Dating : Pattabhi Mama Chronicles

h2>Dating : Pattabhi Mama Chronicles

Easwar Aiyer

Pattabhi Mama Chronicles

My cousin got married recently. I have been to a lot of weddings before this. If you asked me then, what I did at a wedding, I can recollect nothing apart from the lunch.

But now I am 26, the age where my relatives worry more about getting me married than their imminent enrollment to an old age home by their US-settled son.

Among them was the tech savvy Pattabhi mama.Settled in Palakkad, he is a retired government employee, who watches county cricket highlights to pass time.

The marriage hall was filled with the chatter of old Maamis, which itself was subsumed under the sound of Nadaswaram and Tavil. Amongst this fusion, I heard a voice.

“Dei Easwar!”

“Oh, Pattabhi mama” I said.

There was a pause. He probably thought that I was waiting for the opportune moment for the space around me to clear, so that I could sneak in a half namaskara gesture, to which he could be the progressive new age grandfather figure to stop me from doing the namaskara and pat me on the shoulder.

I would have done it on any other occasion for the social points, but the hall seemed to be filled only with relatives who drew an oldage pension. Doing the half namaskara would have been a respectful gesture, but it would have also been a gestureful evening. My body till now was only trained to lay back and hold the laptop over my chest over long periods.

I conveyed through my eyes that I had all the respect in the world for him and that gestures didn’t matter when you really had respect in your heart.

He conveyed through his eyes that he didn’t give a damn about what was in my heart.

How old are you now? Have your parents started to look for a girl? Start soon, there are no girls in the market these days” said Pattabhi mama.

Market ah?

“Don’t go to those old community magazines for advertising, adhellam enga kaalam, go to w, w, w, dot, create a profile there. You need to be up to date with the technology these days, wait, I ll share the link on whatsapp. I ll also throw in some “UNESCO national anthem” memes to the mix.

“Thanks mama, it’s been a whole year since I saw them.”

“Indha Tinder Kinder la you have joined ah pa, what’s that thing? tamilmatrimony competitor aame?”

“Tinder is like instagram mama, a place where hip, cool and desperate youngsters join. tamilmatrimony is more like facebook, a site made to keep the parents out of their circle.

“So what are your expectations from a girl?” asked Pattabhi mama.

“Nothing in particular mama…”

“Good, very good, apdi dhan irukkanum. Have no expectations whatsoever. You know Ramachandra mama’s son Subramani? His initial profile was “girl wanted with good looks, well educated and from a good family”, it’s been 7 years, now it just reads “wanted”. Desperate times these days.”

“How much do you earn?” asked Pattabhi mama.

I told him the sum, and he was impressed.

I completed the sentence with “annually”. He mentally searched for the antonym of impressed, to reflect the state through his facial muscles. The age had taken a toll on him. The search for the antonym had lasted longer than he had expected. Before he reached “dissappointed”, I sat through the Nava Rasas of the human face.

Pattabhi mama was a government employee who preferred Fixed Deposits over any other form of investment. His risk appetite was pretty low, taking up my marriage into his hands was like investing in Bitcoin for him.

He shook my hands and wished me luck. For he truly believed that only luck could do anything to help me.

I heard the words “kattimelam, kattimelam”, which was a pre trained stimuli over the countless weddings that I had been to, and I rightly proceeded towards the lunch hall.

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