Monday, July 14, 2008

Of diamonds, music and a locked loo

Her's is one of the first blogs I read each morning, and the Mad Momma today is wondering if the world's out of romantics. 'Did your man think you were worth the effort?' she says, pondering on the proverbial pop-the-question.

A die-hard romantic turned to a slightly-jaded-one myself, I must admit 'the proposal' was one of the most romantic things to ever happen to me. Clarifications first: Nino's Dad is not remotely romantic. In fact, I believe he suffers a singular allergy to the emotion, which when he is exposed to, results in a not-very-well-hidden lopsidedness to his lips, also known as a smirk.

I had returned to Ahmedabad after attending a close friend's wedding in Agra. A stomach bug mid-way through the wedding had made me miserable and I'd just about managed not to barf on the bride's Ritu Kumar-wala lehenga.

Nino's Dad picked me up from the station after a really long train ride back, and took me to his place instead of dropping me home, as requested. There he persisted in offering me something to drink - Dionysus being his favourite deity - and after being offered every possible alcohol kind in the country's only state with active alcohol prohibition - I settled, amply irritated, on Thums Up. And then let the glass sit next to me, as I grumpily stared in space, anything to avoid the eys of the man who insisted on pumping liquid into me, even as my stomach pumped it back.

So we waited. He tried to make polite conversation. I glared. Repeat dozen times. Right, I said, time to go home. The help came to collect something from the room, and I gave him my soft-drink glass, still filled to the brim, to dunk in the sink. Wait, Nino's Dad said. There's something in the glass. I looked and found nothing, even the fizz was gone, so I said, it's okay, I'm chucking it anyway. No, he said, in panic, there's something at the bottom of the glass. I peered through my thick glasses and saw something round and silver and gasp, it was a ring!

For all the times that I'd fantasied (okay, never, but I did see it in the movies a million times) about being proposed to - throwing the glass at the man who popped the question and running to the loo as if my izzat depended on it, was never in the picture. That's exactly what I did: I ran to the loo and locked it - and life went completely numb for all of five minutes. Of course, Nino's Dad says I took half an hour, but what do men know about timing, huh? He kept talking to me through the door, but I don't remember any of it. I do know that he finally said, 'it's okay if you say no, alteast come out?'

When I did open the door, his eyes were moist and the ring was in his hand. It was a princess cut diamond ring, and I've never seen his face more vulnerable than when they wheeled me into surgery after Nino refused to come out of my belly. Turns out he'd been planning the whole thing for months, wanted to put the ring in my food (since I'm a foodie) but friends told him, the hog that I am, I'd probably just swallow it! He had gone to get the ring with his entire family - mom, dad and two sisters (one of whom was visiting from the US) - some of whom I know did not really think we were good for each other. But they trooped in with him, offering support. I asked him if the sisters' chose the ring, but he said he'd always wanted to propose with that kind of a ring. It was beautiful, just like in the movies. And though I'm a glass-blade-will-also-do kind of gal, the solitaire meant some big time thinking into commitment, becasue I know he couldn't really afford it at that time.

I was touched with the gesture because we were pretty much living in, and I hadn't seen this coming. I don't know if I was ready to commit at this particular time, but I do know I wanted to be with Nino's Dad if I ever did decide to marry.

Anyways, so I said yes, and then we drove home where my father made him sing and my mother made him cook (I still cant' cook!) as part of the proposal before giving their approval. Oh and yes, how can I forget, we had to pass the astrological test as well. I remember my mum cluthing his hand and whispering conspiratorily, 'Don't worry, I'll help you both run away if the horoscopes don't match'. And they matched. Perfectly it seems. So much so that the pandit wanted to know if Nino's Dad had his horscope altered to match mine.

Sometimes when I get really bothered with him, I crib that I only married Nino's Dad for the ring. Once he quipped back saying that's the reason he'd picked it! The scatter-brain that I am, I've dropped the ring atleast half a dozen times - once in a taxi cab in Mumbai - only to have it come back to me. As does the giver.

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