In case you missed reading the first part ? Read here
Marriages… Are they made in heaven?
So, there I was waiting to be auctioned off. I was ‘the price commodity on the display shelf’, ‘the gem that every house was looking for’ and the ‘worry of every parent with a daughter’. There was an excitement in the air whenever a new proposal came home.
Dad had ventured to casually inform me of a family that he met. He was impressed by them and wanted me to meet them. I was in a rebellion mode. This was the last guy I was meeting before I took off for UAE, for some blissful time with a cup of tea, sunset and a lovely book. It was useless to talk me out of it. My folks gave up. When I mentioned that my dream Guy must be mature, sensible and well educated, in came Shaktiman (engineer interested in animation), Doctor ABCD (credentials were nice but the guy was a total loony!), Gold medalist (I don’t even want to go there…), Cute Doctor (witch of a mother), Handsome architect ( huge ego, zero maturity)…and the list goes on. It was hopeless, so I cleaned the house everyday to keep my frustration at bay.
We heard a car outside. Everyone was busy. I ran to the window and tweaked the curtain. My cousin’s brand new silver Santro was parked at the driveway. Cool car, I though as I smiled through the window and opened the door. The first thing I noticed was the wine red shirt and golden belt buckle before I got pulled in. “It’s the boy!” my aunt hissed, as she tried to control her panic.
Darn! Now, the boy’s side was going to think my house consisted of a bunch of ill mannered folks who had no regard for culture, tradition and propriety. I ran to my room all hot and dusty while my grandmother began to scold me for stepping out to meet them. I was close to tears and cross. Here I was, trying to be accommodating; cleaning the house, setting the dishes and checking the kitchen while ensuring that the guests has a good view of everything being in place and how do I get thanked… a good dressing down. I had worked two hours straight to ensure that the floor smelt of pine and the house of lavender.
A hot tear rolled off my cheeks. I hated it. I wanted to leave. I was kept under house arrest and could not visit any of my friends because of this shindig. I had been coerced into coming home after two long years to take part in a ceremony that I had no faith in. I wanted a love marriage and this was no where close. Grandma hugged me. “Sorry, darling. Go freshen up. We don’t want anyone to think less of you. You are special and we want everyone to see how much.” I nodded and decided to be nice to the folks who came to see me. It was not their fault that I was not interested. I owed them dignity.
Delicious smells wafted from the kitchen as my aunts set the table for the guests. Changing into my favourite red churidar, after freshening up, brightened my mood. Smooth conversation and laughter flowed outside and I was pleasantly surprised to meet a bunch of young people. The Suitor had come in with his sister and family and they were lovely people. Since, I was least interested in getting married; I barely glanced at the boy. I did notice that he looked sharp and had a smooth dressing sense. I had a great time talking to his folks. They enjoyed the homely atmosphere.
It was then time for us to talk. I asked him the trick question in the first go. They would always trip on this one. He would be out through the door in 15 seconds flat.
“What do you think of life?”
He was sure to go on about nothing and I could say ‘Oh, he is so boring! No way!’ and get away with it. It was a fool proof plan until he surprised me with his answer.
“Life is a book full of chapters. I think we should make each chapter memorable than the last one. One must enjoy life in its practicality. Don’t you think so?”
Wow! Curve ball headed my way….gulp, what do I say? I wasn’t expecting him to give me a sensible answer. Ok, two can play this game. “True, but I enjoy life in being free to decide and not being pressurized to make my choices” Let’s see how he responds to that.
“I agree, we make our choices and as a family share our decision. It is really silly to have people dictate. Freedom is a matter of choice. Don’t you agree? …. Do you work?”
Whoa! A guy with an attitude! He was so unlike the boring chaps I met before. I liked the smile that played on his face. So sincere. He seemed so sure of himself and didn’t have the typical Mallu guy attitude. Most Keralite guys enjoyed having their wives cater to their every whim. Cooking, cleaning, kids – your cup of tea. Eating, night out with friends and being called the bread earned – theirs. They preferred their wives to neither socialize nor be a decision maker.
“Yes, I enjoy having a career. I love to be successful at what I do.”
I was sure he would run for Mummy by now. I was interested in figuring him out by the end of our conversation. The career attitude meant stubborn person in town! Run! Run!
“Ah! A girl with a mind of her own” He smiled.
“One must be involved whether they are at home or at work. Balance is the name of the game. I personally like a girl with an ambition for her career. Attitude is good. ” He was not running?!
“You will live to regret those words if you stick by me. I know of a Dragon at CMS who did.” I smirked.
Dragon was the notorious Matron who evoked nightmares in the inmate of the college hostel, where I served as a head girl for 3 long years. I had a strong repute for not backing off.
He laughed. His voice rang out in my room.
“Please tell me you didn’t study at the CMS College by staying at their hostel!”
I nodded to his amusement.
“How did you survive?”
“Thick skin and lots of patience. I must warn you, I can go deaf at times too!” I smiled.
Another roar of laughter followed. He was not intimidated! Strange! The others ran.
“Do you know me by any chance?” he asked with twinkling eyes.
I shook my head.
“Then, I am safe. My reputation has not reached here.”
In a minute the both of us were laughing, it was so absurd. We shared war stories from college. It was ironical that both of us had studied in the same college, roamed with the same circle of friends and not met even once during this time. He was the outgoing senior who knew all my friends and I was the quite prefect who survived the Dragon in one piece.
The supposed disaster turned out to be a comedy.
“I like your sense of humour; I have always wanted a life partner who saw life with fun and practicality. Do you think we would match?”
There was only one way to solve this. I prayed, ‘Give me a sign that marriages can be made in Heaven or that my cup of tea is within my reach’
‘Ringggggggggggggg’ our mobiles rang loudly at the same instant. We jumped to switch it off immediately and apologized at forgetting to turn the darn thing off. Both of us held an identical set of Samsung with the same colour and model. Oh, Lord…there was no way out! Goodbye, my sweet cup of tea and good bye sunset.
Everyone loved him and his family. There was no chance of me saying “No” …they heard us laugh for almost an hour! No excuse would hold weight after that! The funny moment came after he left. All I could remember of him was the red shirt and the tasteful golden buckle. I sat up all night wondering why I could not remember his face. It was so silly. As my memory was so legendary, I got teased mercilessly. ‘Where were you looking?’ they asked as everyone laughed. All I had in memory was great time. As our wedding approached, everyone was talking about him. “He is a good looking boy”, “Where did you hear of this proposal?”, “How did you get her to agree?”, “Oh, so sad that none of us have a picture of him”, “Well he has a brother of his age”, “No, you can see the boy at the engagement”…and so on.
On the day on my engagement, I was in total panic. I couldn’t remember my to-be-fiancé or his face. What if I stood next to the wrong guy? The golden buckle was not going to be of any help! Did he look ordinary? Everyone said he was good looking and no one could explain. I was so pissed with myself. I was now agreeing to marry some good looking guy who was notorious at our college and had a great sense of humour. I had no clue as to what I was going into. I blamed God and the buckle for this lapse in memory.
“Mummy,” I hissed, looking for help.
“Please show me the guy with whom I am supposed to exchange rings with or else I may end up being engaged to the stage boy!!!”
I had clearly lost my marbles. My cousins rallied around me to look out for the boy. “There he is! “They whispered within a few minutes. I stuck my head out in trepidation. I was not going to change my mind. I just wanted to take stock of what I was getting myself into.
In that priceless moment, I was truly awed. Standing by the entrance, was a handsome stranger with a great smile (Can’t imagine how I missed that?). Marriage was everything I did and didn’t dream of. The chores, the burnt food, the laughter, the squabbles, the quiet cup of coffee and a great friend. If it hadn’t been for the sign of matching Samsungs, I would have missed out on having a husband who understood my insane humour, romantic notions and need for being an individual while being a part of a unit called family …
its true, Marriages are made in Heaven! **Conditions apply.