27 January

Our whirlwind tour of Bhopal has included:

1.    Lunch, dinner, another lunch and yet another dinner at The Prospect’s favourite garden restaurant. We have been on top of a little hillock, overlooking the lake. Birds chirped, the water sent up soft, lapping sounds. The food was indifferent, but the beer cold. At the first lunch, Comma declined to drink, in deference to The Prospect’s sister and brother-in-law. By evening, all of them were taking sips out of each other’s glasses. Comma didn’t light up though. I, making a beer mug last as long as I could without seeming like a wimp, watched the sun set on the water, twice.

2.    A visit to The Prospect’s house. It is spick-and-span causing Comma’s eyes to pop out as her own PG room in Mumbai is anything but. The Prospect lives in government quarters, but this being Bhopal and not Mumbai he has a large rambling apartment with a tiny, little garden outside. Comma seems pleased enough, showing a first glimmer of possession in her eyes. I know Comma’s parents live in a huge bungalow in Indore; I’ve seen photos. But it’s a joint family. This house would be hers. If she decided in favour of The Prospect, that is.

3.    Lots of teasing remarks made by The Prospect’s sister and brother-in-law, extremely lame, but causing a lot of blushes in The Prospect and eliciting a lot of unseemly, unfeminine guffaws from Comma.

4.    Lots of probing by Bhopalwali Aunty who is not as naïve as Comma would have liked her to be, and who wonders:

a) Why an official visit also entails lunches and dinners from which we come back with beery breaths struggling to be disguised by mint.
b) And why the driver of the official car is on such friendly terms with us.
c) And why the official visit happens to be on a national holiday weekend, by the way.

5.    A fresh new proposal of marriage from The Prospect. With a chorus refrain from his sister and brother-in-law.

What our whirlwind tour of Bhopal has not included:

1.    Any shopping, thankfully. On our flight in, Comma had rattled off a list of things that she must get from Bhopal, but she seems to have forgotten all about material acquisitions for the time being.

2.     Any sightseeing.

3.    Any thorough investigation of The Prospect by Comma. Once again, we have spent two days, laughing, chatting, teasing, having a good time. But no one, not even The Prospect’s sister or brother-in-law have thought it worth their while to talk business. I can’t help wonder at this. Shouldn’t they at least be more practical in their approach? But then it seems they know Comma’s family.  And then, after all they are the boy’s family.

4.    Comma’s whole-hearted assent to The Prospect’s proposal. I don’t understand how she can be so flirtatious and still hold back the big decision. I approve of her restraint. But I am a little irritated that we don’t seem to have gone any further in our Appraisal of The Prospect even after this trip to Bhopal.

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2 Comments on “27 January”

  1. desi-at-large says:

    Loving this Comma interlude.
    What, go to a new place and no sight-seeing as yet? Food so-so? That makes me sad.
    Yes, they’re so greedy and kanjoos in Bombay about space – one feels positively embarrassed, nay backward, upon visiting other towns where they have so much sense when it comes to living space allotment.
    For being in such straitened circumstances, even Shashi Kapoor and Leela Naidu had lots of space in `The Householder.’

  2. Banno says:

    I like the way you suddenly remembered ‘The Householder’. 🙂


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