I recently caught up with a school friend who is all grown up with one toddler and a seven month old. To be outright she's not very good at keeping touch which is absolutely fine except that when i met her after so many years she invaded my privacy with very intimate profiling on why I was still not married.
Let me state , I'm not unmarried by choice and i'm growing tired of my relatives and friends trying to openly or surreptitiously probe my single status.Give me a break- I'm still young !
Anyway, i went to meet her out of nostalgia.I was happy to see her parents who i had not seen in last 13yrs or so. Everything was fine for the first 15 mins with pleasantries exchanged and nostalgia revisited. Then, her parents commented on my choice of study- Microbiology, stating it was no good and implying that's why i was unemployed. I tried to wedge in saying it is true .In my mind however I thought that's firmly in the past. Everyone cannot be engineers and certainly everyone doesn't want to be one !
Then they commented on how i looked plumper than before . I was quite ok with that observation. However her father firmly stated that 'don't be fatter than this otherwise getting a guy will be difficult ! And then added: 'Do you go for walks?'
i didn't know what to do except nod stupidly and trying to laugh it off.
The next missive came when my friend sympathized with my inability to have found a husband and consoled me saying that it was ok ,I'd soon find a guy !
Then she told me how her mother compared her with me saying I was so pretty and such a fantastic girl that i should have gotten married earlier than her [my friend].
A whole one hour passed : me trying to maintain my composure and playing with the toddler. The final straw came when her husband called form Dhoobai (Dubai). He's gone there to make petro dollars like most Mallus ! My friend to sound helpful and concerned immediately asked her husband to look for some Bohri Muslims in Dhoobai for me.
I took their leave and ambled home. I didn't know how to look at this particular meeting . i found it extremely funny at first then it dawned to me that the whole meeting was probably an exercise in pity and to examine me. I guess , i felt this way mainly because i was meeting my friend after 6 years and had lost touch in between those years. There was no connection. Or the connection would have been restored gradually however certainly not at the very first meeting. The fact is we were different people than say ten years ago so probing which i'm told is 'uniquely indian' was disenchanting.