Chotu, all of thirty- six sat on his verandah on Valentines Day studying Linda Goodman's Love Signs. He was sure this was the day. He had read enough, studied much and knew for certain the chemical process would work in his favour today.

"Chotu you are thirty six years old, we will get you a bride from the village!" his mother had said a little earlier in the morning, but Chotu, all of five feet two inches, drew himself to his full height and told her he was capable of winning his woman himself. "Love is in the air mother," he said and his mother sighed and wondered why she could not smell what her son was so sure he was sniffing.

"So what method are you going to use today?" sighed his mother as Chotu buried his head deeper into the book.

"Smell," smiled Chotu.

"Smell?" asked his mother.

"Mother," explained Chotu patiently, "women fall for men who smell like their dads!"

"So what are you going to do?" asked his worried mother.

"I will find out how her dad smells and smell like him!" said Chotu confidently as his mother shuddered. A week earlier she had heard him saying that it was all in the eyes, "Stare deep into her eyes mother and you've got her!" She had spent the whole night bathing his black eye that had got the edge of a purse swung in his direction.

"Chotu," she said, "let me find you a simple girl from the village then you won't have to go around sniffing anybody!" she whispered.

"Mother love is in the air," said Chotu as his mother shuddered again.

It was towards evening the doorbell rang and she ran to her door to find her Chotu standing with the most gorgeous girl she had ever seen.

"Come in, come in," said Chotu's mother as she ushered the couple in.

"How did you do it?" she whispered to her son when the girl was out of earshot.

"I smell like her dad!" said Chotu.

"It's amazing," said the girl, "I've never known a man who wears the same after-shave as my father!"

The mother grinned and Chotu grinned back.

"I wonder why Chotu picked her?" said his mother to her sister later in the evening.

"Ah," said her sister, "don't you know?"

"No," said Chotu's mother, "she is so beautiful!"

"Boys pick girls who remind them of their mothers!"

That night Chotu slept with a smile on his face and a bottle of aftershave next to him. In the next room his mother stared at herself in the old mirror and couldn't stop grinning. It was a Valentine's Day, she would never forget; t'was strange being her son's Valentine, without him knowing it..!

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