I knew that Vijay’s parents knew nothing of my existence.
They had been pressurizing him to get married for a while
now, and had been lining up ‘meetings’ with nice girls from
respectable families all over the country, but mostly from
his hometown of Jaipur. ‘At l
constant refrain. To oblige them, sometimes he did.
I had discovered that even before I had come into his life
a few months ago, Vijay had found his own unique, rather
intriguing way of getting his parents to ease up on the topic,
if only temporarily.
He would simply get himself rejected.
It was quite a feat for him to get rejected – tall, goodlooking,
IIT-Delhi graduate from respectable brahmin family,
working in large MNC and all that jazz. Still, he manfully
rose to the task and achieved it through the simple means of
During each of these meetings, there would inevitably
come a point when he and the girl were left alone to get
to know each other better. He would act normal enough to
begin with. Then, at some stage, he would clear his throat,
look deep into her eyes, and say in a low, serious voice,
‘Look, Buntvinder (example of name). Before we think
about whether we should take things any further, there is
something I have to ask you.’
She would lower her eyes and reply breathlessly, ‘Go
‘It’s something very deeply personal, and I’ll understand if
you don’t want to answer it.’
‘It’s okay, you can ask me.’
‘It’s just that for me – and I hope for you – marriage
is not a thing to be taken lightly. So I really need to know
She would be very nervous by now, but would steel herself
in preparation for the worst. ‘It’s okay, Vijay! What is it you
want to know?’
‘I just need to know,’ he would lower his voice even
further and after a dramatic pause for effect, say, ‘Who was
the first Mughal emperor of India?’
The ensuing silence would only be broken by the sound
of his loud guffaws at the look on her face. The responses
ranged from huffy walk-outs to cushions thrown at his head.
Either way, the girl would get the message that this wasn’t
a suitable boy, although the parents involved were never
exactly sure why.