Monday, August 31, 2009

My First Pennukanal

This happened last month. My first ‘Pennukanal’ – in a traditional arranged marriage scenario, this is the meeting where the guy goes to see his prospective bride. Normally the guy arrives with an older relative or two to the girl’s house. Over tea and sweets, the relatives discuss the match, the girl is called and the guests see the girl. Then the guy and the girl gets sometime to talk. Now my first pennukanal was quite different from the whole process. Now when I think of it, I really find it amusing.

One Sunday evening, the guy’s brother called up my dad and said that, they would like to go to the office and see the girl. Pennukanal in office – a very embarrassing proposition- but I didn’t have much of an option. So office it is! The most awaited event took place some time around 11. The guy’s brother came to my office and escorted a most embarrassed and nervous me to the entrance, where the guy was waiting.

He: “It’s damn embarrassing to come to an office for something like this. That’s why I decided to wait here”.

Me: smiling most stupidly.

He: “What kinds of work do you have in this office?”

Me: “Software Development, Instructional Designing and Content Migration”

He: “How many offices do you have?”

Me: “4. The other offices are in Noida, Seattle and Delhi” (What exactly is in his mind?? A job shift or a marriage)

An embarrassing silence followed and exactly at that moment my colleague Anand* comes to the office. The moment he saw me he smiled and came over and started talking to me, taking this guy for a friend who has dropped in for a casual visit. Now I’m too nervous and embarrassed and couldn’t explain the situation to him. As I stand there perplexed not knowing what to say, my friend Indu* came out of the office and rescues Anand out of the situation. No one rescued me and I stood there answering and asking a few meaningless questions in between embarrassing silences.

Few minutes later the guy’s brother and father came into the situation and joined the conversation adding to my unease. After that the guy’s brother chivalrously escorted me back to the office – the same office which I enter and leave alone on all working days. That marked the end of my first Pennukanal!!!

NB: That proposal never progressed and I often tease Anand on how he destroyed the bright and rosy future that I must have had with this guy. !!!! :-)

* Names of characters have not been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.