2 JanuaryPosted: January 24, 2011
I wear my favourite black and off-white Maheshwari cotton sari the first morning at work after the holidays, and feel like myself again.
Perhaps Neempatta thinks that we have not done enough partying in the last 10 days, so she has organized a small ‘You-had-all-better-get-back-to-work’ tea party at Neem. And she has gifts for all of us too. I get a delicate silver filigree kada from her. Comma, a pair of silver chandelier earrings.
Comma is too busy gorging on the kiwi and mango cakes from ‘Hang-Out’ at the tea party to give me any news about the Prospect. But once even the last fragments of cake have disappeared, she drags me to Muttu’s chai-shop for some more Relentless Perusal of the Proposal.
It turns out that there is to be no more R-P-o-t-P. At least, on my side.
Comma has almost said yes to the Prospect.
Comma: “In a way. That is, I haven’t committed yet. But yes, I think. I did say, ‘OK’.”
Me: “What does ‘OK’ mean, if not yes? And if ‘yes’ is not a commitment, what is?”
Comma: “Well, I said I’d go to Bhopal first. You know, see his house. Meet his family. All that.”
Me: “What about your parents? Have you told them?”
Comma: “No, not yet.”
Me: “And you’ll go and meet his family on your own? They are not going to like that much, I think. From what you tell me, about small town people.”
Comma: “I’m not going to meet his parents. Because he lives alone. In office quarters. His parents actually live at Vidisha. Not in Bhopal. But I’ll meet his elder sister and her husband. They are very close to the Prospect. It will be very informal. Once parents come into the picture, they won’t give me any time to think it all out. So, I want to avoid all that for as long as I can.”
Me: “OK. But did you ask him about his work and salary and all of that? You know, what we discussed with Neempatta.”
Comma avoids meeting my eyes.
Comma : “No.”
I shriek: “No? What’s wrong with you?”
Comma: “Hey, that’s why I am going to Bhopal. I can check it all out with my own eyes.”
Me: “Sounds like a good idea. But I’m not so sure that you WILL keep your eyes open and ACTUALLY check everything out.”
Comma: “OK, OK, I’ll make an inventory of all his possessions and get it for you to assess. All right? What’s wrong with you? I didn’t think you were so materialistic.”
Me: “You know I am not. But what Neempatta said, just makes good sense to me. That day, you agreed with her too. But the minute you land your eyes on the Prospect, you forget everything else.”
Comma: “No, I don’t. It’s not like I am in love.”
Me: “Oh, aren’t you? You behave incredibly goofy for someone who isn’t in love.”
Comma: “No, I don’t.”
Me: “Yes, you do.”
Comma: “How would you know anyway? As far as I know, you don’t have any first-hand experience. Or are you in love, too?”
Me: “Ha, ha.”
Comma: “We still haven’t unraveled the mystery of the backless dress.”
Me: “That was a temporary aberration on my part. A silly mistake. Nothing as potentially lethal as a Marriage Prospect.”
Comma: “The Prospect is not lethal. He is sweet. And don’t worry. I won’t go all mushy in Bhopal. Will keep my lawyer senses alert, and check out all the loopholes in his Proposal, before I give my final decision. In fact, I’ll ask for another hearing, and consult you before the final decision. OK?”
Me: “Me. And Neempatta.”