Valentine Blues3 mins 317 3 mins 317
It was 6th February 1995 in Agra, when I finally got engaged to the most beautiful girl, I think I could ever have been to. The engagement ceremony lasted for 3 hours and we both couldn’t find a place together and alone in my in-laws’ bungalow, throughout, until my dad and mom finally called it “DONE” (चलो भाई हो गया). What done (**##*^%) and that would have been the nth time, I would have despised my parents (of course it was always momentary). Sis-in-law was constantly frowning at my relatives and I could read her lips flushing out – Ill breeds (गंवार कहीं के) as she continuously failed to put us together, isolated, from the maddening crowd that accompanied us. Every time either of my relatives would pop in and stayed until I freaked out, but then they were many and uncontrollable. Every time they carried a similar tone - Bro: Aloo Bhalla/Chat/Gol-gappe is great. Alas! Only if I had spoken my mind out to these undaunted revelers – Please !!! let….me…. enjoy….my…. God sent the recipe!!!
I never wanted to waste a single opportunity from that day until our scheduled departure from Agra on 9th Feb, but she telephonically wooed out a similar complaint – guests at her house have overstayed and stare whenever she receives my call. I gradually started feeling that Agra was still a more conservative society in terms of enjoying any western type-a-relation during the period, post engagement and prior to marriage. Just after reaching Ahmadabad, I was immediately sent to Along Shipyard to partake in one of the major Customs seizure operations and when I returned back it was 14th afternoon, when I suddenly received a call from a very close family friend of ours, Krupaben – “Bhai are you going to waste this Valentine’s day, when you already have one?”. What could I do or what should I do was the second question? I immediately thought of sending Valentine's message through a telegram, as nothing speedier than that was available in those days. 3 months later, we again met in Agra and that’s when she gave a humorous recount of that telegram episode. It went like – In the evening maybe around 6 ‘o'clock, on 14th February (of course the same day) postman arrived and shouted – Telegram from Ahmadabad. Her father had gone into the neighborhood and she and her two ill sisters along with her mother were alone. The tenant on the ground floor whom they called Sanjay Bhai was loudly summoned by my Mom in law asking him to collect and bring the telegram upstairs and read it to her ASAP. In the meantime, all the emotions of apprehensions were conspicuous on her Mom’s face – [DID SOMETHING GO WRONG?]. The chap carefully opened the telegram, had a glance at the contents, gave a crooked smile and handed over the Telegram to my girl – “Explain the contents to your Mom” and rushed downstairs. It was embarrassing after that for her to convey the essence of the message in that telegram to her parents as they appeared to be keen on taking everything with a pinch of salt that came from our side.