are very uncomfortable when I stare directly into their eyes and gives them the look which can be variously read as 'I' m sizing you up' or 'what stupidity are you talking about' or ' I know your secret'. This PhD was no different. I know you faltered, baby.

The exact way the conversation started, I don't remember. I think he asked me my name and I asked him his name which was stupid as we both knew each other's name from our parents. He asked about my schooling and college, my parents, their job and their family. I also asked the same of him not to seem too rude. I remember him asking my opinion about city life. (I wondered what he meant by that. Did he mean was I a partying drinking type? Anyways, I could not have answered that when my dad was at an earshot). He made some comment about the traffic, "the cities have grown a lot but the roads haven't", to which I merely nodded assent (Did he expect the roads to grow up by themselves?). Is he tensed, nervous, or a mix of both? Or was that only my feeling? Or is he also dumb? Can PhDs be dumb? Who knows?  But one thing I was sure. He was not a great conversationist. He would be so ready to follow my lead in the conversation but he was faltering when he had to initiate any. He even asked me the same questions twice. Then all of a sudden, he asked a striking question, “Do you like cooking?" I replied an emphatic, "NO!” This guy he was not dumb! He was quite brave. Otherwise, who would ask such a question? He was straightforward. He just needed a cook, a maid and not a wife.  I am not going to be a wife whose only aim in life is to cook food for her husband. I want to follow my own career. I want to be independent and not be a doormat to a goddamn stranger! After this I think we didn't speak much. In the beginning I was politely rude by only half-answering his questions. People might have said I was shy. But now I was rude. I was not speaking to him at all. Inspite of all his good looks, he turned out to be a male chauvinist.

It was time for them to leave. His aunt asked me twice if I wanted to ask him anything more (what more do I need to ask him?). But when I think about it now, I could have led him on and had more fun. And I need not have been so bigoted. I need not have judged him by just that question. And there were one or two particular questions which I wanted to ask him; like why would he want to come to India to get a bride, can't he find someone in the US itself. But then there are limitations in the setup of the arranged 'pennukannal'. And this was my first. I didn't know what to ask or what to answer, especially when both the families have their eyes on you. Moreover, the cooking question was simply a turn-off.

Have any of you had similar experiences? I guess not. What you think of this custom. Drop a comment. 

P.S. Since my aunt and his uncle were acquainted at work, they had to come out with the truth on being asked by my aunt. He was not working at NASA. After his PhD he hopes to be employed by NASA. Wow! So much for his NASA research.

P.S. What is it with Americans of Indian origin? They want everything they have to be 'Made in America' except the bride.