They say marriages are made in heaven. If yes, heaven for me will always be a small ice cream parlour in a crowded shopping mall in my home town Thalasserry.
Like any normal young male in the “marriageable” age, I always stayed away, as far as possible, from any talks involving the M-word. Maybe it was the fear of life long commitment, maybe it was the thought of giving up my freedom or maybe some bitter-sweet memories of the past. Whatever it was, I was just not ready to settle down.
India is a fast developing nation with progress in almost all walks of life. However, when it comes to the most important decision which will take our generation forward, the majority still stick on to the long trusted form of match making – arranged marriage.
Like most parents from this part of the world, one of the main aim of my folks was to find a suitable partner for their kids. Even before I reached puberty, I remember the numerous aunts in the family asking me what are the qualities I want in my future wife. Talk about catching them young!! It’s still a mystery how I am still unmarried at 28.
Its been a while since my folks have started showing me profiles of prospective candidates to be my future wife. I came up with all sorts of excuses to reject those proposals. Apart from the fact that I couldn’t fall in love with a photograph, I wanted to delay the inevitable as much as I could.
Last year when my good friend Malai announced his wedding plans, most of us friends applied for leave with our respective employers. I managed to get less than a week off, but that was more than enough to attend the wedding and go home and visit my folks whom I haven’t seen for over a year. The venue of the wedding was in Madurai, a few hundred kilometers from Thalasserry. Due to lack of time, I had made extensive travel plans to get home fast and spend a full day and a half with my family before I had to fly back to Kuwait. I could never imagine how important those one and a half days would become for the rest of my life.
The wedding, as expected, was a gala affair. Yes the food was vegetarian, but we were all so happy to see each other after ages that no one complained. Then a few hours before the wedding got over, I got a call from dad. They had managed to get one more proposal and I was supposed to meet her the next day!! I didn’t know whether to go ahead with my travel plans and get home or run away to Kuwait. But after giving it some thought, I decided to take the plunge. It was not like I’m getting married the next day. It was more like a date arranged by my folks.. so why not. 🙂
It was not a traditional “pennu kaanal”. The rendezvous was decided at a popular ice cream parlour in town. Yes I was tensed. I hadn’t seen her pic (for a change), I didn’t even know her full name. I had only heard of blind dates, never knew I would be part of one.
She had reached early. I was stuck in traffic but managed to reach not too late. With some difficulty, I managed to find the parlour in one corner of the mall. The butterflies in my stomach had gone wild. The first time I laid my eyes on her…. it was beautiful. She was wearing a lovely lilac coloured salwar kameez and I just loved her smile. By the time we got talking, I knew she was the one.
This was almost two weeks ago. I had to fly back the next day. I’m thankful to the modern technologies through which we became even closer. We are due to be engaged in a couple of weeks time, and if everything goes according to plan, I will be spending the next new year with my wife, my Silsy.