Hello, Goldilocks! Katie softens gaze on her past but no bitterness in her heart and no regrets. It is clearer than the blue sky and purer than the first snow. Fair memories rise up before her, they come not thronging in crowds but in slow procession following one another. Long time back in a small city of India.
Friday afternoon. Katie returns home from the university. She is tired from the whole day of presentation and lab work. Her house is inside the university campus so she just walks back. It is easier and healthy too. As she turns the knob to open the door, her mother opens the door from inside and pulls her in with one hand to the bed room. Katie is surprised. She turns her head and asks, ” mom, mom is everything fine? What is going on?”
Backdrop ( In India, in most of the conservative families, usually marriage is decided by the parents. It is called arrange marriage. There is not much freedom to choose your own partner. One learns to adjust and life continues. You can meet, talk and see the girl or the boy before the final decision. Sometimes the parents agree to that or disagree.)
Her mother sits on the bed, adjusts the shawl and replies,” Do you remember the family they are supposed to come to see you?” Then without waiting for Katie’s reply she continues with the next sentence.” They just called, they are coming today and will be here soon. Their son is a chemical engineer and very smart, intelligent and they know our family very well. So change into another dress; the new one which I brought from Delhi. It has a nice pattern and a pretty color.” Katie stops, tips her head to one side and lifts her eyes towards her mom and says,” Mom I am not ready to marry. I want to finish my Masters degree and then decide. So ask dad to call them to let them know about my decision.” Katie’s mom adjusts her eye-glass, her eyes get real big in surprise. She tells in a stern voice,” Parents know what is best for the children, so behave.”
That evening the boy’s family arrive. The tall, handsome, intelligent guy meets Katie, they introduce themselves and talk. A small smile plays on both of their lips in between the talks. They want Katie to be a good house wife, enjoy the life and to continue the education is a question. After they leave, Katie decides not to marry the engineer. She wants to continue her study and enjoy her freedom.The time passes.
It is a gorgeous evening in April. Katie sits on a wicker chair in the garden.The perfume of the garden lilies in brilliant Scarlet, buttery yellow, white and hard-candy pink fill the air. She reads a new magazine. Her mom comes to the lawn and sits on the other chair. She leans back on the chair, smiles and says, ” Yesterday one of your grandfather’s friend called. Their grandson is a doctor and wants to be a heart specialist in near future.” Then Katie’s mom hands her a plate with snacks and continues with her topic. ” We have invited them for dinner. So tomorrow try to come home a little earlier from your class, before five will be good.” Katie looks at her mom, her eyebrows draw together, mouth half-open but does not say anything. Except long arguments, there will not be any fruitful outcome, she thinks and sigh. She continues to leaf through the magazine. The next day the boy’s family arrive. During the dinner and after Katie tries to engage in the conversation. It is lengthy and boring. She looks outside through the big glass window, wants to go back to her study and read some good novel or write her thesis. The doctor’s family agree to let her continue the studies but not in favor of entering into any job. But Katie’s parents like the guy and decide give a call in the coming week with an answer.Katie sighs again and walks into her study.
Katie can not sleep. she takes a cold shower but it does not work this time. She is restless. She sits on her favorite chair cross-legged, toying with her gold chain and tries to decide. Her thoughts are shuttering through her brain. She walks up to the bay window and watches at the beautiful low hanging half-moon. The night blooming Jasmine has crawled up on the side porch, releasing its heavy scent. Her right cheek resting on the palm of her hand, head tilts slightly.She thinks about the other person she likes or may be in love with. He is not an engineer, nor a doctor,or very rich like her own family. But he is a very caring, kind, honest, intelligent, loves to read and write, truthful and simple. Then Katie’s eyes sparkle. He will be a perfect life partner. She smiles richly.She feels proud of her right decision.