I look at it with a sense of incredulity for what had happened over two decades ago.
I was a twenty-three-year-old young graduate in Biotechnology. Before venturing out for higher studies, I had come home for a two-week vacation. Sprawling out on the sofa, I noticed a picture frame on the corner table. The first glimpse of the photo was very unflattering as the young man in it had his head shaved. The display ‘17th Convocation 1998, IIT Kanpur’ caught my attention though. “Ahh… an IITian!”
“Who is this?” I had asked.
“Mom, the picture has collected moisture. Your neighbor will get mad at you.”
“Yeah, I’ll give it back.”
Two weeks were over in the blink of an eye. Some pending work got done, and some was still left, but the biggest elephant in the room was — well, my marriage.
“Mom, I don’t have time for marriage right now.”
Mom rolled her eyes, “stop joking, will you?”
After two weeks, I was back in college — busy, like a hamster on a hamster wheel. Five months later, one morning, mom rang me. “Sweetheart, can you spare a week and come over?”
“I just came back, mom.”
“We’ve found a great match for you! He wants to get married before leaving for America for Masters. There’s not much time to think.” Mom had just blurted it out.
Gasp! “Mom, are you kidding?”
“Trust me beti, marriage won’t be an impediment.”
“Beti, matches are made in heaven, we’re just bringing the right people together. I need only ten calendar dates from your schedule. I’ll arrange everything, you just show up.”
But I trusted mom. Agreeing to marriage was a statement of serious intent, but I did it.
I came on the given date. Carrying my suitcase, I stood in front of my house; dazzled.
Everything had happened at lightning speed. The next day, I found myself in a heavy sari and jewelry — presented like a delicacy in a ghoonghat. The room was stuffed with relatives, and my potential groom sat in the center.
Finally the wedding was over. Pheww! We weaved our way into a well-decorated room with all kinds of food served on a dining table.
Without imposition he said, “aren’t you hungry?”
“Yes! My stomach is gnawing on my backbone.” I lifted my ghoonghat.
My first glimpse of him! He’s the same man I saw in the picture.
He smiled and motioned to the food, “start with something mild.”
I was baffled at the absurdity of our situation, but he didn’t seem as bewildered as me. I felt a deep affection.
“I know it’s hard, but it’ll be okay.” He assured me. I was still in a daze. In my heart, I knew, I had found the man of my dreams. I was glad I had listened to my mother’s wisdom.
Every moment of that night is still engraved in my memory even after twenty years of togetherness and many more to go.
Beti — daughter
Ghoonghat — veil
Connect with Penmancy:
Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!