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Archive for November, 2010

It was 6.00am & she was already heading for the gym. She grabbed her iPhone, keys & closed the door behind her. She turned ON her ipod  while pressing the down button for the elevator. It was one of her favorite song that came up as she entered the elevator. She pushed the button for  lobby & was watching the countdown on the LCD. 15, 14, 13…..8, 7…2, L & the elevator door opened. At the same time, she received a call & was surprised looking at the name on the caller id. Instead of picking up the phone, she started thinking of all the reasons why her mother was calling her at this time. None of her family members knew that she woke up so early to go to gym. They did not like their girls being skinny. They wanted them to be plump & chubby. But, Ayushi was very health conscious. She had seen the effect of no exercise & oily food in her family. Lots of examples. So, after coming to Chicago she had started going to the free gym in her school & now in her apartment while working. She stepped between the elevator doors just when they started closing & the doors hit her. She felt a jerk, a little pain in her shoulders & a bit of anger all at the same time. She picked up the phone standing in the lobby area.

She greeted her mother with her sleepy voice. Her mother was apologetic for calling so early in the morning but said that she couldn’t resist the good news. Her “Hello Ayushi beta” had given away the enthusiasm. Ayushi started wondering what  news could be so exciting to her mom. The next thought cleared her doubt and mother spoke her (Ayushi’s) thoughts aloud “We have found the perfect guy for you beta”. Ayushi was speechless for a few minutes. While she was digesting this information, her mother conveyed the whole story.

Mother said “He is your father’s friend’s son. His name is Karan & he is doing his PHD in Purdue university”.  They had met Karan’s parents at a wedding of another friend’s daughter. This was her father’s close friend from college who had shifted to Bangalore for work. They were now back to Mumbai & their son was 1year older than Ayushi. They were happy to hear about Ayushi’s graduation & her working in Chicago. Karan was to finish his PHD soon and  after a few old times catch up meetings they all thought that it would be a good idea if their children would tie the knot.

So, Ayushi’s mother was to discuss this idea with her & Karan’s mother with him. They were also open to Ayushi & Karan meeting each other in USA since they were in neighboring states. “Ayu…are you listening to me beta? I will hang up now if you want to sleep. Just wanted to convey this wonderful news to you. I am very excited Ayu.” mother said. Ayushi was filled with mixed feelings & couldn’t deny her mother’s request to meet the guy. She said she would think about it & they both hung up.

Her favorite song started again as soon as she was off the phone & she felt a bit relaxed. She entered the gym and went to the treadmill. She started with slow walking exercise at her usual start speed & tried to listen to the next song. Her mothers words were clouding her thoughts. Her mind started repeating words like Karan, PHD, Purdue University, Ayushi weds Karan and she screamed “Stop it”. The American guy who was entering the gym half inside & half outside stood motionless looking at her. She stopped the treadmill & got on the floor unaware of the guy at the door. She shook her head from side to side a few times, switched on the television & came back to the treadmill. After being sure that this girl was not a lunatic, the american guy entered the gym. Ayushi upon seeing him close the gym door realized that she had frightened the poor guy. She apologized, increased her walking speed and tried concentrating on the lyrics of the songs.

After an hour of walking, running and cycling exercises she came back to her apartment that she shared with Aabha, her roommate. Aabha was pouring tea in a mug when Ayushi entered. Aabha was Ayushi’s closest friend in America. She sat on the dinning table while Aabha was making a sandwich for breakfast. She waited patiently for Aabha to join her & tried to organize her thoughts for the story telling that was about to take place. Once they were both seated, Ayushi  started narrating everything that had happened in the morning to Aabha. Aabha was smiling from the moment she heard the word perfect guy & Ayushi knew that a hell lot of teasing was about to start.

After hearing the whole story, Aabha was quite for sometime. Ayushi was feeling anxious at what her friend was thinking. Then surprisingly, Aabha who was a protestant of arrange marriages &  a feminist by nature said “We are to get married one day or another. Why not give a chance to this guy that your parents like so much. He might be perfect for you as they say.” Ayushi realized that this day was going to be full of shock & surprises. But she had to agree with Aabha. After all, how can you judge someone without knowing them.

Ayushi went for a bath while Aabha finished her breakfast & read the newspaper.  As soon as she was out, Aabha inquired if her mother would be sending Karan’s picture and was disappointed since Ayushi hadn’t asked for it. Even Ayushi was curious now to see his photograph. But how to get it? She did not want to ask her mother. Then, brilliant Aabha suggested using Google search to find him. She said “I am sure we can get his facebook profile at the least and that should have his picture.” They switched on Ayushi’s laptop and eagerly waited for windows to start. For the first time they were feeling that her 64bit system with 4gb of memory was slow. Ayushi opened her preferred browser & it loaded the Google search page which was the home page. They first typed “Karan Sanghavi, USA” and it returned a lot of pages containing twitter pages, facebook pages, businesses, tv show synopsis etc. They clicked on the facebook link but there was no picture and no access for most of the profiles. Then they tried the twitter link but even that was a disappointment. Again, Aabha suggested putting the word purdue university along with his name for the search. That did it! And they found his page with his credentials, reasearch interests at the university & a photograph. Ayushi’s first reaction was “I don’t like him. He has a french beard”. Aabha thought he had decent features & her roommate would actually look good with him. She also started teasing Ayushi with the perfect guy.

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