“Is that all you are going to wear”, Asha Bua’s judgemental voice echoed across the hall. Avani was teetering on the threshold of an outburst. Her ears were itching due to metal earrings, the neckpiece around her neck felt like a noose but she was relieved that her mom didn’t force her into that ridiculously heavy Anarkali dress. She wore a short maroon colored kurta and skinny jeans.
“For god’s sake Di wear some heels and not your converse shoes”, her little sister was just as impatient as she was.
This whole drama about meeting the prospective groom was driving her nuts. And to top it all, Asha Bua had dropped in to snoop around and later on gossip about the little tidbits.
“Why the bhloody guy had to pick me and not Sweta”, Avani muttered under her breath. Asha Bua couldn’t acknowledge the fact that “Rowdy” Avani was selected by the guy’s family and not her adorable shy daughter Sweta. Infact, everyone in the Singhal household were surprised, including Avani herself.
Avani wasn’t a tomboy, but she wasn’t the typical girly girl either. She hated taking elaborate measures to dress up but was the fashion consultant of her friends. She would paint her nails and play videos games with as much passion and fury. She was bossy, short tempered and her colleagues would often forget that she is a girl. And yet she was obedient enough to meet an unknown guy to please her mom.
“So where are they meeting, Taj or Leela”, Bua asked Avani’s father.
“Amoeba Sports Center”, he said.
“What!!! A sports Center!! Whose bizarre idea was that?”
“Well, Avani decided to meet him there”
Bua slapped her forehead with her palm. “tsk tsk, Is that how you have raised your daughter? She now dictates these things!!”
Avani’s father didn’t answer. He was proud of his daughter’s achievements, but sometimes he too doubted if his super-smart Brown belt daughter would ever find a groom.
“Don’t you start playing video games there!”. He warned Avani.
“Hey stop scratching your neck”, her mom shook her head and arranged the neck-piece.
“Di please, don’t punch him if he expects you to cook or clean. Just smile ok”. Avani’s sister was more worried about the welfare of the guy.
The meeting was fixed at 5pm and there was still half an hour left, but as the suggestions started pouring in, Avani decided to leave before she lost her cool.
“You are leaving so early, wouldn’t that look desperate”, Bua smugly pointed out. Avani was about to snap back, but her Dad sensed the tension. He hastily took her hand and walked her out, “Go,go, All the best”. He said with a smile.
Ten minutes later, Avani arrived at the sports center. The familiar cacophony of people shouting and screaming, the electronic buzz of video games and fall of bowling pins made her feel comfortable. She would rather talk while playing a game of 10 point bowling with the guy than sit in a quiet restaurant and stare at her fingers.
“What was his name again!! Avinash”.
She glanced over the video-game area and then checked the time.
“There’s still 15 minutes left”, she thought, ”I could play a game”.
All the seats were filled, but a couple of guys were just sitting there, cheering their friends. She went up to them and asked, “Do you mind if I use this machine?”
The guy looked at her. “Really!! You gonna play THIS game!!”. His condescending tone wasn’t doing any good to Avani’s mood.
“What exactly do you mean!”
“I mean – you are a girl!!”. He said with a smirk.
That was it. Avani took the console from the desk, glared at the dark haired skinny boy, “Let me kick your sorry a$$!!”. The boy’s partner immediately stood up and Avani took his place.
To be continued!!