" The company has won the best employer of Asia award last year and there is no doubt on job security ",He added patting his moustache ." And our share price has gone up this year "
"Ohh , is it ?", exclaimed Neethu as she was planning to buy some .
Her pearl necklace which she forcefully put around my neck that morning has started irritating. I could feel the weight of the ear ring which held two arrays of white stones in its silver backbone.
" We get away to Pondichery on weekends , most of our friends are there " , Neethu glanced meaningfully at me since we knew Pondichery is the booz paradise . I was watching two old women wrapped in fine silk having Idlis , the only other customers in the restaurant. Their nose studs looked like nuts and bolts made of gold.
" Whats the nature of your work ?" , he asked and Neethu was explaining some thing . I wondered I have already explained this thing over phone hours ago. Once Neethu finished he talked about the business that the company he work for do and the number of offices they have in India.
" Why don't you talk ?", I wished to say that I was recollecting my employers financial status in the last quarter .But I ended up with " Me?...Oh...yeah , you have a sister ,right?" , He had shared that information over phone.
"Yes , she is married", he said quite unconcerned.
"OK....so you did your graduation before PG ,right?" Every one gave me a puzzled look and I corrected myself ," I mean... from which college?".He said some college name.
"Is that all you wish to know ?", even Neethu was looking at my face .I decided to admit frankly " Eh ...I 'm first time into a scene like this ...so ..." , I tried to smile as brightly as possible so that I can hide my unhappiness. I tried to have the juice but the heavy breakfast which went inside my stomach just 30 minutes ago prevented me from that.
It all started with a phone call from my father the previous day . Some close friends has come up with a wedding proposal and you may receive a call from them .He tried to sound casual but he couldn't. I asked him if he wanted me to get married and sent away . "You are not going to marry this one I'm sure, but the obligation to this friend who came with the proposal ....You can refuse after meeting the guy but turning down the invitation to meet will be inappropriate. And after all its nothing like sending 'away ' ...they too are from the North Kerala."
I nearly screamed, "Why do you think of the possibilities and all these North Kerala stuff...you said this is just ...."
"yes ,it is ....Just informing...", dad finished.
After a while I got a call from this guy very politely introducing himself.A few seconds later he started like
' I have studied this subject , working in this company , I have dad , mom ans a sister at home,she is married , my height ,my weight .............' Felt like I was a recruiter and this candidate has given all the details including his vital status.
He continued like filling the form to join a social network 'what my friends think of me, the city I like to work , the food I crave for....' I got enough time to Google his name while talking and I was surprised by Google's accuracy .The first result was his name and same thing happened with Orkut and Facebook .I went through and tried to find out reasons to avoid the meeting . But this guy had a perfectly diplomatic profile.At the end the meeting place was decided , the restaurant which is famous for Dosas and sweets which smell ghee.
"Ha ha ha ha....", that was Neethu's response ( Why ? ) .
Another friend asked ," why don't you feel interested? Planning for higher studies?"
I said ," No.At least , not very soon "
She lowered her voice ," Got a crush ?"
"You know Rahul Dravid and Tom Cruise are already married ."
"Oh ...You still fantasise those old men !! " She continued,"...Then what ? This is your perfect age to get married."
A cousin who used to argue about being single and enjoying the freedom of life advised ," Go and meet the guy , at least you can blog about it ."
Neethu agreed to accompany me after half an hour of compulsion and we made it to the restaurant next morning. Plenty of time left to the appointment , we had a heavy breakfast .The guy accompanied by a friend arrived after we finished our breakfast and they ordered some fruit juice.
After a while of my aloofness , every body stopped talking .By that time almost all possible questions were asked and facts were informed. The official declaration of the end of meeting came . The waiter brought the bill and placed it at the center of the table as he was not sure who is responsible for payment.
"Its already late for you , you can leave .We 'll settle the bill ." I offered as humbly as possible.His obsession about his employer was not enough to make it to Mr.Punctual title.
"Any way I'm late , I can wait for the bill too.I'll pay ", we gave in when they moved the bill to their side and he pulled out the notes of hundred from his wallet, obviously more than what costs for four fruit juices in an ordinary Chennai restaurant. But he looked at the bill and the currency in his hand.I wondered if they have specified ' payment in South African Rand only '.He put his hands again in the wallet but there were not enough hundreds and he started searching for his cardholder.Meanwhile his friend glanced into the bill and took money from his pocket and closed the bill . Neethu and I wondered how come four juices cost that much .
On the way back Neethu said her hands still smell of the ghee from the breakfast .Suddenly everything made sense.........money,bill,blank looks , going through the bill again and silently paying the bill.They gave a combined bill for our breakfast and the additional juices. Those guys didn't had a clue that we had our breakfast there till they got the bill and they payed for it too .And we ...had forgotten about that part of the bill totally.
Embarrassed we were heading to work , again my phone showed my fathers number and he informed me that some astrologer advised not even to think of wedding for next one year.
Some times I do support astrologers too .
Pic courtesy :gaming today