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I almost died laughing when I read about the matrimonial plans of Big A and little a over at Roshni’s blog page. Not surprisingly I was transported back in time and was reminded of my First Born (FB) and his marital plans at a similar age.

Unlike Roshni’s children my First Born did not bring an outsider into the equation, not the first time anyway. He settled on Mom as the girl for him. I am going to marry you, he cheerfully announced to me one day in all innocence. At the time he was almost four years of age. I suppressed the laughter bubbling inside, threatening to break out, and with as straight a face as could muster, expressed my regrets. His Dad had after all beaten him to it. I am already married, I told him. The FB gave it a few minutes thought and came back with a definitive, ‘but when I grow up, I will marry you.’ That was that as far as he was concerned.

I am sure he dismissed lightly all these claims of mine, of being married to his Dad. The said Dad only made his appearance at rare intervals, stayed for about a week or ten days and then disappeared again. The FB and I were the ones who stayed together day in and day out. This boy is the same one who became “famous” among our crowd for having asked his Dad on one of his visits,

“When are you leaving, Acha (Dad)?”

Don’t get him wrong. He was only being polite. He loved his Dad. In fact on another of his Dad’s visits, he had happily stated to no one in particular, I love Acha. Cheeky that I am, I casually let it slip in that his Dad would be leaving in a couple of days time, back to his work place. The little fellow took only a few seconds to come back with a quick,

“I love you too, Amma!”

Clever little feller, huh? How we had laughed that day! Then there was the day he cried buckets, hearing a plane overhead. We had just seen his Dad off. He wanted Dad to stay at home and not go to work. But if he didn’t work, how were we going to get the necessities? What about food? I tried to reason with him. I will eat the rice that’s in the BIG box in the kitchen and drink plain water, he sniffed. And all I could do was hug him and smile secretly at such innocence.

Anyways, Dad to him was this man who appeared suddenly with lots of goodies, stayed for a few days, played with him, carried him around (which his Mom never did on account of her being weak and ill a lot), with whom he spoke on the phone while away, to whom he blew goodnight kisses daily, just before sleeping. He was someone the FB loved dearly, but all the same, merely a visitor, not part of the regular household. That is what army, especially infantry, does to a lot of children I guess. So, as far as the FB was concerned, his Mom was a free bird and all he had to do was grow up to marry her and live happily ever after. Besides, I don’t think he minded much sharing me with his Dad. In his scheme of things, it was a win-win situation.

Things were standing thus, when we moved back to our hometown on a “home” posting. My brother’s marriage had been fixed around the same time. After settling into our new house, we went to meet his beautiful fiancée. On seeing his aunt-to-be, the FB was smitten and very badly too. On our way back home, he remarked that since I was already married (look how smart he is, when he met someone new he liked, he decided to acknowledge my marriage to his Dad as a fact), he would marry Manju Mami (Aunt).

My heart bled for him. For the second time in five years he had fallen for the wrong person and it had also become my unenviable job to dash his hopes to the ground a second time. No mother likes to do that, regardless she has to steel herself to. So, I camouflaged my about to burst at the seams mirth with a more suitable look of sympathy and broke the sad news as gleefully gently as I could:

“So very sorry dear. Your Uncle got to her first. And now he will be marrying her in a few days.”

I hoped finally he had got the message that he had to look for someone nearer his age. But what did you think of my FB? He was not one easily fazed, not by such technicalities whatsoever. It only took him a few moments thought to come up with a solution. He then went directly to his Uncle (Trust Mom to come up with some excuse or other, so better keep her out of it must have been his logic) and put forth his suggestion,

Allengil nammal randu perkkum Manju Mamiye kalyanam kazhikkaam?” (Loose translation, How about it, we’ll both marry Aunt Manju)

Fortunately, his Uncle did not take him up on his offer or my SIL would have ended up being my DIL as well. 😉