The New Bride

Mom..Mom….Mamma where are you? Sankar went to the guest room, then to the terrace, but no sign of Mom. Then he went to the Pooja room, and ” Ma, we have to be at the girls place at 7.30, and you are doing your usual bhajan. ” Vimala admired her most obedient son and went on a rewind mode. How the years flew so quickly?

Sankar is now, all ready, to get married, and that too to a girl of her choice. How rare? Can such a thing happen these days? Krishnan and Vimala had given full freedom to Sankar. But they had placed a few conditions. He had to study mechanical engineering and the second one is, to marry a girl of their choice, and the third one , the bride had to be fluent in spoken english. They wanted to be on equal terms with Dinesh & family, their neighbors.

Dinesh’s wife would always talk to her as if she just came out of the “White House”. Vimala now wanted to take revenge on her by bringing in a wonderful bride who can speak the language most perfectly, with good table manners, a girl, to show her eating skills with a fork and spoon. Vimala had tried all this, but failed miserably. Once, at a kitty party, Vimala tried hard to lift a paneer tikka  with a fork. The harder she tried, the paneer eluded her. Finally she managed to stab the paneer ruthlessly and lifted the fork, but the paneer flew past a few tables and landed on Geeta’s costly embroidered blouse. The whole party got into a laughing mode, and was news for the whole week.

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Krishnan, Vimala and Sankar landed at 7.35 pm, which was the chosen auspicious time to see the ” bride to be ” Kalpana. Sankar’s and Kalpana’s horoscopes matched perfectly and this function was a mere formality. Kalpana was dressed in a red Kanchivaram silk saree and walked towards Sankar’s parents and offered them steaming hot coffee. Vimala blessed her as she touched her feet. ” You look wonderful, Child” she said. Kalpana smiled shyly. By now Sankar was fidgety and wanted to speak to her and sensing this, Vimala gestured gracefully and gave permission to take Kalpana to the next room for a one to one chat.

Sankar nervously sat down on the brown Victorian sofa and admired Kalpana. ” Thanks Kalpana, after our horoscopes matched I was waiting for this moment to speak to you. It took two long weeks. Hmm.  Kalpana, why so silent? Anything wrong?” Kalpana shook her head as if to say everything is ok. She opened her handbag and took out a piece of paper and handed it to Sankar. Sankar was confused. He read the note ” Sankar da, I’m in “mouna virath” today, yes that means I wont speak the whole day. It is a offering to God Shiva. And, I love you so much. All green lights – from Kalps.”

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Sankar came out of the room beaming with delight and showed a thumps up sign to his parents.

Their marriage was a gala affair, and the reception was hosted in style. Since Mr. Krishnan was a well known industrialist the “who’s who” of Chennai attended the reception and Sankar’s proud parents were smiling throughout. Why not? They had a stunner of a bride, rather “neighbors envy, Sankar’s pride.”

Sankar was inspecting the bedroom decorated with jasmine flowers. He was waiting for his better half. Kalpana came in softly, leaving behind her giggling cousins who were whispering softly to her ears. She pushed them away and closed the door. Then she ran and hugged Sankar. She said “Sankar da, please please forgive me, I know little little English only. Your mother giving tough time to my pappa, always speak English, think English. I fed up. That day I gave note to you written by sister. I told lie about “Mouna Virath”. I know only so small English. I also like hands ,no fork and spoon. Don’t hit me.”

Sankar fainted on the bed, and woke up after some chill splashes of water drops. Kalpana was at kissable distance curiously looking at him.”OK Kalpana. If my Mom hears this tomorrow, we both will be leading our lives in the garage. So until things settle down, note down these words and always say them when she chats with you. Say chill, Auntie. Awesome Auntie.” Kalpana asked ” Why Sankar da, Chill Chill, it is only for cool drinks na. Why I say it?”

Sankar raised his voice.” For you and your parents acting  I would have hung you in this ceiling fan. Don’t question me now. Just do as I say ” Kalpana replied” “OK, OK, Please don’t do anything to me”.

By now, Sankar was tired of coaching Kalpana the whole night. He poured two glasses of water and gulped it down quickly. “Ignorance indeed is bliss, he thought to himself” and drifted to sleep.

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