The Sum of All Fears


They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes, drums... drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow lurks in the dark. We cannot get out... they are coming. “– Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

Why this quote? What possible significance can it hold? It’s over. The firewalls have been compromised and the wolves will soon scratch at my door. Alright, enough of the melodrama!!! But why the melodrama? For those who have not guessed it yet, the parental unit is no longer on my side of the fence with regard to…. With regard to… the… the …. The ‘M’ word.

Last week, the folks offered me a rather tall glass of scotch, and pizza. And you know me, sucker for scotch and pizza (sucker for food in general). I’m sitting on cloud 9 enjoying the lovely combination when without notice, like a ninja on greased lightning; I am told that in the next few months, I will be paraded to all the potential female suitors. I felt exactly like the Fellowship who heard the Orcs speedily making their way towards them in the Mines of Moria.

PS: Just to clarify, Dear future Mrs. Murthy (or if you want to keep your own surname, that’s cool) I am NOT calling you and Orc. It’s a metaphor of what my mind was going through. And no, I don’t associate you with impending doom either; it’s just that all this was unexpected… like the Orc Horde. You know they’re around, but you’re avoiding them because you are not prepared to meet them.

I threw what could only be a childish tantrum which was one step short of holding my breath till I turn blue and flinging myself on the ground and pounding it. (We all know I am not capable of or willing to indulge in such physical feats). The parental unit held a stoic expression. Betrayed! I was betrayed! And the weapon of betrayal….scotch and pizza. Such a dishonourable way to stab a man in the back!

 “Never back-stab a man whom you offered scotch whiskey!” – Ancient saying by Scottish village idiot.

I spent the entire night thinking of what was going to happen in the days to come. Clearly, no optimistic thinking comes out of backstabbing. I ran through a whole bunch of ‘worst possible scenarios’ which just got worse with each iteration. What if she hates music? What if she won’t allow me to continue with my alcohol and non-veg way of life? What if she loves curd rice? What if she likes Manchester City?

As I calmed down (over two days), tried to have some mature perspective and decided that it was inevitable, I tried to put together an image of what kind of a woman I would like to spend the rest of my life with. Will she have a face like Keri Russell that you want to wake up to every morning? Will she be a kind helpful person like Betty Cooper? Will she understand that I’m not rude and just plain old sarcastic, like a lovable Chandler Bing with a lot of ‘Joey doesn’t share food’ thrown in? Can she play drums so that we can start a band? .... And this went on for a day or two. At some point, the mature person in me (yes, I have a mature avatar) pops up and goes, “Hey Mr.Murthy! Don’t worry about what kind of a wife you want. Worry about what kind of a husband you’re going to be to her, and leave the rest up to whatever cosmic forces drive the universe.”

You think that would make me feel better about the unknown, but it turns out that the ‘known’ frightens me far more than the ‘unknown’ and this lead to a further downward spiral where I listen to the Blues all day long. It turns out I really don’t like myself at all. I’m trying very hard to imagine what a woman in her right mind would see in me, that would make her want to disrupt her world and fill it in with the rather large Nikhilesh Murthy. Is it the looks? (Okay…stop with the hysterical laughter) Is it the educational background? (You know how tams are particular about the whole IIT IIM bit?)  Is he on the path to super career stardom? Is it because I am financially well off? ( Erm… next question please)

What else does a girl (and her parents) look for from an arranged marriage? Which girl from the tambram community wants to marry a fellow because he sounds funny on blogs, is a deranged unaccomplished guitar player who stills wants to lead a blues band despite moderate skills, spends all his free time attending concerts of random bands around the city…and now he blogs about that too (my music blog in case you missed it www.thedrinkingmusician.blogspot.com). What does one do with such a boring stubborn mule? Oh yeah, he’s stubborn too …. Forgot to add that to the list of self-appraisal.

Clearly, I am freaking out. And friends are being of no help whatsoever. Right now I am a ball of confusion and it’s literally giving me sleepless nights. Looks like I need a long vacation to get my head together and not be one of these weirdos landing up on girl’s doorsteps with disoriented thoughts on life, career and marriage….and definitely no asking, “What are your hobbies?”

Chronicles of New York: The $192 Taxi Ride, the $16 Rava Dosa and the $218 Lion King Ticket

Where's Murthy?