I am not much of a “wisdomist” (not sure if that’s a word :P), but I guess every happy marriage can be about three things; memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and a promise to never give up on each other no matter what.
In our motherland, we categorically center our focus on two kinds of vivah – “love ya arranged”. Though India has been and, to a great extent, still is a home to several other kinds of marriages, that many in the outer world have only heard of. Do you know 47% of the child marriages in the world takes place in India? Some of the marriage categories are just amazing. I don’t think any of you are you aware that ghost marriage, open marriage, group marriage, sororate marriage and widow inheritance and polyandry are very much practiced in many parts of India. I had to extensively google to find out those names and more about them. 🙂
Coming back to the topic of love or arranged marriage, I haven’t picked a side yet. I guess, in the long, adventurous (not to mention- many times boring) journey of marriage, what matters the most is the destination. Where you reach after being married to each other for years is that which determines the success of the relationship. How you met, which is precisely the biggest differentiating factor between Indian love and arranged marriages, seems so trivial when we look at marriages from a higher plane.
Since the time I have grown up, I always wanted to have a love marriage even at a time when I did not even understand the actual and true meaning of marriage. Why? Because I was a very strong rebel and because in those days love marriage was more of a trend. And also because I dreamed of my life as a Bollywood star where I might go on a trip and find a ‘Simran’.
The fact is, ironically, I met many of them (I mean Simrans). In the autos, flights, trains, office, friends’ home, Orkut (back in those days), Facebook and even on a wrong phone call. While they all started out just as the Simran of the movies, much sooner than my expectations, they all showed their true colors (Even I wasn’t more of a “datable” guy back then). Ladies who woo you, who make attempts to make you laugh, who pretend they are jack of all trades- if you know what I mean, who sometimes show you attitude before you show it to them and who, at the end of the day, come down to just that one thing and that’s how much can I compromise for them.
Interestingly, all of them made me lose my interest in them much before that. But my faith in love remained. I kept telling myself that probably that is why love is so difficult, people say. I did fall in love more times than one can imagine – with a cute Vodafone Store girl, with an unknown stranger who helped me select a movie on an Air India Flight who said she was a reporter for a local news channel, with the sweet girl I once met at Taj Lands End, Mumbai, near the pool who walked upto me to tell me that I was the best orator she had ever met (actually she was a client of mine and we happened to be staying in the same hotel during an event), a childhood friend whom I stumbled upon Facebook after 15 years, a cute batchmate from my MBA days and the list goes on. Sadly, these bouts of love hardly survived beyond a few hours.
Flashback to Bhubaneswar, my home town and my home. It was mid December 2014, my parents had started looking for matches for me. Several proposals came their way – from Microsoft to an US firm to PhD in theoretical physics to numerous Bank POs to Infosys to Oracle to Accenture to what not! And my typical answers to all of them were – not my type, spark nahi hai, stranger ladki se shaadi kaise karoon etc etc (even though many of them were family friends but I didn’t actually knew them personally).
Four years passed. One day I asked myself the ideal question for me is not ‘who is my ideal partner’ rather its ‘who can be my ideal partner?’. And the reply was totally evasive. I did not know. That was the day, sometime in Oct 2017, when I discovered my true Self – I did not know what I wanted! And I handed over my life to my parents who knew what was better for me than me, myself.
A family friend sent a proposal to my parents mid-March 2017 and I received some photographs and a detailed resume on my cell phone. I was so much stuck with work and some prior engagements that I got pissed and immediately said “no”, which actually, in my family, means “no- with no chance of further discussion” when it comes out of my mouth. Hence there was no further discussion on this and my parent’s hunt for a bride continued as usual. Even I forgot about this incident and moved on with other things.
During Sep 2017, Dad was a guest faculty at a private university at Bhubaneswar and was invigilating one of the university exams. His co-invigilator was a lady who went out of her way to assist Dad with all the typical exam room formalities. Well, I am not sure what conversation they had, but I can guess Dad was surely very impressed. That evening I got a call from him mentioning about her and her family background and idhar udhar ki batein which were obvious in depicting his prime intentions behind this conversation. After having this conversation with me, Dad was not sure how to pursue this connection and make a marriage proposal out of it, because after all she was a colleague and Dad cannot, in any way, let her know what he had in his mind. So he, with all his khurapati experience, asked one of his colleagues to pursue on his behalf and 5 days later I received the same photographs and details I mentioned about above for which I strongly had said “no“. I was actually awestruck. I am not a big believer of such coincidences but somehow it happened. Now I am not gonna bore you with the further details, those are pretty much regular stuffs. FB + Numbers exchanged + Whatsapp + Calls + Parents met + We met + idhar udhar ki batein & wagerah wagerah. But I guess all of this was because of the fact “how my Dad described her as ‘I just couldn’t say no to’. We talked and I simply saluted my dad for being so right. I just couldn’t say no.
We are different in many ways but yet complimentary to each other. Her ambitions are what meant a lot to me and family. We are yet to find out who will be the understanding partner who will have strong moral values and superbly high thinking. 😛
We are getting married in June this year.
I won’t be surprised to know if many men (and women) find themselves in such situation. At the end of the day, we’re brought up on a diet of Bollywood, Archies and romance. We are brought up having crushes on pretty girls, and girlfriends that our parents probably do not know of. We have all spent nights chatting on the phone, chat or email to that girl who we have that magnetic crush on… but what and how you reconcile the most out of those and implement is all that matters to make a marriage a “happy” one.