The wooing of Sarabjit.
Dear Mum,You were so right! Kamaljit is a really special girl. Very career oriented- as you warned me. She talked of nothing but her clients all through dinner. But, that aside, I think we got on very well. Not that she was flirty or anything like that. Actually, she wears such gargantuan and thick rimmed glasses that you can hardly see her face. Still, there was chemistry between us. I felt it immediately. Indeed, it was almost as though there was some little history as well... But, I kept my cool and actually- you won’t believe it!- it was she who first broached the subject of marriage. Halfway through the main course, she suddenly put down her fork and looked at me straight. Was I thinking of marriage, she asked. I explained about what happened last time- how I got my fingers burnt- but that, thanks to the emotional support so unstintingly given me by all of you back home, I am now back on an even keel and, sure, by all means, I am contemplating marriage, because, I mean, it isn’t as though I have decided to become a monk or something.
Anyway, she didn’t mention the matter again through the rest of the meal, but, on the other hand, by telling me confidential details about her latest case, she was showing that she already regarded me as being... I don’t know... well, at least someone more significant than just another dim matrimonial prospect, suggested by some distant relative back home, whom for politeness sake she had to do lunch with.
She said she’d ring me over the weekend to take things further. So keep your fingers crossed!
Lots of Love
Kamaljit rang me this afternoon. I’m afraid, I might have got your hopes up rather so I’d better just tell you plain. She isn’t interested in me but thinks I might suit one of her clients.
The lady in question was born here and isn’t particularly educated and so on. The other point is she’s a widow. No children, true, but a widow nonetheless. I know Widow Remarriage oughtn’t to be an issue. Still.
What do you think?
Dear MumI’m not being too choosy.
I appreciate, I’m getting older. I know teachers don’t make a lot of money- though, as I explained, I’ve a shot at Head of Social Studies if Mrs. Buxthelezi’s Witchcraft conviction is upheld on appeal- though, to be frank, the ritual slaughter, even for the purposes of Muti magic, of Sociology homework holdouts doesn’t seem to have done us any harm in the Academic League Tables- a fact the School Board has done well to keep in mind.
If you remember, I wasn’t that keen on marrying the daughter of your dhoodh-walla either. Frankly, her running off with the milk-man was something we both should have anticipated.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.
Dear Mum,I think this whole Kamaljit thing is a washout. Which Aunty suggested her?
I’ve just learnt- the widow lady has just come out of prison. Her crime?- killing her husband.
Still want her for your daughter-in-law?
Dear Mum,No, the woman’s husband didn’t drink. She did. That was the problem. He suggested to her, at the Wedding Reception, that she might want to stop swigging from the Magnum and maybe use a glass. That was his mistake. She broke the bottle on his head.
Dear MumNo it does not ‘serve him right for being a tepid, non- turban wearing, sahajdhar Sikh.’ Don’t shift the blame on to the victim. Furthermore, I don’t need to be reminded that I myself sport a full Patiala Turban and that it can absorb a lot of force. Indeed, that’s why Kamaljit asked her Aunty, back home, to suggest a suitable, observant, keshadhari Sikh boy for Marriage purposes. But, what she omitted to mention was that the groom was not for herself but for her murderous client. You see, as things stand, the poor girl is having to restrict her love life to knee-tremblers, in doorways, with fully helmeted motor-bicycle couriers- clearly a poor substitute for a properly turbaned husband whose head she can bounce bottles off as and when the spirit moves her.
Dear Mum,Thank you for your long E-mail. I appreciate your difficulties. It can’t be nice to know your neighbours are whispering doubts as to the sexuality of your son. Furthermore, I fully understand that my erstwhile father-in-law, the milk-man, has been spreading rumours and that you, quite naturally, want to put that doodh-walla’s nose out of joint. Still, I don’t think my marrying this particular widow really fits the bill in that respect.
I fully take your point about grand-children. It is important that they inherit martial spirit. I never suggested otherwise. Nor do I hold it somehow disgraceful for a woman to have served a jail sentence. And yes, I did know, my paternal grandmother courted arrest at the time of the ‘Quit India’ movement. That she was expelled from the Congress party for passing gas was, however, news to me. Indeed, for all I know, it may well be that, as you suggest, the demise of the Unionist Administration in the Punjab- bringing in its train the enormous blood-shed of Partition- could have been averted if the good lady in question had moderated her appetite for raw radishes and hardboiled eggs- or, at least, lit a match occasionally. However, I can assure you- whatever your private misgivings about the heritable nature of this particularly poisonous form of flatulence- my wife left me for quite different reasons. The fact is, she was something of a gold-digger- but one who, given the restrictions of her upbringing, equated wealth with lactation. Thus, she, quite naturally, fastened on the milk-man- believing him to possess cows of conspicuous excellence- commencing a stratospheric Social ascent which has catapulted her to the dizzy heights of ex-officio mistress to the nightshift at the United Dairy plant.
P.S. I’m not Gay.
Dear MumAll right. I’m Gay. Happy now? But if you knew I was Gay all along why did you marry me to your doodh-wallah’s daughter?
Mum,Her moustache? That’s the reason? Really? But don’t you know a great big gay-boy like me can’t get turned on save by a huge big beard?
Mum,I’m astounded. Truly flabbergasted. To start off with, no, I didn’t know she was double-jointed. And, I suppose, the particular pose you suggest might well have permitted vaginal intercourse under the aspect of fellatio with a lightly bearded stroke victim.
In a sense, I suppose, I should be grateful you showed so much forethought and went to such lengths to ensure I’d be able to continue the family line without too much violence done to my sexual predisposition.
Mum, what can I tell you? I’m not Gay. Never have been, never will be. All your calculations went in vain. Maybe you should have just let me marry Seeta- that nice Tamil girl I met in College. You know, I’ve never stopped thinking about her. In fact, the reason I warmed to Kamaljit was because, underneath her glasses, she looked so much like her.
Dear Mum,I hope you get this. I could just strangle Vivek Iyer. He had me completely fooled. I should have known better. What I do appreciate is your co-operating with him to put things right. It was natural for you to want me to marry within our community. Things really are much more difficult where a couple don’t have language, religion- even basic food preferences- in common.
I absolve you entirely of blame. It was I who showed weakness. Still, Mum, you shouldn’t have let Vivek send me those E-mails in your name. Frankly there were some details in the last which simply turned my stomach.
True, Vivek had to be sure I really liked his favourite niece. The match he suggested for her- when her people were worried she might lose her virtue to some scoundrelly Sikh- was an unmitigated disaster. So, he felt guilty. Still, there is something called decency. By the way, I think you will find Seeta isn’t so different from us Punjabis. And she has genuine feelings for me. That’s why she pretended to be Kamaljit.
All my Love