Sheela woke up happily in the early morning to chirping of birds and did her morning routines. She finished her Tulsi puja in the backyard of her house and entered the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
"Leave all that and go apply face cream leela aunty gave you yesterday. She said it is imported product. It will make your face glow. Don't do any house chores today. Just try to look pretty," came her mother Devi's voice as Sheela was kicked her out of the kitchen.
"Don't forget to have face mask too", her mother shouted as Sheela was leaving the kitchen. Her house had three bedrooms, a kitchen and a living area. It was small and decent house with backyard were she loved to garden.
" where is my tea," came her father Raghu’s voice who was reading Newspaper in the living room, sitting on his usual one seat sofa. She turned to go back to kitchen to see to her father’s request but her mothers voice stopped her on her tracks.
"Sheela go do as I said. I will serve your father’s tea. Go now."
Sheela went to her room and started applying cream with frustration. It was a typical Sunday morning with her mothers usual demands but today was special day, so her demands were extra and must be followed or her lecture will be longer than usual. She waited for the cream to dry and checked her phone. As expected there was a message form her best friend thapsi.
"Are you excited for today"
"What is there to be excited about. I don't think there will be anything different from all other times Thapsi." She replied.
"So, what are you doing now? Had your breakfast?" Came Thapsi's massage.
"Not even thinking about it. You know about my mother she said to apply some cream which will make my face glow. I also should apply face mask next. Did you have your breakfast?"
"I will have my breakfast soon. Don't you think you should apply facemask first and then cream"
"Don't know yaar...what should I do now? I already applied that cream. I am no makeup expert"
"Its OK Sheela. Relax. Nothing will happen. Your face will definitely glow. Apply that cream again."
"I don't care my face glows or not but mother will be effected by it and I will have lecture about why I should have joined beauty parlor course other than my college degree"
"Ya. Best of luck with that then."
Sheela washed her face and applied face mask and sat on her bed. It was not like it was her first time doing all this and she didn't think it would be last. Today would be her sixth match making proposal arranged by her parents. Her life was as average as every other girl lived in India. Her demanding mother, strict father and no care in the world elder brother Suresh. She was average looking girl of 24 with brown eyes, light brown skin and waist length black hair. She had healthy weight. she worked as a writer in publishing company. She was not the one rejecting the proposals. She did not even had that choice as they will look at her, have some talk, go back and say some silly reason and reject her. She was not bothered by it at all. Everybody has a right to choose the partner they like. But her parents were bothered by it.
The First guy thought she was not educated enough for him as he had ph.d. Even though she had masters degree in english, they still thought it was not enough education for them. Sheela’s parents were surprised by that and concluded him as weird guy and her mother even said not to be disappointed by that.
Second guy rejected her by saying that she was not slim. her mother became troubled by it and thought of sending her to sliming classes or gym. she was saved by her father as he reminded of the cost for that.
Third guy looked at her eyes and said she was not beautiful. He wanted his wife to be fair skined and was worried how they would look together in the photos of wedding. He was very funny as because he was dark skinned guy.
After that her mother became paranoid and started forcing her to apply all kinds of creams. To keep her mother's heart Sheela obeyed her.
Forth guy had same problem but fifth guy was different kind. He asked them dowry that too which they cannot effort. that proposal was rejected by my father.
Sheela was not that excited to find out what other faults this sixth guy would show her. she was not offended by any of them. After all everyone has their own opinions. She was comfortable in her skin and did not want to change herself. Not one guy out if six wanted to know her. The only problem was her parents were troubled by it. Neighbors whispers got to her mother. Her father was worried about money for dowry. Her brother, Suresh as usual did not care what happed in the household. He had no troubles as he married the girl he loved during college. she is a government employee and he doesn't not have any job. Sheela's parents had no problems with their daughter in law Rukmini. She just hoped her parents won't be much disappointed with this sixth guy. She was optimist and hoped for good things to happen after every other bad thing.
She removed her face mask washed her face again and went to the kitchen to have breakfast. she got ready for the day by wearing half saree and some jewelry. her mother took the time from cooking to style her hair. Leela aunty was helping her mother in the kitchen.
"I did not see Anna and vadina( brother's wife). did they leave already?” Sheela asked her mother.
" yeah. They left her their date. You know Rukmini only gets Sunday as holiday. She is busy with work other days. Let them live there life," Devi said defending her son. Sheela had no problem of her brother was going out.
"Yeah amma (mom)" Sheela replied. She knew it must have been Rukmini’s plan to go out to escape cooking for groom's family. It was her usual thing to do. Who goes on a date at seven in the morning. Her mother and leela aunty have been doing all the work.
"We should have called for beautician sheela," her mother said thoughtful.
"Amma..." Whined Sheela.
"OK. OK. I was just joking."
"I look good amma. I am the way I am. He should like me the way I am," Sheela replied adjusting her chain.
"You look beautiful Sheela. that cream worked. You have that glow dear. I hope they will like you," her mother said looking into eyes in the mirror hopefully. Sheela did not see any difference. She looked the same but did not say anything.
"Surender Anna( brother) said that he is a good guy and does not have parents. They died in an accident when he was young," her mother continued. Sheela did not reply anything. She knew the sixth guy was a software engineer but did not know about his parents. Sheela knows the importance of a family. She cannot imagine living without her parents. Her family was everything to her. Surender uncle was friend of her father who brought this proposal.
Her mother demanded her go to the temple and pray, so that the groom and his family would accept her. As she did for the five proposals she went to the temple on her scooty and prayed for her family's happiness.