“Mom why is aunty crying?” My daughter asked me suspiciously eyeing my newly wedded sister in law. We were at the wedding of my brother in law. Sneha my sister in law was crying profusely the occasion was the one in which strongest of the strongest women would have melted down and would let her emotions take control of her mind. The occasion of vidaai, separation from every person every memory with which a girl has spent almost 24 years of her life.
Dia my daughter tugged my hand and repeated the question “Mom why is she crying?” She is an inquisitive child.
“Because she is leaving her parents” I said.
This wasn’t over yet she continued “Why is she leaving her parents?”
“Because she is going to her new home with your uncle.”
“Why doesn’t she take her parents with her?”
Okay now I had to give up and distract her because it’s impossible to win over her. So I said “Why don’t you go wait in the car here take my phone. Rohan uncle (driver) will be there and be a good girl.” Smartphones and games are always a good escape from kids.
I left hurriedly her in the car and was back at the wedding. All were crying, Sneha finally left in the car and I felt my heart heavy. Because this brought a lot of memories back.
Finally the wedding ended and I waited for my husband and then we started for our home.
In the car we were seated in the back seat with my husband on my right and Dia to my left. With the speeding car my mind also sped back 8 years. 8 long years had passed but it feels like it was yesterday.
8th March 2007
I had started my career as a personality developmental trainer 12 months back at the age of 22 and as expected my family had started coming up with numerous ways to convince to get married but somehow I managed to budge them for a year. I managed to dodge the number of boys that my dearest aunt tried to set me up but now I was at my wit’s end and after the long persuasion and convincing and melodrama I caved into the tactics of my family. So today some Deep Mishra and his family is coming to my home. The elders had arranged our meeting.
Since it being a big big day I was dressed in the best attire as any girl would be and then sharp at 10 o clock Deep and his family arrived. It would be a lie if I said that I wasn’t nervous. Perhaps marriage and its meeting had put even a speaker to nervousness. After sometimes I was called and the conversation kept flowing about knowing families Deep and I had a very little to speak until asked question directly and then the moment came where we both were left alone to get to know each other. I could literally hear my heart beating wildly against my chest. And to my relief he started with the conversation
Deep: So Shreya where do we start?
“Ummm………. How about we ask 20 questions to each other?”
“Fine with me, you may begin.”
“No, you go first.” I was nervous but I was happy that we could talk to each other fluently.
“Okay, so why a trainer?”
“Well there are a lot of reasons but more importantly because I always have love to inspire people. Why accounting?”
“Because I like to inspire numbers.”
“Sorry, it was just joke. I like to audit.”
“So what are your hobbies?”
“Well, I like to play guitar and read books. And you?”
“I like to read books and dance.”
“What are your goals?”
“To be successful justifiably and to lead a life with clear and cheerful conscience. And what are yours?”
“Well, more less the same as yours.”
And the conversation flew by with ease. Yes, there was some hesitation some awkwardness but at least it wasn’t a complete disaster. Oh, boy only if I knew how wrong I was when I said it wasn’t a disaster but the next moment something extremely embarrassing rather more horrifying thing happened, while serving coffee I spilled the coffee on his linen white shirt. And I was mortified what had I done? He definitely wouldn’t say yes- that was all I could think while saying sorry and offering him a napkin. He on the other hand laughed and said it’s ok. But I knew it wasn’t.
Sometime later when elders joined and saw his shirt, no one absolutely spared making fun of him. And let me tell you I received the most disapproving look from my mom suggesting that “that’s why I told to come in kitchen but you never listened to me”. The look was added insult to my injuries. It wasn’t like that I wouldn’t be able to live he had refused or that I was dying to marry him. We didn’t know each other too well to decide that but I didn’t want the reason of his refusal to be the spilling of coffee most certainly not. A day later they replied in a yes. I was surprised, not that I didn’t want it to be a yes I actually found him a nice guy but after the coffee incident I doubted it would be a yes.
So yes both the families had agreed but still I was wishing for some more time before we officially were declared as a couple but his younger sister was to be married in two months and hence they wanted to us to marry early. Apparently I did not have strong reasons to refuse him and even I certainly couldn’t go against my family hence I though unwillingly said a yes for the marriage.
29th March 2007.
Yes I was getting married to someone whose name even I had not known before 20 days. Deep had been nothing but a pure gentlemen in these 20 days even his family was one like you see in TV soaps good and welcoming of course barring the wamps and villains of soaps. But you cannot know a person’s true face even in years let alone 20 days.
Trust had always been a major issue for me. It took a long long time for me to trust people one of the reasons why I had very few friends. Deep had been very considerate though but I still couldn’t always trust him completely. It’s not that I distrusted him but not complete trust. He said he loved me merely after two days of the meeting and I could not reciprocate the same. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t but he said it was ok he said that he understood it was too fast. I had asked him how he is so sure that I am the right the perfect match for him. He simply said he could see it in my eyes. I was baffled even more. He said that my eyes said it all, yes he couldn’t see the love in them but he could see loyalty and respect and it would just a matter of time that he would be able to see love in them too. I simply couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell. He had been very careful of his words like he said where I would like to go for a trip after marriage instead of saying honeymoon because he knew it would have been very awkward for me.
And then my trail of thoughts was broken off when I heard the sounds of procession band playing and crackers bursting and excited shouts of my sisters “They are here.” And I was like okay I have finally have to face the music. The wedding was carried out with all the rituals perfectly. But still I had some inhibitions wondering about him and his family at back of my mind. The seemed to fly away way too fast because it was the time for my separation for my beloved ones.
I was weeping profusely like any other girl would, I cannot express how heart aching it feels to be separated from your family. It’s not that you have to sever all ties from them but living without them- the thought by itself hurt too much. I am not a feminist but this thought always stung that why a girl has to leave everything behind for starting a new life. But then it is was in my hands to change the inevitable.
Finally I was seated into car with his sister and brother and I still couldn’t control my tears. I waved them a goodbye with heaviest heart. Tears were still streaming down. When I was small and I used to cry I used to go to my parents they used to hug me and console me and say that there’s nothing to worry they are there but this time they wouldn’t say because they weren’t there. Slowly I felt the coldness of hand being replaced by strong warm hand. Deep was holding my hand. He held my hand it looked as if he wanted to console me but couldn’t because of his siblings. He simply held my hand firmly looked into my eyes and whispered “I AM THERE.”
I now knew what he meant when he said that it is in the eyes because I could see it in his eyes too the loyalty, the respect, the care and above anything his eyes held love for me. Then and there I knew that he was the right guy, the man I had been wishing for. His words didn’t reduce the sadness I felt of separating but it certainly let me know that I wasn’t alone and that he would be there always with me by my side. I had to admit that miraculously but I fell in love with him. I decided to tell the moment we were alone and finally I looked right into his eyes and said
“I LOVE YOU.”
He held my face with his hands and I thought he was going to say the same instead he said
“I know that. I mean it’s pretty hard to not to fall for me isn’t it?” And winked. I playfully hit his harm.
Back to the present
Our life is no fairly tale. We had seen the darkest side and the brightest side of life, we had seen the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the sorrow. We did fight sometimes over the silliest things sometimes a major ones. But like a true gentlemen that Deep is, true to his words he has been with me and for me on every turn. All the years played like a wind in my mind. As if sensing my thought…
I felt the coldness of my hand being replaced by a strong warm hand. Deep was holding my hand. He whispered “I AM THERE.” This I time replied “I know.” The rest we needn’t say because it is all in the eyes…………