Everyday Experiences 5: Grandson-in-law, Enrique Iglesias

She was about 13 years old when she first started listening to Enrique Iglesias. One of her friends had introduced her to his music. At that time, almost everybody was going through the ‘Iglesias Phase’, including her.
She had made her brother download all of Enrique’s songs and made it a sacred duty to listen to those songs as soon as she returned home from school. She would play all his songs on repeat.

After a few days, her whole family (except for her grandparents) was so familiar with his music that they could recognize the songs if they were played anywhere. After a lot of effort, she managed to convince her grandmother to listen to his music and though her grandmother didn’t really pay attention to the artist, she still appreciated the music and soon was found bobbing her head to the beats while working in the kitchen.

With her grandfather though, it was a whole different story. To start off with, he didn’t even like the name ‘Enrique Iglesias ‘. He said he couldn’t understand why anyone would give their child such a complicated name. “Instead of listening to Rafi and Asha Bhosle, who are people with decent names and decent music, you all listen to that Igloo man,” he complained.

She finally gave up trying to convince grandpa. But she continued playing Enrique’s music on repeat every day after school and obsessing over how good looking he was and how husky his voice was. Her family got used to it.

One day, when she returned from school, she took her mum’s phone and sat on the bed by her grandmother who was napping. She put her uncle’s old, big headphones on and listened to Enrique’s music. When her favorite part of the song ‘I like it’ came on, she was overcome with emotion. She shook her grandmother awake. “Mamama, I am going to marry Enrique Iglesias,” she declared.

Grandma gave her a flabbergasted look and deep worry lines appeared on her forehead. “You want to marry who?” she asked, now completely awake.

“Enrique! He’s the one mamama. I just know it,” she said, as if she knew him personally. “I mean, he might be thirty six years old, but age is just a number right? Who cares,” she continued, nonchalantly.

Her grandmother completely flabbergasted, replied, “Oh God! You’re only 13 years old! You are just in the eighth standard and you want to get married! Does your mother know? You have to tell her. But before telling her, go pray to God,” she ranted.
She picked up her japamala (prayer beads) and began to frantically chant a prayer, obviously requesting God to knock some sense into her granddaughter.

The granddaughter was beyond mystified. Then it hit her. Grandma had never listened to any of what she had told her about Enrique and now she thought Enrique was an ordinary man whom she (the granddaughter) had met and fallen in love with. Grandma thought she was seriously contemplating marriage!

She was amused to watch her grandma clutching her japamala and praying to God to bestow good sense on her. When she couldn’t handle it anymore, she burst out laughing. Her grandmother looked at her as if she had gone mad and began to chant her prayer with even more determination.

After she had calmed down from her laughing spree, the granddaughter gently held grandma’s hand and asked her to calm down. Grandmother began lecturing her on how she was too young to think about marriage and that she had to concentrate on her studies first.

The giggling granddaughter disconnected the headphones from the phone and played the song ‘I like it’ loud. It was the song that her grandmother had grown to like.
“Recognize this song?” she asked. Grandma looked at her with a puzzled expression. The granddaughter repeated her question. Grandma nodded reluctantly and said, “How can I not know? You play this song every day.”

“Do you know who sang this song?” the girl asked her. “That man your grandfather hates,” grandma promptly replied.
The girl rolled her eyes. “I know that. I meant do you know his name?” she asked.

Grandma’s brow furrowed, and then she shook her head, looking perplexed. The girl sighed. “His name is Enrique Iglesias,” she said.

“Okay. Now what does that have to do with this?” her grandmother asked. The girl narrowed her eyes and asked, “Do you remember the name of the man who I said I was going to marry?”

“Some En… Ohh…” grandma’s voice trailed away, as it hit her.

Her body instantly relaxed when she figured out that her granddaughter had declared that she was going to marry the singer and not someone she’d met on her way to school. Together, they burst out laughing.

After a few minutes they calmed down. A comfortable silence settled between them. “You weren’t lying, no? You were actually talking about the singer, right?” her grandmother asked, just to make sure. The girl chuckled and nodded. “Okay, then you can go marry him,” she declared.

The girl looked at her, amused. “You don’t mind?” she asked. “If it’s the singer, no.”
“Why not?” she asked.

She loved the Spanish singer for his voice and his beautiful face. With his jet black hair and chocolate brown eyes, he was everything she could ever dream of.

“Honey, don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s never going to happen,” her grandmother declared complacently and went back to her nap.

————————————————————————————————

My grandmother, sometimes, was a sassy woman. Though she had her idiosyncrasies, she was the kind of grandma every child would want. She was a quick learner. Even though she studied all her school subjects in Kannada, she learnt English all by herself by reading books and newspapers and was so well-versed in the language that she would often correct my grammar, rather smugly.
Here’s to hoping she’s in a happier place where my grandpa can’t nitpick.

-The only writer at Aninspired

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