Dubai Brother in law’s marriage!

I had by that time successfully completed 7 to 8 years of married life! I was even certified ‘Good Son in law’ by my wife’s people.

Siva is my mother in law’s sister’s son. He has settled in Dubai. I have just had a glimpse of his physique on the event of my marriage. After that only now he has dropped in into our house. In his previous trips, he used to visit his parents in Laalgudi and just say hello to the residents of Chennai before leaving to Dubai. During those visits too, I have not been fortunate to shake hands with him. Time has favoured only now to meet him.

My wife used to talk more about him. Due to her father’s transfer, she and her sister happened to stay in her maternal aunt’s house (Siva’s house) and complete their studies. As they were brought up together and as there were no male issues for my mother in law, they shared inseparable brotherly/ sisterly feeling among them. On every festive day such as Pongal, Deepavali etc., Siva used to send those presents from Dubai. Though I was not personally introduced to him, these activities of Siva made me think high of him.

Mutual queries were over. Shiva came to the main point.

“Athimber! I have come here to discuss about my marriage!”

I wondered what he was going to talk to me with whom he was not so familiar.

“ I heard, if I approach you…. if you make an effort….the marriage will get settled soon. I have just come to you directly. Father and mother have left for Calcutta…. I have not informed them even”.

What does he mean?!

“By this November, I’m completing 30 years of age. For the past 6 years, in the month of September, I stay in India for about 10 days to select my better half. But I come across only bitter experiences. I just visit some 10 persons at least during my stay. If I agree, my father rejects the girl saying this and that. If they are satisfied, I’m not pleased with the girl. I’m not looking for any of the silver screen stars. I just want a good looking girl. They do not seem to understand me. I earn a lot. I have even converted our Laalgudi house to a bungalow. But I have not settled in life. This time, I have made up my mind either to settle or give up married life. Let my brothers who are just 26 and 28 get settled in life earlier.

Siva poured out being over whelmed with emotion.

Those who read these lines may feel why a boy of 31 should just come to this decision out of frustration. If only we place ourselves in his position, we can understand him. Being far away from all kith and kin, amidst all unimaginable comforts of this material life, having none to share our joy or sorrow …. Just feel the loneliness one would suffer at home after a day of hard work! I caught his mind totally.

In the meantime, Siva’s brother Ramesh visited us in the evening. He too urged to get his brother married soon so that it would be easy for him to propose his choice at home. He advised his brother to see the girl with a mind to marry her and not to comment on this and that of the houses he visited. He hardly worded with all affection!

“Athimber, see how harsh he is! Am I asking for anything impossible? I just ask for a good looking girl who captivates my mind at first sight! Is it so difficult to grant such a choice?” cried Siva.

At last, after many a discussion and dispute they concluded that they would act as I directed.

My mother used to have the horoscopes and photograph of many girls and boys, given to her by their mothers with a request to refer suitable ‘varan’ for their ward. I just wanted to see whether any suitable damsel’s horoscope is in her file waiting to be matched with Siva’s horoscope. When my mother heard it, immediately she told,

“Our Venkat’s daughter Mala will be suitable for him. I have her horoscope and photo given by her mother Kamala. Mala is just 24 and has completed M.Sc. Vadoola Gothram. I think this will click.”

So saying, she immediately matched both their birth stars and expressed satisfaction.

Venkat @Venkatraman in a way is a brother to my mother. I happened to see Mala in a marriage recently. She was good looking and I felt she would be a good match for Siva. By this time, my mother brought the horoscope and photo of Mala.

Siva expressed his anxiety so obviously that my wife and Ramesh made fun of him. While Siva was pouring over the photo, I watched his facial expression and found the satisfaction in his face.

“Athimber, when can we visit the girl’s house? You please contact them at once and ….”

He did not give room to raise the question whether he liked the girl.

I rang up to Mr. Venkatraman. After mutual queries about everyone, I came to the point. “Uncle, I have a good alliance for Mala….”

“Alliance for Mala? What do you say Mohan? She wants to complete M.Phil and Phd. I too mentally am not prepared for her marriage!”

I doubted he was not aware that his wife has given the horoscope and photograph, seeking alliance for their daughter. Mothers are too conscious of their duty while fathers wait for a reminder!

I understood that both uncle and Mala would not welcome the guy within half an hour as they were not ready for that hour mentally.

“Uncle, you are an elderly person and you know everything. Marriages are not taking place as per our decision and desire. When time favours every thing goes on smoothly. May be Mala has come to such a turning point. It so happened that my distant brother-in-law came with a request to seek a suitable match for him. He is a deserving young chap working abroad. When I heard his need, I was only reminded of Mala. That is why I am sure that it is time for Mala to get married!”

“I can nod my head only if the horoscopes agree. That too our Chandru should look into the horoscopes and approve!”

I understood that he is keeping his head high as I have volunteered!

“By all means let us verify whether the horoscopes agree. I shall send the horoscope of Siva at once.”

These days we can send the photograph and horoscope through E-mail in no minute. I too sent them both in the same speed to uncle. Even he was taken aback at the speed I carried the work. My involvement made him think positively. Luckily, Chandru –the astrologer too appreciated the horoscopes and assured that Mala would get married to the same guy before the end of Tamil Thai month. Uncle informed me all these.

“Mohan, the horoscopes agree well. Ask them to visit us next week to see the girl.”

Next week…! How can I tell him that it is difficult to hold Siva even for the next half an hour!

“Uncle, Siva is leaving for Dubai by next week. If you arrange for the meeting even today, it would be better!”

“Today…? Mala is not in station. She has gone to Kancheepuram to her paternal uncle’s house. Let me do one thing. I will ring up to them and request to send her by bus, tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is also an auspicious day. Monday morning yogam is not good. But you can come in the evening after three.”

How sweet! We have come to the level of the girl and boy assessing each other. I felt a bit confident. I informed Siva too! “Athimber! If I am blessed to take the hand of Mala in marriage, I will never forget you in my life!”

This is the usual dialogue delivered by all satisfied minds. Is it not?

It was decided to go the next day to have a look at the girl. Now came across a new problem. Both Siva and Ramesh were perplexed at the thought of proceeding with the alliance without consulting their father in particular. I listed out the grievances he placed before and how he urged me to proceed in haste. I advised them both to disclose everything to their parents who are in their sister’s house and get permission. But they were not eased by my words.

“Athimber, you are not aware of my father’s specialties! His ego will not permit him to hear my true longing. If he comes to know of this alliance being forwarded without his knowledge, he would some how see that this is dropped. I like the girl and if I at all I get married, I would only marry this girl.”

Siva was open and stubborn in his view. I was caught in a dilemma whether I have proceeded wrongly being carried by my goodwill for these two guys. I took the matter to my mother-in-law who was staying in Mylapore. I narrated word by word everything to them and invited them to accompany us next day to see the girl.

“Maappillai! My sister’s husband is a hard hitting person. If we depend on him, this boy will not settle in life soon. You please head them and help him to get married. Tomorrow morning both my husband and I will come there to help you.”

I was satisfied that at least they were by my side and did not misunderstand me!

Next day, the grand finale of the boy and girl exchanging sight and thought, coming to a conclusion was to take place! Along with my mother-in-law, father-in-law, wife, Siva and Ramesh I made a safe landing in uncle’s house.

Siva’s face glittered with all happiness. The girl and the boy were permitted to share their views and ideas without the interference of others.

Uncle called me and expressed his acceptance with all smiles. Mala too conveyed her acceptance. Now it was our turn to give our consent. Who was to do that? I requested my mother-in-law, being the eldest of all, to talk in favour of the boy.

She jumped out of fear and said,”Mappillai, just to honour you I accompanied all. But, I cannot face my sister’s husband directly. He would just shout on what ground we have taken these steps. I am sorry.”

I called Siva, who was still in his dream. I asked him whether we can give the answer after consulting his parents. ‘No Athimber! These efforts are not taken by him. So father will only try to stop this alliance. But I am sure, if at all I marry, I will marry only this girl.’

Siva was firm.

Now the ball was in my court. I decided to take a firm step. “Let me give the consent on your behalf. I will tell that selecting an auspicious day, we can have the betrothal function.”

Uncle was in all smiles. “Mohan, you said, if the time favours, nothing can stop the occasion. Now time has favoured Mala.” The handsome look of the boy, his qualification, status, and his family background made him thank me whole heartedly.

I called Siva separately. “Before leaving to Dubai, re-route your flight ticket. Go to Calcutta and prostrate your parents. Openly disclose your views to your father and narrate what all had happened. If you admit and surrender, your father will surely be convinced. Talk to him in such a way that he is pleased and see to it that he goes over here. After he comes here, I too shall talk to him in favour of you. Wish you all the best.”

Siva gladly accepted and promised to do as I said.

What happened next? Did his father give up his ego and permit to marry Mala? Just wait for a few days to know the secret!