Marriages are a one long list of customs and rituals. Starting from the process of going through the profiles, rejecting some, saying yes to a few, getting the horoscopes matched and then narrowing down to meeting a person, it is a long journey. What is it like to see profiles on a matrimony site? Well that is a post of its own. One that I have been dying to talk about for a while, but not sure how to do it without offending people.
Anyway today I am going to talk about the final step in the process before the engagement, the Ponnu Parkadhu which literally translates to "come and see the girl".
Traditionally the girl is dressed in her best silks, accessorised with gold to show off the status of the family, and asked to bring out the coffee to give to the boy's side. I am refraining from calling him the groom because at this point he is technically not the groom yet. The girl is expected to look all shy, be coy and steal glances at the man who might be her future husband. It is supposed to be the first time their eyes meet and instantaneously wedding bells ring all around. The girl's ability to sing, dance, make coffee, mingle with the family, while maintaining sufficient distance from the boy, yet getting to know him is all tested in one shot. This scene in the movies ranges from being hilarious to humiliating.
Now in my case, things were fairly different. For starters, I never thought I would be going through this entire rigmarole (a word my teacher in school used to use quite often). Nevertheless, 2-3 weeks after I had started having a conversation with this guy (now my husband), my parents and his parents were convinced that we had to meet. Okay okay even I wanted to meet him, but I wanted a date. What I got was a room full of people and a chaperoned conversation in a room within the house. Are you rolling on the floor laughing yet? No? Okay I am continuing.
So we drove down to Chennai one fine Friday. How did I feel at this point? I was excited and anxious. I really didn't know how these things work. Not like I had gotten married before to know how this works. I hadn't told anyone about this situation because I didn't want to jinx it. Sure I liked this guy but was I ready to get married to him? I wasn't sure. (Okay I was lying I kind of knew I wanted to say yes to him but we'll get to that later).
Friday afternoon saw me doing what I love the most- wearing a sari and getting my makeup game on. I had be warned to not go overboard with the makeup. I was wearing my favourite blue sari and tried to look as demure as possible. My instructions were simple- stay inside the AC room until you are called. Ugh! It was so boring. I was texting my sister (who was partying in Goa that day) about how this family was no punctual and I was waiting and waiting for them to come. Then all of a sudden, I was told to come out of the room and serve the bajji. Why not the coffee you ask? Well they were afraid I would trip and spill the coffee along with any hopes of getting this family to say yes to me.
To add to things I was in this ultimate state of uncontrollable giggles. The situation was just funny to me. I was also itching to get some alone time with him to talk to him. My brilliant idea of going out for a coffee with him (just like in Kalyana Samayal Sadham) was ruined by the fact that his car was parked in an inconvenient place and taking the car out would be a problem. He looked at me with a I'm-so-sorry-because-I-know-this-is-not-what-you-wanted smile, and I had no choice but say okay, lets sit inside the room which has been specifically set up for us to have a "private" conversation. #EMBARRASSING
After that, we both have no recollection of how the next 2 hours went by. It was just like talking to him over the phone. The comfort level was unbelievable and I knew I had to say yes. But how do I say yes? He never asked me if it was a yes from my end.
That night I got advise from everyone on why I should yes to this guy. I was told to think about it, to sleep on it, to not think about it, to not get stressed and a whole of gyan about how this was a wonderful family. And thus ended the Ponnu Parthufying.
So how did I finally say yes you ask? Well that goes up tomorrow.
And oh if you are wondering why this post goes up today, it is because today marks 1 year since this scenario.