"What else is there when you start dating at this age, man," she had said. For someone who's been single for a decade, at 25, I found myself reluctantly conceding her the point.
But now, when I see one talentless photographer after another making millions filming my friends and their mothers getting dressed in incandescent-lit wedding shoots, I am beginning to see the point. No, wait, doesn't mean I am getting married. But all I am saying is that I get it.
I think there just comes this time when you finally realise that you no longer need to belong to the misfit of a family you were born into. That you can make your own now, one that will look and feel just as you want it and you can at last have that the home and the dog your mother never allowed you to have. And above all, have someone in whose story you'll be the hero.
So, yes, I come to the same conclusion that has been arrived at by millions of minds and shaadi.com a million years ago. I don't know why they don't just advertise it like this:
Marriage (v): A great distraction from the dreary business of life.
There. I am sold.
Fine, so you have no interest in my views on matrimony. Then, can I interest you in further commentary on my unmarried life since we last met? Okay, let's see.
1. So, yes, I got my white Christmas. And how.
Leave Vienna for Budapest at 6:00 am. Sick. Reach Budapest at 9:00. Sicker. Walk 2 kilometers. Need sleep. Reach hotel. 3:00 pm check-in. Sadness. Use hotel wi-fi. Make new booking. Ray of hope. Cancel current reservation. Pay in full. Walk to Novotel. Wait in anticipating. No check-in. Wrong reservation. February 25th, not December. Tears. Walk back to train station. Dejected. Buy ticket back to Vienna. 103 Euro poorer. Feverish. Reach Vienna at 3:00 pm. Bear calls. Dead on myfeet. Concerned. Come to Erlangen. New plan. Look up at the board. Four stations away. Feverish. Okay. Good plan. Back on the train. Racing at 300 kms/per. Five hours later, still on the train. [Epiphany = 4 stations = Not in India. Budapest, Hungary -> Vienna, Austria --> Erlangen, Germany: 12 hours.] 9:30 pm. Arrive in Nuremberg. Erlagen still 18 miles away. Zombie. Cab. 10:00 pm Meet Bear. Collapse. Wake up. Snow!
Long story short, I was in Vienna and Budapest and Germany on the 25th. That's a 1000 miles across 3 countries in 12 hours, I kid you not. And just as I woke up in Erlangen, it snowed. True story.
2. It seems that holiday romances can't be paused and then played on other holidays, six months later. Skype successfully destroys everything in between.
3. Places I saw and liked (in order of most to least) - Prague (Enchanting). Erlangen (Retirement plan). Berlin (Big). Rome (Old). Vienna (Grey). Budapest (Indiayy). By the way, I don't mean to be racisty and third-wordly but did anyone ever notice how even the crows in the West are whiter and the sparrows fatter? No? Hmm.
4. Ummm, Bear and I are still a thing. Whatever that thing is.
5. In this year, in all likelihood will (i) Go back to college (ii) have hair the colour of Phoenix (iii) remain unmarried (iv) Be rejected by all colleges applied to (v) have to search for a job (vi) live to see another friend's wedding (vii) not have my memory (viii) not write (ix) go into depression
(x) Luck out, get into college, get a loan, get into shape, go to Europe and live happily ever after.