Now one more herculean task laid ahead to get approval from my PA,
a tough job, I believed & Ashwin had to pursue….I didn’t had the guts to
face him for this issue…I loved my father very much adored him for his skills
but there was a hesitation between us….those days…fathers were strict with
their children & they didn’t believe in maintaining friendly relations with
the kids, they believed in the  adage, “SPARE
THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD,” so a distance was maintained & fixing of marriage
was totally on parents…& in Ashwin’s love I dared to cross the line…so now
we had to be ready to face the consequences but I had blind faith on my love.
He was quite matured & knew the tactics to deal people…this faith held me
strong from within…Next Sunday a week after my visit to Ashwin’s place was predefined
to meet my parents & I briefed my Mom of the plan & the whole episode
of Ashwin’s place. She too was nervous but still tried to be cool to pacify my
restlessness…We three waited for the D day, in the meantime my mother had
discussed in front of Pa that my colleague was coming for lunch on coming

My Mom prepared dishes of my choice as well as choice of
Ashwin on Sunday. By 12 noon, Ashwin came down to our place & we all sat in
living room. Pa was acquainted with him & they both talked for hours about
his stay at States & his family details & other burning issues of
society…we can say “Men talk” …I believe they were trying to get familiar with
each other…At the time of lunch, Ma laid the table & asked all of us to join. We
had lunch together….sumptuous lunch which invigorated the appetite. For me, the
food prepared by Mom was my favorite. I believe most kids feel the same for
their mothers…Ashwin too appreciated by mother’s culinary skills & said that
his wishes was to enjoy food prepared by Mom…Squint eyed, I was eyeing my
father’s reaction… he too joined in appreciation & added that he was fan
of her, due to mastery in culinary skills…it was Mom’s day. Ashwin asked Pa to
join him for a stroll at terrace…to ease him. Pa joined him & we too (mom
& I) were downstairs with our heartbeats pounding in ribcage for the
consequences after Ashwin’s proposal….There were utter silence in the house…our
ears were on terrace that my Pa might get angry & burst out badly on Ashwin.
But nothing of that sort was heard…I was praying to god …I believe after an
hour they came downstairs & that hour appeared as an year to me…I was
restless & Mom helpless…I drifted to my bedroom so that I couldn’t face my
Pa…they both were cool & well composed ..I thought may be Ashwin have
dropped the idea of discussion about marriage proposal…many questions rose in
my minds & answers were also with me…I was totally puzzled…there was pin
drop silence in house which I felt was indicative of some unknown fears…when I
felt asleep I did not even know…At around four, Mom woke me up to have tea…Mom
said that Ashwin had left after talking to Pa & papa was cool. No need to worry.
He had not disclosed anything to her also….I went into the living room to have
tea along. It was a routine exercise on weekends & on holidays…After tea,
my father broke the silence & he enquired about my feelings for Ashwin &
what all I knew of his descent, caste & creed etc…I told all the positive
aspects of Ashwin but lied that I was ignorant about his caste & creed…He
told me that he belonged from such caste where people are very orthodox &
conservative & even females are not given so much privileges as we enjoyed
in our Kayastha family…the feedback was detrimental but he did not hold any
grudges against my love…he was convinced by Ashwin’s attitude that he was a
nice guy with good values & will keep me happy…all girl’s parents seek the
same from their son-in laws but simultaneously he informed that it was tough
job to satiate his parents for this alliance & now the task laid ahead of
Pa & Ashwin to ready his parents & they had discussed how to go over it
to manage the blues & pacify for smooth relationship….anyway I was at ease
from my parent’s side now…I now realized that the view that I held for my
father was not true…though he was tough from outside but he was soft from
inside…today I discovered another face of my father…his true self…a new facet
of Pa of which I was ignorant of  or he
hid under the armour…Mom & me exchanged glances & she cuddled me in her
lap…the best place where I felt carefree. I feel all feel the same comfort in
mother’s lap…Pa came to my side & took my face in his hands & caressed me…his
eyes were filled with tears…a sentimental moment…a moment to be cherished till
I breathe my last.

to be continued….. 

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