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The Red Cardigan

Red Cardigan

A befitting tribute to my protagonists through Donald Peer’s song “Papa he loves mama,Mama she loves papa.”

A sweet,subtle love story of a couple during the sixties.

My father a tall,handsome,doc.worked in one of the prestigious Delhi hospitals.He had looks that could bowl any girl over.A combination of our bollywood star Dev Anand and Hollywood actor Gregory Peck.He sported their trademark puff.

One october afternoon way back in the sixties,he had just returned from work.He was whisked away,he had no inkling where his family was taking him.It was like a decoy.They landed at his maternal aunt’s house also in Delhi.They were ushered into the living room milling with people,aunts,uncles,cousins etc.

My father a bit nervous to see too many people entered and took a seat.Soon he was introduced to an elderly gentleman and his wife.The elderly gentleman was a civil servant holding a high post and he had come with a proposal for his daughter.Known to my father’s aunt,she had invited them to meet the prospective boy,’my father’.As was the order of the day when elders in the family finalised marriage proposals,love marriages were rare.My father was grilled by the girl’s father in true bollywood style,regarding his job etc.Once his would be F.I.L was satisfied,he was introduced to the girl who had accompanied her parents.She too wasa medico and was persuing her housemanship from L.H.M.C Delhi.He had a small meeting in front of elders,where he could just catch a glimpse of her.He was asked by the elders regarding the match and he gave the green signal.Without much ado in a simple ceremony he was bethron to the girl.

My father having a bad memory panicked as he had only caught a glimpse of the girl.To prevent a mistaken identity crisis he decided to meet her.He called her up and fixed a meeting at a coffee house and along with that he had asked her to carry a red cardigan while he would carry a grey so there wouldn’t be any confusion recognising each other.They met and laughed over his crazy idea.From here started a courtship which lasted for nine months.They chatted over coffee and ice creams and on a wet july in 1964 they tied the knot.They had their share of ups and downs,two lovely children and lots of love for thirty five years when my mother passed away after a brief illness.He was inconsolable.

It was sweet,sublime and ethereal relationship.

After she passed away we opened her closet which had love notes from my father,small trinkets and dried flowers all memories of their togetherness.

Preeti

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