Saturday, January 8, 2022

The “Tomboy” : Part 3

The “Tomboy” : Part 3



Vikram Karve





My husband nods at her – and – he goes into his room to dry up and change his wet clothes.

The girl – Tanya – she looks at me – and she says to me: “Aunty – please make some Tea – Rohan tells me that you make lovely “Masala Chai” – and – make something to eat also – I am feeling hungry…”

I am aghast at her behaviour.

But – I don’t want to talk to this impertinent girl – so – I go into the kitchen – and – start making Tea – and – I take out the pan to make some Pohe…”

A few minutes later – my husband comes into the kitchen and asks me: “Who is this girl…?

“She says that she is Rohan’s fiancée – they are going to get married…” I say to my husband.

“What nonsense…!!!” my husband exclaims in surprise, “have you to spoken to Rohan…?”

“I tried – his phone is switched off – like he does at work – he should see my missed call and call back at lunch time…” I say to my husband.

“What about the girl…? Why has she some here…?” he asks me.

“You go out and tell her to get out of the house…” I say to my husband.

“Let’s go out and speak to her – let’s she what she has to say…?” my husband says.

I put 3 cups of tea and 3 plates of Pohe on a tray.

My husband picks up the tray, carries it out and places it on the table in front of the girl called “Tanya”.

I follow my husband and sit on a chair in front of Tanya.

Tanya picks up a plate of Pohe – eats a spoonful – and says to me: “It’s delicious – you are such a good cook – Rohan always tells me you make such lovely food…”

I seethe with anger at her impudence – how dare she make such condescending remarks…!!!

I can’t control myself any longer – so – I shout at the girl.

“Do you think I am your servant…?” I say angrily to her.

“No, Aunty…” she says, flummoxed, “why do you think that…?”

“You don’t bother to come and help me in the kitchen – you sit here like a “Maharani” – and – you comment that the food is “good” – as if you are a customer in a restaurant…” I say to her, indignantly.

“I am sorry, Aunty…” she says – I can see tears forming in her eyes.

My husband interrupts.

“Tell me – why have you come here…?” my husband asks her.

“I have come to take your permission to get married to your son, Rohan…” the girl says.

“Well – Rohan hasn’t told us anything about you – and – why hasn’t he come with you…?” my husband asks.

“He is afraid of you…” the girl says to my husband.

“Afraid of me…?” my husband says, surprised.

“Yes, Uncle – he ss terrified of you – the way he painted the picture – as if you were an autocratic tyrant – even – I felt scared…” the girl says to my husband.

I feel totally appalled – so – I say to the girl: My husband – a tyrant…? What nonsense…!!! Would I have been living with my him for 30 years if he were a tyrant…? Yes – he is strict and very old-fashioned – but he is a good man…”

“I am sorry, Aunty…” the girl says to me.

Then she looks at my husband and says: “Rohan told me you both are conservative people. He said that you would never agree to our marriage. So – he wanted us to elope and get married…”

“Elope…?” my husband says, angrily.

“I think I mentioned it to Aunty…” the girl says.

“Are you threatening to elope…? Are you trying to blackmail us…?” my husband shouts at the girl, “go ahead and elope – you are both adults – do as you please…”

“No. No. Uncle. I feel that marriage must begin on a good note. I don’t want your ill feelings – I want your blessings – so – I told him that I will marry him only if you give permission…” the girl says to my husband.

“And – if we don’t agree…?” my husband asks her.

“I will leave him and go away. I have had no happy relationships in my life – this is the first one – and – I want it to begin in a happy note – not on a bitter note by annoying you – I want your love and blessings – not your hate and curses…”” the girls says to my husband – and – she looks at me too.

I can see my husband softening.

I fear the worst.

This “tomboyish” uncultured girl called “Tanya” – she is nowhere near the image of the ideal daughter-in-law that I wanted. In fact – I had already started looking for prospective brides for my son. And now – my dreams will be dashed – if my husband “melts”.

I decide to call a spade a spade – and make things clear to this cheeky girl.

I look at the girl – and – I say to her: “You – listen to me carefully. You have no manners, no culture, no upbringing – you barge into our house unannounced and behave in a most rude manner – we should have thrown you out – but – we are cultured people…”

“Yes, Aunty…” she says, looking contrite.

“What “Yes Aunty…” I say angrily, “you want to marry our son – you want to be our daughter-in-law – you should have shown us some respect – though we don’t expect you to touch our feet as is the normal practice when one meets elders…”

“I am sorry, Aunty – I didn’t know…” the girl says.

“It is not your fault – you have not been raised properly…” I say to her.

“I am sorry, Aunty – I am very sorry if I have behaved improperly…” she says, apologetically.

“That’s okay – but – it is not proper for a girl to barge into her prospective in-laws house as ask them permission to marry their son – you ask your parents to come over and talk to us…” I say to her.

“I have no parents…” she says.

“What do you mean “you have no parents”…?” I ask her.

“I am an orphan – I don’t have any parents – both of them died in an accident when I was 6 years old – and I was sent to a boarding school – my whole life I have lived in hostels – I have never lived in a family – now – if you agree to our marriage – I will live with you – and you will be my parents – my first and only parents – and I will learn from you – manners, how to live in a family, culture, values – whatever you want to teach me...” the girl says – and she breaks into tears.

On hearing her words – I am filled with remorse and pity for this girl.

I walk towards her – I take her in my arms.

She sobs – her wet nose touches my neck.

I console her.

“Don’t cry, Tanya – we are your parents from now on…” I say to her.

“Thank you, mother…” she says to me.

Then she looks at my husband.

My husband says her: “Go and freshen up – we are going out…”

“Going out…?” she asks, confused.

“Yes – we are going to the Marriage Registrar’s Office…” he says to her.

“Marriage Registrar…?” she asks him, looking confused.

 My husband looks at her and smiles.

“Yes – let’s go to the Marriage Registrar’s Office – we will come with you and submit the form together…” he says to Tanya, “the notice for your intended marriage…”

My husband looks at me and says: “Come on, get ready…”

Then – my husband looks at his watch and remarks: “I think it’s almost lunch break for Rohan – his mobile phone should be “on” now…”

“Yes, Uncle – I will check…” Tanya says.

“You tell your fiancé Rohan take the rest of the day off – we will pick him up from his office…” my husband roars, “he has a lot of explaining to do…”



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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. 
2. This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story 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.
3. E&OE

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