Murdoch-Hall have inspired my nani to find love
She has also registered herself on a dating website using my credit card.
- Total Shares
"I cannot believe this," my grandmother said, and before I had uttered a word, she said, "people my age are getting married."
"Who are you talking about, Nani?" I asked.
"You act like you don't know," she said. Then pointing her knobbly-knotted fingers at the computer screen, she said, "Rupert Murdoch got engaged to Jerry Hall. Didn't you see the Twitter hashtag - #MurdochEngagement? Look, even she is trending now; do you see that?"
"Well, he is a media mogul and she is a famous model and actress. They can marry as many times as they want."
My grandmother sniffed. "She is 59 and at 84, he is five years my senior. That besides, they have ten children between them; what of them?"
"His children have a new Mommy; hers have a new Daddy, what else?"
"Shiv, Shiv, Shiv, Shiv," my grandmother repeated, then started reading all the articles she could find on the internet- about how the couple started dating a few months ago, about how they announced their engagement in the births, marriages and deaths page of the Times and how they are happy and excited about their future. "Oh, the poor soul!" she muttered an hour later, glugging down a glass of water.
I lifted my head from my laptop screen and looked at her. "Why, Nani? People were expecting this to happen all the time, especially after his divorce from Wendi Deng in 2013. Rest assured, he is more than happy with this engagement. Isn't she beautiful?"
"No. No. Not him, silly girl," she said. "I was thinking about my nephew, Suraj. He was only 35 when he got divorced from his wife. Guess I should have allowed him to get back into the dating game. It wasn't fair to keep him busy in the activities of our temple, when he could have used that time to find a nice girl for himself. He is left all alone now. Oh, I pity him."
"People don't accept these things in India, Nani," I said with a shrug. "I have a friend. She has three children from her ex-husband, and would have loved to get married again, but for her family. They kept telling her that there was no chance of another man loving her children like his own. For a while, she struggled with the idea, but finally accepted her fate. Not fair, is it?"
That led my grandmother to recount the story of her old friend, Dina Nath, who spent a good 40 years of his life mourning the death of his wife. "Shall I tell you a secret?"
I nodded, not knowing what to expect.
"He had told me once how he needed a partner," my grandmother said, "and I told him, all he needed was a dose of spirituality; an hour of satsang, perhaps, to cure him of all his turmoil."
"Nani, that's how everybody thinks in India, as if spirituality was a cure-all," I said. "I don't think God expects you to spend your whole life alone- loveless, sexless, partnerless. Most men and women, no matter their age and economic status, crave for company. Don't you think so?"
"Now that you say that, I wish I had found somebody after your grandfather's death. Come to think of it, people are living way above 80, and they all deserve some fun in their life, right?"
"Of course they do," I said. "Remember that Bollywood actress, Suhasini Mulay, who got married at 64? Why don't we hear such stories every day? Honestly, we need a paradigm shift in thinking to accept that people have a right to their life, no matter their age."
"Hmm!" my grandmother said, and then whispered, "do you think I have a chance?"
"Chance of what, Nani?" I asked. "Of finding a date?"
She blushed and responded with an enthusiastic nod. Then without waiting for my answer, she pushed me out of her bedroom and bolted the door from inside.
Next I knew, she had quit her yoga class and enrolled herself in my gym. She had organised a giveaway of her saris and ordered a new wardrobe for herself from an online retailer. She had also registered herself on a dating website using my credit card and uploaded a pouted selfie of herself with a caption stolen off my Facebook timeline.
Last I heard, she was planning a getaway to Bali with her friends, probably her idea of finding a date for herself, while I sulked in my bedroom, wondering if Murdoch's 13 grandchildren reacted the same way when they heard about his engagement.