Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How I Got Married – Part 2 – Finalising the Wedding

Continued from HOW I GOT MARRIED – Part 1 – ARRANGED MARRIAGE INTERVIEW 

HOW I GOT MARRIED – Part 2 
FINALISING THE WEDDING
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Dramatis Personae
(In order of seniority)

1. Brigadier ‘J’

2. Colonel ‘G’

3. Lieutenant (IN) ‘K’ (Me)


PART 1

A Cold Sunday Morning in March 1982 – Time: 0500 (5 AM)
SP Marg Officers Mess New Delhi

The shrill ring of the phone shook up Colonel ‘G’ from his drunken stupor.

As he same to his senses – Colonel ‘G’ had hazy recollections of the previous night – and the last thing he remembered was that he was sitting with Lieutenant ‘K’ (me) at the Dhaula Kuan roadside Dhaba eating hot “Bun-Omlette” – along with generous swigs of Rum – from the hip-flask Lieutenant ‘K’ always carried with him.

Colonel ‘G’ had no clue how he had reached his cabin in the SP Marg Officers Mess – maybe Lieutenant ‘K’ had helped him.

The phone kept ringing.

Colonel ‘G’ cursed at being woken up at this unearthly hour at the crack of dawn on a cold Sunday morning – and he picked up the phone.

The moment Colonel ‘G’ heard the voice on the other side – he perked up.

It was Brigadier ‘J’ – his ex-boss.

Colonel ‘G’ had high regards for Brigadier ‘J’ – in fact – Colonel ‘G’ considered Brigadier ‘J’ the best boss ever.

“Good Morning, Sir – it is such a pleasure to hear your voice…” Colonel ‘G’ said to Brigadier ‘J’.

Brigadier ‘J’ was a man of few words – and he got to the point immediately.

“Do you know a Naval Officer called Lieutenant ‘K’…? He stays in your mess…”Brigadier ‘J’ asked Colonel ‘G’.

“Of course, Sir – in fact – I was with Lieutenant ‘K’ last evening – he is a wonderful chap…” Colonel ‘G’ said.

“Oh – you know him well – and you say that Lieutenant ‘K’ is a ‘wonderful chap’ – that’s good – I would like to meet Lieutenant ‘K’ – you do one thing – bring him to Delhi Airport in the morning…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to Colonel ‘G’.

“Airport…?” stammered Colonel ‘G’ – a bit confused.

“I will come by the Srinagar Delhi flight – it reaches Delhi at 11:30 – you make sure that you are there with Lieutenant ‘K’…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to Colonel ‘G’.

“Sir – why do you want to meet Lieutenant ‘K’…?” Colonel ‘G’ asked Brigadier ‘J’.

“To fix up his marriage with my daughter…” Brigadier ‘J’ said – and he disconnected the phone.

Colonel ‘G’ was stunned.

For a few moments – he sat on his bed in a daze.

Then – Colonel ‘G’ gathered his wits – and – he walked down the corridor to my cabin.

I was irritated at being disturbed so early on a Sunday morning – especially after having enjoyed a late night – and – the moment I saw Colonel ‘G’ standing in the door – I asked him: “Sir – why are you waking me up so early…?”

“Bloody disaster…” Colonel ‘G’ exclaimed to me.

“Disaster…? What happened, Sir…?” I asked Colonel ‘G’.

“I told Brigadier ‘J’ that you were a ‘wonderful chap’…” Colonel ‘G’ said to me.

“Sir – I cannot fathom what you are saying…” I said to Colonel ‘G’.

“My ex-CO Brigadier ‘J’ just rang up – and – I told him that you were a ‘wonderful chap’…” Colonel ‘G’ said.

“So – am I not a ‘wonderful chap’…?” I asked him.

Colonel ‘G’ looked at me and said: “For me – you are a certainly a ‘wonderful chap’ – you are a bloody ‘sharaabi’ and ‘kabaabi’ like me – but – for Brigadier J’s daughter– she is such a decent girl – her life will be ruined if she marries a terrible fellow like you…”

“Sir, What are you saying…? Marriage…? Are you still drunk…? You ‘passed out’ last night – and I had a tough time carrying you to your cabin…” I said to Colonel ‘G’.

“I am perfectly sober now. But when the phone rang – I was in a ‘half-awake’ state – and – I am regretting my blunder of blurting out to Brigadier ‘J’ that you are a ‘good guy’ – I thought he was asking generally – I did not know that he was considering you as a ‘marriage prospect’ for his virtuous daughter. You never told me about it…”Colonel ‘G’ said to me.

“Sir – I just came back from Pune by Jhelum Express last evening – and then – we straightaway went to DSOI and got drunk – but I did mention that I saw a girl – but she did not like me…” I said.

“Are you sure she did not like you…?” Colonel ‘G’ asked me.

“Well – it seemed that the girl was not interested in getting married – so she was quite impassive – but – her mother – she certainly did not like me as a prospective ‘son-in-law’…” I said.

“Ah – so Mrs ‘J’ did not like you – that’s good…” Colonel ‘G’ said, “But then – why does Brigadier ‘J’ want to meet you…?”

Brigadier ‘J’ wants to meet me…? He is the girl’s father, isn’t he…? He wasn’t present there in Pune when I saw the girl – only the girl and her mother had come. They told me thet he was posted to Srinagar…” I said.

Brigadier ‘J’ is flying down from Srinagar by the morning flight – he wants to meet you – and he has asked me to bring you along to the Airport to meet him – so get ready – we will leave at 10 AM after breakfast…” Colonel ‘G’ said to me.

“But why at the airport…?” I asked.

“Please don’t ask too many questions – Brigadier ‘J’ just told me to get you to the airport at 11:30 and he disconnected the phone…” Colonel ‘G’ said.

“Okay – let’s meet Brigadier ‘J’ – my prospective ‘father-in-law’…” I laughed.

Colonel ‘G’ had a worried expression on his face and he said to me: “I only hope that this doesn’t work out – the poor girl’s life will be ruined if she gets married to you…”

“Ha Ha…” I smiled at Colonel ‘G’ – and I said to him, “Sir – I thought you were my ‘well-wisher’…”


6 Hours Later


PART 2

New Delhi Airport – Domestic Terminal – Sunday – 1100 (11:30 AM)

We – Colonel ‘G’ and I (Lieutenant ‘K’) – awaited the arrival of Brigadier ‘J’.

Brigadier ‘J’ arrived – he was short – he had a stocky physique – and he was wearing army olive green uniform.

Colonel ‘G’ introduced us – and we shook hands.

Brigadier ‘J’ looked at Colonel “G’ and said to him: “Why don’t you leave us alone for some time…? I will talk to the boy alone – and then we will take a decision – if it a ‘Yes’ – I will go ahead to Pune and fix the wedding – if it is a ‘No’ – then I will head back to Srinagar by the afternoon flight which leaves at 2:30 – that is why I have bought an ‘open’ ticket…”

“This man seems to be a quick decision maker,” I said to myself, “it was almost 12 noon – and he expected a mutual decision in just two hours.”

“Sir – I will wait in the cafeteria…” Colonel ‘G’ said – and he left.

Then – Brigadier ‘J’ and I talked – yes – the ‘matrimonial’ conversation between both of us was held while we were standing on our feet.

Brigadier ‘J’ looked at me and said: “You seem to be an okay chap – I don’t know why my wife had apprehensions about you…?”

“Apprehensions…?” I asked.

“Well – to be frank – my wife did not like you…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.

“I also did not like your wife…” I said candidly to Brigadier ‘J’.

On hearing this Brigadier ‘J’ broke out into a laugh – and he said: “Ha Ha – luckily you don’t have to marry her…”

I smiled at his sense of humor.

Then – Brigadier ‘J’ looked at me and said: “You liked my daughter, didn’t you..?”

“Yes…” I said, “But she didn’t seem interested in marriage.”

“She is a bit shy…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.

“Oh…” I said.

“Well – you seem to have scared them off – you told them that you drink heavily, you smoke, you won’t shave off your beard – and you painted quite a gloomy picture about life in the Navy…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.

“Sir – I told them the truth…” I said.

“Well – I like you – you are a straightforward boy. And – the very fact that you have been selected by the Navy for doing your M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – you must be good in your job. In fact – “Colonel ‘G’ said that you were a ‘wonderful chap’ – and since you are in the Navy – your antecedents would have been checked – so – at least – you won’t be a ‘fake’…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to me.

“Sir – I want to ask you one thing…” I said.

“Sure – go ahead…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.

“Sir – why do you ‘Pongos’ always travel in uniform…” I said.

Brigadier ‘J’ laughed and said: “You see – unlike you intelligent Navy chaps – we ‘Pongos’ are dopes – so – in case we get lost – it is easy for them to find us if we are in uniform…”

We laughed.

“I like you…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to me.

“Sir – I like you too…” I said to Brigadier ‘J’.

“Okay – let’s go to Colonel ‘G’ and tell him to book me on the next flight to Pune or Mumbai – whichever is available – I will go and talk to your mother and fix up the wedding – tell me a convenient date…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.

My 2nd Semester ends on the 10th of May – and I have 2 months summer vacation – so any date between mid-May till mid-June is okay…” I said.

Brigadier ‘J’ managed a seat on the 1:30 afternoon flight to Mumbai – and he rushed to catch his flight.

I looked at my watch – it was not even 1 o’clock – the ‘matrimonial interview’ had taken just around 30 minutes – and Brigadier ‘J’ had taken a final decision (despite his wife’s misgivings about me).


3 Days Later


PART 3

SP Marg Officers Mess New Delhi – 1300 Hrs (1 PM)

On Wednesday – when I returned to the mess for lunch – I was surprised to see Brigadier ‘J’ and Colonel ‘G’ sitting in the foyer.

“Ah – there you are – I came from Pune by the morning flight. I wanted to meet you and personally give you the good news that your wedding has been fixed on the 30thof May with my daughter...” Brigadier ‘J’ said

Those days – the method of communication was letters – and I had not received any letter from my mother.

After all – it was only just 3 days ago – on Sunday – that Brigadier ‘J’ had gone to Pune.

So – I was quite surprised that my marriage had been fixed so quickly.

“Thank you, Sir,” I said to Brigadier ‘J’ – and then I invited him for a glass of beer and lunch.

“Thanks – but we will sit and talk some other time – right now – I have to rush to the airport to catch the 2:30 afternoon flight to Srinagar,” Brigadier ‘J’ said, “I just came to meet you and give you the good news in person.”

We walked towards Colonel G’s car.

Just before he got inside the car – Brigadier ‘J’ delivered his parting shot.

My future father-in-law Brigadier ‘J’ said to me: 

“Please make sure you come for the wedding on the 30th of May – I have paid 3000 Rupees as advance for the marriage hall – and – if you don’t turn up – I will lose my money…” 

And so – on 30 May 1982 – I got married.

VIKRAM KARVE
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2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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