I don’t understand engagements. I don’t know what the big deal is about Shilpa Shetty and Raj-whoever getting engaged. I mean, think about it. They have been going around forever, buying cricket teams, villas, posing for covers, throwing diamonds and whatnots at each other with amazing regularity. And now they announce they are getting engaged. “That’s it?,” I feel like asking. “Gimme more!,” I feel like screaming.
Friends tell me engagements are about making the relationship official. May be I have a different viewpoint, but to me, the minute you announce to friends and family that you are seeing someone, it becomes official. If you think you need to peacock yourself with finery just to announce this, well, that’s your problem. Funnier is when someone says that X is engaged to be married. I mean, what else can you be engaged for? Saturday night dates? Chauffeur services? Photo ops?
Still others tell me it’s an occasion to party. You can’t possibly throw a party just because someone is your girlfriend/boyfriend, so you get engaged. This is also one way to ensure that someone else pays for the spoils and you get lots of presents. Methinks this is a very practical reason.
I am always suspicious of people who get ‘engaged’. Makes me wonder if it’s their way of buying time, or keeping that window open. May be it’s like saying, yes, I want to commit, but I can only come half way. May be it is a more extricable situation. After all, calling off an engagement is far easier than calling off a marriage.
But then there are a whole bunch of them ladies who are deeply concerned about ‘the rock’. How else can they wriggle that out from their boyfriends, they wonder. I feel like telling them to learn something from Sushmita Sen and buy your own. Besides, there’s only so many fingers you have. Unless, of course, you are the ‘much ado about a rock’ kind of person, which I guess a majority are.
And then there are those who decide to spend the rest of their life with a childhood sweetheart, and since they obviously can’t marry at age 20, they get engaged. Till someone (usually parents) tells them that it has been ‘A very long engagement,’ and then they move on to level two.
A friend of mine had a north Indian equivalent of an engagement a couple of years ago, called ‘roka’. The word makes me squirm — its literal meaning is ‘to stop’. She explained it was to stop the boy from straying or running away. Why don’t we just ask the concerned parties to wear placards, or to be more subtle, a chain with a pendant that says ‘Taken’ or some such? Cheaper, isn’t it?
What I still don’t get is, people in their blooming thirties and forties who get engaged. I mean, what are you waiting for? The next botox session?