I wish I could tell you that my life is full of nice, out-of-the-world experiences, but it isn't. What I can tell you about, though, is how oh-so-phony life can be sometimes.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
Last Thursday, one of my co-workers, TT, walked into office looking rather flustered and annoyed. It was quite an obvious way of telling us that he was angry, and to keep to ourselves. He didn't smile all morning, he didn't plug in his headphones and start humming, he didn't join us for coffee, there were no phone calls, no bathroom interludes - he was behaving the way Indian heroes do when they get dumped before intermission. Was he ill? my other co-workers discussed. A bad date? A death in the family? warts in the wrong area? None of us had seen him that sad.
At four, I was throughly concerned. This wasn't normal, maybe I could help. You know, be the shoulder to lean on (not literally) and all that. Besides, I've always been good at advice -I love to get all Socratic and discuss the ways of the world. So I walked over to his desk, and tapped him lightly on the shoulder. 'Hey, TT, are you ok? Want to get some coffee or something?'.
He turned back and said, 'A thousand girls'.
Ok, obviously the moment he said that I laughed out loud. I mean, come on, that sounded so Kushwanth Singh. 'A thousand girls, TT? what? all of them last night?'.
But turns out it wasn't a joke at all. 'I have to get married in December', he explained, 'and I looked through a thousand photos of girls, but have only shortlisted three. There aren't enough girls in this country. I'm depressed'.
'You looked through pictures of a thousand girls? Like how crazy are you?'. I couldn't help saying that. Come on.
'No, M. I like December, its my favourite month. I have to get married this December. And I cannot find a girl. You don't understand'.
'So? you're like hunting for women online? Isn't that weird? How do you judge them from photographs? How did you just shortlist three?'. I was (by this time) more amused than ever.
Some are fat, he said, others are thin. He wanted someone curvy and intelligent, but not more intelligent than himself. He wanted his bride to be fair, because he was dark. He wanted her to be ambitious, but not enough to make him feel insecure. His woman shouldn't have short hair, should have clear skin, preferably different coloured eyes, should dress traditionally and should be willing to cook him meals and work and take care of his children.
'It's so hard, I have to find the right girl because I want to get a child which looks right, can you help me, M?', he looked at me so earnestly, I felt like slapping his face. What I wanted to say was 'You don't need a wife, you poisonous, psychotic beast. You need therapy'. But I knew that wasn't going to make a difference.
'Well, I'm sorry, Matchfixing isn't really my forte', I said, softly.
'I know, it's so hard. Imagine! A thousand profiles and only three girls worth my time.' he laughed. I couldn't understand which part of this demented, demonic master plan amused him, but obviously, I had to laugh too.
Ha, Ha, he laughed.
Ha, ha, I laughed.
But never before had a joke filled me with such disgust, nausea and dread.
Posted by Meera Vijayann at 11:41