This week, somewhere in Tumkur, a 27-year old groom refused to get married because he did not like the rasam served to the guests on the wedding eve. It was his parents who tasted it first and were appalled with the unsatisfactory flavours. Then, they tasted the sambhar as well. That too, was not upto the mark! How could a marriage build on a bad recipe ever work? They strode angrily to the mandap with rasam-infused smoke coming out of their nostrils. The son rose hurriedly, surrendering to the scourge of the spoilt sambhar and trotted out dutifully behind his parents.
There was a happy ending, fortunately– another guy from the audience, maybe a person who did not care much for rasam, offered to marry the girl.
I just can’t seem to get over this story! I have viewed rasam as a hot, spicy drink excellent for a sore throat, as a lovely accompaniment with steamed rice and as a drink to propose a toast with – that actually happened in a conservative I.T. company I worked with – our leaders raised cups of rasam as the American clients held their mugs of beer and glasses of wine. But, rasam as a deal-breaker? I can’t seem to be able to bring myself to think of rasam like that. Can I trust other foods any more? What will I hear next? Rajma abetting rape? Bisi-bele-bath facilitating lies? Biryani promoting fraud?
Then, I wonder where would I have stood in the marriage market with my culinary skills? If my husband decided that a sound edifice of marriage had to be rightly-balanced rasam, it would not have been easy. He’s a nice guy so he would not have walked out. He would have been patient. The baraat would have returned to give me a week to learn. They would have come again. Week-after-week, and waited outside while I tried to perfect the dodgy dish. And then one day it would have happened – the rasam would have finally floored everyone and the ceremonies would have been performed.
Just as I was trying to make sense of this news, I read about another groom dithering at the altar and finally walking out. Just after Jaimal, or the exchanging of garlands, he asked for a four-wheeler. When the bride’s family expressed their inability to get him the ride, he called off the marriage. He is now cooling his heels at the local police station.
I have a suggestion – rasam boy and four-wheeler dude should marry each other, get a Dosa-truck and live happily ever after. Why bother these girls? Do you know how much time it takes to put on make-up and wear those heavy sarees? We have better things to do