“Story of an arrange marriage meeting of a Businessman Doctor”
Being a doctor doesn’t mean that your life partner would be a doctor too. Though, this equation fits on most of the doctors in India. But I am exception for this assumption as I never fall in love with any girl of my college during my medical study. Well, I am exception in some more scenarios like my family doesn’t have medical background; they are in garment business and by the grace of God, doing very good in it. In my childhood, I was good in study but my family has already planned for me to join their business after education. However, just on the suggestion of our family doctor, I appeared for medical entrance exam. And that was definitely a surprise turn of my life. By the combination of little destiny, little luck and little hard work, I scored well in medical entrance exam. My marks were good but not enough to give me admission in well known government medical colleges of our state, but my family was ready to pay big fees of private medical colleges. And finally, I made my way to medical college.
Believe me; getting admission in medical college was the one and only achievement of my life. Apart from this, I never did anything over which I could feel proud of. But it gave me honor in society and family like I climbed the Mount Everest. And why not getting this respect, after all I am the first doctor in my family. My college days were golden days of my life. To be very honest, getting cleared the entrance test is the hardest thing for engineers and doctors in India. Once you reached into institute, they will automatically convert you into a doctor and engineer. Yeah, quality of skill differs in everyone but for sure, each one of you will become doctor/engineer someday.
I am a doctor but definitely business is in my blood. And you know, no business run with emotion. I am emotionless in doctor profession too. In real life, these MunnaBhai MBBS philosophy is totally bullshit, you should not show love or any emotion with patients. Being a doctor, these patients are a defective machine for you and you have to repair it, that’s it, no emotional drama should involve into it. I usually behave very hard with my patients, after all I have to cure them any cost. I never tolerate any irregularity in treatment by anyone. While operation also, I cut and stitch skin like a tailor is cutting cloths. MunnaBhai may not like me but these qualities gave additional heights to my practice. Soon I became quite famous in my profession. With the monitory help of my family, I opened a nursing home in the city. And now my garment business family had entered in hospitals management too. Finally, a son of businessman started making business in doctor profession too.
A successful doctor, owner of hospital and belongs to a reputed rich business family of city, these three qualities are enough to give me name, fame and honor in the city. Soon, I became quite famous in the society. People looked me with the eyes of honor and applause everywhere. In my family also, my example was given to everyone. Every family member concerned me before taking any step in personal or professional life. Overall, I have everything in my life what a normal man wishes – success, fame and respect.
Sometimes when I thought about myself, I feel proud. The way I studied hard for medical entrance exam, the way I completed my medical degree then started practice as a doctor and finally run into hospital business, every milestone of life make me proud at myself. (This is the other thing that I got most of the things without much struggle). Soon this proud has turned into an attitude in my life style. All childish innocence, simplicity and softness went away from me and all I behaving is the symbol of emotionless doctor, rich businessman and honored member of society.
I was living in my own space of name, fame and money but my family started searching for partner who can share her life with me. Well, hunt for bride has started and there is a big queue of bio-data of girls for me. Everyone in family is suggesting few proposals for me. My mother is visiting around ten girls on every weekend. Sometimes she accompanied by my father, sometimes by my brother and sister-in-law. If they like any girl in their visit, they send the bio-data for next level interview to me. This is how process started but still we didn’t find that lucky girl yet.
In the continuation of our search, Last Sunday my grand-pa told us to visit Mr. Parekh. Mr. Parekh’s father was the school friend of my grand-pa and so my grand-pa treats Mr. Parekh as his own son. As this proposal was already approved by grand-pa at first level, now this came directly to me to look the girl and decide. Mr. Parekh is a teacher in government school. He lives in the government servants’ colony with wife and three daughters. In compare to our royal rich status in society, Mr. Parekh has just a normal middle class family. My uncle told me clearly that we are going there just because grand-pa urged us; otherwise we usually avoid such proposals. Even I was also a bit hesitant in going Mr. Parekh’s home after knowing about his job and financial status. It’s not the thing that I have ego of my position and money but defiantly there is a difference in ours and his status. And also, I was thinking whether Mr. Parekh’s daughter can sync up with my life style as she had grown up in middle class environment. My mother caught my hesitation and told me to forget about Mr. Parekh’s job and status, and only focus on girl; just meet with her and if I found her suitable than other things can be neglected. All set to done; we finally reached at Mr. Parekh’s house.
Mr. Parekh’s house was typical two bedroom-hall-kitchen government quarter. We entered into the hall and sat on the sofa placed in the corner of hall. Hall was painted by white cement but one can easily figure out few cracks in the wall. The walls of hall were decorated by paintings and handmade decorative items. All items on the wall were nice, but items were too many in number and also hanged randomly at walls, so all together it was not creating the impact that those items could create. Soon Mr. Parekh greeted and made us comfortable, his wife entered with a tray of sharbat glasses. She wore a printed sari and covered her head with pallu. She greeted everyone with smile and welcome drink. My mom, dad and uncle picked up the glass but I politely denied taking the sharbat. Mr. Parekh stood up from his position on my denial, inclined towards me and requested me to taste the Sharbat. He also said that its handmade item, specially made by mango pulp stored in freezer during summers. But I was still reluctant to take and again denied by saying that I only prefer diet coke. Mr. Parekh became speechless for a moment as he was unable to arrange diet coke for me. After a pause of few second, my mother broke the tension and said to Mr. Parekh that doctor community is so much conscious and hard about diet so let not request to me. She also mentioned that she liked the sharbat a lot and can take one more. With this statement, she added an artificial guffaw to normal the situation. Mr. Parekh sat down at his position again and elders of both families started talking about business, weather and some other topics that had no relevance with our purpose to visit.
Soon my mother started enquiring about the girl, their elder daughter. Mr. Parekh told that she had done schooling from Kendriya Vidhyalay in English medium. He put extra pressure at ‘English Medium’ and made it louder than other part of statement. He also said that his daughter was among the toppers in school. She was in board merit list in high school and higher secondary. After school, she did graduation and post graduation in physics from government science college. She was the university gold medalist in both courses. I can feel the pride at Mr. Parikh’s face when he was telling about gold medalist in college. My dad, uncle and I were listening everything neutrally like her achievements are negligible as compare to me, but my mother seemed impressed with it.
Soon her daughter arrived with a tray full of snacks and sweets. She wore a simple green colored salwar-kameez with dupatta properly wrapped between both the shoulders. I counted her height with eyes and found it’s about five-five, which was in-sync with my height of five-ten. By the time I was counting height, she put everything gently on table and sat at the corner chair. I looked straight to her but she never raised her eyes from ground. I always amazed with this avatar of Indian girls. I know no girl in this country who is such shy, silent and simple but still they pretend like cow of the Allah while someone come and look them for marriage proposal. I think that is the only occasion of an Indian women’s life when they keep quiet, else they are always in speaking mode.
I was trying to look at her face but she was not ready to raise her eyes from ground. It was always good to look a girl at street rather than at home. First, girl will not sit in such shy and uncomfortable there and second, you can look her continuously in the manner you want to see. No place of shy, hesitation and formality is there at street. I was struggling to look at girl with theft eyes and on other side; Mr. Parekh started requesting us to take something from snacks plate. I was not there to eat and also there was nothing in the plate of my eating habits so I avoided eating anything. Mr. Parikh asked me twice to take something but I denied both times firmly by saying that I already had lunch. But Mr. Parekh again asked third times to me and this time my mom also told me to take something so I took small piece of papad just for the sake of formality.
After a round of snacks by everyone in the room, Mr. Parekh again started his daughter’s achievement story. After academic applause, he started co-curricular catch-ups of girl. He mentioned that she knows everything that a man looks in a girl. She is very good in cooking and always tries new cuisines at home. She takes care of home and younger sisters very well in the absence of mother. She loves dancing, singing and karate also. She is a trained Kathak dancer. She performs kathak in various cultural activities in school and college. She is a national level table tennis player also. He pointed finger towards the almirah where her trophies and medals were placed and I can see a number of medals decorated there. I tried to look and read the comments at trophies but items were a lot in number and I hardly read only few. The couple of medals I read were awarded her in table tennis at district and state level. Mr. Parekh was continued his speech by speaking about couple of incidents when his daughter struggled and fought back in life but I was too busy in looking medals with surprise eyes.
I entered into Mr.Parekh’s house with the pride and ego of a successful doctor and business man, and was thinking only about mine. As per my point of view, we were superior to them in every context and we are the only who has to decide the girl’s fate. We still have decision making power as I don’t find Mr.Parekh had any objection with this relationship but the girl’s achievements were demolishing my superiority assumption. I was started thinking something ahead of my pride and superiority, about the girl and her life. Soon Mr. Parekh asked the girl to take her certificate folder and photo album. Girl dragged both the things from almirah and handed over to her father. I thought she may look me with theft eyes so I started starring her the time when she was extracting album from almirah but no chance, she completed her task by looking in the ground only.
Mr. Parekh handed over the certificate folder me to look in spite of my hesitation. In my earlier avatar, I may completely ignore looking into certificates as checking certificate is too middle class to me, but now I want to see whether this girl is really the genius the way Mr. Parekh is describing. I opened the folder and started checking certificates. Certificated were arranged in reverse chronological order and it started with her post graduation mark sheets. It was ninety percent marks in post graduation. After two pages, graduation years mark sheet passed and I was looking the numbers in various subjects with widely opened eyes. Eighty eight, ninety three, ninety one…I didn’t find any subject in which she scored less than eighty percentage marks. In higher secondary exam, she scored eighty eight percent and finally mark sheet series ended up with ninety five percent marks in high school board exam. After mark sheet, series of certificate started…table tennis, dancing, singing, painting, mehandi completion, karate, cooking, and essay writing…she had certificates in all kind of arts under her kitty. There were also some cuttings of news paper in which her achievements in table-tennis and dance programs were covered. I was looking the certificates and by the time Mr. Parikh searched and opened a photo in album in which she was awarded by the president of India for national level essay writing competition. Then he showed us few photographs of her educational visit to China sponsored by the human resource and education ministry India. My mother enquired about this visit and Mr. Parikh replied that every year ministry selects group of twenty college students for this international visit from various colleges across the country.
Now I had no doubt that this girl is genius and I could consider her for marriage in spite of her middle class background. But certainly I started feeling doubt at myself whether I have the worth to marry her, whether I have something in me that matched with girl’s capabilities. I was about to close the folder after checking last certificate and an untied paper moved out from folder. It was the result of medical entrance test and luckily she was also appeared the same year I appeared. She had scored seventy nine percentage marks in entrance exam, higher than my score of sixty three percent in same exam. ‘You scored very well in the medical entrance test’ statement spewed automatically from my mouth by looking the score. ‘Yes…it was good score but she missed the government college’s cut-off by just one percent mark and so medical career also’ Mr. Parekh said in the reply of my comment.
Girl was still silent and Mr. Parikh was so humble in mentioning all these achievements to me but it seems to me that someone slapped badly to my ego. On the name of achievement, I have only one thing that I born in a rich family. Her marks were clearly more than me in the entrance test but I became doctor just because my family bought payment seat of private medical college for me. She had a lot to show as her interest and creativity like dancing, painting, singing, table-tennis and so and so, but I spoiled all my free time in party, movies, fun and friends only. First time in life I met someone who is hurting my ego, even though she doesn’t have intentions to do so. Study, academics, sports, art… She was superior to me in every area of life and I was not able to digest this fact that I am looking for wife who is better than me. All her medals, trophies and certificates were looked like teasing me, playing with my pride that moment.
After snacks and tea session, elders left the room and told me to talk with the girl whatever I want to ask but I was speechless at that time. There was a silence of few minutes when they left the room as we both don’t know how to start the conversation. Soon I broke the ice and asked her that she looked like a good table tennis player, why she left the game then. She mentioned that this game wanted her more attention in terms of time and money and her parents wanted her to invest time and money at study rather than sports so she finally left the game after school. I can understand this typical middle class mentality of Indian parent who don’t allow their kids to select sports as career option. After this sporty discussion, there was again a silence of two minutes. She was still very shy and uncomfortable with me and still looking into the ground only. I broke the silence again and asked that why didn’t she try private medical colleges as she had very impressive score in entrance test but she mentioned that she tried but her father couldn’t afford the fat fees of private colleges, especially when he had two more girls responsibility on his shoulder. I don’t have any feeling for her first answer about leaving table tennis as both of our families has same thinking about sports and sure, my family had also not allowed if I ask for their approval for career in sports. But her second answer slapped me at both sides. I was a doctor just because I belongs to a rich family and in-spite of better marks and academics, she was not the doctor just because she born in a middle class government servant’s home. This fact was really hurting my so called man-ish ego and supremacy complex but truth is truth and I can’t deny from it even if no one was taunting me there.
With these two questions and exclusive look at her achievements, I came to know that she was super talented girl born at wrong place. I didn’t have anything to look and investigate about her, all I had to do is taking decision but to fill the remaining time I asked again her – ‘Do you want to ask anything to me?’ This time she raised her head and made eye contact with me – ‘What kind of girl are you looking for?’ that was sixer on a googly to me. All I thought before that a girl would ask me about salary, home, family members, career, job…or even my cooking skill or honeymoon destination but proved false to all my views, she asked very strange question to me that what kind of girl I am looking for. In the surprise of question, I overlooked the fact that she was looking at me only …a chance to look her face that I was trying from long time. ‘Well…I want a simple girl… who love me… and take care me and…yeah my family too’ I replied in murmuring voice to her. My pause and uncomfortable gestures in the reply was clearly indicating that I never did any homework for such question.
Well she was not stopped with this question and asked next question to me – ‘Do you smoke or drink?’ this is the generic question or rather anxiety of all middle class family girls in India. Believe me most of the boys in India avoid to answer this question by looking straight into girl’s eyes but I was firmly looking into her eyes. I was about to answer this question and suddenly I realized that she was looking at the doors. I looked back at the door but there was no one at door. I surprised as why she was looking at the door. Anyway, I again moved to my original position and replied by looking straight into her eyes – ‘No…I don’t smoke…but I used to drink during college time but after college drinking habit also gone.’ There was flash of honesty and trueness in my answer and this time I spoke in firm manner direct looking into her eyes. But my honesty still didn’t drag her attention as she was still looking at door only. I again moved back whether there was anyone at door but like the previous occasion, no one was there at the door. I adjusted in original position and again looked into her eyes with surprise, and suddenly I realized that she was not looking at door but she had cross eyes vision. She was looking at me, but due to cross eyed vision it seems to me that she was looking at anywhere else. The girl squirmed by looking my effort as she also caught that I am getting confused due to her cross eyed vision. I shocked with this fact buy never tried to look at the door again to make no more embarrassment for her.
With this final question, our meeting was done and we said good bye to Mr. Parikh and his family. On the way returning home, my mom asked twice me about the girl and my views but I was silent on the matter. Who is I to decide that girl’s fate…she was superior to me, she was talented and blessed with unique combination of art and wisdom. Also, humbleness and simplicity of her and her family is clearly telling me that she is a good human being too. Then why God has given this power in my hands to approve or reject her. She badly destroyed my pride, ego and so called superiority complex and after a long time make me emotional too. I never felt anything for my worst to worst case of patients but there is sympathy in my heart for that girl. She makes me realize that all I achieved in life is due to luck that I born in a rich family, something for which I should thank to God. Whether I would marry her or not, she is definitely genius and superior to me always.
I may impress with the girl and sympathetic with her but what I have to decide is further action. This is the tragedy of an arrange marriage that you decide life partner on the basis of her education, career, family background and beauty rather than emotional attachment, co-ordination and love between two people. What I have to do is ask certain question to myself – Whether I would like to have life partner who is more talented than me, whether I would like life partner who grown up in middle class environment and the last whether I would like to accept a cross eyed vision person as my partner. After a brainstorming thinking session, I said no to this proposal. I don’t know why but my heart is not saying me that she is the girl whom I am searching for. You may call me that I am rejecting her because of my man-ish ego or you may say that I am not accepting her because of difference in life style and family background, but what I would certainly like to tell her is that ‘ This NO is not for her eyes only.’