This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.


           Have you come across any anti-socials in your life?  There are millions of them in the world, you know?   Among them is, a Romeo.  Agreed?


           "How to catch a practising Romeo,"  was the question that had been weighing on the minds of all members of the  KV colony Ladies club. The members were more than agitated because one of their own  young ladies had been cheated by a Romeo.


           ‘Arranged marriages' is the in-thing in  India at present  and the countries around it.  Even educated young maidens want their  parents to find a groom for them. She won't be  sure if she could spot the right one all by herself.  Many ventured into this single handedly  and regretted their decision within a few months.  They came back home with a stamp mark on their forehead – a Divorcee.


           The experiences being so, if Sujata, a post graduate in Economics,  had asked her  parents to arrange a ‘bride seeing' function when a suitable proposal came , one couldn't dub her as unmodern!  And presto, a proposal did come.  Sujata was a pretty woman and any man would get attracted to her.  And this candidate was an NRI (Non Resident Indian) settled in the USA.  Many girls have secretly desired to marry an NRI for several reasons, one being a luxurious life  style and tons of money.


         The father interviewed the young man and he was satisfied with the answers given  by the prospective groom.  And Sujata liked the look of her Man-to-be.  In fact she fell in love with him at the first sight.


         It was a grand wedding indeed.  Sujata's father had spent lavishly on this marriage which became the talk of the colony.


         After some two weeks the young couple flew to Washington. As soon as she stepped into her new home, she found herself being welcomed by another woman. She felt a shock.  Could it be a Don's sister or a cousin or something.? No.  She was his real wife and with two small kids.  "Won't you come in?" the other asked her in.


        Sujata learnt later that she was to be a ‘married house maid' in  Don's house and  a bed-mate when necessary.


       Completely shattered,  Sujata took the next flight home to Chennai.


       The members agreed that  Sujata's father possibly couldn't have asked Don if he was already married.  This is not done.  Any father would take it for granted that an young man seeking a wife would be always a single man, a bachelor and a gentleman.


      "All this is fine," observed Vanita.  "But every suitor is not a gentleman.  It is not only this particular NRI but some local Indian men too have been cheating our young maidens. Then she cited several cases of men marrying many women at different places for money and fun and later resorting to the vanishing trick."


       In the next breath, Vanita offered a solution as well.  "If we have a system wherein a married man wears some distinct mark on his person, we'll face no problem.  Don't we spot out a married Indian woman just like that in a crowd?"


        All present appreciated Vanita's  solution.  But the senior members, more experienced in life,  weren't impressed with Vanita's formula.  "What kind of mark?" they wanted to know.


        "Surely some indelible mark and an  unremovable type, like the size of a 25 paise coin tattoo mark on the tip of the nose?"


         The initial reactions were favourable.  But after a full length discussion, the idea was rejected.  Every woman wanted her husband to  look smart and handsome and not appear like an ex-circus baffoon?


          A working wife came with an alternative proposal next.  All eyes focused on Thangam. "Why not a married man add the wife's maiden name to his?  Say, Mr. George Samuel becomes, George Samuel Stella."


         "Very good.  But what if he drops the last name.  How would the world know that he is truly a bachelor.  The  concept was flattened off mercilessly.


          The next one to speak was young  Sumati, a first year college student and a bachelor girl.  She wanted to sound soft and mellowed in front of so many married and senior ladies.  "You see,  in our land we have to submit an application form  to get anything done. Without a written request, nothing ever is granted to you.  Why not make all the candidates submit a formal paper giving all his personal details?  If he tells a lie about his marital status, we could catch him and take him to court?  An NRI must give his passport  information and details of his employer   as well…...? Poor Sujata's life could have been saved if we had had such a system?"" 


         Several eye brows arched  in amazement but no one had anything contrary to say.


        Sumati's proposal was unanimously accepted and passed as a resolution of the club.  The  secretary prepared a Press note on the subject.


       Future fathers-in law may kindly remember the new rule and not hesitate to ask the candidate for full details  in writing, more so,  if he happens to be an NRI.


        You an NRI?  Want an Indian bride? Where's your application form?

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                                                                             Israel Jayakaran [Sweetgrace]