The Average Genius

The Average Genius

Know your day…

‘Your social life is set to soar and you’ll become popular with the opposite sex’ Neeti stared at the lines. Could it be… well going by her zodiac sign, it had to be true. She folded the newspaper, and stared out of their balcony. Her social life was a mess and being popular with the opposite sex was a distant cry.

Why… Neeti herself was not sure why. She was average looking and mediocre in academics but that could not be reason enough. She had finished her graduation with lots of hiccups and heaved a sigh of relief once she was done. These were not meant for her. Ma and Baba did stress for some post-graduation… just to think of the ordeal Neeti had headaches. She did not mind sitting at home, sleeping, watching television, helping Ma sometimes when she felt like, maybe catch up with some girls from their small-town locality in the evening, giggle, talk about boys, catch soaps with Ma at night and settle for a blissful sleep while parents would look out for a groom for her.

That was the life of most middle-class girls in their locality, she had watched her aunts and cousins go through this, then get married and visit home once or twice a year with kids following gradually. But it seems her parents were not interested in groom hunting and tried to persuade her for further studies. Just when she thought she was done with this tedious task, there was this pressure to take the plunge again. She wondered why…that’s what women were up to in their families, why this pressure to ram the notes and reproduce them in the exam!

She had seen Sheetal’s aunt flooded with marriage proposals and was whisked away by an engineer groom even before she could complete graduation. Yeah! she was pretty, tall and light-eyed. Well pursuing higher studies would mean she can go to class every day, buy new salwar suits and Kurtis, meet friends, have Gol-gappas from the street vendor, and talk about boys. And would her social life soar this time… and opposite sex take interest in her…should she succumb to her parents’ wish and fill the form for university? But the exams and assessments…Neeti was in dilemma.

She had no intention of working, hardly any women in her family worked for a living, all were looked after and pampered by husbands. They do cook and clean, boss their husbands around, mind their kids… then why were her parents not looking for a groom for her!!

Arya’s wedding date was fixed after a month, Neeti had made sure the news registered in her mom’s ears, brain and heart.  But no, she hadn’t even overheard any conversation in whispers regarding any match for her..no hush at all. What a fiasco. She didn’t even dare think of having a boyfriend, nor were boys interested, her hope was after her graduation the procedures would start like in the case of her aunts and cousins and the prospect of having a man in her life finally may materialize. Guess her parents had messed with all her hopes.

Thankfully Neeti did not qualify for any post-graduation course entrance exams, much to her parents’ disappointment. Though Neeti did express her displeasure and disinterest at pursuing higher studies to her mother, she could not be upright about the reason… Mom, I want to get married, love a man, look after his house, go on honeymoon. Her Baba had consoled her… perseverance and dedication would help her crack the exams next year!! Seriously!!

With persuasion and nagging all around, Neeti enrolled herself in some basic computer course in one of the many institutions mushrooming in her town with some girls of her locality. At least that would ease the pressure off a bit. Classes would start in a week, would her social life soar…

‘No Meena, we must not force her’

Neeti heard her dad speaking in a hushed voice as she finally rose with the newspaper in hand.

‘Nitesh, the match would be good and almost perfect, even the zodiac signs match. Let us speak to Neeti at least’

‘Meena let her study, settle down and then decide’ Baba spoke ‘We always hurried in our family. I want her to excel, maybe decide on her own, find her match… and not blame us afterwards as the others do’

‘Hmm,’ Mom’s voice was not heard anymore.

‘Arey listen!’   Neeti wanted to speak out, ‘What about the perfect match… zodiac signs match. It is written in my zodiac forecast; opposite sex would take interest.’

She did not find the voice of course. Her mouth twisted in distaste. After all the women in the family it fell on her to settle with a job and as if that was not enough, find her own man!!!

Neeti was an average girl, mediocre, okayish looking, she knew from her childhood, she is used to the mediocrity like a second skin..what genius her parents wanted to churn out of her now!! She slumped in her bed in utter hopelessness. The next week’s forecast would bring something better, it would… no social life upsurge or opposite-sex attraction, just change Baba’s mind… let them fix her match and all will fall to place.

She would wait for the next week’s newspaper. Or would Baba really make an independent genius out of the average Neeti!

Let us wait and watch…

 

Soma Bhattacharjee

 

 

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