Marriages are really made in heaven. It is so surprising how we each find our own partners in life whether it is through falling in love or accepting a partner through an arranged marriage. My father was a very distant relative to my mother. He arrived from Calcutta by a train which was twenty four hours late due to heavy downpour in Madras. So his friend who was supposed to pick him up had gone back home after an indefinite wait at the station. My mother’s brother was in the railway station to pick up his friend who’s train was also delayed but met my father instead who was stranded in the station. Being a relative known to my uncle he picked him up and brought him home. He was to join a new job in Chennai and hence stayed for a couple of days in their house before he could find an accommodation of his own and moved out. My grandfather became mighty impressed with him in the two days that he stayed with them and decided to give his daughter in marriage to him. My father has also told me that he had liked my mother very much when he saw her for the first time and was blown away by her aristocracy 🙂
My uncle and aunts marriage is another story. My uncle, an exceptionally brilliant man could not use his right hand due to polio attack at a very young age. He was avoiding getting married as he was not sure about a woman’s reaction to marry him willingly. But of course my grandfather was trying to find a girl in the usual channels that was prevalent in those days. My aunt’s family received his horoscope and wanted to proceed but my aunt was not interested. After a period of six months her uncle went through my uncle’s horoscope and told her that he would make an excellent match for her and that she would live like a queen! 🙂 This did impress her and she agreed to see my uncle who was in Delhi then. She in fact went to meet him in Delhi with her brother which was not a common protocol then. My uncle removed his shirt to show her his hand and asked her if she did not mind living with a man with this handicap. My aunt was so touched by his gesture that she immediately said that she would be his right hand as long as she lived 🙂
Of course my marriage to my husband was decided by us with a short meeting of minds in just over an hour and we got married within a week of meeting each other. I moved to the US trusting my husband whom I barely knew 🙂 Then there are my two friends who fell in love and got married, one after a long courtship starting from the school days and another meeting her husband in her work place. The former’s wedding was conducted by her parents and the latter eloped with her boyfriend.
One cousin of mine married his high school sweetheart who was a girl from another caste as always love is beyond colour and creed. He was such a quiet and proper boy that we were surprised when he made the announcement. There was opposition from the girl’s family and the girl tried to commit suicide (a doctor herself by profession) and to prevent any further heart ache my uncle arranged and conducted the wedding. Her parents were gracious enough to attend the function.
Another cousin met his wife in his MBA class and she happened to be of the same caste and hence the wedding was conducted with all the fanfare! Then there is this cousin who refused to find his own match how much ever his parents pushed him to. He said amma please find me a girl to marry! But they did not. The girl found him instead. She happened to travel to the US and meet him there and fell in love with him and also told him of her interest in him. But of course he said my parents have to approve. So she waited patiently for a year before he came to India and formally met her with his parents and officialized the wedding.
There is a cousin who married his neighbour but within our community. Yet his parents refused to attend his wedding as he made his choice without giving his parents a say in the matter! But again I have a cousin who married out of community and a boy from a different state. My cousin’s parents went to the boy’s house in Calcutta to seek their blessings for the wedding. The boy’s father outright refused his consent for the wedding and politely bade them goodbye. It was a big shock to my uncle because he held a super post in the society and was really bewildered that somebody in this day and age would refuse his brilliant daughter citing caste and community as a reason. But the boy prevailed on his parents or so to say faught with them. The father agreed for the union if they would not meet or speak to each other for six months period after which if they still liked each other he would give his blessings! Mind you, the parents lived in Calcutta and the love lorn couple was in the US.Yet the father trusted his son with this condition. Six months passed with out incident and the father gave consent as promised and they are happily married now 🙂
My baby cousin has just announced that he is marrying a politician’s daughter, who is of a different caste, from a different state. Well, this combination is a first for our family 🙂 He met her during his graduate studies in the US.
Now I am waiting for my children to get married. But my above narration is only a reassurance to myself that matches are made in heaven. Don’t know from where my son and daughter in law will come but that surprise element is what keeps our lives interesting!