I wake up alone. I live alone in an 850 square foot apartment. I go to work alone in my Honda Accord 2000. I work alone in a small cubicle. I eat dinner alone.
I have reached where I always wanted to. Working with the latest of technologies. My bank accounts in two countries are pretty healthy; I always get special Christmas greetings from my banks. I am happy and contended with my present life.
But my happiness is not shared or even acknowledged by my five-cent-a-minute friends and my Indian colleagues. During the usual chitchat, almost everyone ends his sentences with a full stop like this.
"So, when are you going to get married?"
I am not sure whether they are all planning to start a marriage bureau, but that is what they end their sentences with. I keep wondering whether they have taken on the 'finding a partner' burden from my parents. Otherwise, why is even my new colleague, who knows me only for a few months, worried about my 'lonely' life?
So, when they stop their sentences with that, I give them more meat to feed on. I ask them the same. They give me a shocked look. Like, "What? Hey, I am only 24. I have a long way to go!"
I want to play more. So I give them a 'same with me' kind of glance. Catching my eye, they pop the next concerned question: "You are living alone?"
I tilt my head a little, smile, and give a 'So are you!' look straight into their eyes. This time it is their turn to talk to me without words, afraid of speaking those highly punishable discriminatory words in the Land of Milk and Honey, "But, uh... you are a Girl!"
At which point they attempt to change the topic of conversation. But my court session is not over. They want to catch me somewhere, trying to make me decide "I am not happy here, I better go back to India, get married and reap kids".
So this it is: "What do you do for weekends?"
I list one/many/all of the following:
Now my turn for the Q&A. "So," I ask, 'how do you spend your weekends?"
I am yet to get an answer that is not already on my above list.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier
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