Submitted into Contest #104 in response to: End your story with the line, “I’m never going out with you again.”... view prompt


Fiction Friendship Happy

Shankar was quite excited to know that his friend Gopal finally agreed to his mother’s request to see the girl. Gopal was quite skeptical about ‘girl-seeing-ritual’. He had discussed this topic many times with Shankar and other friends. Everyone shared their opinion and offered comments and advises. For some friends, it was an outdated practice. For some, an easy opportunity and for a few more, a real nuisance affair. Rohit said both the man and the girl felt awkward and uneasy and under utter tension at that time. Rajan said, “I am fine with any system. But I understand -- we men tend to create unnecessary excitement and expectations in the minds of girl’s parents and the girl also. They do not realize that we are just ordinary human beings with our own aims and ambitions. All we expect from the girls is just pleasing manners and a good-looking personality. The girls’ people imagine us to be heroes with unlimited powers and with a flashy high lifestyle. This is what irritates me.”

Gopal did not mention about his impending visit to see a girl. But Shankar came to know about it through some leaky marriage broker. He wanted to counsel him and shake off all mystic feelings attached to girl seeing ceremony. After all it was a mere seeing. ‘The boy sees the girl and the girl sees the boy.’ That’s all. Of late, the two – boy and the girl, even shared their views on common likes and dislikes and tried to make small efforts to get to know each other’s compatability.

Shankar advised Gopal to talk freely to the girl if she was agreeing to. He laughingly added, “Be brave. You are not going to any war-field. So, no need to be shaky or shy. Just be confident. Of course, don’t be too talkative also.”  

After that, Shankar allowed two three days to pass by. He waited for Gopal to open up. He thought Gopal would share his experience. But annoyingly, Gopal remained silent. Shankar prompted him. Then too Gopal avoided the topic. Shankar had to nudge him to speak and pour out. When he repeatedly advised him to give his opinion to the girls’ party, be it Yes or No, then Gopal came around. They discussed in detail over a cup of a coffee. Gopal was of the opinion that the girl was very talkative. She had an opinion on every issue and insisted on expressing it – whether anyone wanted it or not. “I have never seen such an extrovert personality. I am really worried. Whomsoever she will be marrying, poor fellow – he will suffer a lot. She keeps talking-talking and there is no stopping of her. I am sure such girls will back-answer every time and keep the man shut up for life. Do I need such a girl as my partner?”

Shankar asked, “Your parents came with you, is it not? What do they have to say? Before saying no to the girl and her family, you can get your parents about their opinion and then firm up to say yes or no. After all they are wise enough to gauge a person’s suitability.”

Gopal said, “Yes. You are right. They were quite pleased with the girl and her family. They almost went ahead to fix up. But I had to put a brake.”

“That means they did not have an occasion to hear her talk-talk-and talk. Only with you, she was a non-stop All-India-Radio. That was probably because she was quite happy that she was approved at the very first sight. She must have shared that moment of over-joyous happiness with you. She in a fit of impressing you further, must have been a bit explicit. Girls otherwise normally do not show off on the very girl- seeing day. She who was silent with your parents, was all talkative with you means that only. If you still feel that you are not convinced about her, just ask for one more chance to see her and talk to her.”

“Aiyo! No, no. I can’t stand it. But I am only worried that my parents will not like my decision in disapproving her. That is why I am hesitating.”

“Hey you fool. It is your life. You are going to live with your partner forever. Your parents are there for mere guidance. Finally, your opinion alone counts. By the way, let me tell you one more thing. Both man and woman do not remain the same once they are married. Once settled in family, they tend to be very different. Do you have the patience to listen to my life experience?”

He continued after a small pause.

“You know my wife, Champa was not a total stranger to me. But before marriage, she was such an introvert that she never shared her thoughts with anyone. Even when her father was making efforts to get her married off. She almost reconciled to her fate to abide by her father’s decision. Later, she tried hard to push herself and scribbled a few lines in a paper and kept it in my room and inside a novel, which I had brought from a library. She never had the guts to tell me nor made any efforts to draw my attention to her letter. She kept her inner feelings to herself.”

Gopal intervened. “I know Champa. She is not like that. I have met her in your house. She is quite jovial. On the contrary I found her to be bossing over you. She was questioning you about your getting delay. But you say she is introvert and does not speak up nor unfold. Quite contrary to what I observed.”

“Yes. Exactly This is what I was trying to say. How she was before marriage and how she is after marriage, there is a sea change. That also after birth of our kids, she is totally a different lady. That old shy-docile-naïve lady is lost forever. But I simply loved that particular style of hers. You will be surprised to know that accidentally I came to know about her crush for me. The letter she had inserted in my library book dropped down and drew my attention. Then that incident took us to different levels of courting and finally we were wedded.”

Shankar added further. “What I am trying to tell you is – don’t judge a girl by her first attitude. Look at my wife, she was too shy to approach me. But now when I ask her ‘Are you coming tonight for a movie, her spurt reply comes gushing. She is telling me ‘I am never going out with you again.’ On two occasions I could not take her out as promised.  You know our office. Suddenly urgent work comes up and we are held up. So that became a reason for her to flaunt her anger. Now forget about my life. Now, coming to your point, once again I reiterate that don’t go by your girl’s spurt extrovert behaviour. Just recall what Rajan said to you once about girl-seeing… A wife-to-be has to have pleasing manners and a pleasing personality. So, you meet her once again and see how far she is up to your expectations. At the same time don’t forget she too can have some expectations from you. My friendly tips to you, is just don’t go be the adage ‘Say No to an extrovert girl.’ What will happen if the girls start saying ‘Say no to all introvert boys.’ Will you like it then?”

Gopal relieved to a great extent said. “Thank you, Shankar. Your timely suggestions are quite enlightening. I shall give a call to Sheela.” Shankar corrected him. “No. First ask her parents’ permission to talk to Sheela or taking her out. Then with their permission you proceed. Further, it is never in order to keep the parents in suspense. That includes your parents also. Keep them informed. A long delay in deciding things, will only lead to a spurt negative reply.”

Gopal in lighter vein quipped, “Just like your wife Champa telling you – I will never come again with you. Let it not happen. So, you too rush up and convince her before it is too late. I do not want her to say those cruel words to you. Otherwise, you may tend to be an introvert and remain sullen and gloomy.”

Shankar said. “Don’t worry about that. I am still holding that secret letter of hers and kept it safely with me. Anytime things go wrong, I take out that letter and read it aloud. That will change her mood. Even if she wants to say no to me, it will not happen. She just can’t say, ‘I am not coming with you.’ Wish you good luck Gopal. Introvert or extrovert, anyone is a lovable one, depending on how we react and return their love.”

Gopal agreed. “Yes. Truly.”

July 29, 2021 19:38

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