His call came like a ray of hope to the anxious family. After years of searching for a suitable bridegroom, they had invested their last straw in him. He took matchmaking as a part-time profession, more as a form of social charity because his prime job was being a contractor. He was truly a matchmaker from heaven.
‘Hello mama.? I heard about your daughter’s situation and have found this great groom. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity and so I am calling long distance.’ The matchmaker called out.?
‘Thanks for the call.’ The anxious mother responded curtailing her excitement.
‘Where are you calling from?’
‘Mumbai’ The matchmaker replied. ‘Great bridegroom Mama. He has a startup company and a green card holder in the Bay area. Father owns a garment business in Pune and sister is married to a software engineer in Mysore. Looks like a good and sound family mama. Go for it.’
‘Ok.’ The mother responds.
‘How old is your daughter’ the matchmaker queries.
‘She is running 29.’ The mother adds hesitantly.
‘Oh mama. This will be tough. You see, these days grooms go for younger brides. I’ll have to try harder. Anyway, let’s leave that as it is, can you let me know how much land you have, and what your husband does? The matchmaker asks curiously.?
‘Well. My husband is retired now. We have an apartment and some ancestral land in Sullia’
‘Hmm.’ The matchmaker contemplates. ‘Say, why didn’t your get your daughter married earlier then?’
‘Ah. Our Reny. She is obsessed with her studies. I don’t understand her. She did her MBA. And then ICWA.? And then CA. She says she wants to be independent. We looked for several potential grooms but you know none of them worked out.’
‘Mama. Mama. See, this is the problem. You should ask her to be more flexible. Now, try and understand the reality. Grooms are usually hesitant with a unique case such as your daughter. First of all she is running age. Now they’ll tell she is overeducated.’
‘Be as it may’ the mother replies. ‘Please do something. You see my husband and I have hardly any acquaintances here and we are past our prime. All her classmates are already married and some of them are bearing children?..’
‘Ok mama. Don’t worry. Let me see what I can do. Can I talk to your daughter for a minute?’ The matchmaker asks.
‘Ok.’ She says.?? ‘Reny. Reny. Come down here. There’s someone who wants to talk to you. Reny??
‘Coming. One minute.? Who is it mama?’ Reny shouts out from the upper floor.
‘Reny. There is a new acquaintance for you.’
‘Oh. Ok.’ Reny climbs down the stairs reluctantly. ‘Hello.’ She greets skeptically.
‘Hello Reny. I heard about your situation from Mama. Listen, I’m sure life has not been kind to you. Grooms are hard to come by these days, but I have found a great match.’
Reny looks at her mother with a quiver in her cheek.
‘Ok.’ She replies. ‘If you can set up a meeting, that’s fine with me. Whoever the groom is let him know that I am proud of being educated and independent. If they heckle about my age and education don’t despair. Here is mama…’ she passes the phone to her mother and walks briskly.
?’Ok. Don’t take Reny’s word to heart. She is frustrated you know. Now you do what you have to do and get back to us as soon as you can. Thanks for calling.’ The mother replies and hangs up.
Three more days of waiting and the father flips another matrimonial column in the newspaper. ‘Did he call back? He asks. ‘Why are there no decent Mangalorean grooms these days?’ He nods his head.
‘I’m sure, he will call. Its just two days since we spoke to him. He must be negotiating. Have some patience’ She pours more coffee into his cup. As she leaves to the kitchen the phone rings.
…I’m sorry, it was a mismatch. But as I said don’t be disappointed…..
‘Hello. Mama. I spoke to the groom and I tried my best. But you know, it seems that he is keeping his options open.’
‘What do you mean’ The mother asks anxiously. You said the bridegroom liked well educated girls?
‘Yes mama’ that’s true. But I think he is looking at all the factors’
‘Well. Tell him that our Reny is not only well educated. But she is Independent. Smart. Creative…Oh well, tell him we are doing quite well financially. Didn’t I tell you we own an apartment building?’
‘What? Did you say you owned an apartment building? The matchmaker asks surprisingly. Ah. I thought you stayed in an apartment.’
‘Yes. My husband worked in merchant navy prior to his retirement, after which he invested in real estate. We own an eight story apartment building in our two hundred acre ancestral land in Sullia, and he is planning to build two more. I have asked him to slow down, you see, without a son its difficult to keep things manageable.’
‘Mama. That’s great. You should have told me this before. See, these are things that make a lot of difference.’ He said approvingly. Now, I can make a better case for your daughter. Let me? see what comes out of it.’
That afternoon the father asks ‘Did he call back?? These matchmakers. I don’t trust them.’ He adds
‘Don’t despair. Things take time’ the mother replies. After he leaves for work, the mother takes a small cat nap. Then she wakes up and walks to her front yard to waters the plants. ‘Things were much easier in our time.’ She mutters. Just then the phone rings and she runs back rubbing her sandals to the foot-mat in haste.
‘Hello, mama’ The matchmaker screams at the other end of the line.
‘I have some good news and some not so good news. The good news is that I found your daughter a great match. The not so good news is that the match is with another guy. You see, I tried to convince the earlier groom about your financial status, but he gave me another excuse. He says he wants a much taller wife.? You never know what factors they look at. I’m sorry, it was a mismatch. But as I said don’t be disappointed. After much research I have found this perfect groom. If you are interested I can set up a meeting with him. He hails from a good family and is a contractor.
Author: Newton Dsouza- USA