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 XVII. Candid Verses: Of Marriage and Men
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Posted on 01-13-16 12:36 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Candid Verses: Of Marriage and Men
**************************************************
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness!”

I must confess the first few months after the break-up were pretty hard, as I brooded and sulked like a sick chicken reminiscing years of wasted years. But then, like most adult resilient Nepali guys, I blamed "her" for everything. Walla! It made me feel a whole lot better. As winter turned to spring, all the relationship experts among my family, friends, and relatives joined in to turn around my life with a instant solution –the panacea to all Nepali’s problems- MARRIAGE. Reluctantly, unwillingly, and hesitantly, I agreed to the norms of such an arrangement, because according to the experts, I had now reached the age of no reasoning.

Thus, the first step of my healing didn’t begin with a self-reflection but rather with a well-orchestrated selfie, just enough to hide my receding hairline, taken from my newly minted smart phone, and sent all over the world (to Nepali families that I had no idea existed), and affixed also with my over-hyped resume, as i was told. Slowly at first, then steadier, a deluge of prospects came reckoning, each with a disclaimer along the lines of “If you don’t agree to this, you’re losing a chance of a lifetime!” It is surprising how everyone else knows exactly what I want in life, except me. Anyways, I went along with the circus.

“She’s a social worker – she works with children. It will be much easier for you in a few years.” Well, of course! It was not the prospect of the social worker that appealed to me, but this insight that she may even earn less than my non-profit research job paved way to the romanticism of future struggles, especially when we’d have children. You see, I am a far-sighted guy.

“What are you doing?” she texted via G-Chat which I had just begun to learn on the smart phone. “I am cooking chicken - I like them crisp” I boasted and slid the phone into my pocket. A haunting silence ensued. Slightly irritated, I checked my phone and realized in horror what I had typed. Darn the AUTO-CORRECT. My text read un-apologetically “I am cooking children – I like them crisp” So that’s that!

Unfazed with this first fiasco, I was resolute to move on to the second- an accountant, a perfect family material according to the sources. Now that I had mastered the art of g-chat, things seemed to go smoothly until we decided to meet up – in an Afghan restaurant in Jackson Heights. After exchanging the pleasantries, she turned serious “You don’t laugh much during our conversations, do you?” I have to be honest here, but she wasn’t that funny and I wasn’t exactly cracking jokes. I managed a smile and ordered the lamb shank and motioned to her. “I already had dinner. And I have to leave soon. My cousins are waiting outside” Woah! Without much thought, I blurted out “So what do you want in life?” She answered back hurriedly but in a serious vein “I have two dogs now, and I want at least three more!” I would have wanted a more thorough explanation, but timing was inappropriate. She had to leave and the lamb-shank had arrived. I was in a dilemma. They say you always have to be at the right time at the right place for these things, and this probably wasn’t!

The next set-up couldn’t be more fitting. She was on a business pitch in downtown Manhattan, and I had been unemployed for a month. An entrepreneur and the unemployed- a match made in Wall Street depression. We sat down in uncomfortable silence preoccupied by our thoughts – her probably in her business pitch the next day and me in my current wallet denting endeavor in the $$$$ restaurant. I should have YELP’d harder, but it was too late now. Trying to distract myself, I asked about her business pitch. She stood there with her hands crossed looking right at me – well right through me and uttered a few quiet words. I asked if she wanted some wine hoping she wouldn’t. She didn’t. Feeling better, I cracked a few spontaneous jokes to the silence that was prolonging to which she gave a wry smile. As we finished our meal quietly, I asked her “So, what kind of food do you like?” she shrugged. “I like all the east Asian food – Thai Vietnamese Indonesian” I continued. “What do you like”?
She took her time, finished her meal, wiped her face, and crossed her arms again and blurted “GOOD FOOD!” Months later, I learned that Good Food meant French food- if only I had known!

After a few more unsatisfying and unrelenting set-ups, I told everyone that I needed a break. Things simply don’t work this way, do they?

“Listen! You’re not young anymore. You have to learn to compromise. Not everything will ever be perfect. We’re old now” My parents lamented with their usual emotional blackmail.

“Listen! You’re still young. Do not compromise. Everything will end up being perfect” suggested my newly married cousin, who seemed a little lost.

“Listen! You need to change. Change your hairstyle. Fashion. Be asshole to the gals” suggested my younger cousins.

“Listen! You’re a great catch. Do not change anything. Be nice to gals” suggested my married friends.

There was no letting up. It was only a matter of time the deluge started again-
“We’ve found a perfect gal for you in the US. Infact, the mother called us and pleaded that you add her in FB. All you need to say is yes!” my father conveyed the prospect beaming with a smile.

“If it all works, we should start planning marriage dates to give your siblings enough time to take holidays” My mother joined in the skype, of the certainty of the latest prospect.

Hold on a minute – I protested “I don’t even know who u r talking about!”

“You will – she’s the only daughter. You don’t want to lose out on this one!” echoed my sister from the back.

To be contd...


 
Posted on 01-13-16 1:03 PM     [Snapshot: 23]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Welcome Back Lynx bro ! Long time ....

Comical, humorous and sarcastic prose for those who are single living in abroad(amrika, belayat)....... Jackson Height .... can i ever forget that setup.... lol ....

waiting for more my friend.

- thaha chaena
 
Posted on 01-13-16 1:37 PM     [Snapshot: 67]     Reply [Subscribe]
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A very enjoyable read!!! Looking forward to the next part :)
 
Posted on 01-13-16 1:41 PM     [Snapshot: 69]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Posted on 01-13-16 2:18 PM     [Snapshot: 124]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Good stuff! Awaiting next part.
 
Posted on 01-13-16 2:21 PM     [Snapshot: 122]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Haha. Nice one again Lynx!!!

Looking for more man.. and Good Luck!

 
Posted on 01-13-16 3:07 PM     [Snapshot: 157]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Contd.....

There was no letting up. It was only a matter of time the deluge started again-
“We’ve found a perfect gal for you in the US. In fact, the mother called us and pleaded that you add her in FB. All you need to say is yes!” my father conveyed the prospect beaming with smile

“If it all works, we should start planning marriage dates to give your siblings enough time to take holidays” My mother joined in the skype, of the certainty of the latest prospect.
Hold on a minute – I protested “I don’t even know who u r talking about!”

“You will – she’s the only daughter. You don’t want to lose out on this one” echoed my sister from the back.

It was the super-full moon night in August. We chatted frivolously. We exchanged numbers. We called and talked through the night – about family, career, childhood, and everything in between that may lay in the future. It seemed natural. There seemed a connection. The stars seemed to be aligning in my favor in a long time. Or so it seemed.

The next day, she sent me a note that she was going to be away and may not respond for a while. A mere three weeks into this note, I saw pictures of her engagement in FB. Rather perplexed and slightly angered, I sent her a note on why she had not told me as adults? She responded by unfriending me. Next, I took my anger onto my parents, who also seemed equally perplexed.

“Poor Mom. She had no idea her daughter had a BF in USA. She called this morning and apologized” A familiar theme of disconnect of parents from their children in the foreign land. It really was nobody’s fault. Well, except her's :)

My parents may have stopped bothering me for a while, but the calls about someone’s “amazing daughter, niece, friend, sister, colleague, and acquaintance who is a perfect fit for me” continued on. Sometimes I’d just get CVs of random girls and asked if this is the right fit. All I could say is relationship- especially meant for life has to be gauged through more than the piece of stellar paper right?

Still I talked and learned a lot. About women who wanted to travel around the world. About women who didn’t want to be tied to family. About women who wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and do all the trekking. About women who wanted to go on safaris. About women who wanted to run a big business. Or even become a singer and/or an actress. All noble dreams indeed – yet no one seemed to have given the thought of settling down. And most were only talking to me as they were coerced by their families, just like me.

“How come you haven’t done any travels?” “How come you just started working?” “You don’t have Instagram?” “Why haven’t you updated anything on FB?” “Why didn’t you go to Adele’s concert – it was there” Came their quizzical replies. It seems to me that, as we grow older, the expectations from our potential partner exceeds those of the very potential partners. We live in a world where no one wants to compromise, perhaps the reflection of spike in divorce we see more regularly among our friends and families.

“Maybe you can also check out the girls while you’re in Nepal? After all they are all educated these days and much beautiful than the ones in US!” My mom suggested a solution one day trying to make up for her failed attempt earlier in the year. Why not? I shrugged.

“Love at the time of fuel crisis” I weaved romantic notions once more when I landed in KTM. It was only a matter of time I met a doctor in electric pagoda in Thamel, a place I loathed once but a quiet sojourn amid the crisis. Sipping hot rum punch, the doctor conveyed with a smile “You see, my seniors suggest, if I marry someone like you, my career will stall. I am already giving my USMLEs, and I don’t want to wait here for years.” If for nothing, I enjoyed her candidness, and for that matter picking the tab more than in Manhattan.

Next, at the posh Le Trio in Jhamel, amid the who’s who of the bygone era sipping their lattes and cappuccinos, we ordered jhol momos which took two hours, but we were already finished with our talks. “You see, I really don’t want to go to the US. I don’t want an apartment life like yours. I don’t want to work so hard that we have to eat lunch at our desks. I don’t want to work weekends. I have a decent job in the INGO here, and I have a lot of fun, and I get to travel. I think I want to marry someone from here. I have heard enough from friends about the hardship in the US” The theme resonated on the next two set-ups, be it in trendy café in Baluwatar or the Jazzmandu in Lazimpat. Things may seem like a lost cause in Nepal, but among certain circles of Kathmandu, life is beautiful!

“No one can marry without the right lagan” My mom tried to cheer me up, on a cold November evening, wrapped in the blanket watching me pack. “Just ask Shankar. He saw at least 50 girls. And when it happened, it took a mere three days!” I stared her down, packed my suitcase, and headed back.

For the first time in years, I felt a tinge of loneliness in my apartment. We do have an apartment life here. I mostly have to eat at my desk. I haven’t traveled anywhere in years for the sake of saving my status and career. I don’t see my friends regularly. Family seem so distant.

I lied in the rug in the floor and longed for a life back home – at least the social life. My phone pinged. An email from an old friend-
“It’s been ages. How are you? Did you marry your gf?”
“No. we broke up. How about you? Are you married with kids?”
“No. we broke up a while ago.”
“Why are we emailing like this? Don’t you use g-chat?”
“No – common this is fun. I don’t have g-chat”
“I didn’t know you were single. Maybe I can flirt with you?”
“Yes sure– but do you know how to?”
“I don’t know, but I’ll try!”
“You’re so stupid- you know. I have always known that”
“Indeed – I have been very foolish. I have the wisdom to prove it”

I remained in the floor that night emailing back and forth, charging and recharging my phone- hoping, wishing, and contemplating the unknown future with my fingers crossed. And best of all, talking freely without any coercion in more than a year. It felt great.
You see friends, it has been the best of times. And the worst of times!


 
Posted on 01-13-16 3:25 PM     [Snapshot: 185]     Reply [Subscribe]
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:) Thanks again dude!!

Wish you luck..

 
Posted on 01-13-16 3:59 PM     [Snapshot: 220]     Reply [Subscribe]
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राम्रो लाग्यो.
 
Posted on 01-13-16 4:38 PM     [Snapshot: 254]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Posted on 01-13-16 5:13 PM     [Snapshot: 284]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Full of humor..thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
 
Posted on 01-14-16 3:03 PM     [Snapshot: 463]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Maybe girls can't take your sarcasm too well :) Good luck mate.
 
Posted on 01-28-16 2:46 PM     [Snapshot: 954]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Wah ! Lynx bro ..... I read the second part like thrice... kyaa man paryo specially yo part ... "You see, I really don’t want to go to the US. I don’t want an apartment life like yours. I don’t want to work so hard that we have to eat lunch at our desks. I don’t want to work weekends. I have a decent job in the INGO here, and I have a lot of fun, and I get to travel. ”

I read and kept on thinking .... thats so me... aru pani lekhana saathi....

 
Posted on 01-28-16 7:32 PM     [Snapshot: 1023]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Wow, Lynx bro you are a good writer. Hopefully, you will have a good ending to your story soon. Good luck!
 
Posted on 04-21-16 2:47 PM     [Snapshot: 1597]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Come back, Lynx.
 
Posted on 04-21-16 2:47 PM     [Snapshot: 1598]     Reply [Subscribe]
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