“You will like him. He’s a Doctor and a Punjabi”: aunty Anita
“But aunty I find this really awkward. I don’t know him at all, how can I even think of marrying a man I don’t know?”: Me
“I have been married to your uncle for the last 30 years and I still don’t know him. Hahahahha! Don’t worry child, it will be perfect.”: aunty Anita
Me: “ I highly doubt it, but will meet him since you have gone to so much trouble.”
We hung up and I decided to get dressed for the date. We had fixed up to meet at this lovely roof top restaurant at 7pm.
I got there at 6:55pm. Yes, I am very particular about time and detest it when I am kept waiting.
At 7:20 I ordered a glass of wine for myself, and just then my date (let’s call him X) walked in.
“I am sorry for keeping you waiting. They are repairing the road outside my office so I had to take a de-route” : X
X: “Yes I took a de-route and came via Mathura road finally”
I was wondering if I should correct him and tell him the word is detour and not de route. I was trying to figure out how to go about it, as it had to be done delicately, and just then the waiter appeared to take our order.
I decided to let it go for the moment.
Me: “Should we order? I have heard the Khao suey is really good here.”
X: “Yes. I love noodles in bowels”
Me (feeling sick): “uhh! What? I’m sorry?”
X (puzzled): “I love noodles in bowels”
And suddenly I realized what he was trying to say.
Me (excited that I had figured it out, and probably a little too loudly): “ Bowls! Bowls! Yes! Yes! I love bowls. Absolutely adore them. Love noodles too.”
X was looking at me funny. I am sure he thought I was nutty. What was there to get so excited about? Silly girl he must have thought.
Me (softly and with a straight face this time): “ Yes. They are the best.”
X to the waiter, “ Two vegetarian Khao suey please.”
Me: “Uh! Excuse me. Make mine non-vegetarian please”
X: “Oh! Sorry I didn’t know you ate meat. I am vegetarian.”
Me: “I like vegetarian food but I need my meat everyday.”
X (disgusted): “ Everyday. Wow!”
For the rest of the meal we exchanged notes about food, music, work and life in general.
He lived in a joint family and told me that mummyji (his) was an excellent cook and that she, and only she, decided the menu for the entire household a week in advance. I found that strange, how can one know a week in advance what they would like to eat the following Wednesday?
Me: “What if someone wanted to eat Thai food mid-week? How does that play out?” (I thought there might be a procedure for it, like a letter to be submitted to mummyji before midnight the previous day. If I were mummyji, I would have definitely asked for a letter.)
X (looked pained) : “That never happens.”
I learnt he didn’t like dogs so decided not to tell him that every time I met a dog, I stopped and talked to it. Sifat and I have hour-long conversations about her dogs. He would have had me certified if he knew.
It was with some relief that I discovered that I was definitely not his type. I didn’t enjoy cooking, ate meat too often, loved dogs, talked nineteen to the dozen -even to dogs!!, laughed at silly jokes and loved art.
He was probably looking for a doctor or an engineer, someone serious and calm. Of course, she would cook nice vegetarian food for him and be all demure.
Anyhow, the meal got over. We said goodbye.
X: “ Should I walk you to your Veekal (he meant vehicle)?”
Me: “ Uhh! No thank you, I will be fine.”
I called aunty Anita. She answered on the first ring “So how was it?”
Me: “My brain has been de-routed! ”
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.