Bride-hunting tales

My wife, while offering me my morning coffee that day, reminded me that it was our 35th wedding anniversary. Her statement took me back several decades, to reminisce my bride seeing experiences.

In 1980, after my engineering graduation, I got a lecturer's job in an engineering college. Back then, once we had finished our studies, landed a job and settled down, marrying was mostly the next thing on the agenda.

So once, a relative lured me to see a landlord's daughter. She had failed lower secondary, but was good looking and would inherit a lot of assets. He advised me not to worry about her educational qualification, as it affected no one then. I agreed to the meeting. At their house, the traditionally adorned girl served us snacks and coffee. Once the formalities were done with, we took leave of the family. Later, I was greatly disappointed to learn from my relative that the lower secondary failed girl, unaware of the status of a lecturer, had rejected me. She believed my job to be equal to that of a primary school teacher's post!

To improve my value in the marriage market, I joined the sugar industry as an engineer. A colleague, who was an ambush matchmaker, recommended that I meet this daughter of yet another landlord. I yielded to his request. When we went there, the female protagonist never showed her face! A woman offered us snacks and coffee before we left.

My colleague later told me that the girl was reluctant to meet me since mine was not a secured job with considerable income as I am worked in a private factory. But the girl's mother had felt obliged to serve us refreshments for having invited us.

Having had such horrendous experiences, I decided to stop thinking of marriage until I landed a government job. I also decided that when the bride's side could expect a certain status of the bridegroom, there was nothing wrong in expecting something in return. After my selection as a Boiler Inspector, marriage offers began pouring in. An affluent landlord, who had noticed me at a random function, sent word to come see his daughter. This time around I went to see the girl, now my wife, with my elders.

The elders, who were satisfied with the alliance advised me, "Don't miss this opportunity. The girl will inherit a lot of assets. If they ask about your requirements, pretend as if you are not interested in such offers." I shook my head sombrely and agreed to the alliance.

On the day of our marriage, the bride was adorned in rich jewellery. My naivet led me to believe that they would all be mine after marriage. While submitting my first annual property returns to the government, I enquired my wife about the jewellery and properties she had inherited. I was shell-shocked when she showed only a few ornaments.

When I enquired my in-laws, they said, "Our daughter is pure gold from head to toe. Why do you worry about jewellery?" While I was under the impression that I had been clever in marrying the girl, my in-laws had proved that were shrewder than me in disposing of their daughter! However, as the years went by, my love towards my wife forever last.

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