Being Independent ...
Sridhar is not so young, he is 32 running and he had his own problems in facing a crowd, whenever he appears for a marriage of some function, all eyes will be on him and everyone used to gossip why a guy of his caliber is not married yet, those talks soon turn out to be speculations and speculations turned out to be rumors and finally there emerged a "reason" saying that Sridhar is having some physical problems and hence he is not getting married. Sridhar is a person who does not lend his ears for such things, he just brushes them over his shoulder and carries on with his routine. His principle is very simple, moment an individual starts living for others, there he loses his peace of mind and happiness.
As we all know, everything will have to end at some point in time in life, similarly Sridhar too had a reason to smile, at last his dad found out his Miss Perfect who had all the 10 matches aligning with his horoscope and wedding bells were somewhere round the corner. Both the families met and agreed on this alliance and they were discussing on fixing the engagement date, that's when the girls dad raised a point saying, both the guy and the girl have to meet before marriage and then talk to each other and see if they are ok with this alliance. Sridhar dad got wild and he gave the girl's dad a nasty stare and said, "I have brought up my son in a well mannered way and hence he will not over-rule my decision, and I hope you too would have brought up your daughter in such a fashion"
Girl's dad sensed that Sridhar's dad is not so happy with that meeting, but still he insisted on that meeting as he wants his daughter to be a part of this selection process, rather she nodding her head for anything and everything he says. Sridhar mom convinced her husband and made him agree for that meeting. Sridhar could not believe his ears when his dad said that he has to go and meet this girl in a nearby hotel coming Sunday, though he knew that he does not have a choice to say a NO to that girl even if he didn't like her, but the very fact of he going and meeting a girl all alone made him fly in air and he is going to do something which he has never done before in his life.
Sridhar started grooming himself for a week to meet that girl on Sunday and he rehearsed almost 100 times of what he wants to talk to that girl, unfortunately all those were hand written by his dad and he just have to mug-up and vomit there, poor guy. Time runs faster than light, so there came Sunday in a quick flash and the meeting place was decided by Sridhar's dad and time given was just 1 hour including the travel time. Sridhar met his probable alliance at "Rayar Cafe" in Mylapore, that cafe would always be bubbling with people and there would hardly be any scope for privacy in such a place, but Sridhar could not overwrite his dad's decision so he has to meet her there.
Sridhar was very nervous as that is the first time he is seeing a girl at such a close distance and he started to sweat, that girl was pretty cool and she noticed the growing sweat balls on his forehead and asked him to be cool and relaxed, Sridhar though felt a bit embarrassed, somehow managed to flash a smile which came as a result of dis-comfort. Sridhar without even waiting for a formal introduction, just started to vomit what his dad has asked him to say - "I will be with my dad and mom forever and I will not come alone with you and start a family, you have to be kind to my dad and mom, you should not talk anything which would hurt them" and then he stopped there abruptly and gave a blank stare at her, she realized that he has forgotten his dialogue and hence asked him to take the paper out of his pocket and read it in full. That girl liked this innocence.
Sridhar could not continue further and hence chose to be silent for the rest of the conversation. She was very firm in what she spoke and highlighted on one point, which is nothing but, her partner should understand her better and he should be an independent person who is capable of taking decisions on his own. On hearing this Sridhar lost even the grim of hope he had about this alliance. When they were about to leave "Rayar Cafe" the server slammed a bill of Rs 3 for two coffee and 2 masala dosa. Sridhar then realized that his dad has just given him only the bus charge and hence he does not have any additional money to pay the bill, while he was thinking about this, that girl took a brand new 5 rupee note and paid the server and gave the rest as tips.
Sridhar came home with a dull head and his mom could notice the change in his face, without saying anything, he went to his room and locked its door. His dad who never consults him for anything, called up the girl's dad and asked him when they can setup the marriage, but the girl's dad took a stubborn stand saying he has to wait for his daughter to give him the feedback and then only he can decide on something. Sridhar's dad slammed the phone as he got irritated by that reply, he told his wife that this alliance has been cancelled as he does not want a daughter-in-law who takes decisions in the house. Sridhar could only curse himself for the situation that he is in today, but he liked that girl for her boldness and her attitude, but he being so timid, he knew that he cannot override his dad’s decision.
The next day the girl’s dad called them up and Sridhar picked up the phone, immediately he gave the phone to his dad, and he is very much sure that his dad is gonna blast him over the phone, but what a surprise, his dad spoke to him with a soft tone and he was happy to hear that the girl too liked his son, it was a double surprise for Sridhar as he did not expect the girl to say a YES to him in the first place and also he could not believe that his father has changed his mind and agreed to this alliance which he decided not to proceed. Sridhar just did not know how to react, but he was extremely happy that he is going to get married at last.
Sridhar’s curiosity cat could not resist anymore, so he approached his mom with whom he is very comfortable with in asking such questions, and asked her what happened and how all of a sudden things changed for good ? His mom just smiled and took him to the house of Ramanathan uncle who is his dad’s close friend. The entire house was in a state of shock and those swollen eyes said it all. Their only daughter Sowmya attempted for a suicide and is now admitted in the hospital, she was also brought up in a similar fashion as like Sridhar where she is not allowed to speak out and convey her thoughts to others, that constraint took the toll on her mentally and finally she couldn’t stand that anymore and took this extreme step.
Sridhar’s dad, though he is an orthodox person who stick to his rules, had extreme love and affection on Sridhar, he was jolted on hearing Sowmya’s decision and hence he did not want to tight the noose on his son’s future and push him to take such a step, hence he decided to change his mind and gave up on his stupid rules and decided to go ahead with that alliance if the girl’s side come out with a positive response. Both Sridhar and Alamelu is now a happily married couple for almost 30 years.
Sridhar continued his story to his son Venugopal and told him that he does not want to make the same mistake his dad did for him by not allowing him to be independent and hence he has given him enough independence in life to take his own decisions and hence he will not be a bottleneck for his happiness and asked him to come home along with his Christian wife whom he married few hours ago in a register office. Sridhar though was not happy about his son's decision, he does not want to hurt Alamelu by asking his son not to step into his house, he knew that Alamelu loves Venu a lot, and more than that, he knew, he loves Alamelu a lot than his stupid rules ...