In our country, almost all marriages are fixed by the parents. Mine was no different. On a Sunday morning, the marriage-broker arrived at my house. Marriage-broker? I can see you arching your eye-brows. Yes. The parents of the brides or grooms select the suitable spouse for their wards either through their friends or relatives or, if it is not possible, they seek the service of a marriage-broker who generally exaggerates the positive aspects or hides the negative points of a would be bride or groom.
Passing on an album to me, the broker said with a mischievous wink,”You can see the picture of the girl”. The album contained the pictures of many girls and boys. He had opened the page of the album which contained the photograph of the particular girl. My mother snatched the album from me and, looking at the bejeweled photo of the girl, asked the broker, “Have you brought her horoscope as well?”
“Yes madam, I have brought the ORIGINAL palm-leaf horoscope”, replied the broker. Here, I must disclose some covert practices indulged in by the brokers. They manipulate the horoscope so as to suit the prospective grooms or brides. The original palm-leaf horoscope would be brownish yellow in colour, but a recently manufactured horoscope will be yellow in colour.
“How much jewels do they promise to give to the bride?”, my mother asked.
“Madam, this girl is the daughter of a very rich politician. He has earned a lot of wealth……”
My father pricked up his ears at the mention of the word ‘politician’.
“Broker, did you say she is the daughter of a politician?”, he asked.
“Yes sir, a powerful one”
“Don’t hide anything from me”, my fathered whispered. “Is the girl the daughter of his ORIGINAL wife?”