The Mistaken Groom
The Mistaken Groom4 mins 426 4 mins 426
She walked into that popular Hotel with a sense of great expectation.
For the past two years, her parents had been looking out for a 'Suitable Boy' for her and nothing had turned out well. She was very talented, bubbly -with a high sense of humour, kind, charitable, passionate about music, a travel bug, spiritual, positive and loved everything that life offered. If the horoscopes tallied, the boy's tastes were terrible. If the boy was okay, the parents were nothing short of bloodsuckers. If the parents were okay, the boy was narrow minded (No Jeans! No churidars! ) .
Now, her favourite uncle had called from Delhi and spoke very highly about a boy, his friend's nephew who had returned from Sates for good. He had chucked away a very well-paying job to come back to India. Was a photographer, a travel bug, a Wodehouse fan, loved music, endowed with a high sense of humour,deeply spiritual too and interested in anything under the sun and to cap it all, very broadminded. His father was a senior executive with a big firm and mother was an accomplished Hindusthani Classical singer, training a lot of students. This part re. the mother caught her fancy as she was interested in learning Hindusthani classical .
She was supposed to meet him in the reception of this hotel and she was looking forward to seeing this 'amazing guy .'
She was late by ten minutes. She went to the front office and started enquiring about a gentleman from Delhi and before she could proceed, the lady pointed to a man seated in one of those huge chairs, with a Coke in his hand.
She proceeded towards him thinking ...But Uncle said he hates Coke and Pepsi...
"Hello, "she said.
He looked up, a grumpy, snooty felow, she thought.
What an accent! As if born and brought up in the US!!
"Finally you are here," he said; " I've had two Cokes and three Pepsis."
She was beginning to wonder whether Uncle Sashi had made the right choice.
She sat down wondering how to open the conversation. For once she felt DUMB.
She need not have worried.
He spoke, " This bloody Madras stinks! I really can't understand how you live here. And the flight from Delhi... horrible. Why are the Airlines so shoddy?"
She thought she had to say something..She gave a weak smile.
"Hope the hotel is comfortable. This is a very good veg. hotel and service is good."
"Good! You call this Good? Back home in the US you should see the hotels!! And the sandwiches I had in the morning... ugh! I wouldn’t give these even to my Salome."
"Yes. Salome, my pet German Shepherd. Do you know, I spend thousand dollars on her food alone."
Her irrepressible sense of humour sprung up and she asked him, " What do you feed her on? Gold Biscuits? ", she had seen and heard these lines in a Malayalam movie.
He glared .
She spoke, "I hear you like Wodehouse."
"Wood Houses? No way. Only the commons live there. I prefer steel and concrete structures."
She was confused.
"The fellow said you were a bit conservative. I never expected to see you in Jeans and shirt," he asked.
She resented him referring to her uncle as "the fellow."
"This is a very convenient attire" she said." Heard you love music."
"Yeah! When I am free. But I rarely am. You see, in these twenty minutes I have spent with you, I would have made a four thousand dollars."
"Money is not everything in life." She was beginning to feel uneasy.
Felt like taking leave of this "blighter."
"Money is" he insisted "The bloody fellow could have booked me in some other hotel. There isn’t a bar here and no bloody chilled beer."
That was the last straw. "Hey, Mister," she said, getting up, "don't you dare use such language. I hate it."
"Hey, cool it, where are you off to?"he tried to placate her. "Let's talk business... what we really met up for."
She glared at him, "Business? Oh! It is Business for you, is it ? You scum, get lost! Business!"
She barged out of the reception and entered the Restaurant and finding the first table, slumped into it,..flinging her handbag.... sending the coffee cup flying into the gentleman's lap, seated across,spraying him with coffee.
She looked in horror.
OOPS! What have I done!
She got up and started apologising to him profusely,
"I'm so sorry. Really sorry. I never lose my cool. Really..but that blooming fellow in the reception .."There were tears in her eyes.
The young, cheerful man seated across the table spoke reassuringly,
" Calm down Madam. Nothing has happened. The coffee spilt on me . So what? This can be washed off."
She looked at him in awe!
She continued the encounter she had with that "creep" and told him, "God knows why I'm telling you all this . But Uncle Sashi should not have imposed that creature on me."
"Uncle Sashi ? You mean Sashidharan, my uncle's friend? Are you then the Poornima, whom I was was supposed to meet? Phew!! I have been seated in the Restaurant for a full thirty two minutes."
"Restaurant ? But Sashi Uncle said Reception! "
And they started laughing together. He ordered fresh coffee for both of them. They talked and talked and talked....
Love had blossomed