“Why do you drink so much?” the girl had asked him on their first date.
So inquisitive on the first date, she may ask him why he hung his socks upside down to dry, always, without fail, or trim his nose hair once a week. She may ask him too many questions and drive him nuts, the very thought of it was turning him crazy.
He took a swig of the Old Monk with water and felt better. He could not afford it with Coke anymore, and actually liked it with water now, clean, straight to where it was supposed to hit. He was okay as far as his stomach was concerned, it was his heart that bothered him, nothing or rather no one went straight to his heart anymore. Maybe he had turned cynical at 40.
He had met this girl on an online dating site. Online, she was all eyelashes and exposed cleavage, but when he had met her she was wrapped like a caterpillar in a sari, and asked obnoxious questions.
He had ‘x’ed her straightaway.
Now he was online again. Life would have been simpler if he was the kind who could enjoy a good time with a girl with no strings attached. There were many his friends told him about. Such girls would treat him too, he would not have to shell out anything more than his physical needs, which were building up to plenty.
But for him the girl had to be someone he could relate to, someone who would be his partner; if not marry him at least understand him and not ask questions.
He scoured the sites on the net: SuhaagRaat.com, MarriagePartner.com, Marriedforever.com… the women waiting to get married were endless. The catch was that the ones he liked didn’t like him.
One day a girl began to chat with him online. She talked about the weather, politics, and seemed smart. When she put her photo up, he was mesmerized. He surrendered to the charms of the net.
He wanted to meet her. She said she could not meet him, but they could do everything online. She said she would virtually make him happy and he didn’t understand. He giggled when he saw her undressing and did what he had never dreamt of doing.
The next day he received an email. He had to shell out money or she would blackmail him.
“I don’t have money,” he wrote.
“Marry me, then,” she replied.
He agreed to an online marriage, something she insisted upon. So when she finally agreed to come stay with him, his heart leapt a little.
Up close and personal, she was way too tall and older by a decade. She did not ask questions, but talked non-stop.
It was when she told him she loved people with hair sticking out of their nostrils that he began to think she was not such a bad deal after all.
published 3 October 2012