The reluctant groom

Mahesh Grover

AS we, the ageing couple sat doting on our young son, we arrived at a silent understanding, so uncommon amongst couples, that the guy now needed to be married off.

She nudged me to broach the subject and so I cleared my throat to say, “We feel it’s time, you got married.”

“Marriage! Why do I need to get married right now?” he exclaimed.

“Because, you are the torchbearer of our vansh,” said I, even as I noticed my wife rolling up her eyes in contempt.

“Let me handle this,” she said. “See, every mother waits for this day to see her dreams fulfilled through her son.”

“Ha!” I said, unable to conceal my gleeful contempt. Like a clever feline waiting to pounce on her prey, she was awaiting her daughter-in-law to give vent to the saas syndrome.

My son reacted, “Wait a minute. What vansh are you talking about? In 27 years I have hardly seen any blood relative and your dreams, mom. You sound so sanskari, like Alok Nath in Hindi films.”

Impertinent, I muttered under my breath, afraid to say it aloud for fear of blowing up the whole conversation. Quickly changing tack and using tact, I said, “All right, if you have someone in mind, we’ll welcome her, but please don’t elope.”

He sounded amused and said, “Assuming I have, why are you so petrified of elopement?”

I cited a quote in jest, “If it were not for the presents, an elopement would be preferable.

The pun was lost on him and with a straight face he lamented a quote. “Oh! How many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding ring,” and continuing, said, “In any case, I don’t like the idea of weddings and ceremonies where the bride and groom’s families stand out like opposing football teams, wearing their colours. Marriage is a project to be conceptualised, formalised and executed with meticulous care.”

“No, it is not like that all,” I said sombrely, “Marriage is a glorious institution where two individuals, grow together and develop mutual love and companionship, strengthening their bonds with the passage of time. The trouble with your generation is that you treat marriage as a project, like a corporate honcho would. Just take the plunge and let surprises greet you. That is what adds salt and pepper to a relationship. Don’t look for perfections, learn to reconcile to imperfections, for a companion with no flaws can be boring. However, just one advice to you, if you want to make the marriage work, adopt the principle of assent and no dissent. To borrow a dialogue from the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, ‘It’s easy. Just say, I do’, whenever anyone asks a question. You understand?”

“I do,” he grinned.

“Bravo! You have learnt the magical words of survival in a marriage and so the reluctant groom is ready for it, I presume,” I remarked triumphantly.

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