August 6, 2012

Boy meets girl and all that jazz.

Warning: This is going to be an insanely long post, so don't scroll to the end of the post, see the length of it, and then close it without reading it. I know you people do that. Pfft.

I have been receiving threatening emails and messages for some time now, asking me to come out with the pennukaanal story soon, or else…! So here is the pennukaanal story. :)

Rewind to a few months back. It was a Saturday. I was just about winding up the English grammar class that I used to teach part-time at a coaching institute. I was as bored as the kids were sleepy, because grammar has the power to put anyone to sleep. The kids were doing the worksheet while I took my phone out to check how soon I could flee the place and get home to my Saturday night with Old Monk (and my Lily and Marshall too, of course). Two missed calls. From Acha. I knew what he would have called for. To tell me about yet another alliance. There was a message from him too. I was right. He had forwarded some guy’s profile ID and told me to check it out. My irritation went up a few notches. Didn’t I say I’m not interested and don’t wanna get married now and that I need some time?! I was just not in a state to think about marriage or about another guy. You know why.

So anyways, I pushed the phone back into my bag. Class got over soon and I got into a bus. I thought I’ll return Acha’s call anyway. So I called him. He told me that this person (let’s call him S) had seen my profile on the matrimonial site and called Acha, and that he found my profile very interesting. That piqued my curiosity, because ‘interesting’ isn’t exactly the best word one would use to describe my profile. Most guys had run in the other direction after reading it. Acha told me that this chap spoke very well, and he told me to check out his profile. I logged on from my phone, because I had an hour-and-a-half-hour’s journey ahead of it, so might as well make use of the time, right?

And what do I find? A non-weirdly-named Mallu guy without a moosh who- wait for it- WRITES!!! And writes in proper English, using proper grammar, has all the punctuations and apostrophes in place, has the capital letters in place, AND puts space wherever necessary. After getting excited about the fact that he too is a Grammar Nazi, I went through the rest of his profile. He seemed interesting, had reading and interest in travel in common with me, and I liked his family from the way he had described them.

So I call up Acha and say “Acha, it’s an interesting profile. His grammar and all is fine.”


Acha went silent for a minute. And then he burst out laughing. Then I asked him what should be done next. Acha asked me if I wanted to speak to S. I told him to get me his email ID, so that I could mail him. A few minutes later, I get a message from an unknown number. It was S. Acha had given him my number. He just dropped in a hi, and wanted to know if we could speak. I replied saying that I was out, and if I could speak later.

But wait, here’s the clincher. He texts exactly like I do! In proper English, not SMS language, with capital letters and full spellings of words. This guy seemed to be like my Grammar Nazi twin.

So I got home, and hurriedly opened his profile and showed it to U and A (the Lily and the Marshall- or rather, first letters of their real names. They’re the ones I live with). Once I got their go-ahead (yes, I do that), I spoke to him. We spoke for more than an hour that day, the longest I’ve spoken on the phone to anyone in ages. I hate talking over the phone, and the max I can do is 20-25 minutes. My ears start to pain/I get bored after that. We exchanged basic info- education, job, where-when-what of it, families, etc. We also opened and shut the ex-files. I told him very honestly that I had just gone through a break-up a few months back, and he very bluntly asked me if this was a rebound thing. I assured him that I’m not the kind of person who’ll mess up someone else’s life to deal with my own pain. I was over that, which is why I had agreed to speak to him in the first place.

We then spoke every day for the next few days. All this while, our families were on tenterhooks, wanting to know how it is going. Acha went and got the horoscopes checked, meanwhile, and turned out that they matched. S’s mom called me up and spoke to me, and I loved her. She speaks nineteen-to-the-dozen, and guess what? She’s an English teacher. I know, right?!

Then we decided that we have to meet before we take a final call on anything, because speaking on the phone is a different deal altogether. So he came down to Hyderabad one fine Saturday. We spent the day together roaming around in malls, having coffee, and bearing the insane afternoon heat in Charminar. I kid you not. By the end of the day, we figured that we were able to spend a whole day with each other without getting bored or wanting to kill each other. And that itself is a big deal, because to be honest, I was quite nervous about this whole spend-a-day-together thing. I’ve gotten so used to shopping and roaming around alone that I was afraid I’ll get bored of him after a couple of hours. Yes, I’m quite capable of that. I can tolerate human company only for a limited period of time.

But I didn’t get bored of him. We had a good time together, he seemed like a decent chap, and had that one quality that every girl looks for in a guy- chivalry (guys, take notes. Trust me on this). He even got me cupcakes that survived the flight (You can awww at this one). He is older to me, which meant that he had the maturity that age brought along with it. And that was something I really needed at the moment. He was smart, intelligent, and could carry out a decent conversation.

So we realized, we didn’t really have any reasons to say no. Well, except for the fact that he had a cat and that he lived in a city that I had been conditioned to hate because of its legendary heat and auto-drivers. But I figured, I can’t have everything, right? I need to learn to make compromises. And I was willing to consider it not because I HAD to, but because I WANTED to.

Our families were like hyperactive kids that day, calling us umpteen times during the day to ask ‘how’s it going?’ Imagine this. We’re sitting at a cafĂ© and my phone rings. Acha. I pick up, and he asks me “So how is it going? Do you like him?” What the hell am I supposed to say with him sitting right in from of me?! “Yes Acha, I louuuu him”?? So I politely told Acha to leave me alone and that I will give a detailed report at night. Even then, Amma and Chechi also called in between.

Anyway, he left that same evening. We gave a positive feedback to the folks back home. Positive in the sense, we told them that yes, we liked each other, but would like to speak for a while longer before we take the final call.

So we did that. We spoke for a few more days, weighing the pros and cons. The parents had left it to us kids to make a decision. And so we did. We decided to go ahead and torture each other for the rest of our lives. In my defense, he had already read my profile. So he knew exactly what he was getting into. He can’t complain later, right?

After that, the parents took over. My folks went over to his place to meet them. He had also come down for a couple of days, so my parents got to meet him too. They came back happy and content. I was very particular that the families should also get along well. So it came as a big relief.

And now I come to the actual pennukaanal story (didn’t I warn you that it’s gonna be a looong post). His family hadn’t met me yet, even though everything had pretty much been finalized and tentative dates also fixed. Their original plan was to come to TVM to see me when I went home in June, but due to my grandma’s unexpected demise, that plan got changed. Instead, they came down to Trichur to see me at my aunt’s house. Like I said, I was anything but shy and nervous. Aunty (my future MIL, that is) asked me “Are you nervous, beta?” And I shamelessly replied, “No Aunty, not really. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you all, so I’m more excited than nervous.” I didn’t do that customary serving-chai-with-downcast-eyes thing either. I was just myself. Since I had already spoken to aunty quite many times by then, i was very comfortable being around her. S was there too, and to be honest, it looked more like his pennukaanal than mine, because he seemed quite nervous :P (he’s so gonna kill me when he reads this). He doesn’t talk as much as I do. He takes time to open up.

So that, my lovelies, is the story of how your dear-damaged-Spiffy found her Grammar Nazi-in-shining-armour. Of how she is learning to be happy without holding back. Of how she decided to let go of her past and look forward to the future. Of how she found the guy who knows all about her hang-ups, but still ‘gets’ her. Of how she is gradually learning to accept that fact that maybe having a cat around the house may not be the worst thing in the world, when the consolation is that the guy is good. Of how she is willing to relocate to a city she doesn’t really like, but is ok with it because the guy is worth it *touchwood touchwood*. Does it sound like a fairy-tale? It’s not, trust me. It’s just the story of an ordinary girl who’s been through perfectly ordinary stuff that everyone goes through in life, and has hopefully finally found one of the cozy nooks of her happy place *fingers crossed. Toes too, for good measure*. Her story is not over yet. A brand new chapter is just starting. Only difference being, she has a co-author now.

She is still shit-scared about commitment and marriage and about ‘settling down’, but so is he, so they’ve decided to freak out about it together.

Wish them luck.


  1. Firstly to the people reading this - please to note - coercion and threatening works like no other :D.

    All through the post - According to your description of your father calling you frequently ; I keptpicturing that ad where the father holds the turban over every guy that his daughter talks to in anticipation that he could be the future son-in-law.

    Awesome post, had a ball reading this one.

    Congratulations and Good luck to the Grammar Nazi family. Welcome to the city of persistent heat, sweat and atrocious auto drivers :D.

    Cheers :)

    1. You wait re. My turn will also come, for coercion and threatening. Hmph.

      Thankfully, my dad was not as bad as that dude in the ad. :D

      Thanks, Sringo. :)

  2. Congratulations!! =)

    It's great to know that you have met someone and decided to take the next step. And no, I didn't mind the long post. Never did. =)

    I believe that when you are willing to give in to your 'fixed perceptions' which you have been living with all along, the person have touched you more profoundly than anyone else. Otherwise, you wouldn't be compromising about the city or even the cat.

    Don't be shit scared about the commitments as you have already taken the right step by compromising already. That's one of the key for a commitment and most of all, a relationship.

    Best wishes!

  3. And like I promised you, When I come visit the MARRIED YOU, Im gonna find Captain purring cozily in your arms.(BETCHA!!)

  4. Hey... Congrats... It was so sweet to read. Made me remember mine years ago.Wishing you a lot of happiness in years to come.

  5. Awww man why would anyone not want to read this pennukaanal story? :D

    This was ordinarily cute and gosh you seemed to have found the perfect *touchwood* guy for you. What could be better? :) .. Aah and oh oh so when is the grand kalyanam Spiff Mole ;) ?? All the best to a new beginning :D

    1. Thank you, mole. :P

      The kalyanam is in December. :)

  6. Congratulations from the depth of my heart :) Very happy for you that you finally found your "Grammar Nazi-in-shining-armour" :)

    Wishing both of you and the families the best for a new chapter :) Happy freaking out ;)


  7. Congratulations, Spiff. And I must say, you deserve every bit of this happiness and more! :)

    This was exceptionally well-written, one of your best. I kept wishing it was the first chapter of a novel and I could flip pages to the next. Awesome stuff!

    1. The fact that you considered this post worthy of a novel makes me more excited than the fact that I'm getting married. :P

      Thank you!

  8. Oh that's such a lovely story. I'm so glad you found your moustache-less, proprerly named, grammar nazi guy who seems to be on the same wavelength with you too! And he brought cupcakes on flight!!!!! He really sounds like 'Mr. Right' for you. All the very best for your happily everafter :)

    1. Yes yes, he got me cupcakes all the way from Chennai. :)

      Thank you. :)


    I've been blog reading after long and damn good that I decided to do it today. This was bloody well worth the length and hello, your long posts are NOT boring, so chill.
    Also awwww. And some more awwww.
    This is such a cute story, y'know? :D

    The grammar Nazi-ness and all that, btw does he have any distant relatives who are also like that but in Mumbai? :P No? :P Okay.

    I scrolled up and read it again, it's just TOO sweet for words. Yes I'm gushing and all, but in my defense, this is too good not to!

    Congraaatulations! :D
    u cn n0w sty aWay frm ppl lyk dizz. :P Forevaaa!
    Don't kill me, I just HAD to do that. :D
    Congratulations Spiffy. :'D

    @Tales of her and by her.
    @Teenage Babblings

    1. He might just have relatives in Mumbai, because that's where he was born and brought up for most part of his childhood. If not relatives, he'll at least have friends. I'll ask uh. :P

      I shall pardon you for the last bit of your comment. For now. :p

      Thank you!! :)

  10. Congrats Spiffy and good luck! :)

  11. Its bound to be good! After all it started on a Saturday with the blessing of The Old Monk ;-)

    1. I kinda ditched Old Monk for S that day. But I know the Old Monk will still give me his blessings. :D

  12. Awwwwesummm news, SpiffMaster!!! :D

    Congrats dear!! Wish you and your co-author the very best with luck, love and life. Cheers to happiness!

    (..."chivalry, eh?... hmmm"... taking notes...)..


    1. Thank you so much, Raj. :)

      And yes, take accurate notes. ;)

  13. Yaay :) I am so terribly happy for you. No, sach. I had tears ( only about three drops) while reading the last paragraph. SO very happy for you and S!

    Can't wait to meet you guys!

    1. Only three drops? I'm hurt, Arch, I'm hurt.


      Since when I've been telling you, move back to Chennai karke. :/

      Thank you! :)

  14. tralalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!
    before i say ANYTHINGGGGGG else !!!
    Mr.S has a CAT !!!
    how you missed out on telling this one to me molay!!!
    karma is a beeeeeeeeeeeeetch!!!
    someday i shall visit you guys..especially for the darling oh-so-adorable CAAAAAAAAT..!!

    cupcakes..!! awwwwwwwwwwwwwww
    i love you baby...
    wishing the best of an awesome-sauce future life to you my dear..!!!
    but still..a caaaaaaaaaat..!!!

  15. I read each and every word of the post. Loved it.

    So, happiness follows.

    Congratulations. All the Best for the next segment to the two crazy people who found some similarities in the general haystack of confusion. :D

    1. Thank you, Nihareeka. :)

      And it's just one crazy person. His level of insanity doesn't match mine. :P

  16. ohh..and i forgot to add..
    naaaaaaaaaaaaice post..

    PS-a caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!
    tell Mr.S he is simply awesome!!! may god bless him for keeping zze caaat..
    ooo..and and...wat be cat's name..???
    *grins to infinity*

    PPS- if this comment comes twice..don't blame net connection at the office sucks :P

  17. Congratulations! So happy for you! *hugs*

    And this post is actually quite reassuring, yeah seriously, for girls like me who are dreading an impending marriage. Reassuring coz it has 'there is someone somewhere who is just perfect for you' written all over it and that there are guys who write in proper English. Amazing! Congratulations to you and S!

    Loved the post. Kuch meetha ho jaye! :)

    1. *hugs*

      Of course, there ARE guys out there who write in proper English. :)

      Thanks, babe. :)

  18. The smile is not leaving me as a write this. Am so so happy for you found your perfectly average guy...that makes me say - welcome to the club :D

    Tell you we know you as Spiff...we want you to christen Mr. S with an equally good blog name ;)...get your thinking caps on now :D

    Waiting for more tales to come from the girl-who-found-her-guy :)


    1. Aww, thanks sweety. :)

      A blog-name for him? Isn't S enough? No?

    2. Nope..Spiff and S..nahi chalega..think of a name :)

  19. Here's to a grammar nazi family. And to matrimonial websites!! congratulations!!!
    p.s. does S stand for Mr. Spiff? :p

    1. It would be nice na, if S stood for Mr.Spiff. Let me take up the matter with him. ;)


  20. Spiff Spiff Spiff :)

    Mr.S Nazi king is the luckiest thing on this planet. This inspite of the fact that he has a cat. I used to hate cats but after meoww and Cal's love for them, I converted. They are not all that bad actually. It kinda grows on you, to be honest. It will on you too :)

    Oh chivalry and punctuations are so important na? Cal's exactly that, only problem is that he leaves a space before and fullstop. He hasn't got it yet :P

    I'm so so happy for you. Amen to freaking out about commitment together. That's what got me to say 'yes' anyway :)

    God bless you Spiff and since I have already checked our Mr.S, I'd have to say that he's not the only lucky one :)

    P.S: A note for Mr.S, if he doesn't keep the Ms.Spiff happy I'd have to introduce him to my inner Lioness who doesn't growl. Just bites. Just a caution.

  21. Congrats Spiff!! Wishing you all happiness and luck :)

  22. Finally, the 'spaceman' finds an orbit.

    Super. Your best post till date. Not because it's about a girl and a boy, but it came straight from the heart.

    God bless. :)

    1. I guess that's one way of putting it. :)

      Thank you, Sree. :)

  23. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww .... No, I really mean AWWWWWWWWWWWW !! Soooper news! Congrats to you and the Grammar-Nazi-in-shining-armour!! By God, I can't wipe this smile off my face! AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!

  24. hi,visiting your blog for the first time ,and actally i have started liking it,,,grammar nazi...
    Nicely penned .
    _Gunjan Sinha

  25. I am not much of a talker just put in a lil cngratulations here...:-)congrts for finding the one..:-)

  26. He is lucky to have found someone who can always make him laugh :)

    Rare which is.

    I want to see him too :O

    1. Who told you to deactivate your FB account? :/
      Come off to Chennai noooooooo!!

  27. Congratulations and celebrations spiff :))

  28. loved the post.. :) I was smiling through the whole lot of it.. Loved the last lines.. :)
    Congrats.. :)

  29. OMG he sounds like a genuinely nice guy:) You're so lucky. And so is he!

  30. Congratulations :D :D
    Oh my my :D lovely post :D

    Love got arranged :D :)
    All the best to you two :D

    1. It was neither love nor arranged. More like 'selected' marriage. That's how S calls it. :)

      Thanks! :)

  31. sweet, sweet post!! I'll forward it to my friend who's still looking out for a co-author :)

    All the best to you!

  32. I m so so so happy for you :) You totally deserve it girl! All the best and I m looking forward to more posts from you :)

    1. More posts will definitely follow. :) Thank you so much.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. I still can't believe you're getting married. MARRIED. It has some kinda finality to it. Like I'm gonna lose the Spiff I knew. Weird, I know.

    1. Doode, you do know what kind of issues I have with this whole marriage thing, right? And you're saying this to ME? :/

  35. Oh, that came out wrong... I AM super happy for you :D really...

  36. Vow thats good news.. worth the long read :) :) congratulations to you :) :)

  37. Hey..congratulations and best wishes!!

    1. Are you sure those were really cup-cakes and not the in-famous rice-cakes in disguise!
    2. I feel for your children..they'd probably learn grammar even before they begun to spell their names!

    1. You think I don't know the difference between cupcakes and rice-cakes? Pfft. :/

      Oh ya. You're right about that! :D

      Also, dear Unknown, I would appreciate it if you could leave your name after the comment. :)

    2. Others apart from Google call me Arun. Not sure why google uncle has named me Unknown!

  38. All The very Best Divya.........I Am very very Happy For U.....MAY GOD BLESS YOU TWO !!!!!!

  39. By God, am I late much?!!
    Super News Spiff, Congratulations :)
    You know, this is the only great news I have read/heard in quite some time now, so I'm smiling away n smiling away. Ok I need to stop smiling so much or the guy behind me will question my sanity but I can't stop smiling :D
    God Bless the Two of you Spiff… You know exactly what I’m feeling after reading this :D Boundless joy, relief, hope and well joy 
    When you mentioned about your Acha calling in n asking “Do you like him and How is it going?” I could imagine my dad doing the same thing given the circumstance... And my Mom and sis too for that matter. :/ No patience, I tell you!
    By-the-by Heartfelt Congratulations once again, Dear Spiff! You deserve to be happy 
    ~Cheers *clink*

    1. Never too late to congrratulate, babes. :)

      Thank you so much, Manasi. I'm waiting for a mail from you too soon, tell me the good news from your end. :)

  40. hawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I am actually saying this out loud. I am so jealous of you right now. Its been 3 mths since I broke up too and incidently I am on the matri site too. but yeh I dont want marriage now coz you know my mind is somewhr else. but that does not mean that i am not jealous of you. wich matri site did you happen to find your shining knight. :(((
    fairytale only. touchwoood!!!

    1. I think it's the same one you're on. KM no?

      Why be jealous, honey. You have time on your side. You're just 23 no. Ample time. :)

  41. Wow! That was practical, with no frills and grounded - just like a Virgoan ;) :D
    Congrats Spiff - wish you all the luck in future. Hope this turns out to be much more exciting and happy than you hoped for. And... I'm insanely jealous, I tell you! You got a Grammar Nazi and so soon! :D
    Hehehe, that's just me being happy for you. Go girl! :)

    1. Hehe. He's not as much a Grammar nazi as I am, actually. He's a lot more tolerant.

      And hang in there, gal. Your grammar Nazi is out there too! :)

  42. wowwww...many many congratulations..
    have a wonderful life ahead

  43. Okay, a late comment, very late comment!
    Sorry for the delay, dude!
    Congratulations! :D :D
    I'm so happy for you. And for the post, thanks for letting it all out! :D
    *hugs tightly*
    Also, consider Mr. S doing a guest post? Pretty please?
    And the story is amazing!
    So happy for you! All the best! And congratulations!

  44. late here..:-(
    Am so glad for you, Congratulations and best wishes!!! :-))))
    extremely well-written post..loved reading it and wished it were longer :-)

  45. oh my god! oh my god!
    And you took this long to tell us this story??
    i was expecting some funny disastrous pennukanal episode, not THIS!
    I'm so happy for you :D:D. And trust me when i say this sounds meant to be!!

  46. congrats :) i assume this is just the beginning of exciting new topics for ur blog....

  47. Wow.. wow... such a great news... Congrats in tonnes!!! Hugs and prayers...

    Andddd, the post was just hilarious, truly Spaceman Spiff ishtyle!!! You are awesome, just awesome! I know, I know u must have been tired taking this compliment. But cant stop myself from saying it..

    All the best to Spiff and her Grammar Nazi-in-shining-armour.

  48. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am excited for you! You are happy! God be with you and your handsome Grammar-Nazi as you both prepare for your wedding!!


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