Candid, not Candied

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

What do I do?

At 28, I have a life that not many can even dream of. My parents have always given a lot of importance to education. And thus, when I expressed my wish to go abroad for higher studies to them; they left no stone unturned to fulfill my dream. Now, the life that I boast of consists a fulfilling career with a supporting, heavy paycheck that takes care of all the bills and also a few luxuries, doting parents and a long distance relationship that seems to be working just fine. 

Everything was routinely fine until half a year ago. I walked into the house after a long day of work; only to see my parents rummaging through haphazardly strewn papers and photographs. Only during the dinner time did I come to know that they were a set of horoscopes along with their respective photographs. My parents thought it was time for me to get married. Within no time, they started reading out the bio data of "prospective partners" one after the other. Over and again, they recited terms like "Investment banker", "Chartered Accountant", "Business Analyst at so and so". No doubt, education and career were important to them; so was physical appearance! There were about 30 faces smiling up at me from their glossy and matte finish. In my honest opinion, all of them were certified candies. But they weren't for me. 

Looking at my bored and forlorn expression, my parents dutifully chanted the names of my school and college friends, who had tied a knot one after another like they were roll numbered. Some of them were also tasting parenthood. I remember seeing their happy faces smiling at the lenses; many with their newly born and some with their recently possessed fiancĂ©(e) on Facebook. I was genuinely happy for them. Though I never thought I might need to fit in that shoe one day. 

I met him at a bar, when I was abroad completing my Masters. We met a couple of times before we decided to throw our inhibitions away and accept that we were meant for each other. Our relationship grew from friendship; and that is what kept us together for the 3 years that I was there and even today. I was skeptical at first. I was scared of being betrayed. After all, I was still an Indian when it came to relationships. I'm not forget-and move-on type. But this man was here to stay. He proved that by giving me a surprise visit last month. I had yet not figured out how to make this relation work. For the moment, I was enjoying being marinated in his love.

I moved in with him within 3 weeks of meeting him for the first time. We spent a magical time together. Though we had a tight schedule, we made it a point to spend quality time with each other. I lied to my parents about having Indian roommates. When they accidentally saw him when we were on Skype, I said he was my roommate's friend. The lecture that ensued then, was interminable. They never trusted Westerners. 

Time is running out for me. Parents grill me each day after work, to agree to meet my prospective partner's family and finalize. Dead photographs are still smiling under my nose every day. Calls from punditji haunt me. And parents are relentlessly pursuing this issue. Stress has started making an appearance on my physical self. 

How do I tell my orthodox parents about my life abroad? How do I confess to the delightful sin that I committed there? How do I convince them that "marriage with photographs" is not what I want? Being their only child, they have loaded their expectations on me. How do I say that I'm not their perfect child?

Just for a moment, I wish. I wish I could freeze the time when I was the happiest. The time when I was abroad. The time when I first met him at the bar and thought gay relationships do work.


  1. For a moment I was confused :-) This was a good story.

  2. That hit exactly the right note. So well written!

  3. tell ur parents clearly that u r in love :)

  4. I went like "what the hell is wrong with Purni..." OHH then it dawned on me that she is writing a story!! Well written and I understand the situation..I just wish when its our turn we will be more understanding and open as parents to our kids.

  5. Wow.... nice... If I hadnt read ur previous posts I'd have thought it was ur story (except for the last line of course).. :) well written Poornima :)

  6. It was a gripping story. I hope that it is indeed a story.
    Well one can't really blame us for having such a view about Westerners, for given their history, things rarely end up the way we would want or the way they would want.
    Well one can't be too judgemental about arranged marriages, just as we shouldn't be judgemental about love marriages. Sometimes things just click, in both ways, and that is what finally matters.

  7. Tamanna:: That was the motive, dear! Glad you liked this!

    DewdropDream:: :) thenkyew!

    A S:: The "I" in this story is not able to do just that!

    Sujata:: awww, there are a lot of hints in the story to let you know that it is not me. ;) :) and I had to write this in first person to somehow confuse the readers. ;) ;) psssst... I'm not that old to begin with. :P

    Namrata:: hehehe... yeh, the last line says it all!

    Rama:: Hi and welcome! yes, it was just a story. :)

  8. When I read about being 28, my first reaction was 'how the hell did she gain so many years in so little time?' And later towards the end I understood it was fiction.
    The ending was super cool, though a bit sad.
    As a parent I know accepting gay children would be difficult for most parents.
    Very good narration.

  9. Aparna:: hehe... I had a hell of a time explaining to many that it is not my story.. most of them haven't even read it properly! ;) I made my husband read it twice before publishing.. had a discussion with him on how and what people will think and then published it! :P

    Rayshma:: Thank you! Thank you!


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