Gather around kids. I’m going to tell you a story. A story about how a sarcastic comment almost brought a baraat to my doorstep.
Having watched and rewatched F.R.I.E.N.D.S a million times, and proclaiming Chandler as my spirit animal, I’ve always been big on sarcasm. And whether you’ve seen the show or not, there is a very high possibility that you’ve come across dialogues by Chandler Muriel Bing at least once.
Especially this one:
This pretty much became my mantra. Until it backfired big time. And by big, I mean biiiggggg! I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a couple of aliens on Uranus who felt the disturbance in the atmosphere when it happened.
Okay, so life was going pretty good. Life in the city, a job I love and a fair share of crazy friends left me a happy bee. Except, of course, for the occasional “shaadi karle beta” phone calls from home, to which I always replied:
But, how would the story proceed unless there’s some drama? So, right on cue came the twist in the kahani. Enter the prospective dulhe raja and family.
And by Indian shaadi standards, he was quite the catch. NRI launda, well-paying job, rich well-respected family and a perfectly shareef look.
There was only one haddi in the kabab:
No, not Santana Lopez from Glee. Moi. Yours truly. Me and my absolute inability to even imagine myself in a wedding gown. Well, not just the wedding gown. Tbh, I wouldn’t mind having a wedding gown pity party with my girl BFFs like Rachel, Pheobe and Monica did.
It was primarily the zillion clauses attached to the word “marriage” that sent me scrambling like a vampire caught in daylight.
However, as we know, attempting to escape a desi family on a mission is next to impossible. I had better chances of being the next PM than managing to ditch this drama.
Cut to a month after the first appearance of the ideal daamad, my call list looked like a doctor had prescribed every member of my family 3 calls a day to their escapist daughter. The calls ranged from borderline bribe offers to the classic “Ye din dekhne ke liye paida kiya tha tujhe?”
Until finally one day my resolve broke.
And keeping in trend with the age-old tradition of taking out our frustration on the softest target, my mom happened to be the one who pulled the shortest straw. But, have you ever seen Chandler lose his mind and yell at someone? Nope, neither do I. I serve sarcasm instead. And this time was no different.
In my sweetest sarcastic voice I said to her:
“Fine! I’ll marry whoever you want. Why don’t you go ahead and make all the arrangements?. Just let me know the wedding date. Happy?”
Classic sarcastic comment spewed by frustration, isn’t it? My mom said “sure”, laughed and hung up. Round 1 of the day done, I thought. Only, the trouble had just begun.
My pyaari ma, who was beyond frustrated herself, totally missed the sarcasm in my voice. She thanked the Gods that her daughter had finally seen the light and returned from the dark side.
To be fair, I should’ve seen the signs. My phone was suspiciously quiet the rest of the day. And when it did ring, it was an even more suspiciously sweet bade bhaiyya calling to cajole me into visiting the family. Me, being the idiot that I am, took this as a sign of them finally giving up and told him I needed some space, to which he graciously agreed.
Fast forward a few days, and I’d calmed down enough to ring up home. Just the usual hi hellos with no mention of the shit storm that had been raining down on me for a month.
But of course, I had to be a smartass and decided to taunt my mom about her “almost son-in-law”. Only, it blew up in my face.
To my smug question of “So, how are the wedding preparations going?” Mommy dearest replies:
“Oh quite wonderful! we’re thinking of having the engagement in a couple of weeks. We should go shopping for your outfit soon.”
Dead serious. With a tinge of happiness in her voice. That’s when I realized I’d screwed up big time. And then I made my second blunder in the whole narrative.
I laughed. Somewhat like this:
What followed was an even bigger shit storm than the one I thought I’d just escaped. Gone were the days of bribe offers. Gone were the days of melodramatic dialogues. If teleportation existed, my khandan would’ve descended upon me that very second like Thor, Rocket and Groot showed up for the battle in Wakanda.
Months have passed and the golden damaad is thankfully long gone. All that’s left now is me still licking my wounds, intermittent snide comments from relatives who thoroughly enjoyed my screw up of the century and a lesson I’ll keep for life.
Chandler might prefer it the other way around, but I’d rather offer you this advice – Don’t be sarcastic to your Indian parents, you might just end up getting married.