A couple of weeks ago, I almost had an out-of-body experience. Before you go "Eh? Fool, you either have one or not..." let me explain.
The matriarch of the family, my long-suffering grandma was conversing with her oldest (and favourite) grandson. They spoke about this & that, covering everything from the impending wedding of X's second cousin's third child's wedding (a typical South Indian conversation) to the correct way of making Avial. Trust me, that dish is a lot harder than it looks on paper.
As grandmas with long years of conversational nuance experience are wont to do, she casually slipped in this little gem (it's translated into English from Tamil, so you may not appreciate the essence):
Grandma: So, I was talking to Periamma (her older sister in Madras) the other day. She was telling me about a girl she knew there & wanted to know 'when' Girish is getting married and all that.
Me: Uhuh. Okay, that's interesting. I see. Hmm...
Grandma: *meaningful look*
Me: (Mental wheels protestingly creak into action and the full enormous implication of what was just said finally hits. Also, the out-of-body thing)
Me: What ?! Now, wait just a god-damn minute here.
See, in a very cunning fashion, age has crept up on me and struck the 'matrimonial best-before age' gong. It took me so long to understand what my dear granny was talking about because I have always associated these conversations with my older relatives. You know... uncles, cousins, other assorted over-horny and idiotic skeletons in the family cupboard etcetera. What I remember (with growing uneasiness) was the sense of finality in the air when these things were discussed.
Heaven knows how, but 'Girish and his future plans' has become a hot topic in the family. Uncomfortably so. Assorted aunts are grinningly asking if they should set me up with someone they know. Friends' mothers increasingly seem to know a girl they absolutely think I should meet. More than one person has asked me if I am seeing someone special. I give this latter group a carefree laugh & wave them away.
And go home and sob into my pillow.
Seriously though, things are getting a little scary and eventually I suppose the issue will have to be faced head-on. Or I will have to meet a nice, non-psychotic girl who'll like me for who I am. Thanks to my charm and plethora of luck, that has about as much chance of happening as Lehmann Brothers making a comeback.
I wonder if this is how those gladiator blokes felt like in the Colosseum.
Song for the moment: Tom's Diner - Suzanne Vega