There are a lot of situations that we characterize as 'filmi'. You know, when a mother tells her only son that she's made some culinary delicacy for him with her own two hands (as opposed to the rest of us who cook with our neighbours' ears), when two long lost brothers identify each other through the identical tattoos on each other's arms (who says parents don't like tattoos? They actively propagate them) or when young women are locked in their rooms and then married off to a leering goat from the nearest stable. These are situations that we believe we are safe from, simply because we are not in the movies. We carry on with our lives, cocooned in our comfortable ignorance, and we smirk every time some overenthusiatic perpetrator of celluloid melodrama claims to draw his inspiration from real life.
"Real life? HAH!', we say. "What do YOU know about Real Life?"
"Boo!", he says.
"Ooh, are YOU in for a surprise or what!", says Life.
My big surprise happened about a week or two ago. The Elder Sister called in the morning while I was pretending to work. She sounded a little bemused, as if she'd just been hit on the posterior with an airgun. The mystery behind her tone of voice was soon solved. After exchanging the usual impoliteness, she very gleefully informed me that my mother's close friend had called her earlier on the fateful morning. This lady (we'll call her NM) first made some polite conversation with the sister before telling her that she was going to visit Delhi soon. The visit was necessitated by her son's ill health. The ill health was caused by his inability to cook properly or wash his clothes or clean his house. This in turn was the result of an upbringing which thought basic survival skills too demeaning for a man-child to learn. So now this son of hers was in some amount of discomfort and she was going to visit him and shoo away the boo-boos.
So what, you ask? Well, she then proceeded to inform my sister of a meeting she had with my mum two years ago, when my mum had just found out about her illness. Apparently, my mum had requested that NM and her husband take care of me and my siblings, should the illness prove fatal. This further entailed that I marry her son (because, of course, on my own I am incapable of decisions like this).
Go on, gasp. I did, and then I fumed. My sister then told me that from the conversation she deduced that the reason this came up was because her soon is now in need of someone to cook for him, clean his house and wash his clothes. Instead of hiring a maid, his mum figured that the more economical thing to do would be to get him a wife. And who better for the purpose than poor old me who would be eternally grateful to her for 'taking care of me'? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
First thought: "MOMMMMM! How could you sell me so short? Why didn't you just arrange for me to be tied to a cow?"
Second thought: "Dear sister, why did you not hang up on her, or even better, why did you not laugh?"
Anyway, where my story diverges from the movies is that I am not tragically locked away in my room. I will also probably never have to see the guy in my life, let alone marry him. I can also blog about my tragic misadventure. Sure, we played together as kids. Sure, our parents were friends. But unfortunately, I never was a heroine. Thank God for small mercies.