High School Reminiscence

My Gujarati friend got engaged to a Malayali girl.

We were sitting in the first row in Math class in school discussing the futility of learning Matrices. Our Math teacher Mrs Thomas did not take kindly to our conversation.

“Just do your matrices, what is there to talk about? If you have any doubts ask me!”

We nodded and returned to our conversation. I was defending the need to rationally sort out the problems in one’s life with the use of Matrices.

“Tell me”, said my Gujarati friend, “how will matrices help you decide who you are going to marry?”

This was a question put to several math and science lovers in the past. These questions were well debated in the science forums online. I used the most famous argument.

“There are matters of the heart and matters of the brain. One must choose the correct tool for solving the respective problems.”
“Bullshit”, replied my Gujarati friend.

Here the Internet forums failed me with a suitable response. I had come face to face with a formidable Science enemy. But, he was just my friend.

“How would you do it? Choose whom to marry?” I asked.

He was thinking, hard. Then the bell rang. The school bell, of course. As everyone packed their books in to rush back home, he smiled.

“I do not care which country the girl comes from. The only thing I care is that she cooks delicious food that I love.”

Many years passed and it was yesterday that I got a call from him. He had gone to the US, studied computer science and worked at Google. He had met a Malayali girl there and they had shared rooms. They were engaged and had come to India to get married. I was invited out for lunch at our old haunt, Geeta Bhavan in Chembur.

He complained about the deteriorating quality of pav bhaji. I asked him whether she passed his cooking test of bride selection. She was amused as we recollected that conversation in Thomas ma’am’s class.

“Yes”, he said.
“He fell for me just tasting my vegetarian cooking,” she said. “He hasn’t even tasted my Calicut biriyani or marines I!”
“I was on the Gmail team. She was working with Google Plus. When integration with Gmail was considered, she was sent to our team. That’s when we met. She was looking for a place to stay and I someone to share my rent with. I asked her if she wanted to stay at my place. She agreed. The paneer masala she cooked on day 1 was so delicious that I offered to not take rent from her if she cooked and taught me to cook.”

As the conversations continued, I was reminded of our school days and that matrices class. You see very few people who knowingly or unknowingly follow through with their childhood utterances.

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