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A quick tale 128

Reality Bites

'He's the one I am to marry', she said. Passing around photo of the man her parents had chosen for her, among her friends. 'That's him in the striped blue shirt' she said needlessly. The photo had only him leaning awkwardly against a wall. His striped shirt was not the first thing her friends noticed about his appearance. They saw his thinning hair, his average build, his forced smile, his strikingly painful ordinariness. The group slipped into a deeply introspective mode. It seemed like all their fantasy knights had been felled in a single swoop by this mild, middle-aged man who looked like the kind you would buy insurance policies from. Or ask directions to the library from. The group remained silent for an embarrassingly long time before someone observed, 'he reminds me of a man who once helped carry my suitcase up the stairs in a railway station.' Everyone nodded vigorously. As if helping young women carry heavy luggage was what good husbands were made of.


rajesh said…
From a guy's perspective,this oftens very often..
Some close friend shows the pic of the girl whos been 'selected' to be his wife and as soon as we catch a glimpse of her photo,theres this silence due to the shock...
As everyone starts thinking could he have agreed to this..lean,dark,not at all modern,unattractive girl - completely opposite to all his desires all through the years?
And suddenly someone breaks the ice by saying..
"Cool da..she looks very homely"!!
The poor fellow chuckles without realising that the word 'homely' actually means 'unattractive'!
Subbu said…
'Beauty is in the mind of the beholder'. And this is especially true, once you know who your other half is going to be..
Madura said…
Reminds me of the photo my mother (the eldest of 9 children of a farm house) had sent to my father in 1968. I heard it from him. She had sent her NCC photo, with khaki pants, khaki tops and a cap! In 1968 arranged marriage?!!! Such crazy home histories definitely warms-you-up when your friends are learning to tie a silk saree and your harmones are teaching you to be a rebel-without-a-cause and I thought 1968 was history until then and that marriage was stupid! I think that was the very first time I discovered that they were young and fun loving too, and may be not too long ago. I guess I grew up a tiny little bit that day and life looked a little less complicated and more fun. I guess I even loved them a little bit more. But oh yeah they are still fighting cats and dogs when I am calling international. Marriages are difficult. But photos can be fun! And people are sending me blog links these days to judge the bride... Hmmm.. no, date! Is 1988 history?
dogmatix said…
Good one ammans!!

Madura... Awww!! the story of mom's photo in a guide's uniform. That must be a family legend by now!! Too cute !!
I had a friend whose only 'condition' was that the guy should be good-looking. coz all around her she had seen good qualified grooms who looked like Mr. blue stripes get married to her friends. And it worked for her, guy was great looking, average in all other aspects. But she was /is quite happy with that.

I rather admire pple who know exactly what they want, however superficial it might seem.
b a l a j i said…
rajesh was spot on :)

more often than not, life seems to be a lot of compromises :(
i loved this one. bullseye. a cousin once protested that a prospective husband wsa not good looking enough (the nerve) to which her father replied 'Onakku yenna Amitabh Bachchan madiri aathukkarar kadaikkumnu nanaichaya?'
Mahadevan said…
"strikingly painful ordinariness" - a lovely phrase.

Plain Jane can be pretty enough to be married to and make a mirthful living. "Ordinary" Anantha Padmanabhans can also make good husbands to carry luggage and run errand.
Deepa said…
Ammani, please write the Part II where the guy shows her picture to his friends. Would make an interesting read.
Anonymous said…
loved it especially bcos it was so honest. would love the hubby's version of the same thing.
wat r good husbands made of?
MSK said…
Though I can completely empathize with the story it leaves me with the question that ‘Is look the only thing a girl/guy expect from her/his life partner?'

I don’t understand people who get/pass opinion about a person by just seeing his/her photo.


This being my first comment on your blog, I should say that i am a regular reader and a fan of your quick-tales.
Zero said…
Anonymous said…
Hmm...very true!!! I have read your blogs many times but was too lazy to leave a comment. Today I just couldn't stop myself from leaving a comment as I can relate this to my situation very well. On seeing my 'man's snap one of my close friend commented he looks very cheerfull, which also implied ' though not good looking:-)'
Taruna said…
Story of my life, with a few minor alterations!!!

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Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
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1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
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3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.


Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

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