Priya and Dev’s love knew no boundaries. They were ten years apart yet their souls were one. They were single and lived in separated houses yet they were married in their hearts. They did not know the future to their relationship yet both lived in the ‘present.’ They enjoyed life all the more by loving each other very much. They were bold lovers. They were not shy of society norms and Indian conservative ideas. They rose above all kinds of rumors and gossip.
Priya’s parents were against their marriage though they respected Dev. He was a computer engineer and had a great job with well-known IT Company. He had a strong personality aura. He was perceptive and intuitive. He was able to find solutions to any kind of problem. His friends looked upon him for advice and guidance. He had good knowledge of human psychology. He was an avid reader and could discuss a wide range of topics with Priya and his friends. He was social yet disciplined with good habits. He was a ‘total package’ that every woman would dream of. In this birth, Priya had captured his heart. She was Dev’s soul mate.
Priya and Dev’s parents were good friends. Dev’s house was in the lane next to her building. This made their love even more romantic. Priya carried a special dish that her mom prepared for Dev’s family and Dev’s mom did the same. Priya brought back something tasty that ‘Aunty’ had made for them. Dev was at work unless if it was a weekend. Priya enjoyed chatting with Dev’s mom. She was a nice lady. They exchanged recipes, discussed upcoming events, latest trends and brands and so on. ‘Uncle’ was nice too. He had a strong personality like Dev. He was a kind person like Aunty but firm. They liked Priya. They wanted Dev and Priya to take their relationship to the next level.
Priya eagerly waited for lunch or dinner invitations on festive occasions at Dev’s place. She helped out Aunty in the kitchen while Dev chatted with her parents. The formal meetings gave Dev the chance to impress Priya’s parents but their views were more orthodox than his parents. They politely let Dev’s parents know that they were looking for a suitable match for Priya close to her age. Priya was disheartened but Dev did not lose hope. It strengthened their love. Their emotional bond grew stronger.
Dev’s parents had ‘unofficially’ accepted Priya in their family. She was studying to be a teacher at a Junior College of Education in Pune. They found her to be a shy, sweet, lovely young woman. She had a pleasant, mild personality. She was a bright student at her college. She worked hard to ace her student teaching projects. With Dev’s parent’s blessings, Priya hoped that one day her parents will understand their love.
It was difficult for Priya and Dev to live without each other. Not a single day passed by when they did not see or hear from each other.When parents were away, they made love. They lost track of time. They were lost in their own world. They were far from the ‘loud noise’ made by the outsiders. On Valentine’s day, Dev secretly proposed to Priya. She was the happiest person on earth. Dev told her of his plan for them to get married. He explained to Priya that she would have to make the sacrifice by leaving her parents. They will need to relocate to U.S.A so that they could get married and settle down. Priya agreed. She was ready to go abroad for further studies on student visa, take up a job which will fetch her H1 visa.
Priya started studying for TOEFL and SAT’s. She passed the exams with good scores. She received a scholarship from the college to study Elementary Education. At first, Priya’s parent’s hesitated to send her to a new country. Her mom suggested she come with her. Priya assured her not to worry. She will be living on campus, working part-time, making new friends, adjusting to new culture, and focusing on her studies. Priya’s parents were happy with her decision. She too was determined to take up this opportunity to move on in life.
Dev had secretly booked a one way ticket for Priya. At the airport, before departure, Dev looked into Priya’s eyes, gently kissed her on her cheek, hugged her lightly and whispered in her ear, “I love you.” Priya smiled back and said, “I love you too.” Dev was her confidence. Without Dev’s encouragement and support none of this would be possible. He wished her a safe flight. He told her to call and update him every single day.
Priya was able to transfer credits worth two years of studies from her college in India. She studied for two more years and graduated with a 3.0 G.P.A. out of 4.0. She immediately took up a teaching job in one of the best schools districts in New Jersey. Her job fetched her H1 visa. In the meantime, Dev took up a job transfer to the company headquarters in New jersey. He had five years of experience with the IT Company in India. He travelled to U.S.A on H1 visa.
Priya received Dev at the airport. Both were thrilled to see each other. Priya excited told Dev, “We did it!” Dev smiling replied, “Because of your hard work and sacrifice our plan is a success.” Priya hugged and kissed him on his forehead and told Dev that it was his genius idea and her implementation. Dev agreed. They rented an apartment near their workplaces. They lived together for a year. Their jobs were stable now. They were ready to get married and settle down. They had a small registered marriage ceremony. Close friends were invited. That evening they all went to a restaurant for dinner.
Priya and Dev celebrated that special night with champagne. They listened to soft music for sometime. They did karaoke on Bollywood songs. They were awake all night making love. They treasured and cherished these wonderful moments. They were free from the bondage of conservative ideas, gossip, and rumors of the Indian society. They believed that age difference did not matter for true, unconditional love.
Unlike Priya’s parents, Dev’s parents received their marriage news graciously. Priya’s parents were in a state of shock. For sometime they did not talk to Dev’s parents. Priya and Dev traveled to India to meet their parents and celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Dev’s parents received them at the airport. Right away, Priya and Dev bent over and touched their feet. Dev’s parents gave them ‘ashirwad’ for a happy, healthy, prosperous life together. They were proud of Priya and Dev’s progress and achievements in U.S.A. They thanked the parents for their blessings.
Priya Patel was now Priya Shah. Dev’s apartment was her new home yet their memories remained the same. Her in-laws were the best. She respected them very much. Next day, Priya gathered courage to go to her parent’s apartment and meet them. She was uncertain about their reaction. Her mother opened the door. She was seeing her daughter after three years. She was speechless. She broke into tears. She hugged Priya like she was her little child unwilling to let her go. Her father was also very happy to see her and welcomed her to her old home. They chatted for almost an hour. Towards the end of their conversation, her mother was curious to know if Priya was happy with Dev. She told her mother she was very happy to be his wife. She deeply felt that she must have done ‘good karma’ to be married into such a nice family.
Before leaving, Priya gave formal invitation to her parents for joining them for dinner at a restaurant. Her in-laws were coming and she requested her parents to come too. They accepted the invitation. Priya felt at peace with herself because for a long time after their marriage, she was feeling guilty for hiding the truth from her parents. Her parents had finally approved of their marriage.
At the restaurant, Priya’s parents apologized to Dev’s parents for being upset with them. They blamed Priya for it. She should have informed them of their marriage plans. Dev told her parents that it was his fault. Priya simply carried out the plan of action. Forgiving Priya and Dev, the parents said a few words of wisdom, “All is well that ends well.” Priya’s parents gifted an idol ‘Lord Ganapati.’ It symbolized auspicious beginning to their new married life. Priya and Dev thanked the parents for their ‘ashirwad’ on their first wedding anniversary.
It was 18th January 2017. They celebrated the special occasion with wine and Tiramisu cake for dessert. After a delicious Italian dinner, they headed home. Before saying goodbyes, Dev’s parents invited Priya’s parents for coffee at their place. They politely declined as it was late in the night. The next day Patel family invited Shah family for lunch at their place. Priya and Dev were very happy to see their parents revive and patch up their friendship. They could now invite them to U.S.A to stay with them.
After spending a week in Pune with family and friends, Priya and Dev traveled to Switzerland for their honeymoon. They were so caught up with everything that it left them no time to vacation. In Switzerland, they rested plenty. They also went sight-seeing and participated in a few activities. At other times, they made soft, gentle love. It was a beautiful place and the weather was cool enough to cuddle, kiss, and hug to keep each other warm.
Priya was in Dev’s arms. They were dancing on a slow number on the porch outside the guest room. This was their quiet time. They were surrounded by mountains and trees. They could literally hear the silence of nature, occasionally interrupted by the sweet chirping of the birds. Suddenly Dev broke the peaceful rhythm and said, “I want our love to last for next seven lifetimes. Your sacrifice has obliged me to do so. Honey, you are stuck with me for a very long time.”
Priya laughed and replied, ” Dear, you don’t have to say it. Just feel me because I live in your soul so that makes our love eternal…”