I was 5 years into my relationship with my girlfriend when she decided that it was time I met her parents. Both of them knew about me, but we had neither met nor spoken.
So, I flew down to Mumbai, wore the white checked shirt she had bought me for this very meeting, wore formal black trousers and shoes.
“You’ve got to dress up human before meeting them,” she had told me. “Captain America and Batman just won’t do!”
Her father was a corporate heavyweight, the head of Indian operations for a multinational brand. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Of course I was!
We’d already planned an elaborate future together – a simple wedding in our backyard, a reception by the river, going to the Bahamas for our honeymoon, me going to the US for my PhD, bringing her over in a few years, kids in 3 years, stuff like that. So yes, given what was at stake, I was seriously nervous.
I reached their place at 8 in the evening. They lived in a swanky high-rise in one of Mumbai’s plush suburbs. I took the elevator to their 19th floor apartment and rang the doorbell. My girlfriend opened the door. She was smiling nervously. I suppose the moment had got to her, too!