It is amusing that, while I was making plans for a second PhD, the world around me was conspiring to get my life hitched, in a direction that was not even a part of my agenda. I was obsessed with research and a student life, and them with the sickening social norms that the society had laid down for the creatures of our species. The number of PhD degrees I may earn would loose the battle any day, to the number of babies that they thought would plop out of my womb. During times like these, I thought that the brouhaha about gender equality was more of a fable, that would never see the light of the day, in a land of patriarchs like ours. Those beleaguered aunties who had taken up the reigns in their hands to be the moral mentors of the society, couldn't see me eye to eye. And the feeling was mutual, which of course was more violent in my case.I was asked to meet another guy, this time a peaceful protest had done the trick of melting me. The guy in question was a doctor. For the starters, the guy I thought would have a greater intelligence quotient and emotional quotient than most other men I had met. Doctors had the burden of this great stereotype to carry, of being brainy. I couldn't comprehend the events that were to follow.Someone gave me a call on a lazy Wednesday afternoon and asked me to meet at a bistro tucked in the inner circle of the Connought place. After having met guys with wierd names like Dazzle, Glitter and Sajan, I was gearing up to meet this fellow, who had a British name. But then as they say, one mustn't judge a book by its cover.I decided to wear the best pink skater dress I had for the meeting. I wonder why was I, who was otherwise a compulsive tomboy behaving like a girl tormented with femininity, who yells at the sight of chipped nail paint or smudged mascara. This is what the thought of marriage can do to a woman, it can sometimes makes her go nuts.A night before, I had chanted the rosary prayer for fifteen times and all through my journey in a crammed women's coach of the Delhi metro, I was in the business. Of trying to make it happen with prayerful pleadings. We spiritual atheists had strange dealings with God. If he turned a deaf ear to our prayers, we would stop praying for the next fifteen days, until it was time to seek refuge in him again. We never gave up on hope.While waiting for him, I became busy fixing my tresses and counting the acne scars on my face. I wish a temporary phase of angry acne outburst wouldn't make a difference. He arrived a little later, marching inside the coffee shop like a happy five year old boy, who had just been given a new ball to play with. I think I was feeling just like the ball.
Excerpts from Chapter 6 of the unfinished manuscript